During pregnancy, you may experience a ‘wow’ feeling about your thick and lustrous hair. But the feeling can change as soon as the baby is born. After delivery, hair often starts falling out with increased speed.
Normally, on an average, a person loses 100 hairs a day. The hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy keep those hairs from falling out.
The increased levels of estrogen keep most of the hair in the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, which causes less hair loss and makes your hair look dense and thick.
But soon after delivery, estrogen levels start declining and all the hair that was in the anagen phase eventually enters the resting phase and starts falling out. Postpartum hair loss can begin any day after your baby arrives.
Don’t freak out looking at the increasing amount of hair you may be shedding. This is a normal occurrence. This process of hair loss may last from six months to one year.
There is not much that can be done to stop it, but simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can keep the hair loss to a minimum as well as promote healthy hair growth.
Note: If hair loss continues with the same intensity for more than a year, consult your doctor.
Here are the top 10 ways to deal with postpartum hair loss.
1. Handle Hair with Care
After childbirth, it takes some time to form a schedule as there are plenty of responsibilities to take care of. This often makes you neglect your hair and, ultimately, your hair ends up in very bad shape.
So, the first step toward hair loss prevention should actually be proper hair care.
- Wash your hair gently but with a good shampoo, 2 or 3 times a week.
- Do not use hot water to wash your hair. Use lukewarm or cool water.
- Don’t comb, brush or tie up your hair when it is wet. Try to keep it loose until it is fully dry.
- Avoid using blow-dryers and other heated hair instruments.
- Be gentle when brushing and don’t brush more than once a day.
- Avoid pigtails, braids and any tight hairstyles that cause excessive pulling.
2. Stay Stress-Free
It is natural to feel stressed once a baby is born. There are so many new things to take care of. But stress is not good for your health or your hair.
In fact, stress can make postpartum hair loss even worse. Stress can disrupt the normal hair cycle and trigger hair to enter the telogen or fall-out phase. Thus, try to keep stress under control.
To manage stress, you can use meditation, deep breathing, soothing music, exercise or other relaxation techniques.
Also, be sure to get your beauty sleep, as the growth hormone is released during sleep.
3. Follow a Healthy Diet
When it comes to hair health, your diet has a direct impact on it. A good diet means healthy hair, while a poor diet can make your hair fall out or impact its quality.
Eat a diet rich in protein and vital vitamins and minerals. Opt for foods high in vitamins A, B, C and E as well as iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium. In fact, if you are low on iron, zinc or any other essential nutrients, your hair will suffer a lot.
Including a variety of fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins in your diet is the best way to ensure healthy hair. Foods that improve hair health include dark leafy greens (for the iron and vitamin C), eggs (for the vitamin D), sweet potatoes and carrots (for the beta-carotene), and fish (for omega-3s and magnesium).
4. Regular Oil Massage
Whether it is postpartum hair loss or any kind of hair problem, a regular oil massage is beneficial for your hair.
Regularly massaging with oil increases blood circulation to the scalp as well as conditions the scalp and strengthens the hair roots.
- Apply lukewarm olive oil or coconut oil generously on your scalp.
- Gently massage your scalp for at least 5 to 10 minuses using your fingertips.
- Leave it overnight, and wash your hair with a mild shampoo the next morning.
- Do this at least 2 or 3 times a week.
You can even massage the scalp with your fingertips without using oil.
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin that aids faster hair growth. This vitamin helps reduce hair lost post-pregnancy because it helps in the synthesis of hair proteins, such as keratin. In fact, lack of biotin has been associated with hair breakage and hair loss.
- Include biotin-rich foods in your diet, such as eggs, yogurt, almonds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, milk and meat.
- You can also take biotin supplements. Before taking any supplements, though, make sure you consult your doctor. In fact you can take postnatal supplements containing biotin and several other essential nutrients.
- You can also use shampoos and conditioners fortified with biotin.
6. Coconut Milk
Another good remedy to deal with postpartum hair loss is coconut milk.
Coconut milk is full of protein, vitamins and minerals that restore hair and scalp health. It even makes hair soft and adds volume to your hair.
When applied to the hair, it provides quick results.
- Apply freshly extracted coconut milk to the scalp.
- Put a shower cap on and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it out of your hair with cool water.
- Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
For added benefits, you can add a little fenugreek seed powder to the coconut milk before applying it on the scalp.
A regular protein treatment is essential to enjoy stronger and thicker hair, even during the postpartum period. For a protein hair treatment, eggs make the best choice.
Apart from protein, eggs have several minerals and essential fatty acids that can nourish the hair and impart a natural shine.
- Use 1 or 2 eggs, depending on the length of your hair. Beat the eggs thoroughly.
- Mix in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Apply the mixture on wet hair and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.
- Wash your hair with lukewarm water and shampoo.
- Use this protein treatment once or twice a week.
8. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is highly nourishing for your hair. It is rich in vitamin C that helps maintain a healthy scalp and promote hair growth.
Also, its medicinal properties help a lot in reducing hair loss and maintaining a healthy hair growth rate.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of amla powder in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Heat the mixture until it boils, then strain it. Massage the amla-infused oil onto your scalp before going to bed. The next morning, shampoo your hair as usual. Do this on a weekly basis.
- Also, consume 2 to 3 tablespoons of Indian gooseberry juice daily. This works as a powerful tonic beneficial for your hair.
- You can also eat amla fruit or take its extract as a dietary supplement. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
This readily available herb can do wonders for your post-pregnancy loss of hair and other hair problems.
Fenugreek seeds contain antecedents that promote hair growth and help rebuild hair follicles. They also contain proteins, which are good for overall hair health.
- Soak 1 to 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a large bowl of water overnight. Apply the strained water on the scalp the next day and leave it for 1 to 2 hours. Finally, shampoo your hair as usual. Repeat the process 2 times a week.
- Alternatively, grind 2 tablespoons of soaked fenugreek seeds into a fine paste. Apply the paste on your hair and cover it with a shower cap for 30 to 40 minutes. Finally, rinse your hair with water, then shampoo your hair. Use this remedy 1 or 2 times a week.
10. Aloe Vera
Another natural ingredient to take care of postpartum hair-related problems is aloe vera.
Aloe vera gel is good for your hair health, as it provides nourishment, encourages hair growth and prevents hair loss.
In fact, aloe vera helps maintain the pH balance of your scalp, which is important for healthy hair growth.
- In ½ cup of fresh aloe vera gel, add a little lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and apply it on your scalp and hair. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes, then shampoo your hair. Do this once a week.
- Also, drink aloe vera juice on a regular basis to enjoy better hair growth.
- You can opt for a new haircut that will incorporate those fine hairs in the front and give volume to your hair.
- Use a leave-in hair moisturizer after shampooing.
- You can even try a new hair color to give it body.
- Change the part. For instance, if you generally part your hair in the middle, a side part can do the trick.
- Avoid sleek, straight hairstyles as they make thinning hair more obvious.
- Consult your doctor if your hair loss is excessive.