Postpartum hair loss or postpartum alopecia is a temporary but sudden shedding of hair after childbirth. High levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy cause an increase in hair and nail growth. But soon after delivery your blood volume reduces and hormone levels begin to normalize, causing the excess hair strands that you accumulated during pregnancy, to fall out.
Most women start noticing increased hair fall around 3 months of postpartum, though it can start soon after delivery or even after 6 months, and may last for few months to almost a year. Some may experience a few loose strands while others experience massive clumps of hair coming out. Both are considered normal postpartum changes. Despite it being a normal process, it can cause stress and anxiety for new moms.
The good news is, that you can reduce postpartum hair loss by taking care of your nutrition and increasing your intake of certain key nutrients!
Eating adequate protein is important for hair growth because hair follicles are made of proteins. Lack of protein intake can lead to hair loss. Increase intake of protein-rich foods like eggs, dairy products, chicken, fish, pulses & legumes, etc. in your daily diet.
Healthy Fats & Omega 3 Fatty acids-
These are found in nuts, flax seeds, avocados, olive oil, fatty fish, and eggs. They help to reduce inflammation, nourish the hair follicle, promote blood circulation, moisturize the scalp and promote hair growth.
Iron & Vitamin C-
Less nutrition is supplied to the hair follicles if you are anaemic or have low iron levels, which leads to weakening of your hair. Thus, incorporating foods rich in iron like dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, dates, prunes, beans, meat, etc. along with vitamin C rich foods help in reducing hair loss
Consult your doctor or qualified dietitian/ nutritionist and take nutritional supplements if required to avoid any nutritional deficiencies, stop hair loss and, promote hair regrowth.
Hydration improves the luster and quality of hair. Drinking adequate water makes your scalp healthy and supports hair growth.
Reduce Stress- Make time for regular light to moderate exercise and practice different relaxation techniques like mindfulness, meditation, or breathing exercises. This will help in reducing stress levels, regulate hormonal imbalances and significantly reduce hair loss.
Pro Tip- Take it easy, this too shall pass! Make sure you eat a nutritious well-balanced diet, correct nutritional deficiencies (if any), and manage your stress levels.