Postpartum Telogen Effluvium (or, “Help! The drain in my shower is being blocked by more lost hair than I ever thought I had on my head”)
Sometime after baby has given you his first smile, but before he cuts his first tooth, you might, if you're like 40-50% of other women, start to lose your hair. By about three months, when your pregnancy hormones finally have begun to even out, the excessive luxurious hair you grew during pregnancy begins to fall out. Luckily, this hair loss usually only lasts a few months, but if you are looking for ways to minimize its impact, or to encourage the growth of replacement hair, you might want to do the following:
1. Increase your intake of Essential Fatty Acids
Eat more fish, rich in omega-3 (salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines), take an evening primrose oil supplement and pour a teaspoon of flaxseed oil on your food each day.
2. Eat more Vitamin-Rich Foods and Herbs
for Vitamin B, eat: brewer's yeast, brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflowers seeds and walnuts.
for vitamin C, eat: berries, citrus fruits and green vegetables.
Herbs that contain vitamin C include alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, peppermint and paprika.
For vitamin E, eat: dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains.
Herbs that contain vitamin E include alfalfa, bladderwrack, dandelion and rose hips.
3. Eat foods rich in flavonoids and antioxidants
including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, plums, cherries, apples, garlic, parsley, broccoli, tomatoes, green tea, red wine, almonds, chocolate, and extra virgin olive oil.
4. Take a good basic Vitamin and Mineral supplement.
Continuing to take the prenatal vitamins you were on throughout your pregnancy will ensure you get sufficient amounts of the following helpful vitmins:
~Vitamin E, which helps scalp circulation
~vitamin C (with bioflavanoids), which improves the health and growth of hair
~Vitamin B, which is needed for healthy hair. Biotin especially is good for promoting hair growth (with a recommended dosage for breastfeeling mothers at 35 ug). Though Biotin is safe for a breastfeeding mother to take, it might change the taste of your milk.
~Horsetail and Saw Palmetto.
5. Choose your Hair Products carefully
Watch the products you use on your hair; allergic reactions can trigger hair loss. To help prevent this, use products that are all-natural or pH-balanced , and be sure to rotate their use; this will prevent your body from building up a reaction to any allergens in the product.
You might want to consider doing away with bottled shampoo altogether, and opting instead for baking soda hair cleaning followed by a vinegar rinse. Vinegar is especially helpful in giving your hair follicles growth encouragement and in conditioning the hair that hasn't fallen out.
Stay away from pony tails or other hair clips that tug at your hair. Choose a scalp stimulating brush that pulls easily through your hair.
6. Consider getting checked for Hypothyroidism
especially if you have other symptoms such as brittle nails, feeling cold all the time, anxiety, hoarse voice, constipation, fatigue and weight gain. Sometimes postpartum hair loss can be caused by a shift in thryoid function after childbirth, and not just the shift in hormones.
Iron deficiency/Anemia can contribute to hair loss as well(don't forget that dairy/calcium interfere with iron absorption and acidic foods or Vitamin C aid in iron absorption).
Silicea 6X tissue salt- taking two pellets of Silicea tissue salts to encourage new growth of hair.
Oils such as lavender, jojoba and rosemary are said to be particularly beneficial to improving hair growth. If nothing else, massaging them into your scalp before shampooing will feel and smell good!