It’s normal to experience some hair loss postpartum, so you don’t need to worry if it starts happening to you. Not everyone experiences hair loss after pregnancy, but the majority of women do. Postpartum hair loss, or postpartum alopecia, is experienced by an average of 40% to 50% of women. It shouldn’t last forever, and there are a few things you can do to help limit losing your hair. However, each woman, and even each pregnancy in the same woman, will have a different experience with postpartum hair loss.
Here’s what you need to know about postpartum hair loss and what you can do about it.
What causes postpartum hair loss?
Losing hair after having a baby is caused by multiple factors, but mostly changing hormones affect hair growth and loss postpartum. During pregnancy, a woman’s body has high levels of estrogen and progesterone, which cause hair to grow more and prevents normal hair loss. You may have noticed that your hair looked lush and healthy during pregnancy, so losing hair after childbirth can be shocking.
However, after childbirth hormones will start to go down, so your hair will grow less and even fall out. So, your body is just going back to pre-pregnancy hormones and rebalancing which leads to a short period of hair loss.
How long does hair fall out after having a baby?
It’s normal to shed hair for the first few months after childbirth. It may begin as soon as the day after you have a baby, but most moms notice it three to four months after giving birth. It shouldn’t last longer than six months after having a baby, although it does vary from person to person and can vary with each pregnancy. Your hair growth should be back to the way it was pre-pregnancy by a year after childbirth.
How much hair loss is normal after pregnancy?
Even without pregnancy, women can expect to lose about 100 hairs a day, but it’s barely noticeable considering most people have 100,000 hairs on their head. However, postpartum hair loss can cause you to shed up to 400 hairs a day, or four times more than normal. That’s enough that you may notice a difference, and sometimes it may even come out in clumps.
What can I do about postpartum hair loss?
Hair loss postpartum is normal because your hormones are going back to normal, and you may not be able to prevent or stop it. However, you can help it grow back.
There are a few things you can do to help regrow your hair after postpartum hair loss. They include:
Maintaining a healthy diet, especially getting plenty of protein
Make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein in your diet to give it all the nutrients it needs so that your hormones can rebalance. Specifically, foods like leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, eggs and fish have essential vitamins and minerals to help with hair growth.
Shampoo lightly with a volumizing shampoo and use a good conditioner
Many users report that using a conditioning shampoo can weigh your hair down, while a volumizing shampoo can add body to your hair.
Avoiding putting too much heat on your hair from blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons
Putting heat on your hair can damage it and cause it to fall out quicker and, it may make your hair look thinner. You can use the cool setting on your hairdryer and opt for simpler styles.
Additionally, avoid brushing your hair too hard, which can cause your hair to come out in bigger clumps. Also, avoid tight hairstyles or wearing a ponytail or bun every day that can pull on your hair.
Taking vitamins and supplements
Start with a healthy diet but taking vitamin supplements can help make sure you get all the vitamins you need to support your overall health and hair regrowth.
Minimizing stress as much as you can
I’m sure you’re thinking – yeah right, as a new mom how am I ever supposed to reduce my stress? But you can do things like taking time for yourself, getting in some exercise and eating healthy to minimize your stress and aid your hair growth.
Can you go bald from postpartum hair loss?
You should not go bald from postpartum hair loss. You will lose hair gradually for a few months after having a baby, but after about six months the hair loss should subside, and your hair growth should return to normal.
You may also notice that postpartum hair loss varies with each pregnancy. Hair loss will not necessarily worsen the more times you are pregnant, but it could cause the onset of genetic hair loss issues like female pattern baldness.
However, you should talk to your doctor if your hair loss is excessive or if it lasts for more than six months. If you have other symptoms in addition to hair loss, it could be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis.
Postpartum hair loss regrowth
If your hair loss is extreme and/or lasts for more than six months after childbirth, you should talk to a doctor or dermatologist about treatment. Treatments available include medication, scale therapies, and at-home lasers to stimulate hair growth.
Vitamins that help with postpartum hair loss
Vitamins can help your hair regrow after postpartum hair loss. You may choose to take a daily women’s vitamin or one specific to hair growth.
Whatever supplement you choose for postpartum hair loss, look for the following vitamins:
· Vitamin C
· Vitamin E
· Vitamin D
Don’t stress about postpartum hair loss
You’ve given birth to a little human, you’re already spending too much time losing sleep, and the last thing you want to worry about as a new parent is losing your hair. You don’t need to panic if you experience hair loss after pregnancy, know that it is perfectly normal and is not a sign of concern. Just know that your hormones are shifting, and you are just like most other moms if you experience some hair loss after having a baby.