It is often heard that a “new” mother begins experiencing hair loss a while after having given birth to her child. Truly a common condition, it is also not abnormal either.
The said hair loss begins within five months post-partum (after childbirth) and is not exactly an actual loss of hair. Instead, it is only the shedding of hair, although somewhat excessive in a manner.
As stated by dermatologists, this condition of excessive hair shedding is caused by declining oestrogen levels. They’ve also made it abundantly clear that it isn’t something you should have to worry about and that the shedding tends to slow down within three months after it begins, or a while later than that.
In some cases, or sometimes, this hair loss might bother you though. Doctors often recommend a change in diet, change in hair care and styling; and at times when that might turn out to be not enough, Minoxidil oral tablet, which is an FDA-approved option for the treatment of female pattern baldness, is recommended. However, that is generally only a long shot.
Is there a way to keep a check on postpartum hair loss?
The statement is that there is no way to entirely stop postpartum telogen effluvium, as doctors put it, or the excessive shedding of hair after giving birth to a baby. Triggered by the sudden fall in oestrogen levels in women, it can get quite annoying but when handled gently, a woman can get through it by experimenting with some haircare options and changes in styling her hair.
As it is, 85 to 95 percent of the hair strands on one’s head, at any given time, are the ones that are actively growing; the other 5 to 15 percent, however, are the ones in a resting stage. The latter strands fall out after the resting period – commonly while brushing or shampooing – and are replaced with new growth. Every day, the average woman sheds roughly a hundred hair strands.
During pregnancy, though, this pattern often changes. The growth stage is prolonged as the result of an elevation in oestrogen levels. As a consequence, a woman may have thicker, more luxurious locks of hair because there are fewer hairs in the resting stage now and, therefore, fewer hairs falling out each day.
On the other hand, when the term of pregnancy ends, the oestrogen level observes an abrupt decline and many more hair follicles enter the resting stage, which lasts three to five months before, finally, the process of shedding begins. When looked at it this way, it seems more obvious and less worrisome.
The fact that any woman who’s just been through pregnancy may now have a good amount of hair coming out in the shower or on her brush in around five months seems only normal and something the body needs to adapt in accordance with before the rate of growth and shedding returns to what it previously was.
It is also the truth, however, that during postpartum time, not all women detect significant changes in their hair. Hair loss is more noticeable in women with longer hair.
So, if for some reason you believe that you are losing more hair than you should and that the hair loss is somewhat more than excessive, you should get in touch with your doctor and seek out their advice.
Still, what can one do about postpartum hair loss?
As mentioned above, there is no need to worry too much about postpartum telogen effluvium (or the excessive hair shedding after childbirth) since it is very much normal and the shedding stops by itself in some time. However, if something worries you about it and makes you think it might not be just postpartum hair loss, get in touch with your doctor.
In some cases of pattern hair loss, like minoxidil, the doctors tend to recommend Finpecia 1 mg, which is taken once a day with water and contains the drug finasteride. Although it is mostly recommended to men for androgenetic alopecia, its component drug finasteride was recently concluded as being safe and effective for the treatment of pattern hair loss in women in a 2020 study conducted on 40 normoandrogenic post-menopausal FPHL (female pattern hair loss) patients.
In any cases of hair loss, however, a few things very much advised to be taken care of and some other things – before or during its particular medication – can help you look more than presentable and stay confident while you fight hair loss. These include:
- Skipping styling: To begin with, hair on heating with a dryer or a curling iron may appear thinner. For this reason, it is recommended to hold off on doing anything fancy with your hair and let it air-dry until the thinning stops. On the other hand, brushing your hair too hard also might cause it to fall out in larger clumps, so be gentle while you brush your and just brush it once a day for the while.
- Eating well: Funnily enough, eating well doesn’t just mean following a particular schedule for eating. Your food has to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins. It is indeed the best method to ensure that your body gets all of the nutrients it needs. Among the most recommended options come dark green leafy vegetables (for iron and vitamin C), sweet potatoes and carrots (for beta carotene), eggs (for vitamin D), and salmon and other fish (for omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium). Find out more about the benefits of Omega here.
- Taking your vitamins: Vitamins should not be used to replace a balanced diet, especially if you are a new mother with a new-born to look after. However, if your diet isn’t well-balanced, they might be useful as a supplement. Fact is that no specific vitamins have been linked to hair loss, but they are certainly quite essential for overall health. It’s common advice to keep taking prenatal vitamins after your baby is delivered, even more so if you’re breastfeeding.
- Using volumizing shampoo: As it is, this might be a peculiar change in your haircare. It is understood that conditioning shampoos can weigh your hair down and make it appear thinner and lacking in both structure and strength, even though there is no evidence to support this claim. Volumizers, however, can help you keep a shiny look and give your hair more body. At this time, it is also recommended that you avoid conditioning shampoos and intensive conditioners and use a conditioner made for fine hair.
While postpartum hair loss is completely normal and stops itself sometimes three months after its beginning, it can often bother a person. At such times, a series of moderate changes can be looked at to make the transition less full of vexation.
In some cases, when diet changes and changes of shampoos and/or conditioners don’t seem to be enough, a doctor may recommend another drug like Finpecia, which is marketed as Fincar 5mg and is prescription-based. Keeping in touch with your doctor is strictly recommended – talk to them immediately if anything unusual happens.