Mommy Locks: Managing Postpartum Hair Loss

Published on: April 11, 2020

mom hair loss A hairstylist offers her perspective on postpartum hair loss and what you can do to feel better about yourself and your hair.  

By Shaz Lalji  

Dealing with postpartum hair loss can be traumatic, confusing, and leave us feeling not quite ourselves. Keep in mind that this is normal and temporary. Having a child is the best gift we can give ourselves, and yet we are rewarded with many trials and tribulations when coping with our body image, including our hair. As a hairstylist, I am not a medical doctor, nor do I have any medical experience. I am simply a mom and hairdresser who wants to support other moms.

The basic science behind postpartum hair loss

Generally, hair growth will return to normal 6-12 months after giving birth. This is all related to the growth cycle of your hair. 90% of your hair is in the growth phase at any given point. With the hormonal changes after the birth of your baby, more than 10% of your hair is in the resting phase. This is followed by your hair shedding, which explains why new moms experience more than normal hair loss once the resting phase ends. For 60 percent of women, the shedding will be noticeably common and this can be distressing.

Now that we understand why it happens, what can we do about it?

With so much focus on the new baby, very little attention is given to new moms, especially their feelings towards body image. The appearance of our hair is a direct link to how we look and how we feel about ourselves. So what can we do for ourselves during this time of postpartum hair loss?

Get a good haircut!

Healthy hair grows! I’ve often compared hair to a plant. When there are dead leaves on a plant we remove them so that a new leaf can grow. Your hair is similar. New hair cannot grow if your ends are dead. Being a new mom, keep the cut simple and easy to maintain. You and your stylist should be able to communicate what will look great and make you feel even better!

Be extra gentle on your hair during the shedding period.

Avoid shampooing your hair excessively and only do so when necessary. Always use conditioner and steer clear of detangling your hair with a brush, try a wide-tooth comb instead. Try to use scrunchies or barrettes to pull hair up, staying clear of rubber bands. Lastly, avoid pulling hair too tight; this will cause more breakage.

Invest in a good shampoo and conditioner.

Don’t go out and buy the most expensive ones though. Invest in good quality and quantity, no need to break the bank! A few brands I recommend that are available in Bangkok and range in price are:

  • Organix Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo
  • Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Therapy Thickening Shampoo
  • L’oreal Fall Repair 3x Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo
Go au naturel!

Give your hair a break. Try to avoid high alcohol-based hair products, like gel or hairspray. Using heat to a minimum is also helpful. As a stylist, saying that isn’t easy; however, with a good cut, there is no need to use heat every day to have gorgeous hair! It’s not easy to keep hair looking beautiful in this climate without products and heat, but it can be done. Here are a few suggestions for natural products, including peppermint oil. It is said to moisturize the hair and improve shine. Massaging castor or almond oil into the scalp stimulates hair growth while leaving hair conditioned and feeling soft and silky.

Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Protein is especially essential for hair growth as hair is mostly made up of protein. Continuing to take your prenatal supplements is equally important as they contain biotin which also stimulates hair growth

Mothers are warriors! We selflessly give our bodies to our babies, we make a home for them, feed them, nurture and comfort them! We do it all, the remembering, the worrying, the planning! We not only take care of our children, but we also take care of other people! We should take care of ourselves too!

Remember, postpartum hair loss is common and transitory. The feelings you experience are typical, and many mothers are experiencing the same – you are not alone! Reach out for help as there is support available. Most importantly, take care of yourself! Allow yourself the time to destress, eat well and of course, get your hair cut…when you look good, you feel good!

Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash.

About the Author

Shaz has been a stylist for 15 years and has her own studio in Bangkok, Love Your Hair. She also has a degree in child and youth development and is very passionate about combining her love for both hair and children.

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