How to Prevent Postnatal Hair Loss; a Guide for the Follically Anxious New Mum
It seems only fair that our otherwise punishing pregnancy hormones should reward us with the most spectacularly glorious skin and hair! My thick glossy locks almost made up for 40 weeks of nausea, fatigue, swollen ankles, mood swings, not to mention that incessant heartburn! (Plus numerous other side effects of pregnancy which I won't forget in a hurry)
Postpartum hair loss happens to every mother in varying degrees but isn’t usually as dramatic as it sounds. During the first three months to a year after giving birth we shed the hair our bodies held onto during pregnancy leaving us with our pre pregnancy hair count by the time our babies celebrate their first Birthdays. The good news is that it's very rare to be left with less hair than we started pregnancy with.
As the end of my pregnancy drew nearer people couldn't help reminding me that my 'baby hair' wouldn't last. I was bombarded with everyone's disappointing accounts of clumps of hair falling out or going limp, thin, dull or depressingly lifeless. The general theme was that Mother Nature giveth and mother nature (very much) taketh awayeth!
In a panic I took myself (and my wondrous pregnancy locks) to Salon 262 to see my sister senior stylist and owner of Salon 262 Letty. Letty assured me that although she couldn't give me a magic elixir (I suspected she was reserving that for her celebrity clients!) there were some fantastic plumping products by Kevin Murphy that would help keep the life body and lustrous thickness that I had become accustomed to.
After hearing all the horror stories I almost ripped her arm off for them!
Kevin Murphy Plumping Line
Kevin Murphy Body Mass Volume Spray
Kevin Murphy Body Mass Volume Spray promises to lengthen the growth phase of hair and promote strong healthy hair by increasing blood flow to the scalp. I used it for the first time the day I gave birth. I could tell from day one that the spray at the very least gave the appearance and feel of thicker hair. My already ridiculously lustrous hair looked and felt noticeably thicker immediately.
Plumping Wash and Rinse
Kevin murphy Plumping Wash and Rinse compliments the spray marvellously. Its made from ginger root and Nettle extracts which claim to strengthen and densify fine hair, or (in our cases) help the scalp retain it.
The first few times I used the shampoo (or 'wash') I didn't like it. It left my hair feeling sticky and greasy. After bothering the experts at Salon 262 for more advice It turns out there is more than one way to apply shampoo and conditioner (I mean wash and rinse) and I was getting it all wrong. Letty's instruction was to make your hair very very wet, then massage a small amount on your scalp quite thoroughly, rinse and repeat. The conditioner or 'Rinse' should be applied all over the hair even the root, rinse leaving about 20% of the conditioner still in the hair. Its like moisturiser for the hair in that its super lightweight and absorbed into the hair.
I couldn't believe that the way you apply the shampoo could make such a difference. I'm delighted with the results. It's close to achieving a salon look at home.
Letty advises using Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash once a week. Most other shampoos leave a build up of silicone and chemicals on your hair, its important to remove this build up in order for the wash and rinses to absorb into your hair and work effectively.
Apply Maxi Wash to the roots and pull it through your hair, then massage it into the hair and scalp (avoiding scrubbing). The Maxi Wash will gently exfoliate your hair and scalp removing build up.
Caring for Your Baby Hair
Here are some tips Letty has suggested we try alongside the Kevin Murphy goodies to aid in keeping hold of our baby hair as long as possible and maybe even forever...
Don't over wash!
Over stimulation of the scalp can cause more hairs to fall out. I started washing my hair every 2-3 days. This will also minimise blow drying which in turn contributes to hair loss.
and use a wide tooth comb when wet to minimise damage when combing out tangles.
Ensure your hair is healthy from the inside out. Keep taking those lovely post natal vitamins and drink plenty of water and fresh fruit and veg.
Treating yourself to a new style wont fail to boost your confidence. Your stylist will be able to recommend a cut that will add texture and body.
Having your hair coloured with a gentle dye like Dia Richesse can plump it up and camouflage any thinning. Dia Richesse is ammonia free and gentle enough to use during pregnancy and whilst breast feeding and also provides many lovely nutrients for the hair. It always gives my hair a lovely shine that lasts for weeks.
It wasn't until 6 weeks postpartum that I noticed my hair shedding slightly when washing it. The loss was very minimal, no more dramatic than the amount that I was used to losing each time I washed it before pregnancy. Considering that I now wash my hair less often in a bid to keep more of it then I would say its shedding less than usual.
Obviously I shouldn't sign off without acknowledging that there's no way to tell how my hair would have faired if I had carried on as normal. That said I'm now 3 months post party and my hair's never been thicker. For me the products work very well and I particularly love the Body Mass Volume Spray. I've even booked a cut with Letty at Salon 262 next month for a short chic bob as my long hair is out of control and takes so long to dry as theres so much of it now!
All of the products I tested are available to buy from Salon 262. Contact the salon to book an appointment, or just drop by to discuss the products with one of the stylists.