All those body changes slow down after my baby’s born, right? Well, pregnancy has another surprise in store for you. It wants to change your hairline, too. That’s postpartum hair loss.
So, what’s going on with your locks? Why exactly is your hair thinning? And the biggest question: can you go bald from postpartum hair loss? Thankfully, the answer to that last question is a no.
In this post, we’re going to be answering all your questions about hair loss after pregnancy. And we’ll give you some tips for dealing with it too.
In this article 📝
- Why am I experiencing hair loss after pregnancy?
- How long does postpartum hair loss last?
- What can I do about postpartum hair loss?
Why am I experiencing hair loss after pregnancy?
Lots of mamas experience postpartum alopecia, as the condition is known (about half, according to the American Pregnancy Association).
But it can affect different women in different ways. While some mamas might experience a very light thinning (or not thinning at all), other women can see their hair fall out in clumps. And when you see those clumps in the shower, it can be pretty frightening.
What causes postpartum hair loss? Well, every person’s hair goes through a cycle of growing and then falling out. During pregnancy, your hormones – particularly estrogen and progesterone – go through the roof, causing your hair to grow faster and fall out less.
This has the lovely effect of endowing you with voluminous, thick, luscious locks.
But, alas! All good things must come to an end.
After childbirth, your hormones start to recover their balance, but it can be a pretty rocky road. Add to the mix the fact that you may be a bit stressed and sleep-deprived, and you have a recipe for a lot of confused hormones. The shifting hormones cause your hair follicles to enter a so-called “resting” stage. After a good “rest” your follicles then decide it’s time to shed their old strands to make way for new ones. Thus, the clumps in the shower.
But notice what we said there at the end – your follicles are shedding hair to make way for new strands. More hair is on its way, mama!
How long does postpartum hair loss last?
When does postpartum hair loss start? Usually 2 to 6 months after giving birth. But it’s not always so predictable for every mama. There are stories of some women experiencing it up to a year after pregnancy.
As we know, different mamas, different bodies. And different bodies mean different experiences and changes. For example, if you didn’t experience postpartum hair loss with your first child, there’s nothing to say that you won’t see it the second time round – or the third (and so on).
So, how long does your hair fall out after having a baby? You’ll probably return to your normal hair growth cycle somewhere between 6 and 12 months post-pregnancy.
But, say hello again to that familiar caveat: that’s not guaranteed – and some women will see their locks return to their familiar lustrousness much sooner than that.
What can I do about postpartum hair loss?
How to stop postpartum hair loss, you ask? Well, now, the bad news. There is no proper “cure” or “treatment” for hair loss after pregnancy.
But that doesn’t mean that you’re going bald. Postpartum hair loss will stop by itself. And you can do one thing that helps: try not to exacerbate it.
It all sounds scary, we know. But don’t worry, you’ll be fine. Here are some little tips on how to keep your hair in your head after pregnancy.
Treatment for hair loss post-pregnancy
Skip the regular styling.
Just for the time being, straightening or curling your hair can put extra stress on those weak strands. And intense brushing can cause more hair to come out, too. So, it’s worth being gentle or reducing the amount of styling you do.
A healthy diet.
Vitamins, minerals, proteins. Making sure you have a good nutrient balance is one good way to not exacerbate postpartum hair loss. Iron, zinc, and vitamin D are the best places to start. So, hit the leafy greens, legumes, and whole grains if possible. And along with keeping your ‘do in shape, it should give you a bit of energy back, too.
Choose the right shampoos.
Go for volumizing shampoos (these’ll make your locks look fuller) but avoid those shampoos that claim to be “conditioning” as they can sometimes make your hair look a bit limp. Focus your conditioner on the ends of your hair, just enough to protect dry ends without weighing everything down.
Change up your ‘do.
Some looks can make your hair look thinner, while others seem to give you a fuller head of hair. When you get a chance, head to a salon for a little pampering.
Yeah, not so much a treatment as a state of mind. And, while it might be easier for some mamas than for others, sitting tight will eventually work out.
Remember, postpartum hair loss is your body’s way of returning your hair to what it looked like pre-pregnancy. And, no, you won’t go bald.