Hair loss is a common human condition; it is normal to lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair daily. Women who are postpartum may see a larger loss of hair because of the hormonal changes that occur after birth. There are certain herbs, vitamins and minerals that can help with hair loss. However, as there are other reasons for hair loss, discuss this condition–and anything you take for it–with your doctor, especially if you are nursing.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are necessary for health but are not produced by the body. One of the effects of EFA is healthy, strong hair. Several sources of EFA are omega-3 fish oil, evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil. Omega-3 is found in salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines. Flaxseed oil can be obtained by eating flax seeds or by taking a supplement. Evening primrose oil, which has the highest amount of gamma-linolenic acid of any food substance, is also found in supplement form.
Hair Vitamins and Minerals
Several vitamins and minerals help with hair growth. Vitamin E helps scalp circulation, vitamin C improves the health and growth of hair. Vitamin B is needed for hair health. There are many different types of vitamin B, including thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline and biotin. Zinc stimulates hair growth. Prenatal vitamins are a good source for all these vitamins and minerals. Continue taking them while you are recovering from birth and nursing.
Vitamin-rich Foods and Herbs
Vitamin B is found in brewer’s yeast, brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflowers seeds and walnuts. Foods rich in vitamin C are berries, citrus fruits and green vegetables. Herbs that contain vitamin C include alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, peppermint and paprika. Foods containing vitamin E include dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains. Herbs that contain vitamin E include alfalfa, bladderwrack, dandelion and rose hips.
Watch the products you use on your hair; allergic reactions can trigger hair loss. To help prevent this, use products that are all-natural or pH-balanced and rotate their use; this will prevent your body from building up a reaction to any allergens in the product.