Stop! Don’t Freak Out Over Postpartum Hair Loss {What Happening?}

If you’ve given birth, you’ve probably dealt with increased hair loss within a few months of the baby’s arrival. This may be frightening at first, but don’t freak out about your postpartum shedding. It is a normal part of pregnancy, and though it can’t be stopped, there are ways to keep your hair looking lush and full. All you need to do is make a few small changes in your style and habits. These little changes will give you the beautiful head of hair you want, despite how much you pull out of the drain. And eventually, your hair will be back to normal, and you can go back to your previous routine.

The Stages of Hair Growth

Hair Loss Postpartum

There are three stages of growth your hair goes through. Random hairs on your head are in one of these stages at all times, which is why you don’t lose them all at once.

Anagen: This is the active stage of hair growth. New hair forms in the root and forces out the club hair that have stopped growing, causing this hair to shed.

Catagen: This is the transitional stage, where hair growth halts for a couple of weeks. Because the hair is no longer growing, the root sheath shrinks in size and the root attaches to the hair. The strand then becomes a club hair.

Telogen: This is your hair’s resting phase. The follicle is at rest and the strand becomes a fully formed club hair.

When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start?

When you become pregnant, the levels of estrogen in your body increase. This causes your hair to prolong the anagen phase of hair growth. With fewer hairs in the resting stage, you won’t have as much hair fall. That’s why pregnancy hair is so thick and luxurious.

Pregnancy Hair LossAfter giving birth, the estrogen levels drop back down to their previous levels. All those hairs now move through the stages again, shedding all at once. This excessive shedding is called telogen effluvium, or postpartum alopecia. It usually begins within 2 to 4 months after giving birth.

For some women, the shedding happens slowly over the next few months. For others, you find clumps of hair wrapped around your fingers while shampooing.

When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Stop?

During any other time in your life, you lose an average of about 100 hairs each day. With postpartum hair loss, there is no set amount that you could lose, since it varies with each woman. Postpartum hair loss is usually only an issue until your baby is about a year old. This is the average length for most women, but many have experienced years of hair loss.

Such prolonged loss could have other factors that you may not be considering. Stress can lead to longer terms of thinning hair, as can some medical conditions.

      Medical Issues to Consider

      If you notice excessive or prolonged hair fall, speak with a doctor. You may be experiencing something other than normal postpartum hair loss. As I said above, stress can cause more drastic hair loss than usual after giving birth. This could lead to thinning hair or bald spots that may be difficult to cover.

      Postpartum Depression

      Lifestyle changes can add to this stress, as can any strain on your postpartum body. Together these factors can all lead to more pronounced hair loss. This is Diffuse Thinning, and the result is thinner hair that may need medical help to restore.

      Postpartum Thyroiditis is another condition that could affect hair loss. Only a small percentage of women experience it after pregnancy. It is hard to detect since many of the symptoms are similar normal postpartum issues. These include anxiety, fatigue, and hair loss. If you have any concerns about your shedding or any other symptoms, speak with your doctor.

      How to Treat Postpartum Hair Loss

      When the hair starts to collect in your brush or shower drain, don’t fret. Though you can’t stop the hair fall, there are a few things you can do to keep your hair looking thick and gorgeous. A short cut can give you a bit of body, as well as saving you time. Talk to your stylist to figure out what type of cut will meet your needs.

      If you prefer long hair, keep in mind that tying it tight can increase hair loss. You don’t have to give up ponytails, though. Instead, be careful how you put them in, as demonstrated in this video. Keep in mind that longer hair can create a hair tourniquet. This can wrap around tiny fingers and toes, hurting your baby. Check out their little parts daily, especially if they are crying for no reason.

      Choosing the right hair products is also a must. Volumizing shampoos and conditioners can thicken your hair, giving it extra body. Try to find lighter formulas that are free of heavy moisturizers.

      Styling products can also give you the appearance of a thicker hair. Using mousse or gel will help you style your hair in ways that hide the thinner areas.

      Products for Postpartum Hair LossTry to avoid heat styling whenever possible since this can lead to more breakage. Brush your hair using a wide tooth comb to help keep your hair and scalp healthy. Hair color can plump up your strands, giving you more body.

      Though you may want to focus on your hair, don’t forget the rest of your body. Eating a healthy diet is important after pregnancy. Some women even found it helpful to continue their prenatal vitamins.

      Postpartum Hair Loss Final Thoughts

      Though it is natural to lose hair on a daily basis, it can be frightening to sweep up so much after the baby comes. This is especially true after having such a full head of hair during pregnancy. A new mom has enough to deal with and doesn’t need to add hair concerns to the mix. But hair fall a few months postpartum is perfectly normal and easy to control. Best of all, it takes very little effort on your part. And remember, if you are dealing with postpartum hair loss, all you need to do is:

      • Be gentle on your hair
      • Add volume however you can, with new styles, colors, and hair products
      • Eat good food for a healthy body and healthy hair
      • Continue your prenatal vitamins
      • Call your doctor if you have any concerns

      If you are looking for more hair care articles check out our blog and our hair care buyer’s guides.