Julia Lipscombe: Postpartum hair loss is no joke — but it grows back

Julia Lipscombe, with her son Indiana in their Edmonton home on Feb. 2, 2017, noticed a few strands of hair fall from her head about three and a half months after her son was born.David Bloom / Postmedia

“Thinking about getting pregnant again so that my hair stops falling out.”

It was an innocent Facebook post a few months ago. And, for the record, I’m not recommending that.

The post was just a joke that I thought would make a couple of people smile. But it ended up being one of the most popular mom-related things I’ve ever put on social media.

The women in my larger Internet circle really wanted to talk about their hair falling out. And mostly, it seemed, this was one of those things they hadn’t been prepared for.

Personally, I’d heard about the glossy, shiny and thick hair you’re supposed to acquire during pregnancy. I hadn’t been aware, however, that after you give birth you will be leaving a trail of DNA behind you everywhere you go.

My hair loss went something like this.

At three-and-a-half months postpartum, I noticed a few strands of my almost chin-length bob coming out in my hands in the shower. It wasn’t gradual — from that moment on, I couldn’t touch my hair without several coming loose.

There are a few different causes for postpartum hair-loss, said Dr. Jonathan Tankel, an obstetrician gynecologist working at the Hys Centre and the University of Alberta’s University Health Centre.

“By far, the most common cause is called telogen effluvium. There’s different phases of hair development — there’s a growth phase, and a resting phase. (In this case), the resting phase, where you lose the hair, tends to be accelerated and the growth phase is decreased.”

Telogen effluvium isn’t exclusive to women who’ve given birth, and can also occur when someone has had major stress, a major surgery or has nutritional deficiencies, for example.

There are two types of this condition — acute, the kind most women will experience after childbirth, and chronic.

“The acute type will usually occur in the first few weeks or months after childbirth and most people will start regrowing their hair by a year or a year-and-a-half afterward,” said Tankel.

In other words, most people shouldn’t stress too much about it.

But how much hair loss is too much?

“If someone is having hair-loss that is ongoing for more than a year, it’s worth seeing their primary care physician, just to make sure there’s no other cause. For example, we would generally check people’s blood count, we would check their iron.”

He also suggests seeking help from a family doctor or dermatologist if the hair loss is causing psychological distress, or if it’s showing cosmetically.

I was pretty lucky.

The shedding slowed down by five-and-a-half months postpartum, and by six months it had altogether stopped. My hair is not noticeably thinner.

But, there’s another thing they don’t tell you about — regrowth.

My now legitimately chin-length, curly brown bob is accented by a ring of short, copper-brown curls that stick out around my face like a crown — including new short sideburns. I love curly hair, but the inconsistency is pretty funny.

When I wear my hair down, it looks like I have a tangled nest around my head before my regular hair starts. And when it’s up, I have a sort of Orphan Annie thing going on. My hairstylist, Quinn, is able to straighten and therefore hide the tiny hairs when I see her for special events, but I can’t do it at home for everyday.

On the grand scale of life’s annoyances, this is tiny and insignificant. Hair grows back. I joked to my mom friends that I’m paying more attention to wearing cute outfits so that people don’t look at my mane. Ball caps have become my best friend.

I wonder though, is there anything I could have done to be proactive? To stop the shed in the first place? Can I make my little wisps grow faster? My original Facebook post resulted in plenty of tips that some of my friends swore by. But I’m skeptical about most miracle beauty cures.

Tankel suggests that supplementing with iron might make a difference, but is uncertain about other remedies. “Some studies showed that taking extra iron — even if the iron levels weren’t low to begin with — could make a difference.

“There are other supplements that people use. For example, some people use zinc, some people use biotin, some people use vitamin D. But there’s no clear proof that they work. I can’t say that (they definitely don’t work), but I’m not aware of any clear evidence that they do.”

Vance Elliott, of the Advanced Hair and Cosmetic Medicine and Surgery Clinic, agrees.

“There’s no harm in taking biotin, but it doesn’t do anything,” he said. “But there is also treatment that does work.”

Like Tankel, Elliott suggests that postpartum women experiencing hair loss for a year should see a doctor. And if you’re worried about it, he said, there’s no harm in seeing a doctor before then.

“If they’re concerned that their hair isn’t going back to normal or is continuing to thin, they should have it looked at. I don’t like the idea that treatment gets delayed for someone just because it gets chalked up to, ‘This is what happens after babies’.”

Elliott said that significant, prolonged hair-loss after childbirth can, in some cases, be the onset of female pattern hair loss.

“If someone genetically has inherited the genes that predisposes them to female pattern hair-loss, sometimes pregnancy or their series of pregnancies can be what kicks that off.”

If you’ve seen your physician and determined your hair loss is outside of the postpartum norm, there are two main medical treatments that are effective, said Elliott.

“Minoxidil, which is also on the market as the brand name Rogaine, which is a topical medicine. And low-level laser therapy, which is not medication. It’s a laser modality that’s applied to the scalp externally.”

You can undergo laser therapy while breastfeeding, said Elliott. But the safety of Minoxidil during breastfeeding is not known and Elliott recommends discussing either option with an obstetrician or family doctor first if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

For most of us, though, the worst things we’ll have to deal with is a drain full of hair and all that pesky regrowth.

“It’s a normal thing,” said Tankel. “In the vast majority of people, the hair will come back.”

In the meantime, it’s summer — invest in a good floppy hat.


Gold’s run is achieved — appearance out for a $three hundred drop: Wells Fargo strategist


Gold is probable to move lower back to its lows, even after starting the year off with a bang, consistent withWells Fargo’s head of actual asset strategy, John LaForge.

His argument hinges on commodities tendencies that date again all of the way to 1800 and display what he calls “commodity undergo amazing cycles,” every of which lasts about twenty years. In the course of the bearish of those cycles, commodities like gold will tend to suffer negative performance, even as they retestcurrent highs and lows, according to LaForge.

He believes that a commodity undergo great cycle started in 2011. So while gold shot up to a 12 monthsexcessive of $1,357 on Tuesday, LaForge believes that the rally was predictable, and it is equally predictablethat a downturn is on its way.

We might been down for four years directly, so we wished a leap,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “TradingCountry.” “But the truth is that gold is a commodity, and commodities have entered a protracted undergomarketplace.”

Traditionally speakme, what normally happens while you enter those long bear markets for commodities isthey’ll cross lower back and retest their lows off of the first circulate down,” LaForge said.

For gold, meaning that the steel is probable to retest its December 2015 lows round $1,050, according toLaForge. At that stage, it may be an appealing buy.

That displays the approach LaForge would take when it comes to a bevy commodities, which includes oil.

“Oil is also caught in this long remarkable cycle,” he stated. “So I do not count on oil to go up a good dealbetter than $60.”

Gold is up 28 percentage in 2016, whilst WTI crude has risen 26 percentage.

Inside the real-asset universe, LaForge might shy away from those big bouncers and as a substitute favoractual property investments, given that “trendwise, they are doing the pleasant.”

The bull run’s not over — but curb your enthusiasm: Traders

Stocks have staged a massive comeback from their mid-February lows — and that has lit a fire underneath some of Wall Street’s biggest bulls.

Last week, an encouraging U.S. jobs report helped blue chip stocks end a turbulent two-month stretch, with the Dow Jones Industrials closing above the psychologically-key 17,000 level for the first time since early January. The S&P 500 Index also jumped to a 2-month high.

Read MoreWall Street’s 7-year old bull could slow down

“On the margin there’s a lot of puts and takes, but the tone is really different,” Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee told CNBC’s “Fast Money” last week. “For January and February, for the most of the month, it was universally negative and I think in the last few weeks things have really changed.”

Lee, who is the biggest bull on the Street, has an S&P 500 2016 year-end price target is 2,325 and sees the market returning to its most recent high of 2,130, by May.

Oppenheimer Chief Market Strategist, John Stoltzfus, believes that the broad market will continue to grind higher to 2,300 by the end of 2016 – but there’s no reason to get overly excited about mini-rallies along the way.

“I think things keep getting better at a creeping kind of rate. It’s a Larry David kind of market,” Stoltzfus told “Fast Money” recently. “You got to keep your enthusiasm curbed. Right-size your expectations, and you just might be positively surprised.”


Lee isn’t the only one banking on stabilization to push the market higher. One trader called crude’s recent push above $30 a “kind of a line in the sand” for investors

If we can stabilize above that, I think the equity market will like that,” Wells Fargo Senior Global Equity Strategist Scott Wren, told the traders recently. “I think all the market needs to do to get into our year-end target range and the upper end of that target range is stability.”

Wren recent cut his year-end target from 2,230-2,330 to 2,000-2,100, citing the excessive declines seen in January.

Meanwhile, UBS believes the bull run never ended and the market’s “negativity bubble” has popped.

“What we think has happened is this turn in February where assets from the Mexican peso, to unleaded gas, to retail stocks in the S&P, all turning together means that that mentality has changed,” UBS Executive Director of U.S. Equity and Derivatives Strategy, Julian Emanuel, said.

“Things just need to go a little bit better than they have been, and you can continue to get a rally,” he added. Emanuel’s year-end price target on the S&P 500 is 2,175, nearly 9 percent higher than current levels.

According to Lee, there are multiple key drivers that could push the market even higher: crude oil reaching an equilibrium, new policy actions in China, high-yield stabilization and the dollar beginning to flatten out.

“The dollar is no longer going up 20 percent a year, so that’s really bullish for risky asset views,” said Lee.

If the S&P does surge into year-end, sectors Stoltzfus finds attractive are consumer discretionary, tech, industrials and materials – He’s much less positive on the financials.

“We’re looking for financials to play second fiddle to the cyclicals,” he added.

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Investing like a billionaire has never been easier — or harder

Times are tough for billionaire investors. Warren Buffett’s top stock picks aren’t working — whether it’s IBM or American Express, the Oracle can’t seem to catch a break.

Buffett had his worst year since the financial crisis in 2015, and hedge fund great Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management had his worst year ever in 2015, thanks to, among other things, the dramatic fall in controversial drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a top pick. David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital apologized to shareholders for a bad year and big bet gone bad on solar company SunEdison, which he failed to take profits in before the stock tanked. Though he hasn’t given up on SunEdison and now has been given a board seat at the company.

The volatile markets were supposed to be a time for stock pickers to shine. But it hasn’t worked out that way.

Einhorn said a few years ago, “It doesn’t make sense to blindly follow me or anyone else into a stock. … Do your own work.”

Indeed, it’s never been harder to be a billionaire investor, but here’s the catch: It’s never been easier, either.

And it’s the latter that should have the attention of individual investors.

Warren Buffett's five tips for long-term investing

CNBC recently covered an interesting report from Goldman Sachs equity strategists who said that a concentrated list of hedge fund stock picks created by Goldman, the Hedge Fund VIP List, was just about the worst investment in the market right now. In fact, Goldman strategists advised investors looking for a viable equity strategy to do the exact opposite of the Hedge Fund VIP List — chase stocks that are among the least popular in hedge fund portfolios.

But here’s the curious thing. Goldman Sachs recently filed for an exchange-traded fund based on — yes, you guessed it — the Hedge Fund VIP List.

Now before you cry foul and accuse Goldman of being up to Wall Street financial crash tricks, selling retail investors on an investment that Goldman executives are calling a dog internally, the divide between Goldman’s short-term stock strategist call and Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s ETF plans may not be a divide at all.

As noted in the recent CNBC article on the recent Goldman anti-hedge “conviction list” market advice, “What Goldman calls its ‘VIP’ list, or the one that includes the 50 most-owned stocks, has beaten the S&P 500 on a quarterly basis 64 percent of the time since 2001.”

Goldman Sachs declined to comment on its plans to launch the “VIP List” ETF at a time when its analysts have released a report advising investors to do the opposite.

But Goldman isn’t the only asset manager that believes an ETF based on the stock picks of investing giants is a good idea.

There are now at least seven ETFs offering a way to invest in the ideas of investing greats. Not surprisingly, after getting off to a good start, these ETFs have underperformed the market right alongside Buffett and Ackman more, and are they likely on a shorter leash than Buffett. He has earned his softly stated distaste for a short-term performance focus thanks to decades of excellence.

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