Leaving a trail of hair in your wake? This post reviews postpartum hair loss home remedies to minimize the amount of hair you lose and promote regrowth after having a new baby.
Postpartum hair loss is a drag. There’s no other way to describe it. And if you have the misfortune of experiencing it, I deeply empathize with what you are going through! But know that you are not alone and that new hair growth is in your future.
I experienced hair loss after having both of my babies. After my first, I started shedding about 2.5 months postpartum. With my second, it started 3.5 months postpartum. Both times, it felt so very obvious. It made me self conscious. It made me cry. It made me seek every remedy I could outside of medicated products.
But why? Why does this happen to us? Haven’t our bodies gone through enough?
The good news is that postpartum hair loss is extremely common and is temporary. Remember that! No matter how frustrated you get, no matter how impossibly endless the process feels, it isn’t forever and for most people, hair will grow back to how it once was.
Let’s break it down.
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What is postpartum hair loss?
The technical name for postpartum hair loss (also known as postpartum hair fall and postpartum alopecia) is telogen effluvium, which is a complicated way of describing excessive hair loss or shedding. Postpartum hair loss is different from regular shedding because the amount of hair lost is much greater. The average person sheds about 100 hairs a day, but with postpartum hair loss you lose much more. This is due to the very obvious changes in our hormone levels during pregnancy and after having a baby.
Why does hair loss happen?
Did you notice how full and healthy your hair was during pregnancy? This is because you experienced a surge in your estrogen levels that basically told your hair follicles to hang on tight through the anagen phase, which is the hair growth phase. Ana-what?
There are three phases in the hair growth cycle:
- Anagen: The growing phase
- Catalan: The transition phase
- Telogen: The resting phase when hair falls out
So, all that hair that you were hanging onto during pregnancy is now making its exit, which makes it feel like so.much.more.
What are the signs of postpartum hair loss?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent postpartum hair loss. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. But how can you tell the difference between regular hair loss and postpartum hair loss?
As mentioned, we all shed hair daily, but you will see a noticeable difference in the amount:
- When you wash, you may see more hair in the shower drain
- When you brush your hair, you’ll see more in your comb
- When you tie your hair up, you’ll see more in your hands and in the hair tie
- When you run your hands through your hair, you’ll come away with some tangled in your fingers
- When you lay down or sleep, you’ll see some on your pillows or sheets
It’ll feel like it’s everywhere. Sometimes it will be a handful of strands and others will feel like literal clumps of hair. It’s alarming.
You’ll know, trust me.
So what can you do to fix it? Are there natural remedies?
Postpartum Hair Loss Home Remedies & Tips
There is no official treatment for postpartum hair loss, it’s just something that will naturally stop on its own. However, there are things you can do to make your hair feel fuller, to prevent further hair loss and damage, and to promote growth.
Helpful hair loss products and tools: quick list
Here is a quick list of some of the hair loss products that are reviewed in this post.
Take your vitamins
Even if you are a healthy eater, it’s important for new mothers to continue to take their vitamins to limit excessive hair fall.
- Biotin: Biotin is often recommended for hair health as it plays a crucial role in the production of keratin, a protein that forms the structure of hair, skin, and nails.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy hair follicles. It also plays a role in the body’s immune system, which can influence overall health, including the health of hair. Exposure to sunlight is a natural way to obtain vitamin D.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss, so iron supplements can be important for preventing or addressing hair loss.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells, including hair follicles, from oxidative stress. Including foods rich in vitamin E, such as nuts and seeds, in the diet can support overall hair health.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, are essential for overall health, including the health of the scalp and hair. They help nourish hair follicles and support a healthy scalp environment.
- Prenatal vitamins: If you don’t want to take a bunch of different vitamins, you can continue to take your prenatal vitamin or opt for a postnatal vitamin that contains the essentials.
Avoid harsh chemicals
Experiment with different hairstyles
A new hairstyle can not only make you feel better about your appearance but it can help mask areas that are suffering more than others:
- If you’re used to parting your hair on one side but can see your hair thinning in that general area, try parting it on another side.
- If you tend to tie your hair back in a ponytail or bun, try a style that does require too much pulling away from your scalp. I like to do a loose braid with a tie at the end so the band isn’t adding any unnecessary tension around my crown.
- A haircut always helps and can make your hair look fuller. A plus: shorter hair can be beneficial with a new baby. Less to deal with!
General hair care
Use a hair serum
Hair serums are designed to nourish hair follicles, reduce breakage, and promote hair growth. To use hair serums, apply a few drops to your hair and scalp a few times a week.
Wrap your hair for sleep, or use a satin pillowcase
Normal pillowcases made of materials like cotton can create a lot of friction, causing tangling and breakage of hair strands. Using a satin pillowcase minimizes friction and reduce potential damage to the hair because the material allows the hair to slide smoothly without pulling.
The same can be said for wrapping your hair in a silk scarf or bonnet.
Drink a lot of water
Water is magical. Not only does it keep our bodies happy and hydrated, but it’s good for your skin and hair! Hydration ensures that your body is getting the nutrients it needs, including your hair follicles!
Some natural oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and castor oil, are believed to have moisturizing and nourishing properties that can benefit the hair and scalp. Apply a small amount of oil to your scalp, leave it on for a few hours or overnight, and then wash it out.
This postpartum hair loss tip is one that will benefit you in all areas of life. Ensure that you maintain a nutritious diet. This should include essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals such as biotin, vitamin E, vitamin D, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. Include a variety of fruits, green leafy vegetables, lean meats or other lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats in your meals.
Massage your scalp
A scalp massage can stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles, promoting hair growth. You can use your fingertips to massage your scalp while shampooing or apply a few drops of nourishing oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and massage it into your scalp before washing. Alternatively, you can get a scalp massager.
Manage your stress levels
Easier said than done, especially as new moms, but it’s important for so many reasons… including healthy hair growth! Chronic stress can contribute to hair loss. Finding ways to manage stress, such as through relaxation techniques, exercise, and sufficient sleep, may positively impact your overall well-being, including your hair health.
Be patient and kind to yourself
Addressing hair loss often takes time, so being patient is a must. Give yourself grace and remember… you just had an entire HUMAN! You are Wonder Woman, and you are not your hair!
When will my hair grow back?
To answer your most pressing question. Most often, hair loss should slow around 6 to 12 months postpartum.