Hair Loss is an issue most women stress about. Of the many factors that can lead to thinning and loss of hair, pregnancy is one. So, if you notice that your hair has become finer post-birth, do not worry. Long, lustrous hair during pregnancy is something most pregnant women enjoy, while others experience sudden hair fall after that phase.
Brittle hair after pregnancy (or even hair loss) could be due to a change in the diet, stress with the baby, or even hormonal imbalance. Your hair texture might also change after delivery: it can get oily, dry, limp and can easily break.
The only way to stop this, and encourage regrowth of hair, is to take good care or the hair and follow a healthy diet. So here are a few essential nutrients you should include in your diet postpartum, to repair thinning and damaged hair.
Iron deficiency can especially cause severe hair loss in women post pregnancy. Including iron-rich foods such as iron, spinach, whole grains, pulses, lentils, etc. in the diet can minimize hair fall and keep the scalp healthy. Iron gives the hair the nutrition it needs and helps with active hair growth, helping you get back that gorgeous mane.
Like the other cells in the body, hair also requires vitamin A for healthy growth. It helps the skin glands produce a natural conditioning agent called sebum. The oily compound helps to moisturize and maintain a healthy scalp to prevent hair fall. Deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to severe hair fall, among other health complications.
Sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, lettuce, etc. are foods rich in beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Adding Vitamin A to your diet can also fight the issue of a dry and itchy scalp.
People with vitamin B deficiency have thin and brittle hair. Vitamin B or biotin converts the food we eat into fuel, to boost the growth of hair, nails, and skin. Some foods that are rich in biotin are sweet potatoes, cauliflower, avocados, nuts, and seeds, etc.
Including Biotin in the diet helps create RBCs that carry the nutrition and oxygen to the scalp and hair follicles, thus promoting healthy hair growth. Most dark, leafy greens contain biotin.
Did you know that your hair is mostly made of protein? Protein helps produce a compound called Keratin, which is fundamental for hair growth. It is a key element that promotes hair growth, and lack of it can cause damage and thinning of hair, followed by hair fall.
Besides animal products, plant-based foods such as lentils, chia seeds, nuts and seeds, quinoa, etc. that are rich in protein and can be included in your diet to minimize hair fall.
Zinc plays an important role in the growth and repair of the hair tissue. Studies show that hair loss is one of the most common symptoms of zinc deficiency in the body. You can find a good amount of zinc in plant-based foods such as oatmeal, spinach, pumpkin seeds, lentils, broccoli, etc.
However, excess zinc in the body can also contribute to hair loss. Post-pregnancy hair loss and brittle hair can be fought by adding a moderate amount of zinc-rich foods to your diet.
Vitamin C & E:
Oxidative stress can cause loss of hair. Vitamin C and E are both antioxidants that can help in the regrowth of hair after pregnancy. Vitamin C helps provide collagen, an important element of the hair structure that prevents the hair from aging. Some foods rich in vitamin C are guavas, citrus fruits, and peppers. Vitamin E also reduces stress and boosts hair growth. Almonds, spinach, avocados and sunflower seeds are some foods rich in vitamin E.
There are other options such as hair masks, medicated oils, and scalp massages to promote hair growth. Avoiding heat treatments also helps. However, not all hair treatment or repair options work all the time. Since most cases of hair fall are due to poor nutrition, a nutritious diet combined with a suitable hair treatment can be effective in preventing thinning and falling of hair in most women.
Start by focusing on a healthy diet and include natural sources of iron, zinc, and other vitamins in your diet to minimize hair fall and damage due to pregnancy. While a certain level of hair fall is normal due to deficiency of nutrients, excess hair fall even a year after pregnancy is worrisome and may need medical intervention.