Dealing with excessive hair loss after giving birth is one of the many reasons why new moms go through postpartum depression and require mental help from a psychologist. “Losing your hair — like gaining weight — isn’t some sort of sign of being deformed or inferior,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D. During the pregnancy stage, after all, the hormones that strengthen the hair are in abundance. Once the baby comes out, the follicles tend to enter the resting phase, which entails that they close for the time being. The result is that you lose strands, and no amount of anti-hair fall products can save you from this problem.
If it’s any consolation, you should realize that it is possible to get thicker hair as soon as your hormones normalize again. Nevertheless, what may give you some peace of mind is the fact that you may now be able to avoid this terrible scenario. Here’s what you can do before giving birth.
1. Know If There Are Pills To Take
Every expectant mother is advised to start taking prenatal vitamins from the moment she learns about the pregnancy. Not only will the supplements allow the unborn child to grow well, but they will also help the pregnant woman feel well during and after the gestation period. Some of the vitamins that doctors offer to mommies are A, B, biotin, C, and E. After all, they allow the blood to circulate better and assist in cell growth. That will strengthen your hair and reduce the chances of it falling off.
2. Do Not Wash Your Hair Often
During pregnancy, it is common for the mother to want to take a shower once or twice every day because you may get hot quickly. That is especially true when it’s summer. You may feel irritated or unable to relax even with the air conditioning unit on if you cannot douse your whole body with water.
The thing is, no matter how many times you bathe every day, you should avoid shampooing your hair often. Put it in a bun or wear a shower cap instead so that it won’t get wet and make you feel like you have to clean it now. Many non-pregnant women wash their hair several times a week as well, and that is because the chemicals in shampoo can dry the hair and scalp. The drier both elements are, the easier it is for you to lose strands before even giving birth, so stay away from shampooing.
3. Prepare A Hair Mask
Beer cannot be made without brewer’s yeast, which practically kickstarts its fermentation process. What’s good about this type of fungi is that it contains riboflavin, folic acid, and biotin – some of the nutrients that pregnant women need to stay healthy.
Since you are not supposed to drink alcohol at this stage, though, it is best to use the brewer’s yeast as an ingredient for a hair mask. You will not have to ingest the yeast; you will apply it on your hair directly. The straightforward application may genuinely help you prevent hair loss as the fungi do not need to go through a lot of sections in the body to reach the follicles and nourish them.
4. Avoid Too Much Hairstyling
Considering the OB-GYN has already discouraged you from wearing makeup during pregnancy, it is possible that you may want to fix your hair at least to feel good whenever you go out. There are a lot of hairstyles, after all, that do not require the use of hairspray and other chemicals. Some experts may be able to do different styles with only a hair dryer or straightener.
What you should remember, however, is that you should opt for loose hairstyles all the time when you are pregnant. Low ponytails and simple braids are ideal at this point. You don’t want to apply extreme heat on your hair because that will increase its brittleness. You don’t want it in a tight bun or dreadlocks either since such styles will add tension to your scalp and perhaps even pull your precious locks.
5. Don’t Stress Yourself Out At Anytime
Stress is everyone’s enemy #1. Many people tend to pull their hair when they are frustrated or stressed out, but it honestly is not necessary because the strands will fall off anyway due to stress.
“Pregnancy can be a stressful time for many women,” according to Renee Engeln Ph.D. Because you are pregnant, though, stress may aggravate your hair-loss issue. For one, your hormones are always changing throughout the pregnancy to accommodate the baby’s growth in the womb. When stress mingles with the hormonal changes, it can make you lose your locks faster than ever.
The only way to avoid that is by paying no mind to the stressors in your life. “Pregnancy, birth, and becoming a parent is a time of physical, psychological, and social changes which require ongoing adjustment,” says Amy Tuteur M.D.
6. Eat Foods With Healthy Fats
Omega 3 and omega 6 are a couple of fatty acids that you can only find in non-human species, namely fish and seeds. Despite that, they are the kinds of fats that the body needs to stay healthy, especially during pregnancy. They can reduce inflammation, promote better blood circulation, and prevent hair loss.
Although it is not advisable to take fish oil or eat raw fish for expectant mothers, you can still get omega 3 and omega 6 by cooking tuna, mackerel, salmon, and other fish. In case you are a vegan, the healthy alternatives are flaxseeds and olives.
7. Try Scalp Massages
Massages are not for the body. You can also ask a masseuse or your husband or kids – whoever is massaging you – to pay attention to your scalp. The reason is that the process will stimulate your follicles and keep them from going to sleeping phase after childbirth. You see, that’s when the hair starts to fall off.
While we’re at it, you can also request for coconut or almond oil to be rubbed on your scalp. These products are not only good for nourishing your hair but also for preventing hair loss more effectively.
When you give birth, and your hormones go back to normal, it is highly impossible not to see some strands detach from your scalp. The hormones are no longer raging, so the follicles need to rest. However, you may be able to avoid losing chunks after chunks of hair when you follow the tips above.