How to Deal with Postpartum Hair Loss?

How to Deal with Postpartum Hair Loss?

24.09.2021 Off By manager_1

woman in white shirt carrying baby

Many women suffer from postpartum hair loss, or postpartum-alopecia. While it can be frightening to see a large amount of hair falling out of the shower drain, it is normal for new mothers to experience excessive hair loss after giving birth.

According to Dr. Ailynne Marie Vergara–Wijangco (a dermatologist and researcher at Thank Your Skin), “Many moms notice noticeable hair loss after having babies.” This is normal and not ‘true’ hair loss. This condition is called excessive hair loss by dermatologists. It is possible to feel some relief knowing that postpartum hair shedding is normal.

If you are a new mom who is experiencing hair loss, you might be wondering how long it will last and how much hair you will have left. Here are some tips and tricks to help your hair grow.

  • What is the average length of postpartum hair loss?

Although the length of the postpartum period will vary from one woman to another, generally, it takes six months for the body to get back to pre-pregnant levels. It can take several months to get hormone levels back to normal after giving birth. Hormonal changes are ongoing long after the birth.

Dr. Vergara said, “The good news about excessive shedding is that it is temporary and you don’t have to do anything to fix it. Most women notice their hair returning to normal after their baby’s first birthday. Many women see a return to normal hair growth even sooner.”

  • Why it happens?

After pregnancy, the female body experiences a lot of changes. Many women experience positive hair changes during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones may help to thicken your hair. Dr. Zachary Okhah is the founder and chief surgeon at PH-1 Miami – “These hormones become less important after childbirth. Many mothers experience significant hair loss and excessive hair shedding. This is when your hair begins to return to its normal state. Postpartum hair loss is not preventable. This is because hormonal changes are an inevitable part of pregnancy, and after childbirth.”

These hormonal shifts are normal. However, they can have a significant impact on our physiology and our hair cycle. Simply put, postpartum hair loss is an interruption in our normal hair growth cycles due to hormonal changes that are caused by childbirth and pregnancy. Dr. Erum Illyas, a board-certified dermatologist who founded AmberNoon, stated that postpartum hair loss is often classified as telogen effluvium. It is believed to be caused by hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and the physical stress associated with childbirth.

  • What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen effluvium (or TE) is temporary hair loss caused by major stress or shock to the body. TE can result from medical conditions, temporary illnesses like COVID-19 or personal stress such as the death of a family member or job loss. Postpartum hair loss is caused by hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and childbirth.

Normal growth goes through four phases. The telogen phase, also known as the “resting phase”, is where hair follicles cease producing hair shafts. They then lay dormant until they shed to start the next growth cycle. About 8%-10% of your hair follicles will be in the resting phase at any one time. However, TE causes your body to shock excessively and cause a large number of hair follicles prematurely to enter the telogen stage. You can actually expect to see a significant improvement in your hair health by the time you notice hair loss. This is because the shedding signals that your hair cycles have begun to shift back to the anagen phase or active hair growth cycle.

  • How can I get healthy hair growth back?

Hair wellness begins within. To achieve healthy hair, you must take a holistic approach towards your overall health. It’s all about your inner health, and how you care for your hair.

  1. Focus on hair-friendly foods and supplements. A healthy and balanced diet is an essential part of your body’s recovery from pregnancy. Attention to vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are particularly important for hair growth, such as biotin and iron, zinc, vitamins A, B-9, and omega-3 fatty acid (to name a few). Avocados, sweet potatoes and spinach are all good options for hair. Supplements can be used to provide daily biotin, along with vitamins A, C, and E (consult your doctor first).
  2. It’s important that you actively manage stress. You should also remember that you can return to normal hair growth over time. Dr. Ilyas advised that women should avoid compounding stress to ensure a quick return to normal hair growth. When it comes to normal hair cycle recovery, knowledge is power. Hair loss can be more stressful than usual.
  3. You need to choose the right products. Postpartum hair loss and TE can cause hair to thin more than usual. Products that are designed for fine hair can help to prevent your hair from looking dull and weighed down. Dr. Okhah said, “To encourage healthy hair growth, switch to a volumizing shampoo. These will only weight down your hair.” 
  4. You might also consider adding a dry shampoo that will lift your roots, or a multi-purpose foam that can increase volume and texture.
  5. Be gentle. Avoid heat styling and blow drying as much as you can. Excessive brushing and combing are also no-no. A daily hair serum will help your body to support its natural microbiome and normal hair growth cycles.
  6. Regular exercise is key to healthy hair. There are many health benefits to exercising, such as managing stress and helping balance hormones, which can lead to hair loss post-partum. Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It also manages blood sugar, insulin levels, and stimulates blood flow.

Consult a Doctor if your hair loss is severe or prolonged. Dr. Vergara advised that if your hair doesn’t regain its fullness within a year, it is worth seeing a dermatologist. Your hair may be falling out for another reason. It is important to get a diagnosis in order to provide effective treatment.

Hair loss following childbirth is completely normal. Although new mothers might be surprised by the sudden, dramatic shedding that occurs after childbirth, this is usually a temporary experience that will resolve on its own. If the hair loss continues or becomes more severe, consult your healthcare provider. There is no cure for postpartum hair loss. However, there are ways to support hair growth.