When it comes to hair loss, at first I considered myself one of the lucky ones who did not start shedding postpartum. That’s until I stopped breastfeeding. Within a day or two after I stopped breastfeeding, my hair started to fall out. Elian was 4 months old at the time.
Hormones are one of the main reasons of postpartum hair loss. Pregnancy hormones have a huge effect on many things, including your hair’s condition. The average person apparently loses about 100 hairs per day, but not all at once, so you don’t really notice. During pregnancy (generally speaking) your hormones keep your hair from falling out, which means you have a lush, healthy looking head of hair. When the hormones drop back to normal, your hair start falling out again. I suppose the hormones still had an influence on my hair’s condition while I was breastfeeding and once I stopped and the hormone levels started to drop back to normal, I immediately noticed the change.
Reasons for hair loss
- Like men go bald, women can also lose their hair due to genetics. For women it just means that they’ll experience overall thinning of their hair.
- Certain hair styling practices could also have an effect and cause the hair shaft to break.
- Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid)
- Menopause and hormone imbalances
- Anything that shocks the body (emotional or physical stress) like childbirth, a very high fever, serious infection, chronic illness, crash diets, lack of protein, eating disorders, surgery and more. You may start losing hair only 3 months after an ordeal, so it’s not always easy to pinpoint the reason for your hair loss.
- Lack of B vitamins
- Taking too much vitamin A
- Some dermatologists believe that not eating red meat or following a vegetarian diet could also have an effect.
- Autoimmune diseases
- Skin conditions like psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis
- Hairstyles like cornrows or too tight braids
What to do about hair loss
In many cases (like hair loss caused by stress or hormonal changes) treatment is not always necessary as your body will adjust and hair will start growing back normally. There are, however loads of medications, supplements and treatments for hair loss, depending on the reason for it. In my case, I suspect that my C-section and hormones are the main culprits for hair loss and even though it is not a scary, medical condition that’s irreversible, I still want to do what I can to keep my hair as healthy as possible. Some of the ways in which I’ve been able to apply some TLC are:
- Less or no styling.
- Less brushing and not brushing too hard.
- Eating healthy (including various fruits, vegetables and healthy protein in my diet)
- Taking the necessary supplements. I’ve been continuing with my prenatal vitamins and have just recently started using Fusion Laboratories‘ Trichotin Hair Regenesis (which is available at Hairvolution in Brooklyn, Pretoria and other Pretoria stockists, as well as online).
About Trichotin Hair Regenesis:
This supplement comes with a variety of nutrients and co-enzyme Q10. It not only reduces hair loss, but also stimulates stronger, healthier hair and it improves skin clarity. It also has anti-ageing and anti-greying properties.
Foods that can improve hair loss:
- Dark, leafy greens like spinach (for iron and vitamin C)
- Sweet potatoes and carrots (for beta carotene)
- Eggs (for vitamin D and biotin, a mineral that may help boost hair growth)
- Fatty fish (for Omega 3s and magnesium) – try salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel or herring. (If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can get your Omegas from foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, soybean oil, canola oil, algae like spirulina and fortified foods).
- Beans, lentils and other L-lysine sources