Healthy Hair After Pregnancy

Healthy Hair After PregnancyIt almost seems like a cruel joke, women notice that their hair looks shinier and thicker during pregnancy, but three to six months after giving birth, they may find themselves struggling with hair loss.

Why hair loss can happen

As we have discussed before, a hair follicle may produce a new hair every three to four months and then rest. During the rest period, ‘old hair’ falls out and makes room for the new hair to grow. However, the hair follicle rest periods are drastically reduced during pregnancy because of the abundance of hormones. After the estrogen levels are reduced again after giving birth, the hair follicle rest mode is going to work harder than before to return to normal.

This means that between 5 and 10 percent of hair needs to return to rest mode, which is natural. While this may be natural, it may seem as though you are losing more hair because the resting state was dramatically reduced during pregnancy. So in short, the woman is not going bald; it is simply the hair growth coming back to normal. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this hair loss will affect approximately 50% of women.

Hair regrowth

The hair lost after pregnancy will eventually grow back. However, it is possible to enhance hair regrowth by maintaining adequate nutrition or supplementation. Most women lose a great deal of nutrients through breastfeeding. The normal regrowth rate for most women (approximately 1/2 inch per month) should be back to normal between six and twelve months after the woman delivers her baby.

Enhancing hair regrowth

While avoiding hair loss after giving birth entirely may be impossible, there are ways to ensure that hair loss is reduced. It is important to be gentle with the hair while it is fragile; this means no flat irons, curling irons, or blow dryers because these provide excessive heat that may damage the hair.

As previously mentioned, it is important to provide a proper hormone balance. This means a well-balanced diet that contains antioxidants and flavonoids. In addition, in order to help stimulate regrowth and reduce hair loss, it may be a good idea to consider supplementing with minerals or vitamins.

Sulfur and Hair Loss

Sulfur and Hair LossSulfur is a naturally occurring mineral and a key component of a number of different nutrients that we consider essential for our health. Some nutrients that depend on sulfur include the vitamins thiamin and biotin, and the amino acids taurine, cysteine, and methionine.

The vital functions of sulfur

Because it is a part of some of the amino acids in our body and part of keratin (a family of fibrous structural proteins), sulfur provides additional strength to our nails, skin, and our hair. It also helps with the production of collagen, an important element that helps our body create artery walls, cell structure, and connective tissues.

Sulfur and hair loss

This important mineral does not just benefit our overall health, but will also help regrow hair. If we look at the makeup of hair, we will see that our hair is naturally rich in sulfur. Sulfur can provide nutrients and stimulate the circulation of our hair, skin, and nails. Because it works so well in many different aspects of our body, it is often referred to as the “beauty mineral.”

That is not the only benefit to increasing our sulfur intake to a healthy level. Sulfur will help metabolize B vitamins, including Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B7, all of which are important vitamins for healthy hair. It is possible that a lack of sulfur leads to hair loss or hair that feels weak or dry to the touch.

Natural food sources

It is possible to make sure that you receive enough sulfur through your diet, but it would require a balanced diet that many people simply do not follow. The sulfur dioxide gas leaking into the air produces a smell that has been likened to rotten eggs. It is possible to find sulfur in protein-rich animal foods such as seafood, poultry, beef, eggs, and dairy. Especially egg yolk is a great source of sulfur. Some naturel produce sources of sulfur include raspberries, seaweed, kale, turnips, garlic, and onions.

MSM and Hair Loss Prevention

msm and hair loss - toji pure densityMany people on the Internet are talking about the positive benefits of Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM and hair loss prevention. What is it exactly? This water-soluble, sulfur-based compound comes from the ocean and is the third most abundant ingredient in the human body. MSM has been cited to have many benefits to growing healthy hair. MSM is naturally found in many plants and vegetation -adding MSM to your hair regimen may be a good idea if you are trying to grow the healthiest hair possible.

What is MSM and hair loss prevention?

It is a naturally occurring form of organic sulfonyl sulfur. We can find this compound in the fluid of every living organism on the planet. We also find it in a number of different foods, including a number of grains, meat, milk, green vegetables, and most of the raw, fresh fruits. It is also present in many common beverages such as tea, coffee, and milk. This crystalline solid sulfur powder is tasteless, odorless, and a pure white.

How can MSM help with stronger and longer hair?

Studies show that MSM provides stabilizing effect on the functions of our body. The sulfur in MSM is necessary for keratin and collagen, both of which are essential components for healthy nails, skin, and hair. MSM also provides established antioxidant benefits. These can alter or disrupt the chain reactions of lipid peroxidation that causes damage to the cell membranes.

A safe alternative

MSM is considered a safe substance to take; its toxicity is similar to water. Approximately 85% of the sulfur found in all living organisms is composed of MSM and its related compounds. Unfortunately, much of MSM is lost because of its volatile composition during even moderate processing. Long-term storage, pickling, smoking, drying, and traditional cooking can all deplete the MSM content of our food.

Peer-reviewed studies

A study published in the July issue of “Biomolecules & Therapeutics” in 2009, used magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) alongside MSM. The study was performed on laboratory mice and a constant 7.5% MAP solution was provided to the mice with an MSM solution ranging from 1%, 5%, and 10%. The study demonstrated that the rate of hair growth for the mice was directly linked to the percentage of MSM administered. A higher percentage of MSM led to more hair growth. This demonstrates that a combination of MAP and MSM can promote healthy hair growth.

The Hair Growth Cycle

Hair Growth CycleEven though our hair may not look it when we observe it with the naked eye, it is constantly renewing, regenerating, and being replaced. The hair growth cycle for every hair has a long period of growth and relatively short period of rest. During the rest period of the hair growth cycle, the hairs are still connected to the hair follicle, but have stopped growing completely. After the resting phase is over, a new hair begins to grow as the old hair is shed. Thus, the entire hair growth cycle starts over. We look at the three stages that the growth cycle of a hair consists of.

The growing stage – anagen

This is the actual growing stage of the hair follicle and takes quite a bit longer than most people may assume. The anagen stage will typically last between three to five years.

The intermediate stage – catagen

Hair follicles do not move from the growing stage directly to the resting phase; they go through the intermediate stage known as catagen first. During this phase, the hair follicles are preparing to enter the resting phase. The deeper portions of the hair follicles begin to collapse and the phase only lasts anywhere between one and two weeks.

The resting or shedding phase – telogen

We have come to the end of the line for the hair follicle and arrived at the resting period. This will take anywhere between three and four months and the older hairs begin to fall out, leaving room for newer hairs to grow. The majority of the growth cycle of a hair follicle is taken up by the anagen phase (approximately 90%). At any given time, approximately 10% of the hairs on our head are going through the telogen or catagen phase, which means that they are not actively growing. However, we avoid bald spots during this process because the hair follicles are distributed over the scalp randomly.

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