After you have given birth, your body will start to recover and regain to pre-pregnancy shape. However, there are many postpartum changes that you’d notice and one of them is hair loss!
This is normal because the hormone estrogen have reduced the hair loss during pregnancy and after delivery (and also when breastfeeding stops), your hair loss may seem to be at an alarming rate (known as Telogen Effluvium). The good news is that for most women, the postpartum hair loss is the normal amount of hair loss without the pregnancy. The seemingly faster rate of hair loss is also temporary and within twelve months of childbirth, the thickness of your hair should return to normal.
There are some conditions that may exacerbate the postpartum hair loss! These include,
1. Stress – Stress can upset hormonal balance and increase the rate of hair loss. Be sure to take enough rest, have a balanced diet and don’t be afraid to ask for help after delivery.
2. Vitamin deficiencies – It is important to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and in particular, have enough vitamin B, C and E, zinc and biotin which would help reduce hair loss. Of note is biotin which helps the forming of hair proteins like keratin that keeps the hair strong. There are also shampoos with biotin for postpartum hair treatment (although not all been scientifically proven to reduce hair loss).
3. Medications taken postpartum such as pain killers may also increase rate of hair loss. Check with your doctor on whether there are side effects to the medications that you are prescribed.
These hair products usually contains vitamins, biotin (a B-complex vitamin) and silica as these nutrients promote hair growth and maintains a healthy scalp.
#1 Organix Thick & Full Biotin and Collagen Shampoo
This shampoo contains Vitamin B7 biotin, collagen and hydrolyzed wheat proteins to help thicken and texturize hair, giving the hair a fuller look. It retails for S$14.90 at Redmart.
#2 Marc Anthony Volumizing Collagen Bamboo Sulfate Free Conditioners
This shampoo contains bamboo, biotin and silicon to thicken the hair and helps expand the hair strand during cleanser to give a healthier and fuller look. It retails for S$17.90 at Watsons.
#3 Urban Care Natural’s Biotin & Keratin Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo
Urban Care contains biotin and is paraben-free. It also helps support hair growth and strengthen hair roots. It retails for S$14.90 at Watsons.
#4 Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Therapy Thickening Shampoo
This shampoo contains biotin and helps stimulates scalp for hair growth. It contains organic ingredients, and does not contain parabens or harmful sulfates. It is certified by the American National Standard for Personal Care products to contain organic ingredients (70%). It retails for S$22.90 at Watsons.
#5 L’oreal Fall Repair 3x Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo
This shampoo has arginine and protein derivatives that nourishes the hair roots and helps strengthen the hair. It retails for S$13.90 on Guardian online.
#6 PHYTO Phytocyane Revitalizing Women Hair Loss Shampoo
This shampoo contains botanicals, Gingko biloba and cinchona bark to energize scalp and stimulate micro-circulation. It also contains grapeseed procyanidins to reduce free radicals and protect the hair bulb. It retails for S$33.50 at Redmart.
#7 PHYTO Phytostim Fortifying Hair Loss Treatment
This hair spray helps to stimulate hair growth and suited for those with varied hair loss conditions. Phyto’s hair treatment product is stated on its website to be applied thrice for the first month, and twice for the second month and once for the third month. It can be sprayed directly onto dry or damp scalp after shampoo, and massage in. It retails for S$74.95 at Redmart.
#8 NaturVital Hair Loss Shampoo (Normal)
This shampoo contains aloe vera extract and pro vitamin B5, as well as phytoactive wheat, soybean and ginseng extract. It helps to strengthen air growth and reduce hair loss and breakage. It retails for S$23 at Redmart.
#9 Andalou Naturals Lavender And Biotin Full Volume Shampoo
This lavender shampoo also contains biotin B-complex that stimulates hair follicles and improves circulation. It retails for S$15.90 at Redmart.
#10 Sebamed Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo
This shampoo contains botanical extracts which strengthen, activate and improve micro-circulation of the scalp. It is also suitable for those with sensitive scalp and retails for S$29.85 at Guardian.
#11 Forticea Stimulating Anti-hair Loss Shampoo
This shampoo helps to gently cleanse while microbeads of essential oils increase scalp circulation. It encourages the growth of thicker and healthier hair and stops hair loss. It retails for S$59.90 at Guardian.
#12 Nutricap Anti Hair Loss Serum
This prpduct contains Prolyteine®, which is a natural plant-based active ingredient that stimulates hair growth and helps delay the hair loss process. It does not contain paraben. It retails for S$69.90 on Redmart.
Postpartum Hair Care tips
Here are a few postpartum hair care tips that include massages for your scalp.
1. Do not wash hair with hot water as it would be drying for the scalp.
2. Massage hair with oils that are rich in fatty acids such as almond oil and castor oil. Almond oil is also rich in vitamin E. Try massaging hair with warm almond oil twice a day to prevent excessive hair loss. Caster oil is also rich in fatty acids and can be mixed with almond oil or coconut oil for massage. Massage helps to increase blood flow and a kneading motion on your scalp a few minutes every morning may help to strength the hair roots.
3. Use a hypoallergenic mild shampoo to reduce likelihood of sensitivity reaction that leads to further hair loss (or try out a shampoo targeted at reducing hair loss).
4. Comb hair with wide-tooth comb and avoid pulling the hair.
5. Do not tie your hair too tightly.
6. Let the hair air-dry instead of blowing dry and minimize hair treatments such as perming hair postpartum.
While it may seem alarming to see an increased rate of hair loss, it is a temporary condition for most women and cumulatively, the hair loss is not more than without the pregnancy. If the hair loss persists six months after delivery, do check with your doctor.