Biotin for Postpartum Hair Growth: Goodbye Baby Bangs!

July 20, 2021

Biotin for Postpartum Hair Growth: Goodbye Baby Bangs!

In this article:

  • The hair follicle life cycle
  • Postpartum hair loss: What's normal?
  • How to support postpartum hair growth

The Hair Follicle Life Cycle

There are four phases in the hair growth cycle and each phase varies in length:

  1. Anagen: The anagen period of hair growth typically lasts between 3 to 5 years. That's right! You've been carrying around the same hair follicles for as long as 7 years in some cases! This isn't necessarily true of body hair, which typically has a much shorter anagen phase. At any given time, about 90 percent of the hairs on your head are in the anagen phase.
  2. Catagen: Once the growth phase of anagen ends, catagen begins. During catagen, the hair follicles shrink and hair growth slows. It's sometimes referred to as the transition phase as the hair detaches from the follicle and prepares for a new follicle to grow.
  3. Telogen: Telogen, the resting phase, is neither a state of growth or hair shedding.
  4. Exogen: This is the fallout or shedding phase. During exogen, the old, dead hairs are shed from the scalp. It's normal to lose 50-100 hairs per day while in the exogen phase. While that may seem like a lot, only about 10-15% of the hairs on your head are in this phase at a given time. This makes room for new growth.

Though anagen seems like the only stage that matters for healthy hair growth, it is possible to maintain healthy hair throughout all phases and even during and after pregnancy.

Postpartum Hair Loss: What's Normal?

Seeing any amount of hair clogging up the drain or collecting in the hairbrush is alarming to many people. Losing one hundred hairs seems like a lot of hair, yet it's normal. Poor diet, age, hair styling, thyroid conditions, hormonal changes, medications, genetics, autoimmune diseases, and skin conditions like alopecia can all contribute to hair loss in otherwise healthy individuals. Many new mothers have also been warned of the possibility of postpartum hair loss. So, if shedding 50-100 hairs per day pre-pregnancy is normal, what can be expected postpartum and what can you do to minimize it?

During pregnancy, more hair follicles remain in the anagen phase for longer periods due to hormonal changes. Yay baby mane! Bring it on! Then, about 3-6 months postpartum the follicles transition to the telogen phase due to the sudden drop in hormone levels. This form of temporary hair loss is called “telogen effluvium.” Telogen effluvium is a physiological response to stress. It's triggered by hormonal alterations (the plummet in estrogen levels post-pregnancy), physical trauma and environmental shock (hello childbirth!), medications like antidepressants, and vitamin deficiencies. It can cause bald spots to form (typically at the crown of the head) or thinning hair throughout the scalp, but it rarely results in a receding hairline.

Some studies measured that new mothers lose up to 50% of scalp hair overall and up to 400 hairs daily during the postpartum period.

Yes it's normal, yes it's temporary. Nevertheless, it's alarming to many new moms. Here are some natural ingredients and nutrients to add to your diet, topical products to try, and lifestyle changes you can make, both before and after the baby arrives. These can help minimize your postpartum hair loss and support faster, healthier hair regrowth.

How to Support Postpartum Hair Growth

There are typically two main goals new mothers establish when it comes to postpartum hair care: 1. minimize fallout and 2. speed up growth. A strange and somewhat silly side effect of hair regrowth is the growth of "baby bangs". Think micro-bangs that grow straight up as your hormones re-stabilize. This is certainly a good sign of new hair growth, but unless you pack a load of bobby pins and hair spray in the diaper bag, it can be hard to manage. Keep in mind that mothers who are breastfeeding should take extra caution and speak to their doctor before adding a new vitamin or supplement to their diet.

Here are some things you can do to avoid hair loss and speed up healthy hair growth:

  1. Try biotin & collagen: Biotin is widely regarded as the hair vitamin, but don't think you have to use it exclusively. When it comes to growing a long and luscious mane, biotin and collagen together are a powerhouse. Biotin, a water-soluble form of vitamin B, and collagen, the most abundant protein in your scalp and skin, can help promote healthy nail and hair growth. Both of these support the production of keratin, the protein component of your hair follicles. Biotin can be found naturally in many foods, whereas collagen is harder to come by through diet alone (read The Biotin Bible to learn about getting more through your diet). Now, not all biotin & collagen treatments are the same. In order to reap the Rapunzel-like benefits of these two ingredients, they need to be taken orally via a high-quality supplement, not applied topically. While certain specialty hair masks may make your hair silky smooth, these ingredients can't penetrate the scalp to work their magic.
  2. Use gentle, nourishing hair products: Harsh shampoos and conditioners can strip your hair of vitamins and nutrients needed to keep it silky and strong, while simultaneously coating it in a plastic/wax substance. That shine is only "skin" deep! Instead, use a natural and gentle wash + hydrate combo that uses ingredients like peppermint oil, humectants, and other botanicals and vitamins to wash your hair without stripping it. Your doctor or dermatologist can likely recommend a safe and effective hair loss shampoo that's backed by science, not just a sneaky marketing term.
  1. Eat a healthy diet rich in protein: Protein is needed to keep our scalp and hair follicles strong and solid to avoid breakage and fallout. Breastfeeding moms should get an extra 25 grams of protein in their diet per day, for a total of around 70-80 grams. Yogurt, lean chicken breast, tofu, eggs, beans, and nuts can all provide your body with healthy, lean protein. If you're having trouble tracking or getting enough protein through your meals alone, you can try taking a Marine Collagen Supplement that can be added to your favorite snacks and drinks, while adding 10g of protein per scoop! The Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health published a study which demonstrated that, in addition to being totally safe when taken during pregnancy and postpartum, collagen supplements may well improve quality of life and wound healing rates.
  2. Try a postnatal vitamin: It's quite common for moms to experience various nutritional deficiencies which can contribute to postpartum hair loss. As opposed to continuing your prenatal vitamins, switch to a postnatal multivitamin that is formulated with new mothers and their nutritional needs in mind. Baby Blues Postpartum Hair Loss Vitamin Gummies are an extremely popular hair vitamin among new mothers. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, zinc, collagen, and all star biotin to support mother and baby's health from all angles (including the wonderful benefit of hair regrowth).

We know hair loss is yet another event many new mothers juggle, so the goal is to prevent vitamin deficiencies and support mom's health holistically to lighten the load. With that said, as silly as they might look at first, those baby bangs are a reminder to the world of your body's resilience! Rock 'em while you've got 'em!

As one new mother put it "I found my purpose, and I lost my hair."

Summary Points

  • Poor diet, age, hair styling, thyroid conditions, hormonal changes, medications, genetics, autoimmune diseases, and skin conditions like alopecia can all contribute to hair loss in otherwise healthy individuals
  • About 3-6 months postpartum the follicles transition to the telogen phase due to the sudden drop in hormone levels
  • Some studies measured that new mothers lose up to 50% of scalp hair overall and up to 400 hairs daily during the postpartum period
  • Biotin, a water-soluble form of vitamin B, and collagen, the most abundant protein in your scalp and skin, can help promote healthy nail and hair growth
  • If you're having trouble tracking or getting enough protein through your meals alone, you can try taking a Marine Collagen Supplement that can be added to your favorite snacks and drinks, while adding 10g of protein per scoop




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