I have a severe hair loss after delivery. Now my baby is 1 year old but still my hair loss is not reduced. I feel either my hair or scalp to be oily. How to confirm whether I have a oily scalp or oily hair?

Hair loss after delivery usually occurs due to hormonal problems and affects about 50 % of women. Do not be alarmed if you suddenly notice your hair coming out in clumps or handfuls, soon after you have given birth. Remember that hair loss after delivery affects most new mothers, although some are more affected than others. This hair loss after pregnancy occurs within one to five months of giving birth. In most cases, this is more noticeable and felt around the third month. This hair loss after delivery can be a disturbing situation and unnerving too as many young mothers feel that the hair loss after childbirth is affecting their looks. However, women who experience hair loss after delivery do not have to worry unnecessarily. In most cases, this is a temporary problem and will work itself out, without any treatment, as the body will do the work itself. For most women, recovery from this hair loss after delivery occurs within 9-12 months after childbirth. If you notice hair loss and thinning after you have had your baby, you may be suffering from Telogen Effluvium. This term refers to the increase in hair loss due to a sudden change in one's life, for instance childbirth or severe stress.

During pregnancy, there are changes that occur in the hormones in the body. The levels of the estrogen and progesterone increase. This is the reason why most women experience an increase in their scalp hair. However, after childbirth there is a dramatic decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels in the body so that the body can return to normal levels. This decrease results in hair loss after delivery. This decrease causes the hair to fall into the resting stage and soon the hair follicles start falling out. Unfortunately, the normal hair loss that was delayed due to pregnancy starts to fall out at the same time as well. One normally loses 100-125 hairs in a day, but after childbirth, a woman may start losing close to about 500. Other causes for hair loss after delivery include hormonal problems like an overactive or underactive thyroid gland. Hair loss can be triggered by any changes in the estrogen hormone balance in women. Termination of a pregnancy through abortion, a still born delivery, a miscarriage or birth control pills could also be responsible for hair loss.

It is important to note that women do not experience complete hair loss. For most females, hair loss is the due endocrine problems. Other female hair loss causes include:-

  • The natural aging process.
  • The onset of menopause
  • A genetic predisposition is generally the reason why most females suffer from hair loss.
  • The use of oral contraceptives: Birth control pills cause significant changes in a woman's hormones. Stopping these birth control pills can cause hair loss as well.
  • Improper nutrition plays a role in female hair loss as well. Studies have shown that a diet that is high in fat and calories results in early loss of hair.
  • Using unsuitable hair products could be responsible too.
  • Hair styling habits like excessive blow drying, hair straightening, bleaching, coloring and so on also contribute to hair loss.
  • Being anemic is another reason for hair loss in women.

There are a number of things a woman can do to stimulate hair growth.

  • Eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables
  • Avoid fine tooth combs, hair is fragile when it is wet, be gentle with it.
  • Check with your medical practitioner to ensure you are getting a balance of hormones.
  • Use cooler settings if you must use a hair dryer to style your hair.

answered by M W

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