I know this is not the most exciting topic out there but I’m a big advocate of mama self-care; so I thought I should blog about this topic anyway, since I’m pretty sure most — if not all — moms experience it after childbirth.
A few weeks after giving birth, I started noticing how much hair I was losing every time I take a shower, brush my hair, run my fingers through my hair, etc. Sometimes I don’t even do anything and I would just see strands of hair falling.
My hair is everywhere. Every corner of the house has strands of my hair. I vacuum the house every so often because it makes me sad every time I see my hair on the floor. One time I opened the dishwasher to load some plates and I saw strands of my hair in it. How is that even possible?! How did my hair get in there?!
The main reason behind postpartum hair loss is hormones. During pregnancy, the increased level of estrogen prevents the normal rate of hair loss and is responsible for that “pregnancy glow”. After giving birth, estrogen level decreases and our bodies somewhat make up for the 9 (or 10) months of less-than-normal rate of hair loss.
While it should get better or go back to normal in time, there are some tricks that mamas can try to take care of your hair and hopefully not lose too much during this shedding time.
1) Continue taking prenatal vitamins and eat a well-balanced diet.
Not only is this good for breastfed babies because they will continue getting vitamins and minerals from these supplements, it may also help in reducing the rate of hair loss for mama.
2) Avoid using styling products that use heat.
If you absolutely don’t have to, skip blow drying, curling or straightening your hair completely. It helps reduce the strain on hair roots. Instead, when brushing your hair, it’s best to use wide-toothed comb to get rid of tangles.
3) Tie in a low bun/ponytail.
Since we’re trying to avoid hairstyling, a lot of moms master the art of a messy bun. It’s best to have a low and loose bun to avoid too much pressure exerted on the hair strands getting pulled back.
4) Massage with coconut oil to help strengthen the roots.
Some women even take Biotin made with coconut oil (vitamin supplement that claims to promote hair growth) and swear by its effectiveness. However, research is sparse when it comes to proving the effectiveness of biotin in increasing hair growth. In my case, I simply massage my scalp with coconut oil once in a while, a few minutes before I shower.
5) Avoid stress as much as possible.
Stress shedding is a real thing and could lead to bald spots. There are many health reasons to avoid stress, postpartum hair loss is one of them!
Hair Tourniquet Syndrome
Since we’re on this topic about hair, I’d like to take this chance to increase awareness about Hair Tourniquet Syndrome in babies.
Hair tourniquet syndrome is a rare clinical phenomenon that involves hair, thread, or similar material becoming so tightly wrapped around an appendage that it results in pain, injury, and, sometimes, loss of the appendage.March 2019. Muncy, D. “Hair Tourniquet Removal”. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1348969-overview
As noted, it rarely happens. However, infants are at an increased risk for it because of moms’ postpartum hair loss. This picture of a 4-month old baby’s foot has been circulating online not long ago because a hair strand from his mama got wrapped around his toes. Luckily, it didn’t result to amputation but it looks really painful. Poor kid!
Mamas, be extra vigilant of your little one’s toes and fingers especially if your experiencing severe postpartum hair loss.
In taking care of ourselves, we get to take better care of our lovely babies. 💖