Viral Video Postpartum Hair Loss: What It Is And How To Treat It

You may have heard about postpartum hair loss — that not-so-kind twist of fate when your beautiful pregnancy mane rapidly begins to fall out. But a new video that went viral over the weekend shows in graphic detail just how dramatic post-pregnancy hair loss can be:

HaHA!!! Nothing like that Post Pregnancy Shed man!!!! You know the time, 4 months postpartum and you FILL that drain! I’m going through this myself and like to collect it on the wall of my shower ?? Haha so grossly satisfying ???? This is just as good as scalp treatments!! Anyone else going through this!!! #licensedtocreate

A post shared by #LessDramaMoreHair (@christinakreitel) on

Fortunately, while it might seem like you’re going bald, you’re just getting back to normal. Here’s what you need to know about postpartum hair loss, including how to help get your hair growing again.

What causes postpartum hair loss?

Your hair follicles are constantly in one of three phases: growth, transition or resting (a.k.a. telogen, when hair falls out), explains dermatologist Shani Francis, M.D., hair loss specialist, member of the American Academy of Dermatology, and owner of Ashira Dermatology. Normally about 85 percent of hairs are in growth mode and 10 to 15 percent are in rest. That means in normal times, you shed about 100 hairs a day, which are continually replaced.

When you’re expecting, however, hormonal changes keep hair from falling out — which is why you may have felt like pregnancy was one long good hair day. "This is due to the body being in a ‘growing mode,’ and hair is no exception," says Dr. Francis. Because hair stays in the growing stage longer during pregnancy, you have more of it overall.

Unfortunately, those good hair times come to an end after you give birth. A rapid shift in hormones leads all of the hairs that were slated to go during pregnancy to shed, often in clumps (like that video).

"Any rapid change, including weight loss, significant dietary changes, blood loss or stopping/starting birth control or other medications, can cause an imbalance in the body such that the hair cycle shifts from growing to rest. With this type of change, also called 'telogen effluvium,' one can lose up to 40 to 50 percent of their hair volume," says Dr. Francis.

There’s usually a two- to three-month delay before you’ll notice hair loss, which lasts around six to nine months, she explains. If you’re breastfeeding, you may find that hair loss doesn’t begin in earnest until you wean or supplement with formula or solids.

Is it permanent?

The good news: by your baby’s first birthday, your hair should be back to normal. "For most women, assuming there are no additional dramatic changes, hair volume can return to normal within 12 to 15 months," Dr. Francis says. "If it doesn’t, it’s best to consult a dermatologist or hair loss specialist to see if there is some other underlying cause."

What can I do to help my hair grow?

In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take to keep the hair you do have healthy:

Pop your vitamins. Keep taking your prenatal vitamin (or switch to a supplement designed for breastfeeding moms if you’re nursing), which can help ensure you’re getting enough of all the nutrients you need for hair growth.

But

skip the hair supplements. With that said, not all supplements are effective or safe to take while you’re breastfeeding. "Biotin helps strengthen hair and it usually will grow longer and break less, but not thicker, says Dr. Francis. "Thus, it’s likely not helpful for shedding and thinning." She adds that hair loss supplements (like Viviscal) haven’t been tested for safety during breastfeeding. "It’s safest to wait until you’re no longer nursing, since hair supplements can be hormonally active," she says.

Eat well. Fill up on food that are rich in omega 3s — including wild salmon, sardines, herring, farmed oysters, walnuts, tofu, leafy greens, or chia seeds. Also pile your plate with healthy protein-rich foods, like lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, soy milk, tofu, beans and legumes. "Remember that over 80 percent of hair is protein," says Dr. Francis.

Treat your hair normally. Dr. Francis says that skipping the shampoo to try and keep the hair you have or minimize shedding just doesn’t work. "All hair that is set to shed will shed regardless," she says. In fact, babying your hair too much might have the opposite effect. Shampooing regularly keeps your scalp healthy and decreases inflammation. “Inflammation can increase shedding. So wash your scalp as if your hair were not shedding!” she says. That doesn’t have to mean every day (as if you even had time), but most hair stylists recommend sudsing up at least one to two times per week. Follow up with a good conditioner to keep your hair moisturized.

If your hair loss is excessive, talk to your practitioner. When it’s accompanied by symptoms including extreme fatigue, feeling cold, memory loss, constipation or weight gain, it can be a sign of a hypothyroidism, a disorder affecting the thyroid (a gland that produces hormones).

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Source : https://www.whattoexpect.com/news/first-year/how-treat-postpartum-hair-loss/

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