“After childbirth, they fall in bunches and break. They start to grow back a little on their foreheads but they’re horrible!”, “They fall a lot”, “Off, they fall in locks, dirty, senseless”: these are just some of the alarm cries we received on our Instagram account (@fyl_feelyourlook) about the hair after childbirth. A lot of new mothers in fact find themselves having to fight – as if everything they have to provide was not already enough – with hair that suddenly fall in droves and are weak, break and, in essence, are horrible and unmanageable.
Fortunately, however, just have a little patience and follow our advice to improve the situation: the changes you are facing are completely normal and within a year (maybe even earlier!) your head will return to normal.
The defluvium postpartum: know your enemy
It’s all about hormones (strange, huh?): during and after pregnancy a woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes, some even affect her hair. Estrogens, hormones produced in large quantities during pregnancy, are the main cause of the beauty and resistance of the hair, but after childbirth they drop dramatically, leading to a copious and sudden hair loss.
This massive hair loss is called effluvium postpartum: it is certainly not pleasant and can be a source of concern, but you should know that it is a perfectly normal fact and that soon (after 3 months up to a maximum of one year after childbirth) your hair will stabilize and return to be the same as ever.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding also tends to worsen the weakening of the scalp, because it leads to an increase in prolactin: this hormone, combined with the expenditure of vitamins and minerals to which our body is normally subject, weakens the hair and reduces its growth phase.
How can you limit hair loss during breastfeeding?
As we always say, being healthy is the first step to help our beauty, in this case to help our hair not to leave our head too quickly. To try to prevent effluvium postpartum, in fact, it is important to have a diet rich in proteins, vitamins and trace elements. These three are the hair loss protection substances par excellence as they are rich in nutrients, which help to strengthen the scalp and follicles. Specifically:
- Vitamin A helps to produce oils that support the scalp. We find it in foods rich in beta-carotene such as potatoes, carrots, pumpkins and apricots;
- Vitamin C promotes the circulation of blood vessels, preventing hair breakage. Vitamin C is found, for example, in berries;
- Biotin (or vitamin H), contained in dairy products, is useful for dermatitis, excess sebum and alopecia;
- eggs are important to have strong hair because they contain proteins and trace elements such as selenium, sulphur, zinc (whose deficiency causes hair loss and dry scaly scalp) and iron (also contained in meat and fish);
- In salmon, herring, sardines, avocado and nuts we find the omega 3, which help hair growth;
- Want to know more about the link between food and hair? Read our nutritional advice for a thick and beautiful hair!
Hair after childbirth: changing the way you take care of it
The management of these months of defluvium is also complicated because hair care habits need to change. Even though you normally have greasy hair and have to wash it three times a week, it is no longer the case: you have to get to know it and treat it differently because in this period it is fragile and needs extra attention. The first useful suggestion is to avoid frequent washing and to prefer a shampoo that is not too aggressive. Try using Davines’ Calming shampoo or Framesi’s Reinforcing shampoo, which are delicate and attentive to the balance of the skin. Another valid option is the cleansing conditioner of the Precious Nature line by Alfaparf: it is a matter of using the co-washing method, to be alternated with the traditional washing.
The way you wash your hair is also important. Once the shampoo is done, you can apply a nourishing conditioner (specifically on particularly damaged ends and hair) and, at least once a week, a treatment that acts on the hair fiber, making it strong and shiny: choose the product with which you are best off, an oil such as Linseed – Anti Breakage Daily Fluid by Alfaparf or an intensive treatment in ampoules such as Lotion concentrée by Medavita.
Finally, for drying, we must avoid rubbing our hair and subject it to the heat of the hair dryer. It is best to wrap them in a linen or cotton towel and gently dab them to avoid breaking them while removing excess water.
To help your hair stay in place after childbirth, after all, it only takes a little: a proper and healthy diet and learn to take care of it in a different way than usual. As always, listening to our body makes the difference: be patient and you’ll see that following our advice will overcome this period with less stress, devoting your energies to enjoy this new magical period of your life.