August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month, so it’s only appropriate to talk about this topic.
It’s no secret that pregnant women have the best hair, pregnant redheads being the best. With the many decidedly unpleasant body changes that go along with growing a new human, it’s nice to have a positive change, especially if it’s fuller and shinier tresses. But all good things must come to an end, and shortly after you give birth (for most women around three or four months postpartum) those luscious redhead locks look a lot less luscious, and there tends to be an alarming-looking wad of hair in your shower drain.
But never fear, there are easy peasy ways to combat this postpartum shedding:
1. Don’t Panic
The most difficult, yet most crucial step. Keep in mind that this shedding is normal and you’re not about to go bald. The reason you start losing locks after you have your baby is because your estrogen levels – which increased dramatically during pregnancy – have dropped back down to normal. While with child, that extra estrogen keeps more hairs in the “resting” period and less in the “falling out” period, to coin some scientific terms. Once that beautiful baby arrives, the hairs go back to their normal rate of about 85 percent resting, 15 percent falling out. So it only looks like you’re losing extra hair, but in reality, it’s the same as it was before.
And good news! Many women report that the dramatic loss stopped around their child’s first birthday; it’s not forever. But getting stressed about it won’t help anything – in fact, it might hinder the process, since stress is closely linked to hair loss.
2. Take a Supplement
It never hurts to give your hair some of the extra protein it needs. Vitamin E and biotin are both linked to strengthening hair and nails (just be sure to consult your doctor before heading to buy a bottle). My nurse even recommended I continue to take my over the counter prenatal vitamins even while not carrying a baby, and I can’t say I was disappointed with the results.*
3. Use volumizing products
Even though this won’t keep any hairs on your head longer, it certainly will fool your mirror and those around you. I can think of a pretty good website that recommends all sorts of ‘Redhead friendly’ products to help you select the one for you… *wink wink*.
4. Cool It On the Heat
Apologies for the horrid pun, but it’s a serious tip. Excessive straightening and blow drying are known to have negative effects on hair, turning it into a brittle breeding ground for split ends. Even cutting back a little, like using the drier every other day instead of daily, can help.
5. Try a New Do
Becoming a new mom is a terrific time to test a new style. You’re embarking on a new phase of your life, and while this doesn’t mean you need to go with a full-out “mom cut”, it does give you a great opportunity to try something different. Plus, a bit of short hair that has fallen out looks less than a bit of long hair, so you can sort of trick yourself into thinking the shedding is slowing down.
6. Get Pregnant Again
I’ve used this method within a few months of both my first and second pregnancies, so I can attest that the results – both hair- and baby-related – have never been better.
Rock it like a Redhead!
*Consult with your doctor before taking vitamins and/or supplements.