My dad is a doctor. He was never the kind of doctor (or Dad), that gave me much sympathy if I caught a cold or had an injury.
You know the ones... they take a look at you and tell you you're fine and you just need rest and to drink more water?
Ya, that was my Dad.
It seems I attract that professionally as well, because as I've gotten older; I consistently get that same experience with my medical care (ironically, my husband also has zero sympathy for any of my ailments.. go figure).
Well, in my first little meet in greet with my o.b. postpartum , I brought up hair loss and her quick reply was "well, are you getting enough rest and liquids"? .
Obviously the only answer to one of those is a hard NO (what rest?) , but as far as liquids... I mean, I for sure took home that giant water bottle from the hospital.
You know the one I'm talking about.. giant water cup + thick flexi straw! (Kept the one from my second kid too).
Water for postpartum hair loss?
I would sip on that hospital gifted water mug thing, and would even refill it throughout the day. It has to be the most used postpartum "gift" I ever received, just for me!
I could not pump without my hospital souvenir in arms reach.
Why? Breastfeeding would make me super dehydrated - I could instantly feel the hydration leave my body, making its way through the valves , then through the little plastic tubing and into the transparent 5 oz cups.
I even kept a 1 pound tub of vanicream near by when pumping because my skin would feel extremely dry and uncomfortable (a big indicator of how dehydrated I quickly became).
But how much water should I be drinking to help my hair?
Here is something I truly did not know before researching the relationship between water & hair. Water accounts for about 25% of the weight of a single hair strand.
Ensuring that you drink enough water energizes and supports hair growth all the way from the scalp to the ends of the hair strand.
If you are suffering from brittle hair texture and split ends this could also be a symptom of dehydration.
Getting enough water is so crucial to the scalp.
Just like water hydrates and plumps/replenishes the skin, it does the same for the scalp (also skin). That means less likelihood of developing postpartum hair issues such as dryness, itchy/ painful scalp, and even dandruff.
How much water should I drink for healthy hair growth?
I needed my doctor to bottom-line me. How much water did I need to be drinking to ensure my hair wasn't being impacted by dehydration?
The doctors suggestion for the average woman?: at minimum, two liters of water a day (that's like a party bottle of diet coke if you need a visual reference).
At least two liters, should help strengthen the hair and increase growth. The most important thing she said to me was: "Dehydration will immediately halt your hair growth".
Extra fluid loss while postpartum:
It's perfectly natural to lose fluids throughout the day.
Remember how important drinking at least 2 liters is? Well, a new mom is likely losing at 2 liters of water a day.
This amount can be even greater, especially if working out hard postpartum to drop pregnancy weight (sweaty workouts shed water).
If a mom is breastfeeding, she has to factor in making up for the loss of fluids in the body to facilitate milk production.
Breastfeeding & Water:
Moms, I'm going to bottom line you. If you are breastfeeding/pumping you are losing a very significant amount of fluids. Breastmilk is approximately 90% water! You will become dehydrated if you do not consume the same amount you are losing during nursing.
If you do not, this will most certainly impact your hair growth among other things!
To keep it simple, If you just pumped 7 oz - Make sure you drink that back.
My doctor offered up the pee test to check if you might be dehydrated.
Here's how it works: Check your urine.
Pale Yellow = hydrated ; Darker yellow = mild dehydration
Signs you might be experiencing postpartum dehydration:
Urine is a darker shade of yellow
Postpartum hair loss that lacks hair growth (extends beyond the average 2-3 month hair cycle shedding)
Postpartum Hair Needs Water:
Because postpartum hair loss is triggered by hormones (estrogen/hormone drop at delivery); we like to focus everything in our power on hair growth.
Hair moves in cycles, and if you are wanting to ensure it moves from shedding to growing as soon as possible; then you want to make sure you are supporting this process by giving your hair/scalp everything it needs to grow.
This includes the vitamins and minerals your hair and scalp need especially postpartum (thank goodness for the baby blues postpartum hair vitamins that make taking all the vitamins, minerals, & collagen really easy and delicious) along with a diet that includes iron and protein, and you guessed it... plenty of water.
Dehydration can cause hair to stop growing. Your hair roots, are the only pipeline that water is supplied from the body to your hair so to put it simply; if you want your postpartum hair to grow back; you need to be drinking enough water.
The benefits of a new mom getting enough H20 are massive.
Better sleep, more energy, healthier skin, and growing + healthier & shinier hair.
We think you will notice immediate changes just by upping your water intake by even just a glass a day.
Let us know in the comments!