Understanding post-partum hair loss
30-60% of women experience hair loss after having a baby, but why does this occur and what can you do about it?
During pregnancy your estrogen and progesterone levels rise to levels many times higher than usually seen in the body. Estrogen is a powerful hormone that impacts multiple systems in the body including the skin and hair. The ?glow? that many women experience during pregnancy and the accompanying improvements in skin and hair are a direct reflection of the impact of estrogen.
Hair normally grows in a cycle of growth, rest, fall and regrowth that repeats many times in your lifetime. During pregnancy the excess estrogen encourages the hair to enter and stay in the growth phase, grow faster and shed less.
Almost immediately following labor and birth, estrogen and other hormone levels crash. The sudden drop in estrogen can cause large numbers follicles to stop growing and rest. However, hairs don?t fall out immediately, but after a rest period of 2-4 months. Couple this with the lack of sleep, potential nutritional stress and the demands of caring for a newborn, and a perfect storm for hair changes is in place.
What can you do? If you are worried about an impending drain-clogging hair storm, there are a few simple tips to minimize the impact of post-partum hair fall. The good news is most cases of post-partum hair loss are completely reversible and implementing some strategies early may help reduce the severity.
Be kind to your hair: Your follicles are in their most fragile state when resting. To avoid premature shedding, be gentle with your hair when brushing, washing and drying. Also try to avoid tight hair styles and investing in a silk pillow to also ensure your hair isn?t pulled out in your sleep.
Add volume and fortify: Boost the appearance of your hair by using volumizing and texturizing products. Look for gentle, light weight cleansers and conditioners designed to volumize, preferably clean and natural, with added ingredients such as keratin for fortification and baobab to provide hydration. A good quality dry shampoo can also boost volume and texturize.
Eat well: Nutritional changes and added demands on the body?s energy after birth can disrupt hair growth. To avoid this, make sure you eat a good balanced diet (as much as is possible), with plenty of protein, leafy greens, fruits and vegetables.
Try to relax: While it may not be easy to relax with a newborn, especially as a first-time parent, you should be mindful to take some relaxing time out just for you. Gentle exercise such as modified post-natal yoga can also help reduce stress levels.
Get nutritional support: It?s not always easy for a new family or growing family to prepare good balanced meals, or even eat at regular times after the arrival of a baby; particularly in the early months. To help your body get the nutrients it needs, try taking one of the many post-natal supplements. Always ask the advice of your physician before starting any oral supplementation.
Change your style: Many new mums opt for a shorter, easy to manage hairstyle. Not only can shorter hair be styled to hide thinner hair, but will also help when the new hair starts to grow in. New hairs will appear as fly-aways, so a short hair style will help the newer hairs blend with the remaining hair and they can grow out together.
Look after your hair cycle: While some hair changes are inevitable for many women, there is a natural technology that can help keep the hair cycle healthy. Best of all it?s from right here in Australia. ?volis? Professional Activators are topically applied serums that use botanicals including glycyrrhizin from licorice root and salicylic acid. Unique to ?volis? is a patented blend of botanicals including Sanguisorba and Japanese rose hips that act on the hair growth cycle, preventing excess hair fall and boosting growth. The topical ?volis? Activators can be safely used during breastfeeding and can naturally support a healthy hair cycle. The companion volume boosting, and fortifying shampoos, conditioners and hair masks have been specifically designed to support during excess hair fall and hair thinning.
?volis?, scientifically validated natural Australian anti-aging hair care with clinically proven results
Developed by hair biologists after 12 years of research and recommended by hair stylists, ?volis? promises tailored solutions for those with hair loss or thinning, hair growth issues and those with challenges associated with texture, control and manageability.
Each ?volis? formula contains a patented blend of botanicals, specially selected essential oils, organic anti-oxidants plus natural humectants and conditioners to give you naturally beautiful hair.
Love your hair, try ?volis?
SPECIAL OFFER for Northern Beaches Mums
Use code NBM25 at check-out for 25% discount sitewide
Shop now @ www.evolisproducts.com.au
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Dominic Burg
PhD, Chief Scientist
Dr Dominic Burg is a biochemist and systems biologist with expertise in hair and scalp biology, particularly hair cycle signalling. An accomplished science communicator with a career spanning academic research and the private sector, Dr Burg is the Chief Scientist for pioneering hair and scalp health leaders ?volis?.