11 Remedies for Postpartum Hair Loss That Really Work
If you’re experiencing postpartum hair loss, you’re in good company.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, postpartum Partum hair loss affects somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of women; but like most changes during pregnancy, it is temporary.
While some shedding is normal (the average woman loses approximately 50 to 100 strands a day), excess hair loss is usually the result of one of several factors, including hormonal changes, stress, and medical condition.
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My hair shed like crazy after both of my pregnancies. I would clog the drain every time I wash my hair in the shower. I tried everything to prevent my postpartum hair loss by switching shampoos, taking extra vitamins, and even talking to my doctor.
Luckily, I was able to regrow most of my hair. Nearly after two years postpartum, I gained back my shiny, bouncy, full head of hair!
Before I dive into the remedies for postpartum hair loss, it’s important to understand why postpartum hair loss happens.
Why does Postpartum hair loss happen
Our hair normally grows in cycles (growing phase, the resting phase, shedding phase: repeat). But during pregnancy, most of the hair stays in the growth phase due to big changes in our pregnant body.
But after our hormones begin to change (again) after the baby arrives, estrogen levels fall, causing our beautiful, thick head of pregnancy hair to begin the shedding phase. Because so much of our hair is shed all at once, the volume of hair loss seems far more substantial.
When does postpartum hair loss begin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hair loss peaks at 4 months after delivery. The time of onset and length of postpartum hair loss differs from one woman to another. I didn’t start getting falling hair until 6 months postpartum and noticed a significant decrease in my hair loss when my baby turned 18 months.
Common Postpartum hair loss myths
In the postpartum period, some women experience rapid hair loss. This is normal and doesn’t necessarily mean you have a medical condition like thyroid disease or anemia. There are myths surrounding this phenomenon that need to be dispelled in order to help new moms feel more empowered at this time in their lives.
One myth is that if you’re losing your hair it means you are producing less milk for your baby – not true!
Another myth is that it’s because of low iron levels- false!
In fact, hormones play a huge role in postpartum hair loss and can lead to other side effects such as acne breakouts, mood swings, fatigue, etc.
The good news? Hair grows back eventually so don’t worry too much about it.
How to stop postpartum hair loss and regrow hair fast
Feeling like you’re getting bald and you need to see the doctor right away? Trust me, I know how you feel.
My hair loss was so bad that I feel a cat crawling down my back whenever I rinse my hair in the shower. Nonetheless, it was my fallen hair.
Just know that postpartum hair loss is a natural process and IT WILL STOP.
Also, stop hunting for bold spots. Negative thoughts will only make it worse.
Keep your mind out of your hair loss instead, and occupy yourself with the tips below on regrowing your hair fast.
Take the right postpartum hair loss vitamins
There are some things you can do to minimize the level of hair loss, including trying vitamins meant to encourage growth. This won’t slow your hair loss, but the idea would be to assist in the healthy regrowth of new hairs.
I’m not a huge proponent of taking postpartum hair loss vitamins because most vitamins targeted for hair loss contain high doses of certain vitamins and minerals that can be harmful in some cases (especially if you’re breastfeeding).
However, I’m a proponent of taking a good women’s multivitamin and healthy eating. I switched back to my SmartyPants Multivitamin for Women after I’m done with my prenatal vitamins. These are the best multivitamins that support healthy hair because it includes elements like omega-3s, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and biotin that can help with the hair recovery process.
Get plenty of sleep each night
It’s important for new moms to get rest in order for their bodies and minds to heal from childbirth. That time of relaxation is essential in order for mama-bear mode (or any type of mode) to come back again.
Remember, your hair needs to be in a nurturing environment (aka your healthy, restful body) in order to grow.
Now go ahead, relax, drink tea, and enjoy those moments with your newborn – because they don’t last long!
Eat a balanced diet full of hair growth-promoting foods
Eating a balanced diet with the right nutrients can help promote hair growth, especially if you’re suffering from postpartum hair loss. In addition to a nutritious diet, aim for foods with high levels of omega-3s, Vitamin B, and protein.
Foods high in omegas-3s include:
- Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other fatty fish
- Flaxseed oil, Flaxseeds, chia seeds, canola oil
- Soybeans, tofu, and cruciferous
- Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts)
Foods high in B vitamins include:
- Potatoes (both white and sweet)
- Red meat
Foods high in protein include:
- Lean meats like fish and chicken,
- Soy products like tofu and soymilk
Wash hair less often
Wash less often and use products that protect the hair from heat damage like oils or serums. You can opt for dry shampoo in between hair wash – this will give it some volume and make you feel better about how it looks.
The best shampoo for postpartum hair loss I’ve used so far is PURA D’OR Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo. It’s not only formulated with biotin (a superstar ingredient for hair growth) it also contains a proprietary blend of 17 organic ingredients. It even contains he shou wu, a well-known herb in Chinese Traditional Medicine for hair growth and thickening!
Comb your hair the right way
Did you know that combing your hair the wrong way will make cause break ends and brittle hair?
The correct way of combing your hair is to start combing at the ends and work your way through the hair shaft. This is a gentler technique. Start combing with short strokes at the bottom, detangling in sections, until the comb passes easily down the whole length of your hair.
Massage scalp to help with circulation and new hair growth
Massaging your scalp is a really good way to stimulate the hair follicles and help prevent hair loss.
When you massage your scalp, you increase blood flow and help to release any built-up toxins in your scalp, which will help with hair growth.
Here’s how to massage your scalp the right way.
- Start with wet or dry hair that is down and accessory free.
- Use your fingertips. Do not let your nails scratch your scalp! If you have long nails, use your knuckles instead.
- Begin on the sides of your head, and run all four fingers upwards towards the top of your scalp with a firm circular motion.
- Continue the process all the way around your head.
I massage my scalp every time I shampoo and also once during the day. I have a really dry scalp so I rub 1~2 drops of jojoba oil between my fingertips when I massage my scalp. Jojoba oil works wonders in moisturizing the hair and stimulating the scalp.
I also use this scalp massager before bed. There is some tingling sensation when I run through my scalp and I instantly feel more relaxed.
Sunscreen your hair
The UV rays from the sun can cause damage to our scalp. So just like our skin, the scalp needs sun protection as well.
The easiest way to “sunscreen” your hair is to wear a hat.
Avoid washing hair with hard water
Anyone who has ever dealt with hard water knows that it can be a real pain. Not only does it leave behind unsightly mineral deposits, but it can also make hair feel dry and brittle. In fact, hard water is one of the leading causes of hair loss.
The high levels of minerals in hard water can damage hair follicles, making them more likely to fall out. This is especially troubling for women who are already struggling with postpartum hair loss.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution: installing a shower filter.
Shower filters help to remove the minerals from water, making it softer and gentler on hair. As a result, using a shower filter can help to reduce hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
This high-output shower filter came highly recommended by my hair stylist. It has a multi-stage filter that efficiently reduces chlorine and other chemicals. I can tell a huge difference in how my hair and skin feel after installing this shower filter.
Avoid physical stress on your hair
Consider cutting down on the amount of time you spend blow-drying or straightening your hair every day – the act of pulling, tugging, and heating causes physical stress to your hair.
Not to mention perms and dyes. Regardless if you are doing it yourself or paying a visit to the salon, any unnecessary stress to the hair will make it more brittle and prone to fall-out.
Cut hair bluntly
One of the best things you can do is to get regular trims at a salon. This will help to prevent split ends from getting too long and breaking off.
In addition, blunt hair creates the illusion of thicker hair, so it is a good idea to avoid layered styles. If you are considering bangs, now is the perfect time to go for it! Not only will they help to disguise hair loss, but they can also be a fun way to change up your look.
Final thoughts on remedies for postpartum hair loss
Hair loss is a normal part of the postpartum period, but it can be an embarrassing and frustrating experience. Know that your postpartum hair loss will eventually come to an end. Before that time happens, take good care of your scalp and hair, and your hair will regrow in no time!
Do you have other home remedies to manage postpartum hair loss?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.