Postpartum Hair Loss
You did the nine months pregnancy, gave birth to the baby and now you're starting to recover. But suddenly you notice your hair is coming out in clumps and you're not sure what to do next! Let's talk about postpartum hair loss and what you can do about it.
What is postpartum hair loss?
The average person loses about 100 hairs a day but after you've given birth you're not average! A few months after you've had a baby, you may notice that your hair is excessively shedding in clumps.
What causes postpartum hair loss?
The short answer is: hormones.
Hair grows from small pores in your scalp and is continuously growing and shedding in three stages all throughout your lifetime:
Active Stage: your hair is actively growing
Transitional Stage: where the pores in your scalp shrink
Resting Phase: when the pores release the hair and it falls out
When you're expecting, pregnancy hormones keep your hair in the active stage. It's why so many people enjoy a beautiful, lush and healthy head of hair while they're pregnant. But after you've had the baby, those hormones drop and suddenly your hair cycle is in the resting phase and it starts to fall out.
How much hair will you lose due to postpartum hair loss?
It can be really scary to pull handfuls of your hair out at any point in your life. But postpartum is a time of hormonal readjustment and physical and emotional exhaustion so it may feel even more distressing!
An average person has 80,000 t0 120,000 hairs on their head and they shed up to 100 hairs a day. If you're experiencing postpartum hair loss, you'll lose more than 100 hairs per day.
How long does postpartum hair loss last?
The bad news is that you're losing your hair after you've had a baby. The good news is that it's only temporary! Shedding your hair should only last about six months and you should be celebrating your baby's first birthday with a beautiful head of hair.
Tips for dealing with postpartum hair loss
Be gentle with your hair
You're already losing more than 100 hairs per day when you have postpartum hair loss, so the best thing you can do is treat your hair with kindness. It won't stop the hairs from falling out, but it'll help keep the hairs that remain healthy. You can do this by:
Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner
Choose shampoos that add volume and conditioners that aren't too heavy. Heavy conditioners weigh your hair down. Try different products until you find the right combination for your hair type.
Ditch the heat
Let your hair air-dry whenever possible. If you must use a hairdryer, turn the heat setting to cool. Take a little break from flat irons and curling wands.
Stay away from chemical treatments
This is the time to stay away from colouring, perming and straightening your hair. Go natural until your hair growth returns.
Try a cute new hairstyle that works with your natural texture
This can be a great time to try a new, shorter hairstyle!
Say no to elastic bands
There's nothing like a mom-bun, but try to use scrunchies and clips to put your hair up loosely, rather than using elastic bands and tight ponytails.
Eat a nutritionally balanced diet
It won't stop your hair from falling out, but it will make the hair left behind look healthier.
Can you prevent postpartum hair loss?
Unfortunately you can't prevent postpartum hair loss, but it's helpful to know that it could happen to you so you're not surprised by it.
Can hair loss affect your baby?
In general, no. This can be a very normal part of pregnancy and childbirth and it won't affect your baby.
However, when your hair falls out they can wrap around your baby's fingers and toes and cut off their circulation. That can be painful and dangerous for your baby. If you're experiencing postpartum hair loss, be sure to check your baby's digits every day to prevent this from happening.
Postpartum hair loss is a normal part of pregnancy and birth that can really take you by surprise if you don't know about it. Take comfort in knowing that it is only temporary and you'll have your hair back again soon.
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!