Top US Dermatologist Dr Dy Offers Expert Advice on Postpartum Hair Loss
If you've recently had a baby, you may be noticing your hair is thinning. This doesn't happen to every new mother, but it can be quite alarming if it does happen to you.
The photo on the left was taken 6 months postpartum, the photo on the right 2 years postpartum. Note the size of my braids and check out the top of my head on the left. You can see the wild baby hairs coming back in and a significant change in the thickness. I had been losing hair by the handful. I would blow dry my hair and the brush would be filled with hair. I remember a friend getting ready with me and her jaw dropping at the balls of hair I was collecting. I barely recognized my hair, and it's always challenging having to accept a new (unwelcome) change to our bodies.
I asked Dr. Dy what we all need to know:
1. Would my hair ever come back?
2. What was "normal" for postpartum hair loss?
3. What was the cause?
4. How could I stop more from falling out?!
Thankfully Dr. Dy offered her expert advice to ease our minds:
1. Yes, but not all women who suffered postpartum hair loss will regain all the hair they lost. Most women will regrow back the lost hairs but a few women will never fully recover, unless they receive proper diagnosis and early medical treatment. 2. There are no studies to quantify how much is "normal" hair loss during the post partum period. What we do know is that every person looses approximately 80-100 hairs a day but usually more on the days that they wash and less on days that they don't. Losing hair or shedding hair during the post-partum period is called Telogen Effluvium. Hair loss after pregnancy typically happens three months after child birth. 3. The cause of post-partum hair loss primarily comes from the stressful demands of pregnancy placed on the body that in turn affects the hair follicles. Stress imposed on the body usually means production of oxidative radicals that interfere with the living cells in the body, in this case, the hair follicles. It interrupts the growth cycle of the hair follicles, thus causing the hairs to shed. 4. The best way to stop postpartum hair shedding is by being proactive. Unfortunately, we don't know who amongst the women will suffer postpartum hair loss. There are a variety of diagnostic tests that can be used to confirm the diagnosis to render the right therapy to stop hair shedding. One of the treatments includes replenishing your iron in your body or taking specific hair vitamins that are well studied and proven to prevent or treat Telogen Effluvium. Finally, it is easier said than done but try to adopt ways to destress.
Exercising, eating healthy and taking the time to care for ourselves is very important in every stage of life, postpartum is no exception. Self care in turn helps us to be healthier, happier, better mothers.
Dr. Dy is double board certified in Dermatology and Dermatopathology (the microscopic study of skin diseases).
She is also a specialist in Dermatopathology; Cosmetic Dermatology; Hair and Scalp Disorders; Ethnic Skin.
For an appointment with Dr. Dy, visit her website at: http://www.dydermatology.com.
Dy Dermatology is a sponsor for the LR Grace Wellness Summit.
Tickets can be purchased here.