As hard as it may be to believe, there are moments when actress and singer Christina Milian doesn’t feel as beautiful as she is.
The cause of this for the mom of three, who most recently welcomed son Kenna in April with husband Matt Pokora, is because she’s experienced postpartum hair loss. She joins up to 50 percent of new moms who notice thinning hair and locks falling out completely soon after giving birth. For Milian, it’s something she witnessed as she approached three to six months postpartum after her first two pregnancies. And while she hasn’t dealt with it just yet following Kenna’s delivery, she acknowledges that she’s at the point where it can begin. But she’s taking action this time around. She’s partnered with hair care brand Nioxin, which specializes in thinning hair and scalp issues, and is using their Nioxin System Kit 5 to combat postpartum hair loss.
“It’s so overwhelming, on top of having a newborn at home, which is stressful, and all of the hormones that come with postpartum, dealing with the emotional impact of thinning hair,” she said during a panel with Nioxin to talk about it. “It really takes a toll on your confidence.”
“Using the right products to help treat is key,” shared board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara during the recent panel. “Knowing that you are not alone, going to the doctor to try and find solutions is critical. Keeping a healthy lifestyle postpartum is easier said than done with a newborn at home, but nourishing your body by eating foods rich in protein, biotin and vitamins and getting enough sleep and exercise are crucial in the long run to treat your hair loss from the inside and outside.”
For Milian, the Nioxin System Kit 5, with its Cleanser shampoo, Scalp Therapy conditioner and Scalp & Hair Treatment trio, has been easy to incorporate into her busy routine. She’s started exercising again and hasn’t seen any loss yet, noting that her hair feels healthier and better than it ever has in the past.
ESSENCE talked with the starlet about her experience with postpartum hair loss and the impact it had on her confidence, as well as how Nioxin products — and exercise, healthy eating and her supportive husband — are helping her to feel her best.
ESSENCE: What has been your experience with postpartum hair loss with your three pregnancies? If you’ve dealt with it for each one, how long does it usually take for your hair to grow back?
Christina Milian: Because I was one of the first out of my friends to have a baby, I really had no idea what postpartum hair loss was. When I had Violet, my hair started falling out in chunks around the four to six-month mark. With Isaiah, I noticed it within the same timeframe. I’m almost at that point now after having Kenna. It usually takes about a year to grow back normally, but I’m happy I have Nioxin to help tackle it.
Pregnancy and caring for a newborn postpartum can feel like a complete overhaul of your body. It can take some time to feel like yourself again. With that in mind, how did the hair loss impact your emotions or your self-esteem?
It absolutely effected my self-esteem and confidence. I really feel for men who experience balding now because I can understand the toll it takes on your emotions. It’s also scary to see chunks of hair falling out in the shower – it made me want to avoid looking down the drain. You’re already going through so many emotions after having a baby, so it’s hard to see this on top of everything.
How has Nioxin helped you? And is there a routine you put in place early in pregnancy to avoid a lot of shedding?
I’m getting ahead of the postpartum loss as I haven’t experienced it post-Kenna quite yet, but my hair has never looked or felt better since using Nioxin. Their three-step system is incredible. I use system #5 for my curly hair. It’s got peppermint oil that gives off a cooling sensation and really delivers that deep clean. It also has niacinamide for tons of moisture.
And outside of products, how have you been able to maintain your confidence as your hair grows back from past loss?
I’ve realized that if I’m eating healthy, getting exercise, drinking tons of water and taking care of myself, and my children, I’m at my happiest. Diet and exercise definitely play a big part in helping me feel my best. My husband is also incredibly supportive and always makes me feel beautiful.