All things hair with Michael Van Clarke. Pregnancy & Postpartum hair
Two full term pregnancies later (while a third bun also half way, is cooking nicely) I can now talk about the several differences I have seen in both my pregnancy and postpartum hair.
Just like most women I’ve noticed that during pregnancy my hair is always becoming fuller, shinier and more vibrant. There is an article Michael Van Clarke wrote on the topic where he mentions this is thanks to various surges in oestrogen and other pregnancy hormones. Blood volume also rises during pregnancy by as much as 50% which helps keep the scalp nourished.
But there’s more. I’ve had a quick chat with Michael Van Clarke, the hair guru himself, who is sharing all his knowledge and expertise on what we can all do for healthier hair, especially after pregnancy. So if you’re a busy mum or expecting one, this might help you.
How is post pregnancy hair different?
In the normal hair growth cycle, 50-100 hairs are lost every day. This may seem scary if you are hunting through your brushes and shower tray because you are conscious and worried about it, but it is normal. Generally, around 80-90% of your hair is in the growth phase (Anagen) of its life cycle, but the hormonal changes during pregnancy hold more hairs in the growth or resting phase (Catagen) of the cycle. As a result, most women enjoy thicker hair during pregnancy, because the shedding part of the cycle (Telogen) is delayed.
But what happens after childbirth when several of the hormone levels drop quickly, including oestrogen and progesterone?
Those hormones will be almost back to normal levels within 24 hours after birth and the blood volume also decreases gradually back to normal within a few weeks. It has been noticed that postpartum hair loss affects most women to some degree. Following childbirth a larger number of hairs than normal enter the resting phase which is followed by hair shedding (and regrowth), so new mothers will experience greater than normal hair loss once the resting phase ends. It is a temporary phase and isn’t related to breastfeeding.
How often should new mums have a haircut? Should it be more often?
If they have lost hair, then trims a little more often will optimise the shape. But regardless, extra TLC is well earned so don’t hold back on your beauty regime.
How can a busy new mum establish a healthier hair routine? Tricks & tips
The hair loss usually starts at around three months after birth. This corresponds to the length of the resting phase of hair growth (between 1 and 5 months). The hair loss can seem more extreme if your hair grew much thicker during pregnancy, or if you have long hair. The normal hair growth cycle usually returns 6 to 12 months after birth.
Which products do you recommend changing to/ using more on our postpartum hair?
Mums are often time poor but take one evening a week and apply a regular treatment to hair, we recommend LifeSaver Pre-Wash and sit and enjoy a nice bubble bath. The treatment can be slept in overnight and washed out the next day. Or apply it to hair in the morning, style into a topknot or ‘Mum bun’ and go. The product dries to you hair without being greasy or wet. If you have naturally curly hair then you can style the product into your hair and simply leave it curly. You’ll really notice the difference.
My own tip: a good brush always helps, too! A month ago I started using the one in the photo below and gosh, no more hair brushing drama for none of us! Both kids have longer hair so we all use it and I hear now no more complaints and no more running away from brushing.
Voted No.1 by industry professionals, this brush has super smooth and flexible bristles made from Japanese nylon, that glide through the hair releasing knots without snagging or pulling. You can rerad more about it here.
What is the most common mistake women do when it comes to their hair?
Cheap or poorly executed haircuts are never a saving. A good haircut will do 95% of the work saving hours of unnecessary extra styling and fiddling with hair.
You can learn more about pregnancy and postpartum hair here.
Below are my favourite products I’ve been using on and off for over 3 years since my first visit to Michael van Clarke’s hair salon in the heart of Marylebone. I’m saying on and off because it’s in my curious nature which makes me try on new products each time I have the opportunity, however this trio below (shampoo, conditioner and treatment) is the one I went back to EVERY TIME. And I don’t believe there will be any changes anytime soon as it really works for my hair: I don’t have to wash it too often, it’s shiny, healthy looking and the prewash treatment is simply amazing – I only apply it about twice a month (or whenever my baby brain gives me the chance to remind myself!), but try and leave it overnight for better results. I don’t go often for a haircut and I don’t tend to style my hair much, except for using the straighter once a week.
The shampoo & conditioner below are my favourite hair products of all time. They’re silicone-free professional products rich in rare cashmere proteins and gentle cleansers. You can find them here.
So that’s my secret to healthier hair!
Not to mention that there is a scary figure of 99% of shampoos on the market which are using silicone in order to cover hair damage and I had no idea! If you find a good product that works for your hair like I did here, keep using it.