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Postpartum Hair Loss: Understanding the Causes and TCM Treatments

Updated: May 7

Hair loss is a common experience for new mothers, particularly during the postpartum period. It can be a source of great concern and anxiety, affecting self-esteem and confidence during an already challenging time. Postpartum hair loss is a temporary hair shedding that occurs after childbirth, typically starting around 2 to 4 months after delivery. The condition is caused by hormonal changes, specifically a sudden drop in estrogen levels, which can lead to increased hair loss. This shedding is normal and affects up to 50% of women after childbirth. However, despite its prevalence, many mothers are unaware of the causes of postpartum hair loss and how to manage it. In this blog, we will explore the common causes of postpartum hair loss and offer practical tips and remedies to help new mothers cope with this common condition.

After childbirth, a woman's body undergoes several hormonal changes, including a rapid decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels. Estrogen, a hormone that supports hair growth, is responsible for keeping hair in the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle. During pregnancy, high levels of estrogen prevent hair from shedding, leading to thicker, fuller hair. However, after giving birth, estrogen levels drop significantly, causing hair to enter the telogen (resting) phase prematurely. As a result, hair follicles stop producing new hair and existing hair falls out. This process can last several months, leading to noticeable hair loss and thinning. Additionally, stress and lack of sleep, which are common after childbirth, can also exacerbate hair loss. By understanding the science behind postpartum hair loss, new mothers can take steps to manage their symptoms and promote healthy hair growth.

Timeline of postpartum hair loss

Postpartum hair loss typically starts around 2-4 months after giving birth, when estrogen levels begin to return to normal. This is because during pregnancy, high levels of estrogen keep hair in the growth phase, resulting in thick, luscious locks. However, after giving birth, the drop in estrogen levels causes hair to enter the resting phase and eventually fall out. The shedding may last up to a year after childbirth, but hair growth typically returns to normal within 6-12 months. It is important to note that every woman's experience with postpartum hair loss may vary, and some may experience more severe hair loss or a longer timeline for regrowth.

Many TCM treatments can help to address postpartum hair loss

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers various treatments that can help alleviate postpartum hair loss. One of the most popular TCM treatments is acupuncture, which involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate blood flow and promote hair growth. Herbal remedies are also commonly used to nourish the scalp and hair follicles. These remedies may include herbal teas or supplements containing ingredients like dong quai, ginseng, and goji berries, which are believed to help balance hormones and promote hair health.

Scalp guasha is another TCM technique that can be used to treat postpartum hair loss. Practitioners will typically use a bojin tool to gently scrape the skin in upward and downward motions. The pressure applied can vary depending on the individual's comfort level, but it is generally a gentle and relaxing experience. The aim of this technique is to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and release any tension in the muscles and tissues. Head guasha is believed to help promote healthy hair growth and reduce hair loss by increasing circulation to the scalp.

One effective treatment that combines several TCM soups is Signature Detox Scalp - Tou Dao Tang. This treatment involves the use of three different soups to detoxify, nourish and soothe the scalp. The treatment involves the use of special herbal soups that are applied to the scalp to improve blood circulation and nourish the hair follicles. The soups are formulated to address specific scalp and hair concerns, such as dandruff, damaged scalp, and greying hair.

Overall, TCM treatments for postpartum hair loss aim to restore balance to the body and promote overall health, which can help to improve hair growth and reduce hair loss.


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