Dealing With Postpartum Hair Loss
Dealing with postpartum hair loss can be stressful, especially for new moms. With hormones already raging and sleep difficult to come by, losing handfuls of hair each day can put women in a panic, leaving them feeling vulnerable and nervous.
But the reality is that postpartum hair loss is perfectly natural and more common than you might think. And with a few simple changes to your routine, you can cut down on the amount of hair youre losing.
If hair loss persists more than a year after youve given birth, an underlying cause, rather than changing hormone levels, is likely to blame. This also means that youll need to take action to stop the hair loss, as its unlikely to stop on its own.
If youre still dealing with hair loss and your baby has already celebrated his or her first birthday, check out this article next to learn 10 of the top hair loss treatments you need to try.
How Can You Stop Or Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss
If the hair loss youâre experiencing is caused by the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it may simply stop on its own without any treatment at all.
Still, certain vitamins and minerals â such as vitamin A â can contribute to healthy hair growth, so itâs important to make sure youâre getting enough of these as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Ask your doctor or a dietician if you arenât sure youâre getting all the vitamins you need, and he or she may be able to recommend specific foods to add to your diet.
Certain vitamins and mineral may actually make hair loss worse if you take too much of them, so donât start taking any supplements for postpartum hair loss without asking your doctor first.
Above all, try to be patient. You have lots on your plate right now and there might not be much more you can do than wait it out.
Why Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen
Part of the reason why postpartum hair loss happens is the exact same reason why your hair probably looked so good during pregnancy.
When you are pregnant your hormones are surging, including estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin. When these hormones are riding high, they can boost healthy hair growth while also pumping the brakes on the hair loss cycle that normally allows for 50-100 hairs per day to shed. Basically, it can boost growth while stopping normal shedding rates — great, right?
In addition to these hormones peaking, your blood volume may increase around 45% on average, and your circulation is great during pregnancy. These two things can also contribute to hair follicles getting a lot of extra oxygen, nutrients, and general TLC during pregnancy, making that pregnancy hair even better.
After giving birth, however, your hormones tend to level back down to normal, and your blood volume and circulation return to normal. This tends to trigger a shedding event of all of the hair that you have not shed as usual during the 9 months of your pregnancy.
The official term for hair loss after giving birth may be referred to as telogen effluvium, which means that a higher percentage of hair follicles shift out of the growing phase and into the resting/shedding phase.
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Does Breastfeeding Cause Postpartum Hair Loss
No, postpartum hair loss is not a result of breastfeeding, and you shouldnt be concerned about increased hair loss due to breastfeeding .
Rapid hair loss after pregnancy is a common phenomenon due to a drop in hormone levels after childbirth. Postpartum hair loss usually is not a cause for concern and does not require any treatment, and your hair will start growing back normally with time. Meanwhile, you may try home care measures to deal with hair loss after pregnancy. However, if you are concerned about an abnormal hair loss for a long time postpartum, consult your healthcare provider, as it might imply other underlying conditions such as thyroid abnormalities.
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At this point in the article, you know that the lighter the hair care product, the better for postpartum hair loss. So intensive conditioners are a hard pass, as they “tend to be heavier on your hair,” explains Dr. Francis. Instead, opt for an easy-going conditioner, such as this one that boasts a star-studded ingredient list featuring biotin for strengthening strands, saw palmetto extra for boosting body or volume, and coconut oil for its thickening powers. Plus, anything that’s available via Amazon Prime and can be on our doorstep in two days to help in a pinch is a win in arguably everyone’s books.
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When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Begin
Being a new mom can be an amazing time, but it can also be quite challenging. Your daily schedule is often turned sideways , you probably aren’t getting enough sleep, and you don’t even remember the last time you took a relaxing, candle-lit soak in the tub alone.
As if that wasn’t enough, according to the American Pregnancy Association, you may be one of the 40-50% of women who will experience significant postpartum hair loss. Up to 90% of new moms will experience it to some degree. So, what exactly is postpartum hair loss and, more importantly, when can you expect it to happen?
Individual experiences around postpartum hair loss can vary, however it usually starts around the same time for most women. To better understand this phenomenon, let’s delve into a bit more detail about what it is, when exactly you can expect it to start, how long it might last, and what you can do about it.
What Exactly Is Postpartum Hair Loss?
Postpartum hair loss is a condition that affects women after they have given birth. It is characterized by a sudden loss of hair, which can be extensive and sometimes permanent. There are many factors that contribute to postpartum hair loss, including hormonal changes, stress, and fatigue.
How Long After Giving Birth Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start?
How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last?
Solutions For Preventing and Improving Shedding
In short, taking good care of yourself and your body is the best thing you can do!
How To Help Postpartum Hair Loss
First, the bummer: There’s not exactly much you can do to prevent postpartum hair loss from happening. “Once the triggering event happens and that shifts the hair cycle, there is nothing you can do to prevent it from coming out,” explains Dr. Francis.
However, there are steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t continue for longer than it should. In large, this comes down to making sure you’re doing your best to take care of yourself post-pregnancy by eating healthy, resting when you can, and letting your body heal.
Specifically, diet can play a big role, says Kingsley. A biggie nutrient? Protein. “Proteins are used to build tissue cells, including the cells of your hair, skin, and nails,” she explains. “Eighty to 85 percent of your hair is composed of a protein called keratin. Dietary proteins are your hairs’ building blocksthey make your hair strong and help keep it in its growing phase.”
Other key nutrients, according to Kingsley? L-lysine, an amino acid that helps the body form collagen to give hair shape and elasticity B12, which helps your body make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to your tissues and vitamin D, which plays a role in the creation of hair follicles .
In the meantime, however, products can help make your mane look and feel thicker until your hair regains its normal fullness. Here are a few great buys from supplements to hair care supplies to add to your postpartum hair-care routine.
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How Long Until Your Hair Returns To Normal With Postpartum Hair Loss
As a general rule of thumb for postpartum hair loss, you can normally expect your hair to look more or less the same as pre-pregnancy by your babyâs first birthday.
For some women, their hair may even be back to normal within 6 months. So, if you are stressing over postpartum hair loss, take comfort in knowing that postpartum hair loss is normal, and most women will have their hair back to its usual thickness relatively quickly.
Of course, it may take a while for the regrown hairs to reach their same length if you had pretty long hair before your baby. So, you may want to take this time to have fun trying out some shorter styles to give those âbaby hairsâ time to catch up to the length of the rest of your hair.
What Can You Do To Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss
If you are experiencing noticeable postpartum hair loss or if your doctor has advised that its time for you to start taking prenatal vitamins, then its important that you follow a few simple tips to help slow down or stop hair loss.
First of all, make sure you are receiving the proper nutrients by eating well and following your doctors advice on which supplements to take. During pregnancy, your body needs lots of B-vitamins vitamin B is essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Secondly, make sure you are taking proper care of yourself by getting plenty of rest , staying away from stress as much as possible, and exercising regularly to boost endorphins levels in the body.
Lastly, its important that you maintain a good head hygiene routine to prevent an accumulation of bacteria, which can lead to infections and even hair loss.
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Natural Postpartum Hair Loss Remedies
When it comes to your bodys postpartum recovery whether its your hair, your vagina, your c-section scar, or your postpartum bleeding there are a few natural ways to get yourself back on track faster.
- Rest and take it easy .
- Prioritize nutrition in your diet.
- Follow your doctors advice on postpartum care .
Taking good care of yourself may not magically stop your hair from falling out, but it will make you feel a LOT better. And it might give your body the fortification needed to overcome postpartum depletion and grow f*cking great hair.
Can Postpartum Hair Loss Be Prevented
There isnt anything that can necessarily stop your hair from shedding, but there are things you can do to help combat it. There are treatments you can do with the help of your dermatologist, and there are things you can add into your daily routine to help your hair look and feel fuller.
- Your dermatologist can perform a variety of diagnostic tests that can be used to confirm the diagnosis to render the right therapy to stop hair shedding. One of the treatments includes replenishing the iron in your body, or taking specific hair vitamins that are well studied and proven to prevent or treat Telogen Effluvium.
- Maintain a healthy and active lifestyle: exercising, eating well and taking care of your body are essential in hair health.
- Its easier said than done, but try and keep your stress levels low. Stress can contribute to hair thinning and shedding.
- Use therapeutic shampoos containing growth factor peptides to regrow hair, or volumizing shampoo to coat the hair and make it appear fuller and thicker. Also, use therapeutic conditioners: not only do they add moisture to your hair strands, but they add elasticity and repair the cuticles of the hair shafts. Lastly, condition only your ends so the conditioner doesnt weigh down the hairs on your scalp.
- Maintain a clean and healthy scalp by using therapeutic scalp sprays and anti-fungal shampoos to remove scales from the scalp this allows the hairs to grow in.
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How Is Postpartum Hair Loss Treated
There’s no treatment for postpartum hair loss, but these steps can help your hair feel fuller and prevent further hair loss and damage:
- Choose a shampoo and conditioner that add volume. Volumizing shampoos and lighter conditioners can add body to your hair. You may have to experiment to find products that work best for your hair type.
- Treat your hair with care. Be gentle when washing and combing your hair. Use lower heat settings on blow dryers and styling irons to prevent damage. Avoid tight ponytails and braids that can add tension to your hair and lead to more hair loss.
- Try a different hairstyle.Shorter cuts may give your hair a fuller appearance. They are also easier to take care of, which can be helpful when you have a new baby.
Also make sure youre getting the nutrients you need for hair growth with a healthy diet. Talk to your provider about vitamins to supplement your diet.
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.
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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.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss And When Does It Start
Hair will most commonly begin to shed about three months postpartum. After birth, hair is usually stable and then the telogen effluvium or intense hair shedding starts around three to four months postpartum, says Dr. Mariwalla. Unfortunately, that often coincides with poor sleep and overall exhaustion from having a new baby in the house.
This combination can make hair loss an emotional event. It can sometimes make new parents feel vulnerable and uneasy.Dr. Mariwalla tells her patients to remain calm during this time. The key thing is reassurance that they will not go bald but it can take almost a year for all of the hair to grow back, says Dr. Mariwalla.
Unfortunately, there are still questions as to why hair loss happens, aside from the hormone fluctuations new parents experience. What we do know is that hair loss is a very real side effect.
Postpartum telogen effluvium remains understudied and is lacking hard data to prove any theory , says Bridgette Hill, founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis, and a certified trichologist.The theories range from increased levels of progesterone and increased iron intake to nutritional deficiencies.”
Breastfeeding is also a factor for hair loss, since it can be quite taxing on the body.”Breastfeeding can also impact the hormonal and nutritional balances, which can result in hair shedding, Hill notes.
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