Hair and Pregnancy

I have meant to do a post on this for awhile but alas, the time when you have a young baby - where does it go?! What led me to want to do this post was that I noticed at about three months after baby's birth, alot of hair left in my comb during a comb-out session, usually after a wash. I was puzzled for a minute, until I remember reading about post-partum hair loss.

Ladies, if you have been through it, you know its somewhat disconcerting to see a palm-ful of your glorious hair in - well - your palm. And you may have wondered why you are losing so much hair. And if you are like me, you tried to find out why by researching about it, or maybe you didn't. I just want to let you know, however upsetting it may be - it's perfectly normal. 

Here is a brief breakdown. Your hair as you know has a natural growth, resting and shedding cycle that is determined by genetics. You can't control that. You also can't control how your hair will respond to the hormones in your body. Hormones during pregnancy such as progesterone alters your hair's natural growth, resting and shedding cycle, mostly impacts the shedding cycle and for most women this means, thicker, a more lustrous-looking mane during pregnancy. But try not to get attached. That extra-lustrous mane you have on your head during your nine months is temporary (extra blood vessels and blood during pregnancy also help the luminous-ness of your mane by bringing extra nutrients to the scalp).
After you give birth, hormone levels return to normal and (and so does your blood volume). The result is that your hair also returns to normal. The process of your hair getting back to normal is what you see with the significant hair loss. Since the shedding phase was put on hold during your pregnancy, all the hair that would have otherwise shed, do so post-partum. Hence the comb-ful of hair.

Don't get discouraged if you are just starting out your hair journey or in the early stages like me  (of course it can be equally disheartening when you have five years worth of long natural hair, coming out as well). Its temporary. The hair loss peaks about 3-4 months post-partum and should taper off after that. Just make sure the hair is not breaking, it should be coming out from the root, if it does at all. And keep up your haircare regimen. You are likely doing nothing wrong and its just a natural process. If over 6 months post-partum you are still experiencing alot of shedding, you may want to talk to your doctor as the hair loss should likely have slowed back to your normal amounts by then for most of us.
To help keep my hair healthy during this difficult time, I take a vitamin A supplement in the form of a cod liver oil emulsion.
To all you natural new mommies out there, what do you do to keep your hair healthy post-partum?


msqueen20 said...

I love this! Clearly I have been noticing lots of hair sheeding and my baby is almost 3 months. I am also starting to decrease nursng to soon stop breastfeeding. I always try to remember that your hair goes through lots of changes after having a baby. I just hope I don't sheed too much :(