Healthy hair, at any age!
This month’s blog focuses on the health of your hair during some of the most exciting times of your life. At the time you become a new mom, and also when you get into your golden years, our hair completely changes how it looks and feels. This happens mostly because there is a big change in your body’s hormones. My tips at the end will help you in both situations.
Believe it or not, what happens after pregnancy, and also when you hit menopause, are very similar (who knew, right?) Throughout your pregnancy you will experience your hair in the best state it will ever be. There are typically three stages your hair goes through – the growth stage, the resting stage and the shedding stage. Your hormones that produce greater levels of estrogen during your pregnancy, and the increase in blood volume and circulation, keep your hair in the growth stage. You’re actually not growing more hair per se, you just don’t go through the resting or shedding stage during the entire time of your pregnancy.
You retain all of the hair you would have normally shed, which is typically 100 strands a day! I have a few clients that joke that they went for their 3rd child, just to return to pregnancy hair 😂. So enjoy every minute of beautiful full hair. Once you deliver your baby, hormone levels drop and your hair starts the shedding stage again. It will seem more than usual because it is happening at an increased volume, but its simply an accumulation of what you would have lost over the last nine months. This will peak around the fourth month. Hang in there, you will circle around to a normal cycle, but in the meantime it is recommended to continue your prenatal vitamins.
On to aging hair. As we age, things start to slow down. Among those are blood flow and hormone changes. This impacts hair growth and the condition of your hair. The natural oils that your body produces also slow down. That is why our hair gets brittle, while our skin gets dry. Remember how I mentioned earlier that during pregnancy you produce high levels of estrogen, which is one of the main reasons you have healthy, shiny hair? Unfortunately, it is just the opposite with age. Women actually see a decrease in estrogen production. Which makes the appearance of your hair look thinner and also the growth of new hair is less frequent.
Now for the GOOD NEWS ...
Here are a few of tips of post pregnancy and aging:
First, it starts with diet. Two most important pieces of diet – eating lean protein and drinking plenty of water. Always stay hydrated. If you are lacking in protein, vitamin supplements are always helpful - all vitamin B’s of course, but also Vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C helps you absorb the iron. There has also been evidence linked that collagen supplements are wonderful for your hair.
Second, washing less. I am always preaching this. The more you wash, the more you are removing your natural oils that hydrate your hair. And don’t forget, we produce these oils at a much slower pace now, so we have to be sure to hold on to the oil we were given. To all of the people out there that say “I have to wash because I’m too oily at the root”, this is because hair will over compensate for excessive hair washing. Give yourself one month of shampooing 2 (3 times tops) a week and you will see the difference. That has been one silver lining to so many people being home more often, clients are washing less and reaping the benefits!
Third, sulfate free shampoos. Products that have sulfates are harsher on the hair. Why would you use harsh shampoos on your thin delicate hair?
Finally, stress. Or lack thereof. When a body is stressed, it produces a hormone called cortisol. The body is so busy producing this, it has less time to produce the hormones to promote healthy hair. A less stressed body has the opportunity to right the balance and replenish those hormones. A good amount of daily sleep and some physical activity thrown into your day, are both big stress reliever‘s. And of course laughter is always good for the soul!
Life gets so busy, we often forget to take care of ourselves.
Good diet, water, sleep and laughter doesn’t sound too hard.
Now I have to take my own advice ;)