Last week a girl sent us a consult, to tell us she was going bald. In fact, her hairdresser had told her quite clearly. She lost more than 100 (???) hairs a day and that was a bad symptom and without a doubt that “alopecia” was the fault of lactation. He explained that this was what happened to all breastfeeding mothers. That breastfeeding depleted the vitamins in the mother’s body and that this caused that capillary misfortune.
Apparently, everyone knows that breastfeeding causes devastating hair loss in the baby’s first months and mothers must supplement themselves with multivitamins to reduce the disaster. As always, popular wisdom is partly right, and it is no coincidence that so many mothers complain of heavy hair loss in the first months of maternity.
So, is it the fault of breastfeeding?
No, breastfeeding is not to blame for hair loss.
It can be very helpful to know normal hair growth, which occurs in three cycles:
The anagenesis or growth phase: the cells of the hair bulb actively divide and produce hair growth. This phase lasts from two to six years. In general, approximately 85 to 90 percent of all hair on the scalp is in this phase.
The catagen or transition phase: the hair stops growing and the lower part of the follicle involves for a period of two to three weeks.
The telogenic or resting phase: the hair does not grow and is loose until it finally detaches. The telogen phase lasts three to four months.
During pregnancy, the scalp is in the first phase. The mane looks spectacular but after giving birth, comes the moment of fall, fall “all” at once, which is called “telogen effluvium.
It is a process not determined by the feeding of the baby. Luckily, after a few months, between 6 and 15, everything returns to normal and the fall is stopped at once.
And is there anything I can do?
Waiting for it to pass is an option. If you want to buy shampoos with anti-hair loss or vitamins, they are usually expensive but compatible with breastfeeding. You will also find articles on the Internet about natural treatments to reduce or prevent hair loss which, as you know, have no evidence that they are effective and are not always compatible with breastfeeding.
And since we mentioned it, whenever you have doubts about the compatibility of a product or medicine with breastfeeding, you can consult the renowned website of the paediatricians of the association APILAM: www.e-lactancia.org