Postpartum Hair Loss 101

Yes! That disgusting ball of hair is my 4 month postpartum hair loss. I collected all this hair off of my hairbrush in the last two weeks!

I have been shedding everywhere.  I have hair all over my bathroom and kitchen floor. It's a little unsightly.

I must have been complaining about it a lot because suddenly, I have been seeing ads all over my social media for "natural" supplements and shampoos that will instantly regrow my hair faster and thicker

Of course, I had to click on these ads to see what they are promoting. After 2 minutes browsing the websites, I realized these companies are targeting vulnerable, self concious, sleep-derived new mamas and their postpartum hair loss.

They claim their products will help postpartum mamas reclaim the beauty that was stolen from them by childbirth. 🙄

These are outrageous claims. You do not need to buy special gummy vitamins or expensive shampoo or essential oils or a hair mask to promote hair growth.

Let's talk about postpartum hair loss! 

 

 

Am I balding? No!  Should I be concerned? Absolutely not! Do I need to see my doctor for this? No, well, not yet. 

One of the best side effects of pregnancy is increased hair growth. Most pregnant women will notice thick, luscious, vibrant healthy hair during their entire pregnancy. However, a few moths after delivery, postpartum women will notice a surplus of hair clogging the shower drain and hair strands all over their bathroom floor. Is this normal?

Yes, indeed, it is! Postpartum hair loss happens to most women. Postpartum hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium, is the hair loss commonly occurring 1-5 months after delivery. It occurs in nearly 50% of postpartum women.  

What causes postpartum hair loss?

Your hair undergoes growth cycle. During pregnancy, there is an increase in estrogen and progesterone levels, which promotes hair growth. Hormone levels tend to fluctuate in the few months following childbirth and with that, there is a significant decrease in estrogen levels.  Therefore, the hair remains in a "resting" phase before it falls out and new hair growth begins.

What's the treatment for postpartum hair loss?

Unfortunately, not a whole lot. The best treatment really is just patience. Postpartum hair loss is temporary.  Restoration of normal hair patterns typically occurs within 6-12 months after delivery. There is no magic vitamin supplement that can prevent the shedding of the hair. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent further hair loss:

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet full of protein and vegetables
  • Minimize stress as much as possible (seek help from family or friends!)

Is there a link between breastfeeding and increase postpartum hair loss?

There has been no known link between breastfeeding and postpartum hair loss.


What if my normal hair growth doesn't return within one year?

If hair loss is excessive and hasn't stopped within 12 months, consider speaking to your provider for screening of hypothyroidism or iron deficiency anemia.

 

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