This video of a woman's postpartum hair loss is 'grossly satisfying'

A video of a woman’s postpartum hair loss has received more than one million views in 24 hours.

The Instagram footage was posted by Christina Kreitel, owner of Intrepid Studio Salon in Orem, Utah, and features the stylist pulling large, wet clumps from the head of a new mom with curly hair.

“This is going to gross so many people out — I’m so excited!” Kreitel exclaims in the video as she pulls out chunks of her client’s brown hair.

She captioned the post, “HaHA!!! Nothing like that Post Pregnancy Shed man!!!! You know the time, 4 months postpartum and you FILL that drain! I’m going through this myself and like to collect it on the wall of my shower. Haha so grossly satisfying. This is just as good as scalp treatments!! Anyone else going through this!!!”

A chorus of commenters offered their own hair-raising post pregnancy stories: “I had no idea it was a hormone thing, I thought it was from the vitamins.” “How long did it take before back to normal? Currently shedding all over my 3-month-old.” And, “This scared me, I’m good on having kids.”

Related: Foods to stay away from 

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10 foods to avoid if you're trying to get pregnant
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10 foods to avoid if you're trying to get pregnant

1. High-mercury fish

Mercury can damage the nervous system, which means that consuming mercury-rich seafood like swordfish and bigeye tuna while pregnant could directly harm the fetus, says registered dietician Kendra Tolbert. (The FDA recently updated their guidelines about safe and unsafe choices, see it here.) Eating high-mercury fish before you're pregnant could build up stores of mercury in your body, which could also affect the development of the baby's nervous system. "The fetal nervous system is being formed before most woman even know they are pregnant," explains registered dietician Suzanne Fisher. Mercury may also decrease fertility.

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2. Soda

A few studies have also linked soda—both diet and regular—to lower fertility. "We think it’s a combination of the inflammation and metabolic changes caused by too much blood-sugar-spiking sweeteners and gut-bacteria-changing artificial sweeteners," says Tolbert. Plus, many soft drinks come in containers that have BPA and other chemicals you might want to avoid.

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3. Trans fats

Trans fats, which are found in foods like certain chips or microwave popcorns, baked goods made with shortening, and fried foods, can cause inflammation and insulin resistance, which lowers fertility, says Tolbert. And in excess, they can damage your blood vessels, disrupting the flow of nutrients to the reproductive system. Men should also go easy on trans fats while trying to conceive because they decrease sperm count and quality.

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4. High glycemic-index foods

If you want to increase your fertility, avoid foods that make your blood sugar spike, especially if you're not pairing them with foods that slow down that rise. "Blood sugar spikes can cause inflammation, alter our hormones, and impede ovulation," says Tolbert. Try to choose slow burning carbs, like whole-wheat bread and pasta and brown rice over refined ones when possible, and combine them with protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

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5. Low-fat dairy

Low-fat milk, yogurt, and other dairy products may contain androgens, male hormones that get left in when fat is removed, says Tolbert. These foods and drinks may spur your body to produce androgens, which can interfere with your menstrual cycle.

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6. Excess alcohol

The CDC recommends that women who could get pregnant avoid alcohol entirely (not exactly realistic), but if you're going to drink, Tolbert suggests capping it at 7 drinks per week. Alcohol, like mercury, can contribute to infertility, and it depletes your body of the vitamin B, which improves your chances of pregnancy and supports a fetus's growth.

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7. Unpasteurized soft cheeses

Cheeses like Brie, Roquefort, Camembert and Gorgonzola have a higher risk of containing listeria, which can increase your risk for miscarriage, says Fisher.

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8. Deli meat

Processed meat like lunch meat and hot dogs, as well as smoked fish, are also vulnerable to listeria contamination. If you want to eat deli meat, Fisher recommends heating it up until it's steaming to kill bacteria.

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9. Raw animal products

Raw meat, seafood, and eggs might contain salmonella, coliform bacteria, or toxoplasmosis, which can infect a fetus if it passes through the placenta, says Fisher. Make sure to cook all animal products thoroughly, and skip sushi, carpaccios and the like.

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10. Certain bottled and canned drinks

Only drink out of cans and plastic bottles you and your partner know to be BPA free, since BPA can reduce fertility in both men and women. If you use a water bottle, Fisher suggests getting a stainless steel one.

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“It’s become a running joke among my pregnant clients that after they give birth, I’ll have to pull out their hair,” Kreitel tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The client in the video had a baby four months ago and that’s around when the hair loss starts.”

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 90 percent of a woman’s hair is always growing while 10 percent remains in a “resting” stage. Every three months, that 10 percent sheds — except during pregnancy, thanks to elevated hormone levels, which make hair shiny and full. A few months after birth, when hormone levels start to drop, hair starts falling out. But it’s not that women go bald after birth — they simply lose the strands that built up during pregnancy.

Related: Prevent hair loss with these foods

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Foods That Prevent Hair Loss
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Foods That Prevent Hair Loss

Len Glassman, a certified health nutritionist, trainer and owner of the Personal Best Training Center, offers up the necessary nutrients that will keep the hairs on your head there longer.

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VITAMIN A

An adequate intake of vitamin A is key to helping promote the growth and health of cells and tissues throughout the body, including the hair and scalp. Vitamin A gets delivered to our bodies in two ways: from plant and animal sources. Hair healthy plant sources include red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables like carrots as well as some dark green leafy vegetables. Some heavy-hitter animal sources for vitamin A include liver, fish oil, eggs and fortified milk.

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VITAMIN B6, FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN B12

All three of these B vitamins are essential to the normal formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues in the body, including the hair. Healthy and strong hair relies on a constant supply of blood and oxygen. A deficiency of these B vitamins is like cutting off the blood supply to your hair, leading to increased hair loss, damaged hair and slow re-growth. Best sources of vitamin B6 and B12 are protein-rich foods like meat, chicken, fish, eggs, pork and soybeans. Your best bet for sources of folic acid are leafy vegetables, orange juice, avocado, beets, broccoli, wheat germ and some fortified cereals.

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VITAMIN C

Vitamin C is essential to producing collagen, a connective tissue that gives structure by holding tissues in the body together, such as the tissue in hair. The human body is not able to store vitamin C for long periods of time, so don’t try to load up on it in an effort to make up for lost time; instead, make sure you eat plenty of foods containing vitamin C every day. The best sources of vitamin C are found in plant sources like oranges, berries, melons, peppers, dark green leafy vegetables and tomatoes.

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ZINC

Dandruff and hair loss are both conditions associated with a zinc deficiency. Zinc is a mineral that promotes cell reproduction, tissue growth and repair. Zinc also functions in the maintenance of the oil-secreting glands attached to our hair follicles. Good sources of zinc include foods of animal origin, including seafood, poultry, mussels, shrimp and oysters. Eggs and milk also supply zinc but in smaller amounts. Whole-grain products, nuts, seeds and legumes contain zinc, but in a form that is less absorbable by the body.

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LEAN PROTEIN

Hair is primarily made of protein, so it makes sense to eat protein-rich foods if you’re trying to maintain healthy growth. Without adequate protein intake, the body cannot efficiently make new hair to replace the hair that has shed. However, eating a steak every day isn’t going to help you. High-fat diets result in increased testosterone levels, which have been linked to hair loss—so steaks are not among the foods that prevent hair loss. Stick to leaner proteins such as fish (which has a myriad of health benefits beyond just maintaining your hair), chicken, soy products, low-fat cheese, eggs, almonds, beans and yogurt.

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WATER

Proper hydration is a key factor in healthy hair and in promoting good health. Every cell and every system in the body uses water to function properly, so don’t just wash your hair in it, drink lots of it. Other conditions that may contribute to poor nutrition and cause hair loss as a side effect include eating disorders such as anorexia. Anorexia can cause severe malnutrition and cause a high proportion of hair follicles to stop their growth cycle. Rapid weight loss is another reason for accelerated hair loss. Dropping weight too quickly and/or participating in a fad diet that is not nutritionally sound can cause imbalances in the body and result in increased hair loss.

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RAISE GOOD HAIR

Our daily diet holds the key to the health of your hair. Every day we can make it a priority to choose the best kinds of foods for healthy, long-lasting hair, a healthy scalp and the growth of new strong hair. So the next time your stomach growls, reach for more “hair-raising,” and vitamin packed foods to keep those follicles happy.

Image Credit: Corbis

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And for the roughly 40 percent to 50 percent of women who experience postpartum hair loss, it’s totally temporary.

According to Kreitel, hair loss on a person with curly hair may look more extreme because the curls create tangles and fall out in bigger clumps.

As for the stylist, who has a 5-month-old son, she’s going through her own postpartum hair loss. “It’s all over my bathroom wall.”

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