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Hair Loss/Persistant hair loss after childbirth

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Question
Hi Michael. I am 33 years old. I had my son 19 months ago and sure as nuts, the dreaded postpartum hairloss started about 2 months after giving birth. My concern is that my hair is still shedding. If it was TE, surely it would have stopped by now. I have tried everything, all sorts of "hair loss shampoo's", blood tests for auto-imune desease, progesterone, testosterone, iron, thyriod, Vit D count, you name it. All came back normal, apart from low testosterone which doesn't seem to cause hair loss. I can't imagine whatelse I can try? I am taking vitamins and evening primrose oil. I do stress alot but have always as it is in my nature, but never suffered hair loss from that or anything. I don't understand how having a baby can still cause havoc in the body almost 2 years later. The only thing I can think of, is that I took the morning after pill about 3 months ago. I only used it once. Could that have sparked the shedding again? It was getting better round August, then I took the moring after pill in September, then in November the shedding was horrible again. I do see white bulbs at the end. I am not on any other meds apart from the vitamins. I have never suffered hair loss at all in my entire life, until after childbirth. Do you have any suggestions or ideas as to what I can do or what could still be causing this shedding. My hair is super duper thin, as you can imagine non-stop shedding for 18 months now. I am really sad and my self-confidence has taken a bad knock :(.

Answer
Hello Yolandi ... postpartum hair loss is never fun.  As if having the baby wasn't enough!  Hang in there.  There is a lot of hope in this situation.

First of all, be very gentle with your hair, especially when you are showering or drying it. I probably don't need to tell you not to use heated styling tools on it or not to pull it back in tight braids or ponytails.  Be gentle when shampooing and drying.

Secondly, now, more than ever, watch your diet and learn about proper nutrition, for you and your family (especially the newest member!).  For instance, vitamins ... why vitamins when we really should get all we need with wise food choices.  By the way, it's great that all your other tests came back negative, especially your iron.

Our hair is a very sensitive part of our body.  So sensitive that stress can cause it to fall out.  Think about what food and environmental factors can do!  For sure, you should cut out dairy from your diet.  100% As to the rest, please check out the food chart on this web site:

http://www.ornishspectrum.com/proven-program/nutrition/

Click on "food choices" to see the most amazing and easy to understand chart of healthy and unhealthy foods.  This will help a great deal.  And while you're at it, look at the rest of the program, which stresses emotional and physical health through increased love, better nutrition, more exercise and stress management ...

Which brings me to this.  Yes, I do believe you are suffering from telogen effluvium still.  If stress and worry continues, so too can the TE.  You may very well be stuck in a cycle of it.  NOBODY's true nature is to worry and stress out.  That's the modern world that makes us do that and we ought not do that.  It's a very large threat to our health and happiness, stress.  You're 33, you just had a child and your body and hormones are going to begin to change.

How much depends on you.  This is a perfect time to get very active.  Take care of your child, but take care of YOU.  Make sure you are being creative and reading and enjoying your own life, as well as the task of motherhood.  Make sure your lover and you continue to be intimate and communicate and nurture that as well.  Exercise together.  Do as much as you can together.  That way there is little chance of growing apart later.

Minimizing stress requires that we understand that there is only so much we can do about what happens in "life".  We don't know what is going to happen in the next moment, let alone what is going to happen tomorrow or next year.  This IS that spiritual teaching we all hear about but is hard to practice ... stay in the moment.  Not in the past or the future.

Manage your stress, ditch the dairy, increase your commitment to nutrition and exercise, nurture your loving relationships, drink lots of water and you're heading in the right direction.  Your hair will grow back, but only if you give it a chance to.  Our hair is the proverbial canary in the coalmine, along with our skin, and when things are happening on our skin or hair, we have to look at our habits, both physical and emotional.

The morning after pill probably has little to do with your shedding, but it didn't help, I'm sure.  Your body is probably very sensitive to change so listen to it.

Let me know how it all goes, Yloandi.

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Michael Garcia

Expertise

I can offer keen insight and expert, unbiased advice regarding hair loss treatments and solutions for men, women and children who are suffering from virtually any hair loss condition.

Experience

I have worked as a consultant in the hair loss industry for over 14 years. I am editor and spokesman for hairloss.com, the largest and most high profile hair loss-related website on the Internet today.

Organizations
I am a member of the American Hair Loss Council.

Publications
My writing has appeared in the National Hair Journal, HairLoss.com, LA Weekly as well as the Los Angeles Times.

Education/Credentials
I hold a BA in English and Philosophy with an MA in Comparative Literature.

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