A woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, but one of the most jarring transformations actually comes after the baby is born. Many women are surprised when they suddenly find themselves shedding inordinate amounts of hair a few months after giving birth. However, this is a perfectly normal part of life, and the loss is only temporary.
During pregnancy, many women find that their hair looks better than ever. Increased levels of estrogen mean that hair does not shed at its normal levels during pregnancy. More hairs than usual are stuck in the growing phase. This means fewer hairs are in the resting phase, and shedding is minimal. For this reason, many pregnant women enjoy hair that appears fuller and thicker than normal.
As estrogen levels start to taper off a few months post-partum, more hairs go into the resting phase. This phase is always followed by shedding. This event explains why hair seems to start falling out all at once. It can be quite alarming to find big clumps of hair in your brush or shower drain, but once the extra hairs your body retained during pregnancy fall out, the level of shedding should return to normal.
It can take a few months for the period of post-partum hair loss to pass. During this time, you can take a few measures to keep your hair looking its best. While this hair loss is inevitable for many women, taking a multi-vitamin can help combat vitamin deficiencies that may exacerbate it. Viviscal is one hair growth vitamin that can make a difference for some people. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also contribute to hair health. Foods like avocados, nuts and fish are all good sources of omega-3. Remember that if you are breast-feeding, consult with your doctor before beginning any dietary supplement regimen.
Some women find that a scalp massage can help. Gently massaging the scalp with your fingertips can increase blood flow to the scalp, which helps stimulate the hair follicles. It is also important to be gentle to your hair during this time to minimize loss. This is not the time for harsh chemical treatments, hair coloring or tight ponytails. Treat your hair gently to avoid breakage that will make your hair appear even thinner.
Post-partum hair loss is a normal occurrence for many women. If your hair is suddenly falling out in droves and you recently had a baby, you do not need to run out and buy a wig just yet. A bit of patience and extra care can help you get through this unpleasant time.