If you’re a new mommy – congratulations! Motherhood is beautiful and deserves to be celebrated. But having a baby also means many life changes and while most of them are positive, some of them involve things like getting less sleep and losing hair. If you are experiencing postpartum hair loss, don’t worry! This is normal and happens to some women due to increased shedding, known as Telogen Effluvium. This condition is common after an event like childbirth that tends to put stress on the body. It doesn’t necessarily take place immediately, but it is a temporary condition. However if you feel like your case is extreme and prolonging for longer than a year, it’s best to revert to a doctor. If you want to know exactly what Telogen Effluvium is and how you can manage it, keep reading to see what one of our Mashion followers – Mariam Javed Shah– has to say:
What Is Telogen Effluvium?
During pregnancy, mothers tend to get the ‘pregnancy glow’ and their hair looks fuller. This is because you’re losing less hair during this period.
In the hair cycle, there are three phases: anagen (the growth phase), catagen (the transition phase) and telogen (the resting phase). Normally 80-90 percent of hair is in a growing phase which lasts for 2-7 years. During this phase, hair follicles are nourished with blood supply for growth. Each hair grows for 2-6 years before resting for a few months, and then falls. In catagen, hair follicle detache from its blood supply. In the telogen phase, the hair stays for at least 3 months without nourishment and then dies and falls off. Normally only 10 percent of the hair is in the catagen phase.
In pregnancy it’s not the hair strand that becomes thicker but the hair that were supposed to go in the resting phase and fall off, stay longer in the growing phase due to increased amounts of estrogen in the blood. Following delivery of the baby estrogen drops to the pre-pregnancy level and more hair goes into the resting phase and falls off. Excessive shedding of hair 1-5 months after pregnancy is called Telogen Effluvium. It affects around 40-50 percent of the women and is most common at 3 months after pregnancy, but the good news is, this hair loss is temporary! If excessive hair loss does continue, it’s important to get it checked as it might hint to anaemia, a thyroid disorder or even polycystic ovaries.
How To Manage It
1. Don’t Lose Your Chill
Finding large clumps and strands of hair tangled in a comb or in your hands can be very annoying and distressing, but don’t be alarmed. Postpartum hair loss is totally normal and a temporary phenomenon. Your hair will most likely be back to it’s normal voluminous self in time for your little one’s first birthday!
2. Use A Voluminous Shampoo
These shampoos contain biotin B complex and the proteins in them coat the hair, temporarily masking noticeably thin hair and converting them from flat to fabulous. Hair gets visibly thicker, fuller and fresh. Making them for your friend during this period is not a decision you’ll regret.
3. Try Not To Condition Your Scalp
Conditioning shampoos and conditioners can tend to make the hair look flat and limp. If you’re someone who uses conditioner on her full hair, it might be best to not apply it during the scalp during this time and instead, only condition the tips.
4. Be Gentle With Your Hair
Always dry your hair properly after taking a shower because wet hair is fragile and tends to break easily. It’s best to use a t shirt or a soft material to wrap your hair in after a shower, instead of using a towel. Before typing your hair up, be sure to either let it air dry or be blow dried.
5. Cut Them Short
Short hair can help your hair be healthy. Not only are they easy to maintain, but they also give a fuller look. Try loose and natural hairstyles instead of tight ponytails and braids; these will only cause further breakage. Also try to avoid using hair straighteners and curling devices to minimise the heat damage to your hair.
6. Eat Healthy And Add Necessary Supplements To It
Try to eat a healthy and well balanced diet. Eggs, berries, spinach, fish, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts and seeds have nutrients and vitamins that are important for hair growth and maintenance. Having vitamins is okay to maintain hair growth, but they shouldn’t be a substitute for a good diet, especially when your body is already overwhelmed after giving birth. No specific vitamins have been shown to directly affect postpartum hair loss but they are overall good for hair maintenance and health.