If fatigue and stress often accompany the first weeks of a new mother’s life, the drop in hormones following postpartum can also cause postpartum alopecia. What to do and how to prevent hair loss after the baby is born? Update with dermatologist Ségolène Fays-Michel.
What is the life cycle of a hair during pregnancy?
The life of a hair has three stages: the phase of growth called “anagen” (growth is 1 mm per day and lasts between 3 to 7 years), the phase of activity called “catagen” (the hair is stops growing and this period lasts about 3 weeks), and finally the so-called “telogen ” phase (the hair dies, gradually dislodged and replaced by a new hair. This stage lasts 2 to 3 months). However, ” during pregnancy , these cycles are disrupted because estrogen is then produced in large quantities” explains dermatologist Ségolène Fays-Michel. These hormones are beneficial to the scalp by increasing the vascularity of the hair bulb. Result :hair falls out much less than normal. Your hair is often more beautiful and abundant during pregnancy.
Hair loss after Pregnancy : what are the causes?
The causes of postpartum alopecia are therefore above all hormonal. In pregnancy, the sudden drop in estrogen levels puts an end to this phenomenon, and about three months later (end of the normal telogen phase), the hair begins to fall out profusely. But hormones aren’t the only cause of postpartum hair loss. The stress linked to postpartum and the fatigue of the first months of life with your baby are also cumulative . “The stress, whether physical or psychological, causes the cycle to be desynchronized and the hair suddenly goes into the resting phase, which then begins to fall out” explains Dr. Fays-Michel. Foodyoung mothers is not necessarily optimal either, often for lack of time. And the return of diaper and its abundant blood loss, comes to increase an iron deficiency already frequently caused by pregnancy. Finally, “seeing your hair falling out can create stress that worsens the whole” adds Ségolène Michel.
How long can this hair loss last?
“Alopecia can last up to 4 months, or even 8 months postpartum in the most serious cases” as the dermatologist emphasizes.
What treatments can be considered to prevent hair loss?
There are three types of treatments for postpartum alopecia . They can be :
- Local: You apply a lotion based on keratin and group B vitamins (B5, B6, B8) which protects the bulb and solidifies the hair fiber. In addition, massaging the scalp when shampooing also has a stimulating effect on hair growth, taking care not to rub it so as not to sensitize the already weakened hair.
- Oral: A treatment based on trace elements can also help to overcome possible mineral and vitamin deficiencies. They are generally based on vitamins A, B, E, zinc and magnesium, and participate in the formation and strengthening of hair keratin. However, some food supplements are not recommended in case of breastfeeding, it will be necessary to seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.
- Hormones: You will be prescribed treatment in the event of a persistent hormonal imbalance diagnosed by a specialist.
Hair loss after the birth of a baby: what to do, when to consult?
This post-partum alopecia can pass on its own, however ” if the hair loss persists beyond 4 months, it is better to make an appointment with your doctor who will prescribe a treatment” advises the dermatologist. It is also preferable to consult if this hair loss worries you, if it lasts beyond 4 to 5 months or if you notice a decrease in the density of your hair.
How to prevent this hair loss?
All new mothers face estrogen reduction, and hair loss is almost inevitable. However, ” it can vary in intensity depending on the woman, sometimes going as far as impacting 30% of the hair mass” notes Dr. Fays-Michel. Also, to limit the intensity or / and the duration of this postpartum alopecia, the dermatologist suggests, in addition to the treatments if necessary, to encourage the young mother to take care of herself, to allow herself a little time to relax, unwind and adopt a balanced and varied diet .