Stopping Postpartum Hair Loss
A combination of vitamins, minerals, and supplements can help to decrease the amount of hair you will lose after having a baby.
Did you lose hair during the postpartum period? Do you have any great tips or tricks to share to help make the hair loss easier? Leave a comment and let me know.
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When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Occur
The increased hair fall can occur anywhere from one to six months after childbirth and can last up to another five months after that. Hair typically returns to its pre-pregnancy condition by the time the baby turns one.
If you feel the hair loss is concerning and has not slowed down 12 months after your childs birth, feel free to seek medical advice.
Reduce Stress And Make Time To Relax
Being a mom is stressful, especially if this is your first baby. You go from having all your spare time being just for you to juggling work and parenthood. Free time and a good nights sleep often is a thing of the past.
Even though youre deeply in love with your baby, its stressful for both your body and mind. Try to get your partner on board with giving you a little bit of relaxation time, even if its just 30 minutes so you can enjoy a long hot bath. Or ask them to give you one of those scalp massages we mentioned earlier!
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How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last
Postpartum hair loss is a temporary phase, and it’s unlikely that your hair will go from extra-thick to barely there. That said, everyone’s hormonal shift will manifest differently. “It’s a very natural process,” Dr. Shah says.
Don’t fret if your hair starts feeling extra thin. While there are exceptions, Dr. Shah reassures that most of the time, hair loss will spontaneously normalize. “The time to recovery varies. In some people it’s three months, in some people it’s six months. Occasionally it can last a year,” she says.
Does Breastfeeding Affect Postpartum Hair Thinning
According to a 2014 study, the answer is not much! While monitoring changes to the hair cycle during pregnancy and the year after birth, researchers found that, at four months postpartum, breastfeeding women had higher amounts of hair in the growth phase than women who were not breastfeeding.
However, this difference appears to be short-lived, as the average number of growth phase hairs and resting phase hairs during the first full postpartum year showed no significant difference between the two groups of women when compared. So, while an initial difference was found, the impact of breastfeeding on a new motherâs hair cycle doesnât seem to last long.
How To Manage Postpartum Hair Loss
Keep your hair healthy by eating well and continuing to take your prenatal vitamin supplement.
Be extra gentle during your shedding season to prevent excess hair loss after pregnancy. Shampoo only when necessary , and use a good conditioner and a wide-toothed comb to minimize tangling.
Use scrunchies or barrettes to put hair up, instead of rubber bands and don’t pull hair into tight ponytails.
Skip blow-dryers, curling and flat irons if you can, and put off any chemically based treatments like highlights, perms and straightening sessions until the shedding stops.
Try a new style to help bridge the gap until your hair is back to its normal thickness. Some cuts such as a blunt bob can give the illusion that your hair is thicker than it is, and its a fresh new style for this next chapter in your life.
Volumizing, thickening shampoos and stylers are a great option to help growth and give hair the fullness its lacking.
Being Honest About Hair Loss Can Help
Postpartum shedding is a normal and expected process, Donovon said. Shedding should return to pre-pregnancy rates by the time a woman’s baby turns one, he added. If it doesn’t, a woman should see a dermatologist, he said.
In the meantime, it can help to talk openly about your hair loss with loved ones and close friends, Donovan said.
“With so much focus on the new baby, there is often little attention given to the concerns of the new mom. Talking with others, especially other mothers who experienced hair loss, can be helpful,” he said.
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When Will Postpartum Hair Loss End And When Should I Be Worried
If you are in good health status meaning your bloodwork is normal, you are eating a nutrient-dense diet and do not have any thyroid issues your postpartum hair loss should subside 6-24 weeks after it began.
Note that I said after it began because the timing of hair loss differs woman to woman. If youre seeing little flyaway baby hairs pop up in the 6-24 weeks after you first began to lose lots of hair, this is a good sign that your hair re-growth phase has begun! Six to 24 weeks is a LONG time, so be patient. Most often, these baby hairs are most visible along your hair line and temples.
If you do not observe any hair re-growth in those 6-24 weeks, you may want to consider getting lab work done to assess if theres an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.
Anemia: For example, if you had an iron deficiency during pregnancy, are currently deficient, or suspect deficiency, associated anemia has been linked to hair loss in general but is easily identifiable, treatable, and will likely go away with resolution. You may want to request an iron panel to rule out anemia . I also talk about postpartum iron deficiency and anemia here.
If you have ruled out these other issues but are still concerned your hair shedding isnt normal, take a look at your eating habits and stress/mental health.
These are all things that can affect your hormones, and therefore, your hair loss.
When To Visit Your Healthcare Provider
If you notice that your hair loss is particularly severe or that youâve been shedding hair for longer than about half a year, it might be time to see your healthcare provider.
In some cases, a thyroid issue such as having an underactive thyroid may be causing the hair loss. Some thyroid conditions are also linked to pregnancy or the postpartum period. If your healthcare provider diagnoses a thyroid condition, she will be able to offer you treatment.
As you already know all too well, pregnancy and the postpartum period are filled with lots of wondrous â and not so wondrous â changes in your body.
Although it may seem as if thereâs no end to how many ways your body is changing, when it comes to your hair things will soon return to normal.
How We Wrote This ArticleThe information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.
- See all sources
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What Is Postpartum Hair Loss And Why Does It Happen
So what is postpartum hair loss? Its when new moms shed excess hair in the 1-5 month period after giving birth.
Photo credit: AlexandrasGirlyTalk
The good news: postpartum hair loss is temporary! While you had your bun in the oven, you probably got that super lux pregnancy hair. You know, when your hair got all shiny and thick? That happened because your hormones were in growth mode. Of course, the growth mode occurs to help build your little one, but it has lovely consequences for your skin, nails and hair. Once you give birth, the growth mode turns off and your hormones go wild, causing all that extra hair plus a bunch of normal hair to drop out. And when we say drop out, we mean come out in clumps whenever you do things like shower, brush, or run your fingers through your hair.
What Is Postpartum Hair Loss
Postpartum hair loss occurs post child birth. It usually affects the entire scalp and happens due to hormonal imbalances after pregnancy.
A lot of women tend to associate postpartum hair fall with the stress of having a newborn baby. Well, stress can trigger hair fall. However, in this case, it is more likely that you may be experiencing hair loss due to hormonal fluctuations.
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What Can You Do About It
According to the experts, within a year of giving birth, everything should level off and postpartum hair shedding should be done. Breastfeeding can help slow down the shedding but, for the most part, you just have to let nature run its course.
While you cant stop the shedding from happening, youcanmake sure you dont lose any more hair than you have to! A dietary supplement, like ourHealthy Hair Formula, along with a healthy, balanced diet will help promote healthy hair growth as you deal with postpartum shedding. Regular scalp massages with ourMint Almond Oil can help stimulate the hair follicles to encourage growth.
Try out different styles that will help camouflage any loss you may have experienced and not make the situation worse. For example, instead of pulling your hair back so often, opt for styles that include a bang or a loosely placed roll, tuck and pin faux bang to reduce stress around the edges and the temple area, which is usually the most affected.
Since caring for a newborn takes a lot of time, you may even consider a big chop to make life easier. Hey, one less thing to worry about and the hair loss is less noticeable.
What was YOUR experience with postpartum hair loss? How did you get through it?
Resources: What to Expect, BabyCenter
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Faq: Does Breastfeeding Cause Postpartum Hair Loss
Postpartum hair loss is a normal and temporary postpartum change that is unrelated to breastfeeding. Most women will return to their usual hair growth cycle between 6 and 12 months after birth.
Many new moms notice hair loss sometimes quite dramatic around three months postpartum. This is a normal and temporary postpartum change that is unrelated to breastfeeding.
Following is how the hair growth cycle works:
All hair has a growth phase, termed anagen, and a resting phase, telogen. On the scalp, anagen lasts approximately 3 years, while telogen lasts roughly 3 months, although there can be wide variation in these times between individuals. During telogen, the resting hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by growth of a new anagen hair.
from Telogen Effluvium by Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD
Normally, around 85-95% of your hair is in the growth phase at any point in time, but the hormonal changes during pregnancy stimulate an increase in the percentage of hairs in the growth phase. As a result, many women enjoy thicker hair during pregnancy, as more hairs than normal are growing and fewer than normal are resting/shedding.
With the birth of your baby , a larger number of hairs than normal enter the resting phase. Since the resting phase is followed by hair shedding , new mothers will experience greater than normal hair loss once the resting phase ends.
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How Long Will It Last
Hair shedding can occur from around 3 months postpartum and should slow down around 6 months postpartum. If you find that it doesn’t subside, there may be another underlying issue, and we suggest you speak with your doctor. Do remember that pregnancy, having a newborn, and breastfeeding all take their toll on your body and you must be patient while it resets itself.
How Severe Can Postpartum Hair Thinning Be
While postpartum hair thinning is commonly a self-limited issue requiring nothing more than time and patience, for some women, this period of increased shedding can be prolonged or even permanent. Why does this vary so much from woman to woman? It may have to do with other hair-related risk factors.
Some experts debate how common postpartum hair thinning truly is. Itâs been suggested that the true underlying issue may be a missed indicator of androgen-sensitive thinning. Cases of hormonal related hair thinning can affect both men and women, despite its common referral as âmale pattern baldness.â In women, it commonly presents as generalized hair thinning over the top of the head. But why would this hair shedding suddenly become more apparent after pregnancy?
With androgen-sensitive hair thinning, an individualâs hair growth cycle is shorter than typical, meaning their hair is quicker to switch from the growth to resting phase in addition to a process called miniaturization, where the hair follicle becomes smaller and smaller. But during pregnancy, some scientists believe that individuals who commonly have a shorter growth phase enjoy a temporary exemption, as their pregnancy hormones allow more hair follicles to stay in the growth phase longer. The downside? Once the hormonal changes of postpartum hit, all of these hairs are shifted out of the growth phase of the hair cycle.
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Does Hair Grow Back After Postpartum Thinning
While itâs emotionally distressing to lose more hair than usual, most people who experience hair thinning from a stressful event — yes, having a baby is considered a stressor by your body! — can recover. With a little patience, hair grows back after six to 15 months and often gets back to its prior growth cycle from then on. However, it is not uncommon to hear that postpartum hair never quite returned to the same quality or thickness it once had.
Postpartum Hair Loss: Why It Happens And How To Deal With It
There are plenty of reasons why we love babies. That intoxicating, sweet, natural scent when you sniff the top of their heads.
Those little itty-bitty toes that are nibble worthy and the adorable tiny booties and socks that go over those toes. The toothless grins that melt your heart, even though theyre probably gas-induced.
That moment when they suddenly grab onto your finger and wont let go. The stinkin cute outfits that make you want to dress them up all the time.
These things make the seemingly endless sleepless nights, poop explosions, and mommy brain worth it. But there are not-so-fun parts of recovering from childbirth. Sore nipples are no joke.
Postpartum depression is real. And when you start shedding hair at an alarming rate, that can be unexpected and scary.
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