No doubt about it, pregnant women are absolutely beautiful. Along with that special "glow," expectant mothers often report that their skin, nails, and -- especially -- their hair have never been healthier. It turns out that the extra blood volume and hormones needed to grow a tiny human can be a real beauty boost.
Fast forward to a few months after giving birth. Of course, any new parent is going to be exhausted. But new moms also report a shocking and often unanticipated phenomenon: noticeable hair loss.
Not to worry! All of this is quite normal, as is slow and steady regrowth of that lost hair. But there are some things a new mom can do -- such as sleeping on a silk pillowcase and using silk hair accessories -- to protect her tresses through postpartum shedding and growth back to their pre-pregnancy glory. Mulberry Park Silks is here to take a closer look.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?
As dramatic as postpartum hair loss can be, it's technically a balancing of the scales. We normally shed about 50 to 100 hairs per day. During pregnancy, however, that shedding slows way down, as estrogen and other pregnancy hormones power up the hair follicle to prevent hair loss, resulting in lustrous, thicker hair. The hair that women lose after giving birth is "making up" for all the extra hair they didn't shed while pregnant.
Still, it isn't pretty.
An informal survey of our team here at Mulberry Park Silks reveals that many of the moms on staff spent their child-bearing years rotating through states of thick, gorgeous hair (pregnancy); temporary hair shedding, or telogen effluvium (five to six months after giving birth); frizzy regrowth of baby hair (while hoping this doesn't happen during the summer humidity); and, just as their hair grew in, perhaps another pregnancy which raises their estrogen level and starts the hair cycle all over again.
Five Smart Suggestions for Postpartum Hair Care
Happily, there are a handful of things you can do to make this process less traumatic on the hair (and the mom!). It's all about keeping hair protected, encouraging healthy hair growth, and minimizing frizz. While none of the below recommendations are meant to replace advice from a medical or hair care professional, these suggestions have worked quite well for us.
1. Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase
Sleeping on a Mulberry Park silk pillowcase is great for any type of hair, not just postpartum hair in the shedding and regrowth cycle. There are two main reasons for this:
- A silk pillowcase is smooth and friction free, which allows hair to glide across its surface. There is no tugging, pulling, or tearing at hair, which can happen with cotton pillowcases (even the smoothest cotton pillowcase has tiny fibers that can snag hair). Silk pillowcases are wonderful for protecting even the most fragile regrowth from damage and hair breakage.
- Like hair itself, silk is protein based; the natural proteins and amino acids in silk fiber help hair stay hydrated and healthy (a contrast to cotton, which is absorbent and can dry out hair). In fact, many salon quality shampoo and hair care products actually contain silk protein. A silk pillowcase is wonderful for fighting frizz, which can be particularly troublesome during the regrowth phase where the new hair is short.
The bottom line: a pure mulberry silk pillowcase is the perfect place for a new mom to get some well-deserved rest while protecting her hair. It's gentle on hair in any stages of loss and regrowth; nourishes and protects hair; and -- maybe best of all -- feels incredibly luxurious. Our pure silk pillowcases come in a variety of momme weights and colors to suit any style and budget. To learn more about choosing the right momme weight in a silk pillowcase, click here.
2. Use Silk Scrunchies
Given that pillow time is at a premium for any new parent, mom's access to her silk pillowcase may be limited. The good news is, she can derive the benefits of silk around the clock with Mulberry Park silk scrunchies and head scarves. And on a practical front, little hands tend to grab everything in sight, so most moms of babies and toddlers are putting their hair up to avoid the pain of getting it pulled.
Mulberry Park Silks scrunchies are a huge upgrade to standard elastic hair ties (and even cotton scrunchies) which can pull and tear at even healthy hair. Just like a silk pillowcase, our scrunchies keep hair moisturized and protected; at the same time, they hold your ponytail or bun stylishly in place while minimizing snags, pulling, and dents. These come in two sizes, Large (for thick, coarse, or curly hair) and Skinny (for shorter, delicate, or fine hair) in Light,Gray, or Desert Sand color palettes. Learn more about the benefits of our silk scrunchies here.
3. Choose Gentle, Strengthening Shampoo and Hair Products
The new moms on our staff have a couple of favorite products, including Honeydew Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner, which is a gentle, nutrient-rich formula that contains Vitamin B7 (biotin) known for strengthening hair follicles. They also recommend using a clarifying shampoo once every week or so to remove built-up residue from shampoo, conditioner, and styling products that clog hair follicles and hamper regrowth. We like this one from Bumble & Bumble but have also found that this budget-friendly version from Suave works quite well. Of course, being huge fans of silk, we also love Biosilk Silk Therapy leave-in treatment which is made with real silk! This leave-in treatment is made to fill voids in the cuticle to replenish and reconstruct hair while leaving it soft and shiny. Of course, talk to your doctor or hair care professional before adding any products to your hair care routine, particularly if you are a nursing mother (topical regrowth agents meant to reverse hair loss are often prohibited for anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding).
4. Skip Washing and Styling Your Hair Once in a While
Giving your hair the occasional break from washing can definitely help it grow healthier. Too much shampooing (and too much hot water!) can dry out your hair and make it prone to breakage, which is something you definitely DON'T want when you're trying to encourage growth. The same goes for any heavy-duty heat styling like a blow dryer or flat iron. All of these strip hair and scalp of their natural oils and moisture. . So we're giving you a guilt-free pass to ditch your shampoo and styling routine any time. And let's face it, with a new baby attached to you, you've got your hands happily full anyway.
5. Use A Detangling Brush
If you ask us, the detangling brush is one of the greatest hair care inventions of all time. We absolutely love our Wet Brush for detangling wet hair without the knots, nests, and pulls. In fact, we've got several of these stashed around our house and cars just in case!
We hope you find these suggestions helpful!
As a leading manufacturer and retailer of silk pillowcases and accessories, we naturally spend a lot of time thinking about hair (our own and everyone else's). So when our silk products can help solve a problem like postpartum hair loss, we love sharing the news. And in the interest of total transparency, we want to tell you more about our silk and our company.
More About Our Silk
If you're considering buying silk pillowcases and hair accessories, you want only the highest quality, safest products in your home (especially with a new baby!). At Mulberry Park Silks, we welcome the chance to explain why our silk is just that and use the helpful acronym CHARMS to clarify:
Please visit us online and check out our blog to learn more about our wonderful silk products and how they can enhance your health, comfort, and well-being.