Most mother’s, myself included, have experienced hair loss a few months after a baby’s birth; this is typically caused by hormonal changes post-delivery and is anticipated to last a few months, though in some cases it can last up to a year.
During pregnancy, excessive amount of hair goes into resting phase, which is part of the normal hair loss cycle. The rise in hormones during pregnancy prevents loss of hair. After delivery, the hormones return to normal levels, which allows the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle.
While hair loss is expected as hormones normalize, from an Ayurvedic perspective, diet, lifestyle and home remedies can be used to minimize this impact and restore bodies natural balance as quickly as possible. Here are some Ayurveda’s trusted advise to manage post pregnancy hair loss.
Since delivering a child is a mostly a Vata (Space and Air) aggravating event driven by the gap left in the womb after childbirth and the process of childbirth itself , a diet focusing on bring the space and air qualities into harmony will be the best approach. A Vata imbalance can destroy hair follicle roots and make it easier for hair to fall out. To best manage this, think the opposite of space and air qualities (cold, dry and light), and focus on warm and grounding foods such as mung dal, carrots, beets, squash, etc. Particularly focus on iron rich foods such as green vegetables to boost hemoglobin production and blood formation after delivery.
It is not enough to just eat the right food; you must also eat the right way. Focus on freshly made warm food and avoid leftovers. Add light movement to your lifestyle, nature walks, Hatha Yoga, etc. to encourage blood circulation. Lastly, remember mindfulness matters; adding practice of meditation and box breathing can be helpful in brining mindfulness which in turn will enhance blood circulation to the scalp.
The most important thing you can do is a scalp massage with ayurvedic herb infused hair oils. Hair loss can be minimized by oiling and massaging the scalp at least once or twice a week before washing your hair. Massaging stimulates hair growth by enhancing blood circulation to your scalp, while herbal oils pacify overflowing Vata and Pitta energies from your scalp. Some of the Vata and Pitta pacifying herbs to be used in the hair oils are yashtimadhu (licorice), kumari (aloe vera), amla (Indian gooseberry), and shatavari (wild asparagus).