How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last What Timeline To Expect For Hair Shedding After Giving Birth
Postpartum hair shedding is very common for women in the months after giving birth. And, while this is startling and frustrating, it is perfectly normal and most women can expect their hair to bounce right back.
Sometimes, part of the frustration from hair loss can be not knowing what to expect, or how long shedding will continue.
Below, we will outline some of the most common timelines for postpartum hair loss including when it normally begins, how long the shedding tends to last, and when you can expect your hair to look relatively back to where it was pre-pregnancy.
When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Normally Start
It normally takes a little while for hair to transition from the growing phase into the telogen phase. So, donât expect to be in week 1 with your new baby with clumps of hair falling out .
Normally, your telogen hairs will hang out in the resting phase for a few months before hairs start shedding. Most women that experience postpartum hair loss will start noticing a ramping up of the shedding 2-3 months after giving birth.
This shedding also tends to peak at around 4 months after birth.
Postpartum Hair Loss Is A Dispiriting Reality Heres How I Found Help And Hope
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
All products featured on Vogue are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
It started in the shower. I have thick, curly hair and am accustomed to shedding when washing or combing100 strands a day is, apparently, normal. What I was not accustomed to was when, around two months after I gave birth to my son last May, seemingly thousands of hairs began leaving my head every time I shampooed. Soon it was no longer just in the shower: It was when I gently raked my hair back into a ponytail and my hand emerged with a competing ponytail of escaping strands or when my pillowcase appeared to be covered with floating clouds of dark coils or, God forbid, when I actually brushed it and an American Girl dollsworth of hair clogged the bristles. Worse still is that I began noticing patchy spots around my hairline. My scalp was newly visible and I was not pleased to see it. Was the muffin-top of residual baby weight hanging over my C-section scar, and my ballooning, milk-leaking breasts not enough aesthetic trauma to suffer? Apparently not.
Don’t Miss: What Contributes To Hair Loss
Take A Daily Multivitamin And Hair Growth Supplement
After giving birth, I was so caught up with the baby that I didn’t even think to continue taking my prenatal vitamins. Six months postpartum, I began to take them again to help boost my nutrient intake for a healthy scalp and hair. A multivitamin works great too. I also took a hair growth supplement containing biotin, amino acids, and silica, which all support healthy hair growth.
Strut Health Prescription Hair Loss Medications Online
At Strut Health, we offer prescription medications for men and women who are experiencing hair loss.
Our hair loss medications for women are not suitable for women during pregnancy or those who are breastfeeding. But, if your hair is struggling to recover from hair losses and you are not pregnant or breastfeeding, our topical formula containing minoxidil and spironolactone may be able to help.
Read Also: How To Get Dutasteride For Hair Loss
How Much Postpartum Shedding Is Normal
If youre finding a surplus of strands on your pillow or clogging the shower drain, youre not imagining things. Salinger explains that when you havent just had a baby, losing about 80 hairs a day is normal, but that new moms shed about 400 hairs a day. By six months postpartum, the hair loss should slow to pre-pregnancy amounts.
If you feel the shedding is not slowing down, chances are good that there are other health issues at play. Pregnancy can change your level of ferritin and can put your thyroid out of whack, so make sure to tell your doctor that youve noticed a lot of hair loss, and ask to have blood tests done to check both.
Eat More Protein And Iron
A well-balanced diet is vital for giving the hair the fuel it needs to grow at any life stage. However, after childbirth, it becomes especially important. As your system rebalances, your hair is going to be last on your bodys list of priorities to nourish and it often needs some extra internal support, says Anabel. She recommends eating nutrient-rich meals that contain plenty of protein and iron. Protein-rich foods include eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry, quinoa, lentils, nuts and chickpeas. Iron-rich foods include red meat, spinach, almonds, walnuts and beetroot.
Also Check: What’s The Best Hair Product For Thin Hair
Can I Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss
Unfortunately, you cant prevent it, but there are methods you can employ to mitigate the losses. Although every method may not work for you, there are some things your doctor or dermatologist may recommend trying, both to jumpstart the growth of new hair and disguise your hair loss:
- Keeping your scalp healthy with antifungal shampoos.
How Hormones Affect Your Hair
Hormones are the biggest reason for your pregnancy hair changes and postpartum hair loss.
During pregnancy, your high levels of estrogen prevented your usual rate of hair loss. Normally, your hair falls out in small amounts every day. During pregnancy, your hair loss decreases. The effect is compounded by your increased blood volume and circulation, which also causes your hair to fall out less than normal.
So after your baby arrives and your hormone levels drop, your hair makes up for lost time by falling out in much bigger clumps than it normally does. The total volume of your hair loss probably isnt more than you would have lost over the last nine months, it just seems like it because its happening all at once.
Postpartum hair loss can set in any day after your baby arrives, and it sometimes continues as long as a year. It usually peaks around the 4-month mark, so if your baby is a few months old and youre still losing clumps of hair, that doesnt mean its time to panic!
Don’t Miss: Does Kisqali Cause Hair Loss
Dont Forget Conditioners And Volumizers
Applying conditioner after shampooing your hair is essential to maintaining healthy locks. Conditioner is a vital hair-care step that adds moisture to help replenish hairs sheen and natural oils lost during shampooing. And volumizers work like a splint to strengthen each strand of hair, plumping it to provide more volume per strand.
What Happens To Your Hair During Pregnancy
While pregnant, hair sheds more slowly than normal. This can result in fuller and thicker-looking hair since you’re just not losing as much each week. When you are pregnant, you are in a privileged hormonal state,” says Dr. Yates, MD, FACS, a Chicago-based board-certified hair loss surgeon. “In your third trimester, your estrogen levels are six times higher than normal. Both estrogen and progesterone support hair growth and decrease shedding by keeping the hair in a constant anagen phase. This explains why your hair looks the most radiant at the time of delivery.
In addition to the increase of hormones while pregnant, overall lifestyle changes can contribute to a fuller-looking head of hair. Most patients experience better hair while pregnant probably due to prenatal vitamins and better nutrition overall as well as a healthier lifestyle, says Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York.
A normal, healthy scalp loses between 50 and 100 hairs per day. One study showed that a normal head of hair is usually 85 percent actively growing, and 15 percent in the resting phase. After a stressful event, like giving birth, the resting phase percentage can increase to 70 percent.
You May Like: What To Do If You Have Thin Hair
Revisit Your Hair Care Routine
Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so be gentle! Avoid blow dryers and heat styling as much as possible. Tight ponytails or buns are a no-no same with excessive brushing and combing. Support your scalps natural microbiome with a regular detoxifying treatment, and give your bodys efforts to return to normal hair growth cycles a boost with a daily hair serum. Our 100% vegan and cruelty-free GRO Hair Serum is fortified with powerful phyto-actives, which help support healthy hair follicles. Plus, the serum is clinically shown to decrease hair shedding by up to 76% and increase hair density by up to 52%.
How Your Hormones Change During Pregnancy And Postpartum
During pregnancy, your hormones change dramatically.
One of the first to spike is human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. Thats the hormone your pregnancy test measured and its rising levels indicated that you were pregnant. Pregnancy also causes several other hormone levels to rise, including estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin. Your blood volume also rose during pregnancy, to as much as 50 percent greater volume than normal by your due date.
Immediately after your baby is born, several of your hormone levels drop quickly, including estrogen and progesterone. Those hormones will be almost back to normal levels within 24 hours after birth, although prolactin will stay high as long as youre breast-feeding.
Your blood volume also decreases, but its drop is more gradual. It gets back to normal a few weeks after your baby arrives.
You May Like: Are There Shampoos That Prevent Hair Loss
The Shift From Pregnancy To Postpartum
When someone is postpartum, their normal hair shedding cycle resumes. This often makes people feel like they are losing more hair than normal, but sometimes this is just because less hair falls out when you are pregnant.
Normal hair sheds 50-100 hairs per day, regularly, says Luis Pacheco, master hair expert, colorist, and founder of wellness-based beauty and lifestyle brand TO112. It’s called the exogen phase, or resting phase, of the hair follicle. This is when it stops growing and rests between growth cycles and sheds the hair shaft to make way for new growth.
Once hormone levels dip after giving birth, the body lets go of the hair, resulting in shedding. Hair loss that occurs in the postpartum period is known as telogen effluvium, notes Dr. Mariwalla. She explains that this type of hair loss has nothing to do with pregnancy itself, but rather, is caused by the stress of delivering a baby.
This type of hair loss occurs after any kind of stressor including illnesses, general anesthesia, and even a happy occasion like the birth of a child, she adds.
Telogen Effluvium is when a stressful event, like childbirth, forces hair into the “resting state.” This basically means hair will not grow, and a symptom of this condition is hair loss. This is a reversible condition.
Why Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen
According to Todays Parent, The body experiences soaring estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy, which causes hair to remain in an ongoing stage of growth, creating thicker, more lustrous strands.
I can concur. My hair has never been thicker than when I was pregnant.
The article continues: Then your hormones level out in the months following childbirth. Hair remains in a resting stage for approximately three months before it falls out and new growth shows itselftypically in the form of baby bangs appearing along the hairline.
In my case, I had baby bangs all over my head.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Thinning Hair Female Naturally
What Causes Hair Loss After Baby
The body experiences soaring estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy, says Salinger, which causes hair to remain in an ongoing stage of growth, creating thicker, more lustrous strands. Then your hormones level out in the months following childbirth. Hair remains in this resting stage for approximately three months before it falls out and new growth shows itself, says Salinger. Typically the regrowth is in the form of baby bangs appearing along the hairline.
Why Is Thinning Hair In Women Such A Challenge
Each of your hair follicles goes through a cycle of hair growth, during which the hair lengthens, followed by a resting phase, in which the hair follicle shrinks and the bulb pulls away from the root. The hair then remains at a constant length until it loosens and falls out.
Because each hair has its own cycle, you normally lose between 80 and 100 scalp hairs per day. If daily losses are greater than this, gradual thinning occurs, especially in later life when hair growth also slows.
After the resting phase, the follicle may reactivate to produce a new hair, but this cycle does not repeat indefinitely. On average, each hair follicle reactivates around 25 times before it switches off, or produces hair that is increasingly wispy and short.
The way your hair changes with age depends partly on the genes you have inherited. It is also impacted by changing hormone levels around the time of menopause, as well as your diet and lifestyle.
You May Like: Do I Have Thick Or Thin Hair
What Hair Changes Can A Person Expect After Pregnancy
A person may experience hair loss from the scalp approximately 3 months after giving birth.
Postpartum hair loss medically known as telogen effluvium occurs shortly after childbirth due to the bodys changing levels of progesterone and estrogen. Doctors may also refer to postpartum hair loss as excessive hair shedding.
After the birth, the bodys hormone levels drop quickly to return to their prepregnancy levels. This decrease in hormones triggers the hair to revert to its former growth cycle.
Although it can differ from person to person, the hair should grow back entirely in 36 months.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology , postpartum hair loss is normal and temporary.
It is also important to note that it is not true hair loss. It usually stops within 6 months post-birth, and most people see their hair return to its usual thickness within 1 year, although this could happen sooner.
Hair loss due to pregnancy is temporary, and a person does not need to take any steps to treat it. However, the AAD suggests the following tips for postpartum haircare:
What Causes Hair Loss After Giving Birth
All hair on our bodies grows in a cycle that can last anywhere from two to seven years. The active or growing phase of a strand of hair is called anagen and determines the length of our hair. After a period of time, the hair follicle enters a transition phase before entering its resting phase . Shedding occurs and the process starts all over again.
Changes related to your hormone levels before, during and after pregnancy can affect hair growth. Its completely normal to experience hormonal imbalance after giving birth, and one of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance is postpartum hair loss.
The medical term for postpartum hair loss is telogen effluvium. The condition, which is also referred to as postpartum alopecia, is relatively common, affecting between 40-50% of women in the months following childbirth.
Postpartum hair loss occurs after childbirth because of the sudden change of hormones in your body, particularly the change between progesterone and estrogen.
Also Check: Does Fluticasone Cause Hair Loss