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As a midwife, many scared women have asked me about postpartum hair loss. Some of them came very alarmed, assuring me that 'it was not normal'. And I answered them what I knew: that it was, that it was temporary and that they should not worry. But when I experienced it as a recent mother, I understood them much better: were you sure it was normal? But if it falls a lot! I knew it didn't exist relationship between breastfeeding and hair loss, despite some guru insisting. That is why I want to share with you the real reason why women fall in hair after giving birth.
Some people around me told me that surely I was lacking vitamins, or that I was anemic, that breastfeeding was leaving me malnourished ... I had to remind myself of the words that I had said so many times: 'It is habitual, it is temporary and it is a Just a process until the hormones kick in. ' And yes, it was temporary and my hair looked like it was before pregnancy.
And although it was a little later than I would have liked, I did not have to interrupt breastfeeding to get it. Because hair falls out postpartum, breastfeed or bottle and then I'll explain why. To understand it better, we are going to start by telling what is the hair growth cycle, which consists of three phases:
- Decrease stage
Cells divide rapidly and hair grows; this can last between two and six years. Most of our hair (around 90%) are in this phase.
- Moment of transition
The growth rate slows to a halt, and the follicle weakens. It lasts a few weeks.
- Rest phase
The hair does not grow, they weaken and finally fall off. These phases can last 3 or 4 months.
Pregnancy hormones (mainly estrogens) make the cycle stop in the growth phase, so we find a lot of hair growing and that do not enter the transition or resting phase. In general, most pregnant women have soft, strong and healthy hair, although it is true that in some cases their hair may feel more oily or brittle, but it is not usual.
Postpartum, as the hormonal system rebalances and estrogens decrease, the hair cycle resumes, and all the hair that should have fallen out during those nine months gradually begins to fall out suddenly. This is called 'telogen effluvium' and is usually noticed around three months after delivery. And, of course, new hair also grows, but it took us several months to notice them. After a few months, usually between 6 and 12, the growth cycle returns to its normal rhythm.
So hormones are responsible for this postpartum hair loss, not the type of diet you give your baby.
At this point, many women will be asking the same question: 'Can we do nothing to prevent it? Well really ... no! But we can take extreme care of our hair to avoid aggravating it, at least during the period that you are breastfeeding:
- Clean up your hair. When cutting our hair, we lose the most brittle part and our scalp supports less weight, which can help to make the loss more progressive.
- Use soft and quality products. Conditioning shampoos, masks, etc.
- Avoid aggressive treatments these months, such as dyes, perms, extreme heat, brushed and rough or excessively vigorous drying ...
- Take care of your diet. Do not neglect proteins (collagen is essential at this stage!) Or foods rich in vitamins and minerals, especially nuts, fruits and vegetables. Vitamin B (brewer's yeast, avocado, chicken, fish) can strengthen hair and improve its health, as well as Omega 3 fatty acids (blue fish, walnuts). In short, you must eat a varied and balanced diet!
You can read more articles similar to The non-relationship between breastfeeding and women's hair loss, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.