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After pregnancy I started looking for ways to improve my postpartum hair problems. I had been lucky and had enjoyed a pregnancy glow with shiny thick hair. But then my postpartum hair problems began and I had to go searching for ways to fix it.
What happens to my hair during pregnancy?
During pregnancy you have higher levels of the hormone oestrogen. This hormone prevents your hair from shedding as often, which means you could have thick, shiny hair. Your hair can also change colour or texture to become frizzy, curlier or straighter. However, not everyone has the lovely glossy thick pregnancy hair, some pregnant women will have hair that becomes very oily and greasy or very dry and brittle. These changes will tend to happen during the second trimester.
Throughout both of my pregnancies my hair was great. It was shinyand thick, which I loved because I naturally have thin hair. It was also lessfrizzy than normal and took less time to style. I loved my pregnancy hair.
Click on Childbirth the Essential Guide to find out all you need to know about labour, delivery and postpartum care.
What happens to my hair postpartum?
Around three months postpartum most women will see a change
I hated my postpartum hair after both of my pregnancies and it really changed the way I felt about myself. The first few months postpartum is such a hard time, you are adjusting to having a new baby, you’re exhausted physically and mentally and your body is still recovering from having a baby. To help me I needed to find small things that made me feel more like myself and one of those things was improving the condition of my hair. Postpartum my hair was extremely dry and brittle and this meant it was a tangled mess most of the time. It was also breaking off so easily, as well as going thin. Not a great mix! So I tried a lot of different suggestions to improve my hair and these are the ones that worked for me.
8 Ways to improve my postpartum hair
Get a haircut
A great place to start is by getting a haircut. How you choose to have it cut depends on your preference and the condition of your hair. I know several ladies who had their hair cut short postpartum to improve its condition and make it more manageable to style. I don’t like my hair cut short, so the alternative is to get a good trim and make sure you get rid of the split ends.
Try different hairstyles
Experiment with different hairstyles as using the same one everyday can put stress on the same parts of the hair. Try a different ponytail or plait instead of washing and styling your hair. YouTube have lots of tutorials and Pinterest is full of new hairstyle ideas.
Wash it less often
I used to wash and style my hair nearly every day! Now I make sure it is only washed every other day. I can’t quite make it last three days I have tried, but I don’t like how it feels after two days. Dry shampoo is a life saver and I use it on the days inbetween styling to freshen up my hair.
Use a good shampoo and conditioner
I tried a lot of different hair products and read a lot of different reviews. I found that a shampoo and conditioner for fine hair and decided to give it a go. I used a hair mask for fine hair once a week – I put it on in the shower and leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing it out. Sometimes I just use it on the ends of my hair if they are feeling a bit dry and this really seems to help. For everyday use I always use John Frieda shampoo and conditioner as I find this really suits my hair type.
Use less Heat
Try to limit the amount of heat you use on your hair. I love my hairdryer and straighteners and won’t leave the house without straight hair, but I have tried to limit heat styling to every other day. I also a leave-in heat treatment which leaves my frizzy hair much smoother and straighter.
A good diet is especially important if you are breastfeeding as you need to make sure your body is getting the right amount of nutrition. I found drinking more water helped both my skin and hair – I think I was getting dehydrated from not drinking enough while breastfeeding.
Use a hair oil
There are lots of different hair oils you can try and it is best to experiment until you find a combination that is best for your hair. As I have fine hair if I use any product too much my hair just gets greasy and flat. I have found coconut oil is a good deep conditioner and I use this every few months when my hair needs a pick me up. I warm the coconut oil in my hands and run it through the lengths of my hair, I try not to put much on the roots. Then I wrap it in a towel and leave it for at least an hour and then I wash it as normal.
I always use a hair oil because it adds shine to my dry hair and helps to tame the frizz. I use it in two ways, if my hair is feeling particularly dry at the ends I add a couple of pumps of oil through the mid length to the ends of my hair before I style it. If it is a day I am not washing it and the ends need a refresh or if it has gone frizzy I will run one pump of oil lightly over the surface of my hair to smooth the fly-aways and add some shine.
Pregnacare new mum vitamins contain biotin and zinc to strengthen the protein infrastructure in hair, skin and nails. I tried taking vitamins for a few months and I found it does take a while to see a difference and you have to take them consistently. When I am taking them regularly my hair and nails are much stronger and grow quicker. I haven’t been taking them recently and my nails have started snapping off again.
If you are struggling with your hair postpartum, just remember that it will improve with time. But there are things that you can do to improve it and taking care of yourself is so important. Happy mum, happy baby!