Hair fall after pregnancy is one of the most upsetting issues many new mothers experience in the first six months after giving birth. It starts slowly, but eventually, new mothers may start seeing sudden shedding of thicker chunks of hair when they wash or comb their hair. Some mothers might even have noticeable hair in their pillow when they wake up in the morning.
During pregnancy, most women might have noticed their hair getting thicker and lustrous. Thanks to the pregnancy hormones, nutritious diet, and prenatal vitamins, hair is one thing that looks great. A few months after delivery. seeing clumps of hair on the bathroom floor or in the comb naturally strikes panic in moms.
However, severe hair fall after pregnancy is quite common. The good news is that this issue is quite temporary and by finding time for some hair care practice we can prevent extreme hair fall after pregnancy. Also, there are some inexpensive yet very effective remedies for hair fall after pregnancy.
This blog explains the causes of hair fall after pregnancy and ways to deal with it.
Why Does Your Hair Fall Out After Having A Baby?
Before coming to the reason for hair fall after pregnancy you must have a clear idea of normal hair growth and normal hair fall (hair growth cycle). The hair growth cycle has four stages (source):
- Anagen-growing phase (lasts 3 to 5 years!)
- Catagen-transitional/ regression phase (lasts around 10 days)
- Telogen- resting phase (lasts around three months)
- Exogen-shedding phase (lasts 2 to 5 months)
Different hair follicles go through this growth cycle at different times. (If not, there will a time all hair follicle goes to the shedding phase and fallout together!). Normally around 90-100 strands of hair will shed each day. Hair fall or excessive falling of hair happens when the normal growth cycle of the hair is disrupted.
Different factors like diseases, medicines, hormones, environmental pollution, etc can disrupt the growth cycle. When the growth cycle gets disrupted the Anagen phase, which is supposed to continue to 3 to 5 years is cut short.
Most of the hair will be in the anagen phase at a given time. Once it is cut short, more hair enters the resting phase at the same time. These about in three months enter the shedding phase. Therefore increased hair fall will be experienced around three months after the growth cycle is disrupted.
Reasons For Hair Fall After Delivery
Many mothers blame breastfeeding for their excessive hair fall after delivery. However, breastfeeding has nothing to do with hair fall after delivery. This temporary post-delivery issue is entirely hormonal. When it comes to hair fall after pregnancy, it is the hormonal variation that disrupts the growth cycle.
During pregnancy the estrogen level spikes. Estrogen increases the flow and circulation of blood, thereby, strengthening the hair roots. Estrogen can potentially not only extend the growth phase of the hair growth cycle but also could bring the resting phase to stand still.
This means, the growth of hair increases incredibly and the shedding of hair visibly decreases. That is why expecting mothers experience their hair volume noticeably increasing during pregnancy.
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However, after delivery, the estrogen level falls back to normal. As a result, more hair follicles enter the resting phase. This might lead to excessive hair fall post-delivery (precisely after around three months)
Home Remedies To Treat Hair Fall After Delivery
Here are some effective home remedies to deal with hair fall after pregnancy.
1. Bhringraj pack
Bhringraj is an herb that has the ability to reverse hair fall. It is proved that Bhringraj has the ability to promote hair growth. This herb also aids in the restoration of natural hair color.
How to use Bhringraj pack for hair fall after delivery: Take a handful of fresh leaves of Bhringraj and grind them into a paste. Either apply this paste directly to hair or blend it with some milk and apply all over hair and scalp. Allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is loaded with minerals like copper and zinc and amino acids. Jelly-like substance in the fleshy leaves of aloe vera has been used for treating hair fall from a long time ago. Aloe vera,
- Maintains pH balance of the scalp
- Increases blood circulation in the scalp
- Reduce dandruff
- Conditions hair
- It is an excellent source of proteolytic enzymes that stimulate the dormant hair follicles, thereby, promoting the re-growth of hair.
How to use aloe vera: Apply pure aloe vera gel to scalp and hair. Leave it for half an hour. Rinse well in water. Repeat it twice or thrice a week.
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3. Apply fenugreek water/coconut water on the scalp
Both fenugreek water and coconut milk have been used since ages to curb hair fall and promote hair growth. After delivery when hair fall is a huge concern, this home remedy can do wonders.
Regular use of fenugreek water not only promotes hair growth but also prevents issues like dandruff. And regular use of coconut milk evidently increases the volume of hair.
How to use for hair fall after delivery: For fenugreek water, wash and soak one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in the required amount of water, preferably overnight. The next day, strain the water and apply it all over the scalp and leave it for 2 hours before rinsing with plenty of water. Similarly, apply freshly squeezed coconut milk to the scalp. Leave it for two hours and thoroughly wash in water.
4. Ginger infused coconut oil
Battling with limp and lifeless hair after delivery? Besides having an n-number of medicinal properties, ginger can appreciably promote hair growth as well. Ginger is loaded with antioxidant gingerol. Gingerol contributes to hair follicle strength. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of ginger help to enhance scalp health. Moreover, the warming property of ginger helps to boost blood circulation in the scalp.
Ginger-infused coconut oil has the benefits of both coconut oil and ginger. It penetrates deep into the hair follicles and strengthens them. It also makes hair softer and shinier.
How to use ginger infused coconut oil for hair fall after delivery: All you require is one cup of grated ginger and one and a half cups of coconut oil preferably virgin. Using a muslin cloth squeeze out the ginger juice from the grated ginger. Pour ginger juice into warmed coconut oil. Mix well. Store in an airtight container. Take the required amount of ginger-infused oil and massage it into the scalp. Wash it off after one hour. For better results apply ginger-infused oil twice a week.
5. Oil massage can be effective for hair fall after delivery
Oil massage is found very effective in reducing hair fall. You can use medicated oils like Bhringraj oil, amla oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, almond oil, sesame oil, olive oil, etc. Warming the oil before massaging will double the effects.
Regular oil massage helps to fight off issues like dandruff and improves the blood circulation in the scalp. Two extra benefits of massaging the head with oil are that it prevents headaches, as well as improves your sleep patterns.
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How to massage your hair with oil: Warm the oil. Dip fingers in the oil and gently massage the scalp for about 15 minutes. Run the fingers over the hair as well. After 30 to 60 minutes you can wash your hair.
6. Castor oil application
Castor oil is rich in omega-9 fatty acids. When applied to the scalp it enhances the health of the hair follicles thereby promoting hair growth prevent hair loss. It also hydrates the hair.
How to use for castor oil for hair fall after delivery: Mix castor oil with warm almond or coconut oil and gently massage to the scalp. Wash with a mild shampoo after 45 minutes.
7. Egg white- olive oil hair pack
This homemade hair pack is one of the good postpartum hair loss home remedies. While egg white helps with hair regeneration, olive oil contributes to the strength of hair. Honey helps to condition the hair.
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How to use eggs for hair fall after delivery: Take egg white of two eggs. Add one tablespoon each of honey and olive oil. mix well and apply it directly to the scalp and leave it on hair for 30 -45 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
8. Onion juice
Hair is composed of 95% keratin (source). Keratin, in turn, is rich in cysteine, a sulfurated amino acid. Thus, keratin is high in sulfur content. Sulfur is one of those elements vital for follicle health and hair regeneration. It improves hair strength and elasticity.
Onion juice is one of the safe, natural, and affordable home remedies for hair fall after pregnancy. It is rich in sulfur. Applying onion juice on the scalp helps to boost hair growth and promoting hair re-growth.
How to use onion juice for postpartum hair loss: Grate the onions and squeeze out the juice by sieving through a muslin cloth. You can either directly apply to the hair or mix it with honey, aloe vera gel, or coconut oil and then apply it to the scalp and hair. You can also mix few drops of essential oils (like tea tree or lavender oil) to mask the smell of onion.
9. Hydrating hair pack
Increasing the health of the scalp and hair follicles helps to reduce postpartum hair fall. One way to promote the health of the scalp is to use this homemade hydrating scalp mask. Only three ingredients are requiring making this hair pack – avocado, egg yolks, and coconut oil.
Coconut oil is well known for promoting hair growth. Avocado is loaded with proteins and vitamins that are highly beneficial for scalp health. Similarly, egg yolks are high in protein and rich in sulfur that rejuvenates hair follicles.
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How to use hair pack for postpartum hair fall: Take a bowl. To it, add 2 egg yolks, 4 tablespoons of finely smashed avocado, and a quarter cup of coconut oil. Mix thoroughly. Apply this mask all over the scalp. Gently massage for 5 minutes. Leave it for one hour. Thoroughly wash your hair with plenty of water.
10. Vitamins for postpartum hair loss
Vitamins also play a vital role in the state of the hair. Here are some vitamins that reduce hair fall after delivery and promotes hair regeneration:
Vitamin H, commonly known as Biotin belongs to the B vitamin group. According to the Source, Biotin helps with keratin (hair protein) synthesis. Lack of biotin can trigger hair loss and breakage. Even though biotin supplement is safe during breastfeeding, it is mandatory to seek the permission of your doctor before taking any supplements during breastfeeding.
Topical application of biotin can also help to strengthen hair. Biotin enriched hair products like hair serum, shampoo, conditioner, etc. are available which helps to minimize hair fall.
Adding biotin-enriched food to the diet also helps to minimize hair fall after pregnancy. Egg yolks, whole grains, mushrooms, cauliflower, nuts, and legumes are a good source of biotin.
Vitamin D stimulates hair follicles and plays a significant role in the cycle of the hair follicle, especially in Anagen commencement. Intake of vitamin D, therefore, helps with fast regrow hair after pregnancy. Include food rich in Vitamin D in the after-pregnancy diet. Sardines, salmons, cod liver oil, mushrooms, etc. are a good source of Vitamin D
Vitamin C &E:
Antioxidants should always be included in an after-delivery diet as they can enhance health at different levels. Antioxidants can do wonders in hair growth as well. According to the source 34.5% increase in hair growth is witnessed when a group of people experiencing hair loss is supplemented with vitamin E. Eat a lot of Nuts and greens. These are rich in vitamin E.
Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant. According to the source, vitamin C helps to promote and retain optimum collagen levels within the hair follicles. Collagen contributes to hair growth and hair regeneration. Consuming fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamin C regularly will help to deal with hair fall after delivery to some extent.
Some steps that help to deal with hair fall after pregnancy
- Avoid intensive conditioners
- Avoid shampoo with harsh chemicals
- Include lots of fruits and vegetables in the diet
- Keep on taking prenatal vitamins
- Avoid any chemical (hair coloring, straightening, etc) or heat treatment (hair curlers, flat irons, blow driers, etc.) on your hair during shedding season
- Avoid tight braids & ponytails that tend to pull the hair from its follicle
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How Long Does Hair Fall Out After Having A Baby?
Hair fall after pregnancy is a temporary phenomenon and therefore no reason to worry about it. However, the duration of the hair fall after pregnancy vary from person to person.
Postpartum hair loss, in the normal course, won’t last more than three months. The re-growth of hair starts to happen about six months after delivery. Within a year after delivery, the hair volume will reach the pre-pregnancy state.
Nevertheless, if the excessive hair fall extends beyond the first year after delivery, consult a dermatologist to make sure if it is due to some underlying health issue or some other factors is contributing to the hair fall.
Hair fall after delivery is linked to variation in hormone levels. Therefore, it is not possible to prevent it. However, the above-mentioned home remedies will help to decrease its intensity and accelerate the growth of hair following delivery.