Postpartum hair loss is a very common experience, however it can still come as a shock to many women and birthing people. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to help. Keep reading for your Birthbabe lowdown…
Is Postpartum Hair loss Really A Thing?
Yes, we’re afraid so. It involves losing hair (from your head) in the early months after having a baby. Doctors glamorously call it “excessive hair shedding”.
Why Does It Happen?
We know, it totally sucks. You’ve birthed a tiny human into the world, you’ve just started to get to grips to life with a newborn and now you lose your hair. The injustice is real.
Dr Abha Gulati, a consultant dermatologist at Stratum Clinics tells us the culprit is every woman’s best friend: hormones. “Pregnancy related hair loss occurs due to changes in our hormones through pregnancy and after birth. Our oestrogen levels increase during pregnancy which temporarily reduces hair shedding, resulting in more glossy, luscious fuller-looking hair. However, after the birth of babies, the body’s oestrogen levels fall which can cause increased hair loss.”
So in other words, all that beautiful, extra hair that everyone complimented you on whilst you were pregnant is now saying “see ya later”.
When Does The Shedding Start?
It usually starts around one month after giving birth and peaks when you’re around four to five months postpartum.
How Long Does It Last?
Doctors say the shedding should ease so that you’re back to your normal hair growth at around 1 year postpartum. If it’s going on for longer than a year though, definitely speak to your GP as something else may be going on.
Is Postpartum Hair Loss Normal?
How Bad Will It be?
Everyone experiences these things differently and we totally get that losing your hair can make you feel pretty down. However, it probably won’t be as bad as you think. And it will definitely be one of those things that you notice is happening but other people won’t have a clue.
Usually it just involves seeing a lot more of your hair than you are used to. For example, you may see more hair in your hairbrush or on your pillow, or the shower drain getting blocked more frequently. You may also notice a little more thinning around the hairline.
Should I Panic?
We would strongly advise against panicking. There’s loads you can do to help the situation. Read on.
What Can I Do?
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamins and stock up on supplements, especially collagen as this will help stimulate hair growth.
- Eat well. Leafy greens, fruits, nuts, oily fish and eggs all contribute to healthy hair.
- Rock the greasy top knot. Showering is one of the top times when hair will shed a little more so try and skip a few washes when you can to prevent the shed.
- If you are sporting the wonderful mum bun, make sure you tie it loosely and wrap it up in a super soft scrunchie. We are big fans of this one.
- When you do wash your hair, try and use a high quality shampoo and conditioner. This brand is pricey but they definitely know their stuff when it comes to thinning hair. Dermatologists also recommend keeping the conditioner to the ends only so you don’t weigh the hair down.
- Massaging some hair oil into the scalp can also help stimulate growth. This is because it boosts blood flow and feeds the root.
- Avoid the styling equipment. Keep the hairdryer, curlers and straighteners locked away as they are all likely to pull on your hair and contribute to the shedding. If you can’t avoid them though, keep them on a low setting and be sure to go gently.
- A new, shorter do might be an option if you want your hair to look more voluminous. But if the chop is too much for you, then think about this hairband, which has received rave reviews online for taming the flyaways and covering the hairline.
And don’t forget, you’re not alone. Postpartum hair loss is totally normal, it’s temporary and your hair will return to its former glory in time (maybe even better if you follow the above steps).
If it’s really getting you down or you think you’re shedding an excessive amount of hair, think about speaking to a dermatologist as they will have lots of great advice on how to help you through this phase.
birthbabe does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. the resources on our website are provided for informational purposes only. you should always consult with a healthcare professional regarding any medical diagnoses or treatment options