If you are concerned about hair loss after pregnancy, we can assure you that what you are going through is a normal process. Many new mothers suffer from postpartum hair loss, and some lose their hair more than others.
On average, new mothers experience hair loss after pregnancy within one to five months of giving birth. They may lose excessive amounts of hair – 500 strands per day, a medical condition known as telogen effluvium. But don’t worry. Hair loss during this period is temporary, and telogen effluvium itself won’t cause baldness or permanent hair loss.
Why there is hair loss after pregnancy
When a woman is pregnant, her estrogen levels elevate causing an increased number of hair follicles to stay in the resting phase for a longer period of time, thus thickening your hair and protecting it from falling out. In fact, up to 60% of your hair may enter this resting stage.
After you have given birth, hormone levels are returning to normal which allows your hair to resume its normal shedding and growth cycle. If it seems as though your hair is shedding excessively at one time, it is because in actuality it is nine months of hair that has been in the resting phase unusually long, that is now falling out.
While your estrogen levels are declining and normalizing and your hair follicles are being rejuvenated, hair loss will peak at about three to four months after giving birth. The important thing is to remain calm, be patient and to know that this is temporary.
Dermatologist Tips for Hair Loss
Here are some tips offered by dermatologists to minimize the effects of excessive hair loss after pregnancy:
- Excessive hair shedding may be more noticeable while washing your hair or combing and brushing. To avoid this, try washing your hair less often and allow your hair to dry naturally without using a blow dryer.
- Use a thickening or volumizing shampoo and a conditioner specifically formulated for thinning hair.
- Consider styling your hair in its most natural state (without a blow dryer or chemical straighteners), or get a haircut.
- Avoid using hair products such as conditioning shampoo or intensive conditioners as these products will weigh down hair.
Your hair should return to its normal thickness in approximately 6 to 12 months after delivery. Still, your hair may not return to its original texture pre-pregnancy. However, if you suspect that your hair is continuing to shed excessively beyond this time, check with your dermatologist or health care professional immediately. This may indicate another internal problem such as stress or nutritional deficiency of Vitamins A, B Complexes (including Biotin and Folic Acid), C, D, E, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, silica, and zinc, but an accurate review of your medical condition is needed for effective treatment.
If you are struggling with hair loss after pregnancy, this might be a good time to begin taking a hair supplement. The best supplements for your hair should provide nutrition for hair as well as target a variety of the triggers and causes of poor hair health, which may be stress, hormonal triggers and free radicals. For example, certain supplements may contain necessary vitamins and minerals needed to strengthen hair and for healthy hair growth, some may contain ancient botanicals and herbal ingredients that have been known and used for generations to provide specific health benefits, and others may contain a mixture of both. We recommend that you educate yourself about those available options and how a multi-ingredient supplement can be a benefit to healthy hair growth.
- American Pregnancy Association: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/hair-loss-during-pregnancy/
- American Academy of Dermatology: https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/hair-loss-in-new-moms