There are some things about the 4th trimester that I had a vague awareness of. The way my body would look after delivery (shout out to all the Moms posting real photos on IG so I wasn't disillusioned), the lack of sleep, constant milk machine, even the hair shedding. What I had zero clue was that I would be able to rival John Travolta in Grease with my oily strands.
This isn't an exaggeration. I would finally get the chance to take a shower and rinse my hair. I would double shampoo, then condition and.... bam greasy oily scalp and hair...fresh from a wash. WHY!!!
Are hormones causing my greasy hair?
When I first started trying to figure out why my hair was so slick I was met with the basic post pregnancy answer: It's a result of your hormones trying to go back to normal. Story of my postpartum life...just trying to go back to normal after baby. Ok, so how do I get there (normal) if hormones are the cause?
The advice I got included: choosing a mild shampoo that wouldn't strip my hair of its natural oils. Other tips: washing my hair every day (not possible), and keeping it off my face so I didn't spread oil that would better my chance of getting skin breakouts (WHAT!).
OK... but I washed hair with a recommended shampoo, and I'm trying to limit how much I tie my hair back because of the shedding guys! What else can I do?
Is a lack of vitamins causing my oily hair?
In my confusion and frustration with shampooing and figuring out how to wear my hair, I stumbled upon something surprising. Not getting enough B vitamins directly affects a person's level of sebum (oil) production. When you are getting enough B vitamins (B6 is a great one for scalp health) you are able to regulate sebum production, which combats greasy hair.
Our bodies need a lot of TLC and replenishment after childbirth (even if you had the most peaceful perfect labor experience). This replenishment includes vitamins to help heal YOU (Mom). You literally just carried a child for 40 weeks sharing nutrients the whole time..and then experienced a major life health event: delivery.
How to get more B vitamins:
Here I am committed to getting more B vitamins (particularly B-6), where do I start?
B6 is found in a lot of foods which is great! This includes beans, meat, poultry, fish, and bananas, also some fortified cereals. As a bonus for new moms these foods do help reduce sugar cravings!
If you are like me and have the best intentions of eating healthy or eating period in between diaper changes, pumping, cleaning, holding a baby constantly and repeating this cycle- a supplement may be a good choice for you.
Vitamins can be one of the best ways to ensure this happens, especially when you consider many women after child birth are unable to maintain a balance diet (or even find the time to scarf down anything of nutritional value if you are like me). A supplement during this postpartum time can ensure you are getting the vitamins needed for the hair. Frankly, prenatals just don't concern themselves with your hair Mom, they are baby nutrient focused, so you will need to look elsewhere.
Personally, I love the Baby Blues Postpartum hair vitamin because in addition to the good necessary B-vitamins needed for the scalp and sebum production, it also has collagen, vitamin A, C, and zinc + folate along with other minerals and vitamins that are great for hair health, growth, and strength.
Until the next 4th trimester unexpected bonus... I'll see you out there Moms.