It felt like I had been wearing the highest, tightest, most uncomfortable "pull at my scalp" rubber banded, pony tail all day.
Only my hair had been left down and I was attempting to avoid scalp movement at all costs.
Experiencing a painful or sensitive scalp after having a baby? Here's what you should know.
Interestingly enough, there aren't any nerves in our hair that sense pain. However, there are extremely sensitive nerves underneath our hair follicles and in our scalp.
The following are some reasons why we experience postpartum scalp pain and sensitivity:
1. Pregnancy and post pregnancy hormones can cause our scalps to become full of liquid. This can cause an itchy, tingling, and even painful sensation in the nerve endings on our head.
2. During pregnancy our blood volume increases and this leads to swelling of blood vessels connected to our nerve endings.
When our blood vessels are swollen they irritate the nerve endings and that causes us to experience a sensitive scalp.
3. Fluctuations in hormone levels particularly progesterone hormones, cause more natural oils to be produced by our skin.
4. Sebum is the name of the oil that is produced on our scalps and when the oil is produced at elevated levels it can cause sensitivity along with oily hair.
One thing that can help regulate sebum is ensuring new moms have a sufficient intake of B vitamins that can help combat greasy hair by regulating sebum production.
5. Blocked hair follicles are another common reason why new moms experience postpartum scalp pain. With more oil being produced the hair follicles can become blocked causing pain and sensitivity and even acne on the scalp.
Tips for relieving a painful and sensitive scalp postpartum:
1. Wear your hair down and avoid tight hair styles. The tighter your hair is the more likely you are to notice the pain. A loose braid or silk scrunchy like the Baby Blues postpartum gentle mulberry silk ones are recommended if pulling hair back is necessary.
2. Avoid rubbing or touching the area: The more you touch; the more inflamed and sensitive your scalp can feel.
3. Ice it. Apply ice or that bag of frozen veggies (you know, the one you haven't touched in months) to your head to alleviate some of the pain.
(I even had a friend who suggested shampoo in the fridge before use, so when applied it was cooling).
4. Try an essential oil: Lavendar oil, rosemary oil, or tea tree oil are effective in alleviating scalp pain. Dilute them with a carrier oil or you can drop some in with your shampoo and very gently massage.
This can minimize the duration of pain, as well as assist in regulating the bodies oil production; so your scalp feels back to normal more quickly!