The human body is capable of doing some amazing things, and I think it is at its most remarkable when it is growing a little human. This is when the female body comes to life. It’s like it is saying, “so you think all that other stuff I could do was pretty cool? Well wait until you see what I can do now”. You will often hear pregnant women exclaiming “when I was pregnant, I had the thickest hair” or “my nails were so strong”. This is basically the body doing a massive show off, and we love her for it. I know when I went through my pregnancies, I marvelled at the different stages of my body changes (clearly, I didn’t get morning sickness, sorry to those who did). But what about after we give birth or give up breastfeeding? It’s like it all comes crashing down, that thick beautiful hair is now falling out in clumps, those lovely strong nails are now brittle little stumps on the end of your fingers. As new mums we are often so busy with our new little bundle that we don’t get time to look outside the square and ask, “why am I losing my hair?”, or “how can I fix my postpartum hair loss?” We are just told that this is what happens after pregnancy, and you just have to deal with it, you’re a mum now. Well, I totally disagree, and I’m going to explain to you, why this is happening, and what you can do to not only fix it, but hopefully get that lush pregnancy hair back. Bring it on!
As I said before, when you are pregnant, the body is being a little bit of a show-off. But we love that, right? If only we could have that lush hair all the time. So why is our postpartum hair falling out? There are a couple of main reasons, one is that you are just losing that gorgeous pregnancy hair and going back to “normal”, and the other is that the extreme stress that your clever body has just gone through has triggered a genetic hair loss gene. Don’t panic because there is help for both of those reasons.
I just need to take a quick step back to explain that not all of your follicles are active at any one time. Some of them are just having a bit of a nap, also known as the Telogen phase. When pregnant, it’s like everything is on high alert and less of these follicles are sleeping, and more are working, or in their Anagen phase. After we go through any stressful situations, such as pregnancy, anxiety, autoimmune disease chemotherapy or other health issues, the body focuses its attention elsewhere where it is needed, and more of the follicles shut down and go into hibernation. This is one of the reasons that you may suddenly find yourself with less hair than normal. Either that or the stresses have triggered your pre dispositioned genetic hair loss. Female pattern baldness is not as uncommon as most of us think, affecting 50% of women in their lifetime, it just that it doesn’t tend to be as drastic as our male friends’ experience, and women tend to be able to hide it better with certain hair styles. The unfortunate truth is, you can get the gene from both sides of the family. The myth that it only comes from your maternal grandfather is just an old wife’s tale. It can come from any grandparent or parent just like any other gene passed down.
Things to know about female pattern baldness.
Once the gene is triggered, the body starts to release DHT into the hair follicle. DHT, (or as the fancy scientist say Dihydrotestosterone) is the hormone that initiates hair loss. The DHT builds up around the follicle causing damage to the hair. The hair then in turn becomes weaker and weaker until it eventually falls out. Generally, by the time your hair is actually falling out, you have already noticed it becoming weak. This is one of the first signs of hair loss, weak, brittle hair. Once the hair falls out, the follicles remain in a deep sleep (Telogen phase) before eventually dying approximately 3 years later. So, we really need the prince to kiss the follicle, bringing it back to life before the 3 years are up. Or, if you’re not happy to sit around waiting for fairy tale princes to come and save your most important crowning glory, then keep reading for a few more worthy answers to your hair loss woes.
I have to say, thank goodness for modern technology and medicine, because these days you don’t have to lose your lovely locks. There are, thankfully several different ways to get rid of DHT and kick start that follicle back into working mode. Not only that, but we may just be able to kick start more of follicles that are currently sleeping, and have less lying dormant at any one time, resulting in thicker hair. So, don’t worry, we won’t have you rubbing onion into your scalp on a full moon by nuns who come from France. We have more scientifically proven things that are available to everyone now.
There are basically two different routes you can take, one is the natural route, and one is the medical route. You should see results from either, unfortunately though, you may also see some side effects. We are going to give you the run down of the most common treatments and our thoughts on it.
I’ll start with the medical route, let’s talk Finasteride and Minoxidil. Do they work? Yes! These are a fantastic option for women with advanced stages of hair loss, however, keep in mind these are NOT suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Finasteride should also be avoided by women with a family history of breast cancer. In Australia you will need a script from your doctor before taking Finasteride orally, please do your own research first though as there are great risks to a male foetus, you can read more about it here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7060023/ . You can however buy Minoxidil from the Pharmacy to use topically. Adam, the founder of Regrow Hair Clinics previously ran a group of medical hair loss clinics throughout Australia, NZ & London, and would often use Minoxidil as a treatment, however he rarely if ever used it on women because the side effects were “getting rid of one problem to replace it with another.” As Adam explains “yes it grows your hair back, but it also tends to grow hair in places that women just don’t want hair, such as their upper lip and side-burns. I found most women were more scared of that then the hair loss.” Who can blame them?
How it works? Finasteride stops the body from turning testosterone into DHT (the hormone that makes you lose your hair). Minoxidil doesn’t actually stop the loss but stimulates hair to grow by bringing more blood flow to your follicles, and therefore more nutrients.
Our thoughts on this? Definitely best to talk to your doctor before attempting either of these as it’s really not suitable to everyone, especially if you are going to be trying for a new bub. If you do go down this route and get the excess hair you can always go to a laser hair removal clinic. We also would probably suggest it as a last resort as there are safer options out there to try first.
Micro Needling/Derma roller
There is lots of new information out there about Micro Needling, also known as the Derma roller. Even famous actors are going on about it. Does it work? Yes!
Derma rollers basically work by making tiny little pin pricks into your skin causing micro injuries. The body reacts by pumping collagen to the area to repair it. We love collagen! Collagen production reduces the older you get, Booo! What’s collagen I hear you ask? Well you must be under 30 to ask that question. Collagen is that beautiful stuff that makes your skin plump and wrinkle free. But of course, we want to know how it fixes your hair. Without going into too much boring science, Collagen contains proline which is the main component of keratin, and keratin is what your hair is mostly made from.
There are a few ways the derma roller works. By triggering the body’s reaction to commence wound healing. It also, triggers the stem cells in the hair follicles which in turn begin hair growth. It also increases blood flow to the scalp bringing with it a whole lot of hair growing nutrients. And lastly it helps the absorption process of topical hair solutions (such as Regrow Hair Tonic).
Which one should I use?
There are two very different ways of using a derma roller, one being with a topical hair solution and without any hair serums. They require two different needle lengths. Firstly, if you are going without a topical hair solution, you require the longer needle length of about 1.5mm. This needle reaches through the Epidermis into the Dermis layer of skin. I’m not going to lie, you will definitely feel this one and you may experience a little bleeding, but hey, if you are reading this you have probably just given birth so……… I’m sure you’ve got this. This way is said to significantly boost the production of endothelial growth factors for hair. This should only be done every 3 to 4 weeks maximum (Phew), as you need to give it time for the cells to regenerate.
I’m sure you will be happy to note however that not all hair loss remedies are painful, and in fact if using a derma roller with a topical solution the needles are much smaller, they are around 0.3mm in fact. These needles just make a very slight break in the skin which really doesn’t hurt. It depends on which hair loss serum you use as to whether it will sting. We can only comment on Regrow Hair Tonic as we haven’t tried any others, and it doesn’t hurt. Yay!
If you are doing it yourself, you may like to start with the smaller needle and see how you go. There are a few things to look for. We would recommend using 0.15 to 0.3mm needle using a topical hair serum. Of course, we recommend our hair growth serum – Regrow Hair Tonic, however you can always use other reputable brands.
There is a LOT of information out there that if you rub onions into your scalp you will regrow your hair. Does it work? Ummm No!
Someone with a dark sense of humour started that one.
Lasers are taking the beauty industry by storm!! From getting rid of wrinkles, sunspots and acne to regrowing your lushes locks back. Does it work? Yes!
How? By bringing that lovely nutritious blood flow to your scalp, thereby increasing your hair growth. I love the simplicity of this one. You can either buy a laser cap online or go to a laser clinic to have this done.
Best used in conjunction with something that will inhibit the build-up of DHT
Scientifically Proven Natural Remedies
There has been a massive resurrection of natural ingredients being used to heal as more of us are becoming aware on the long-term side effects that some chemicals are causing us. Not only on our own bodies, but from an environmental aspect. Do they work? Yes, absolutely, so long as you use the right ones. I’ll discuss a couple of the best ones here.
Yep, good old caffeine is one of the best when it comes to hair loss. Not only does it kick start your energy in the morning but has also been shown to give your cells a bit of a buzz too. Using coffee extract topically, it has been shown to signal molecules into promoting hair growth. Plus, more importantly it has been shown to block the effects of DHT.
Another DHT blocker, it works by blocking 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. It has been used as a hair loss prevention for many years. If taking orally, check with your doctor first as it can interfere with hormones.
Has been shown to significantly increase hair growth.
has been shown to increase the rate of hair growth.
Regrow Hair Clinics – Shampoo, Conditioner & Hair Tonic
Does it work? Absolutely, otherwise we wouldn’t have a business and I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this article. Of course, I couldn’t write this article without giving ourselves a plug. Besides, I genuinely feel I would be doing you a disservice by leaving us out. I won’t go on about us too much, if you are interested in knowing more about us you can read all about our ingredients here.
Regrow uses Caffeine and Saw Palmetto as our DHT blockers in all of our products. They have both been scientifically proven for many years. We also use them with Biotin and Niacin, which are both great hair protein builders to build those follicles back up to their former strength. We have a unique combination of natural active ingredients, (such as Nettle, Rosemary, Menthol, Oxygenated Rain Water, Horsetail extract etc) to not only stop hair loss and to build your hair back up, but we also assist in the treatment of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and other unpleasant skin conditions.
Obviously, we are biased, and I really can’t hide that. We have spent many, many years researching all the very best products and have brought together the best of all the natural hair loss ingredients. However, we can tell you that so long as you are using a scientifically proven natural DHT blocker in a different product, you should see a difference. It just probably won’t be as good as ours
Please note that this article is intended for reading purposes only and is not to be used to replace a medical diagnosis. It is important to note that some hair loss can be a symptom of a more severe underlying problem. If you have any health concerns, you should see your doctor.
Sources www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Finasteride and its Potential for the treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss Study
www.hairverse.com Derma roller for Hair Loss: An Indepth Guide, written by Sharmila Samaranayake M.B.B.S.