26 February 2013

Hair Talk: Postnatal Hair Loss (Shedding)

A lot of people have been asking if I suffered from postnatal shedding/hair loss and how I have dealt with it. Well the answer is yes I have had a lot of postnatal hair loss, my hair loss seems to be concentrated in two areas the crown of my head and on the right hand side of my hair. After Freya's birth I thought that perhaps I was one of the lucky few that had little to no hair loss, as I didn't notice much difference in the beginning. Then at about 6 weeks post I noticed that my hair was thinning and that I was getting a lot more shed hairs during hair washes then I noticed the thinning areas. Though I knew about postnatal hair loss I was still shocked and a little upset when it happened.
But we are not alone, hair hero Philip Kingsley explains;

"Pregnancy always affects hair due to hormonal changes, nutrition changes (ie two to feed instead of one) I was involved in a scientific study with Cuckfield (Sussex) Maternity Hospital in the mid 80s.  It showed that approximately a third of women experienced better hair, a third worse hair and the other third no noticeable difference. This was a little surprising because oestrogen (female) hormones increase, which causes the growth cycle of hair follicles to lengthen and less hair is shed than normal, resulting in more voluminous (thicker appearance) hair.  Further, as oestrogens increase androgens (male hormones) decrease.  Androgens encourage oil to flow so the hair becomes less oily and appears drier, also adding to volume.  On the other hand, from a nutrition viewpoint, other than taking pre-natal supplements, nutrition is often worse with the well-known “cravings” for junk food – and oddly – not eating as well anyway because of potential weight gain added to the baby bump.  The hair follicle is the second fastest producer of cells in the body, (bone marrow is first), but as hair is considered, by the body, non-essential tissue, it is the last to benefit from good nutrition.  And, the “bump” would take precedence anyway"

So while all this is happening during pregnancy hair loss can be a given, add to that the stress of motherhood in the early days and you have a pile of hair and it's not on your head! thankfully Philip Kingsley goes on to reassure us; 
"The good news is that post-partum fall always regrows – or it should.  If it doesn't, which is rare, there would be cause for extra professional advice and various blood tests.  Another point that should be born in mind is post-natal depression, which can effect hair fall and growth.  Post natal fall, though, usually begins after 6 weeks- 8 weeks of birth and can last until the 7th month, so don’t panic – it will regrow eventually"

Though it's hard their really is no real way to stop the hair loss, I've been doing stress free styles such as puffs, and wearing my hair out, I try to take good care of my diet and scalp

(head massages are a must for me) also be sure your hair is shedding and not breaking, shed hair should have a little white bud at the end, also it is normal to shed hair (pregnant or not) we loose up to 100 hair a day! If you hair loss starts to concentrate in one area don't panic! it could be due to excessive styling, stress or your diet.
Phillip Kingley adds;
"You can’t do anything to stop true post-partum fall but good hair care habits will make it grow faster and look and feel better.   Use products suitable for your hair type and whatever styling aids you require.  Apply scalp masks and hair masks regularly, and massage the scalp with a kneading motion each time they are used as well as when shampooing, Eat nutritiously with plenty of proteins and take a good all round supplement.  You may need an iron supplement, too, as well as Vitamin B12.  (Philip Kingsley has supplements and Masks).’ 
I've used both the Philip Kingsley Supplements and the scalp mask*, the mask is great and really refreshes the scalp, the supplements worked as part of a healthy diet (results can be seen after 3 months)

*scalp masks by Philip Kingsley have been relaunched, now there are two! one for stimulating and the other for exfoliating the scalp 

Visit www.philipkingsley.co.uk and be sure to check out Philip Kingleys Hair Bible here 

Thanks Phil!


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