Postpartum and Hair Loss
Motherhood is a blissful phase of life and it heralds many changes in skin and hair. It is very frustrating and annoying to see hair fall in clumps as you settle down as a new mother. Many times, new mothers panic and are clueless about their action plan. We will try to understand the topic in the following context:
- What is postpartum telogen effluvium?
- What is the reason for postpartum telogen effluvium?
- Does this lead to hair loss permanently?
- What are the remedies that can be helpful for postpartum hair loss?
- What are the tips for hair care for new mothers?
Q-1) What is postpartum telogen effluvium?
Ans- Postpartum TE (PPTE) is usually reported as hair loss which happens after delivery. Usually it takes two to three months after delivery and it may create a panic situation amongst people. It is actually telogen effluvium but because of its timing it may be called postpartum telogen effluvium.
Q-2) What is the reason for postpartum telogen effluvium?
Ans- The hair cycle is a complex biological process of partially unknown signals by which human hair follicles undergo three main stages: growth (anagen phase), apoptosis-driven regression (catagen phase) and the quiescent state (telogen phase) The hair follicle rests in telogen phase for 3 months . 70 -80% of the hair lie in anagen phase while 10 – 20% lie in telogen .The phases last approximately 2-6 years, 2-3 weeks and 3 months, respectively. The normal hair cycle replaces each hair on the scalp every 3-5 years.
During pregnancy, Almost 100% hair is in anagen phase which is more prolonged. As soon as the baby is delivered, the hormones regress and hence the extra hair which was in the growth phase shifts to the telogen phase. This is known as telogen effluvium and is popularly known as PPTE.
Q-3) Does this lead to hair loss permanently?
Ans- This is not permanent and will not last beyond 3 to 6 months. If there are any additional factors like nutritional deficiency or hormonal changes, they need to be taken care of as well.
Q-4) What are the remedies that can be helpful for postpartum hair loss?
Ans- first of all , do not panic. Nutritious diet especially rich in iron and protein is helpful. The mother should include omega 3 fatty acid rich foods like walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds in her diet. Vitamin C rich foods help in increasing iron absorption and healing of tissues which are repairing during this phase. You can consult your Dermatologist to prescribe Biomimetic peptides which help in reducing the severity and duration of this phase. Caffeine and procapil based shampoos may help as well. No home remedy or hair oil can help much as your hair roots procure nourishment from inside the body.
Q-5) What are the tips for hair care for new mothers?
Ans- 1. Do not be anxious as this shall pass away soon.
- Take a balanced diet which is rich in iron and protein.
- Traditional post delivery foods like Jaggery, Gond, Alsi ( flaxseeds) help in reducing hair fall. Please eat sugar in moderation to prevent excessive weight gain
- Oiling the hair helps in conditioning but applying on the scalp may not be of help.
- Eat protein rich foods like pulses, legumes, foxnut, buttermilk and curd.
- Avoid consumption of too much tea or coffee as it decreases iron absorption
Hope this helps you prevent postpartum hair loss and enjoy your motherhood.