Home > Beauty > Hair > Health > pregnancy > Dealing With Postpartum Hair Loss

Postpartum hair loss is undoubtedly a by-product of the post-pregnancy experience that no one asked for. It is defined as consistent hair loss that typically occurs after giving birth at an approximate rate of 400 hairs per day (the average amount of hair we shed when we’re not pregnant is 80-100 hairs per day). The shedding is caused by a dip in our oestrogen levels and experts agree that it’s not true hair loss as we know it to be, as it’s direct consequence of the hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy and often balances itself out when our levels of oestrogen return. “During pregnancy more hairs enter the resting phase of the cycle” explains Dr Sophie Shotter,  Skin and Hormone Doctor and Medical Director of Illuminate Skin Clinic. “Once you deliver more hairs once again enter the growth phase, which causes shedding. This should return to normal within a few months of delivery.”

Even though it may be a temporary condition it doesn’t make it less distressing and frustrating when it occurs. Thankfully there are a range of treatments available now that help to minimise and treat postpartum shedding. These include the following:

The best treatments for postpartum hair shedding

Vitamins and supplements

After you give birth it’s so important to eat a well-balanced diet to keep your energy levels up and replace any nutrients that may have been depleted, especially during breastfeeding. Vitamin supplements are really useful in ensuring you get your recommended dose of nutrients so your body won’t be running on empty. There are a number of supplements that target postpartum hair loss, look out for products that contain biotin, zinc and vitamins A, C, D, E. Dr Sophie Shotter, adds: “There are lots of products available, but my personal favourite is Viviscal Professional. Not only does it include Biotin and other vitamins essential for hair growth, but it also contains a proprietary marine protein which has 11 published papers proving that it stimulates hair growth. I use this alongside other treatments for several of our hair patients.”

Hair rejuvenating treatments

While vitamins and a healthy balanced diet will help to treat post-pregnancy hair shedding, it often takes a bit of time to see the results. Hair shedding often occurs between the 3-6 after giving birth and starts to tail off around the 6-month mark. If you’re finding that your hair loss is excessive, or it’s taking longer to grow back than you’d like, there are a number of innovative treatments that take a more invasive approach. Dr Sophie Shotter outlines some of the options:

  1. PRP
    “This uses the patient’s own blood which has been centrifuged to produce a fluid containing a high concentration of platelets. Once injected into the tissue these platelets release growth factors, which stimulate hair growth. Results will depend on the quality of that individual’s platelet function and can be affected by smoking or having a glass of wine the night beforehand, for example.”
  2. Growth Factors
    “There are some products available that contain growth factors in solution. Injecting these can stimulate hair growth over a course of treatments. These can be injected or micro-needled into the scalp.”
  3. Mesotherapy
    “Mesotherapy contains the nutrients needed to support hair growth – vitamins, minerals and peptides are essential for health hair growth, and mesotherapy allows these to be delivered straight into the scalp via needling or micro-needling. The mesotherapy treatments can lead to improved hair density.”
Strand boosting shampoos

In terms of your haircare routine, shampoos and other hair products can help to minimise post-natal hair shedding. Specially formulated cleansers like volumizing shampoos can help to make the hair look and feel thicker. Budget-friendly buys such as The Tresemme Collagen & Fullness Collection, OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo, are infused with strand boosting ingredients like collagen, biotin and glycerine that penetrate inside the hair and plumps each strand to give the hair a boost. Award-winning haircare brand Philip Kingsley has an exemplary track record when it comes to creating products that treat the hair and scalp. Its award-winning Tricotherapy range is specifically created to address thinning and hair loss, with it’s multi-step regimen that energises the scalp and helps to encourage hair growth. If you have Afro textured hair, check out the Mielle Rosemary & Mint collection, which features Mielle Rosemary Strengthening Shampoo, £9.99, and other products infused with biotin to promote hair growth, as well as mint and rosemary known for increasing blood circulation to stimulate the scalp.

If you’re still experiencing hair shedding 6 months after you’ve given birth, and you’re concerned, it’s definitely worth scheduling an appointment with your GP or trichologist as there could be an underlying issue that hasn’t been identified, such as thyroid issues known to affect some women after they have a baby.

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