Post-partum hair loss.

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 11:05:09 -0800
From: jonathan treasure <jonno.TELEPORT.COM>
Subject: Re: Hair Loss

>Does anyone have information on hair loss after giving birth and on any natural remedies for this condition, could it be a difficiency of a specific nutrient? The baby is now nearly four months old and her mom continues to lose handfulls of hair daily and she is becoming anxious about it. TIA

Hmm - interesting this. I think it is common, and to some extent is due to the luxuriant hair growth or at least lack of hair loss while pregnant "thinning back" to previous levels. It is common enough not to be worried about IMO. Nutritionists will have you believe more or less anything of course, especially if they are selling supplements, but metabolically speaking hair loss could be a symptom of thyroid deficiency, or, at a push, cortisol (adrenocortical) deficiency. One useful question is was there significant hair loss before pregnancy? Another would be what was the post partum pattern of recuperation - ie slow, quick etc. The hormone deficiency patterns, if present, may be subclinical, and hard for non-practitioners (AND impossible for allopaths) to detect. If recuperation was slow and the birth and pregnancy hard, a checkup with a naturopath or similar practitioner might be a reassuring to make sure all is well.....

Rather than herbs specifically to help the loss, make regular use of natural conditioners using essential oils, checking in an aromatherapy book to match a recipe to the particular hair type.


From: christopher hedley <christopher.GN.APC.ORG>

Jonathan's comments are good, but I would like to add;

The commonest nutritional loss is B vitamins, especially where stress is a major factor. It is generaly sufficient to take a course or two of B complex, but don't use mega dose brands.

All other things being equal, no hormonal cause being evident and the scalp being healthy, my most successful prescription is Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) and Skullcap (Scutellaria spp), tinctures, equal parts, 15ml daily.

Christopher Hedley MNIMH

From: "M.A. MCClelland" <u9319320.MUSS.CIS.MCMASTER.CA>

Regarding the woman worried about losing large amounts of hair several months after giving birth.

Post partum hair loss is a fact of life, resulting from the hormonal changes that occur in this time. The high estrogen levels of pregnancy prevent the majority of normal daily hair loss (about 100 hairs/day). After birth, these levels drop, and those hairs are lost. It can take from 4-20 weeks for this process to even start to be noticeable, and it can last for several months. The good news is, that the hair is lost because it is pushed out by the new hair growing in the same spot (sort of like teeth). So eventually those hairs are all replaced. I would not recommend playing around with boosting estrogen levels, as it doesn't promote hair growth and can lead to all sorts of other problems, as well as interfere with milk production for nursing mothers. Further investigation would be a good idea if she is developing bald patches, as she could always be prey to an alopecia unrelated to her post partum state. Consultation with a good hair stylist might be helpful if she wants to avoid the "2 different layers of hair" look when the new hair starts to grow out. As this can involve up to 35% of your total hairs, it can be quite noticeable.

McMaster Midwifery '96
It is almost '96, isn't it?