Welcome to The Mummylogues. A series dedicated to candid conversations, relatable tips and resources for navigating pregnancy and parenting.
In this edition, Trichologist Dr. Khushboo Thakker Garodia, addresses concerns about postpartum hair loss, with tips on foods and natural hair care to maintain lush hair post pregnancy. Over to her.
Why Is This Happening To Me
Postpartum hair loss is a normal and temporary postpartum change, sometimes quite dramatic around the first three months postpartum.
All hair has a growth phase, termed anagen, and a resting phase, telogen. On the scalp, anagen lasts approximately 3 years, while telogen lasts roughly 3 months (although these times can vary across individuals). During telogen, the resting hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by growth of new anagen hair.
Normally, around 85-95% of your hair is in the growth phase at any point in time, but the oestrogen rise during pregnancy stimulates an increase in the percentage of hairs in the growth phase. As a result, many women enjoy thicker hair during pregnancy
With the birth of your baby, the oestrogen levels suddenly drop and a larger number of hair than normal enter the resting phase. The resting phase is followed by hair shedding, so 3-4 months post-delivery, moms see a drastic hair fall
Most women return to their usual hair growth cycle between 6 to 12 months after birth. If you feel that your hair loss is greater than the norm, or if things are not back to normal by the time your baby is 12 months old, then consult your doctor. Excessive hair loss can be caused by common postpartum conditions such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) or iron-deficiency anaemia.
Foods To Maintain Lush Hair Post Pregnancy
Hair is made up of water and protein; thus, there’s a need to keep yourself hydrated and to eat adequate protein and the right nutrients to restore growth. Otherwise, your hair could feel dry and brittle and may break easily.
- Protein. Eggs, lentils, legumes, soya and chicken are examples of foods rich in protein. A few good examples of absorbable protein meals are khichdi, rajma chawal, chole chawal, etc.
- Iron. Hair follicles are fed by a blood supply. If you are anaemic (or low in iron), less nutrition is supplied to the follicles, weakening your hair. Increase your iron levels by eating leafy green vegetables, broccoli, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, etc. Cashew nuts are an abundant source of iron, as well as magnesium.
- Fats. For instance, coconut, not just the oil, but consuming coconut in chutneys, in food or even just nibbling on coconut works very well, as coconut is rich in folic acid.
- Black Sesame is very rich in Calcium and Magnesium. This wonder food works to strengthen the follicle and reduce hair fall.
- Ghee; eating food cooked in ghee or just adding a spoon of ghee to your dal rice or khichdi or roti helps metabolise fat better and is good for Vitamin D. It also helps in adding the shine back to your hair.
- Flax seeds and dry fruits like almonds and walnuts help the growth of healthy hair as they are a rich source of omega-3 fats.
- Fenugreek seeds promote healthy hair growth and could prevent hair loss. They also help in strengthening and softening the hair.
- Rice, rich in BCAA and essential vitamins helps in boosting the hair growth.
Natural Hair Care
Swap chemically processed hair serums for natural hair packs to stem your hair fall.
- Fenugreek Seed with Curd. Soak the fenugreek seeds in water and leave them overnight. Strain the water the next day, make a paste of the seeds with curd and apply it to the scalp and hair tips, leaving it for 15-20 minutes. Use the strained water to rinse your hair and then wash with normal water. Doing this twice a week could help.
- Curd works as a natural conditioner and may prevent hair fall. It is likely to improve the quality of hair. Apply curd on the scalp and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse it off
- Apply Aloe Vera gel to your scalp and leave it for half an hour before washing it. Do it thrice a week.
Healthy Living, Healthy Hair
A healthy diet full of nutritious foods coupled with a few lifestyle changes, will ensure your postpartum hair loss does not continue to be painful. Following are some simple lifestyle tweaks you can follow to combat postpartum hair loss very well!
- Go easy on styling. Avoid using any styling products like a dryer or straighteners, curlers. Try to air-dry your hair instead. Using heat styling products on your hair could worsen the issue and make your hair appear thinner than it actually is.
- Manage Stress Better. Try activities such as meditation and exercising. This will help regulate hormonal imbalance and significantly reduce hair loss.
- Hair Oil. Use the right hair oil, which can specifically strengthen hair post-delivery. Generic hair oils lack the right ingredients to nourish hair in this delicate stage.
About Dr Khusboo Thakker Garodia
Dr. Khushboo Thakker Garodia is a Homeopath, Trichologist, an Integrative Health Expert and the Founder of Meraki Wellbeing. She is also a Nutrition Counsellor and a Specialist in Sports Nutrition.
Working for the last 12 years, Dr. Khushboo, believes that today our modern living demands more of our physical bodies than ever. She combines all aspects of her education to address the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of her patients, to tailor the most effective way to bring each patient back to their healthiest selves.
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