She may be basking in the glow of new motherhood, but your client's postpartum body—including her hair—is taking a beating. In addition to exhaustion and those last stubborn pounds, she may complain about her once-lustrous mane looking thin and lifeless.
Chalk up her hair woes to a sudden shift in hormones, says David Cannell, M.D., senior vice president of research and development for Redken. "After pregnancy, there's an abrupt change in the delivery of various estrogen systems, and estrogen helps promote hair growth," he explains. "Because of the dramatic change in hormone levels, a large number of hairs are shocked from a resting phase into a falling-out phase."
And while the strands themselves haven't changed, hair appears thinner because more is falling out. "Women see the hairs in their brush and they start to panic," Cannell says. But all is not lost. Within a year of delivery, a mother can expect her normal head of hair to return.
In the meantime, Cannell says, there are ways she can create the illusion of fullness. "Set the hair in rollers to put a wave or pattern in the hair," he says. "This helps make hair appear thicker, because when two curly hairs interact, they tend to pull apart."
Cannell also recommends that new-mom clients use volume-boosting products, such as Redken's Body Full haircare regimen, which contains an Anti-Gravity Complex to give hair strength, density and style. The line consists of Body Full Shampoo, Body Full Conditioner, Body Full Weightlifter root lift styling treatment and Body Full Plump Treat leave-in thickening treatment.
He also suggests other volume-boosting products from Redken, such as Guts 10 volume spray foam and Thickening Lotion 06 body builder. And if all else fails, Cannell offers one final tip: "Throw your hair back in a ponytail," he says with a laugh.