For many women, about three months after childbirth, there is a period where hair starts to fall off. According to Cleveland Clinic, this process can take up to six months. Although the hair usually grows back, many women at my clinic complain that their new hair looks thinner and dull, whereas before, it seemed shiny and healthy. From a Western medical point of view, the reason for losing hair after childbirth is hormonal.
An acupuncturist approach:
From a Chinese medical view, hair loss and dull-looking hair in the postpartum stage are due to "blood deficiency." As they say in Eastern medicine, "the hair in an extension of the blood." When women give birth, they lose a great deal of blood. In many cases, this can last for up to six weeks.
There are several steps women can take to help themselves to improve their hair look and feel.
1. It is essential to make sure to nourish your body from both inside and out. Since, according to the Chinese medical view, postpartum hair loss is a case of blood deficiency, I would usually advise my patients to support their blood by maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet throughout their pregnancy and after childbirth.
Let's avoid processed food and consume as many homemade foods as we can, like dark leafy greens, beans, cooked stews with orange-colored vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, nuts, legumes of all colors, whole grains, quinoa, brown rice, red beets, and more, berries such as blackberries, and blueberries.
According to Chinese medicine, salty foods "dries the blood," and therefore, they can cause the hair to fall off and grow dull. This means that, especially in the case of postpartum, we need to eat this flavor in a much more moderate way.
Making food for yourself on top of everything else you have to do to take good care of your newborn treasure and your lack of sleep can be very challenging. My tip for you as a mother would be to get good at meal prep or ask your spouse or someone else you know to help with meal prepping. That way, you will only need to assemble your plate and nourish yourself in the best way possible.
2. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially while breastfeeding (if you choose to nurse).
3. Massage your scalp gently with your fingers for 5-10 minutes every day to bring better blood flow to the superficial areas of the skin in order to help feed the scalp with blood for better hair growth. This will also aid with some of the experienced tiredness and lack of focus you will experience during this time.
4. Another way to assist with postpartum hair loss is to find a skilled acupuncturist in the area where you live and get treated regularly, and give you the proper herbs in order to get back to optimum health by supporting all of your body's systems.
5. Check out "Rejuvenate Treasure- Postpartum Hair Oil," an oil blend I have formulated to help dull hair in the postpartum stage.
Now I'd like to hear from you- How do you improve the look and feel of your hair? Share these tips with a woman you know can benefit from them.
Postpartum hair loss: Causes, treatment & what to expect. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/23297-postpartum-hair-loss
North Atlantic Books. (2009). In Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and Modern Nutrition (pp. 388–388). essay.