mother with cute newborn

How to Manage Postpartum Hair Loss

Just as bodily changes occur during pregnancy, you may notice strange things happening to your body shortly after giving birth. One of the most common is postpartum hair loss. While the natural reaction to postpartum hair loss is distress, there’s actually no need to worry. Let’s take a look at some important information on this process, how long it lasts, and how to manage its symptoms.

What Is Postpartum Hair Loss?

Postpartum hair loss is a process that occurs shortly after giving birth, in which the hair thins and starts to shed much faster than normal. This can be distressing to notice, especially as it often occurs in tandem with other postpartum conditions, but fortunately, it’s temporary.

What Causes Hair Loss After Pregnancy?

Upset astonished woman looking at her dry hair, having problems of Postpartum Hair Loss

Postpartum hair loss stems from the same root cause as other conditions like postpartum depression: hormonal shifts. During pregnancy, your estrogen and progesterone levels rise sharply. Once your child is born, however, those hormone levels quickly decline in order to return to normal. Estrogen has been linked to increased hair growth and thickness and less hair loss, so during pregnancy, your hair may appear to be fuller and healthier than usual. By the same token, though, this means that much of that extra growth will also be lost once your estrogen levels return to normal.

The Hair Growth Cycle

To fully understand why these hormonal shifts have the effects they do, you need to have a bit of basic knowledge of the hair growth cycle. The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: growth, regression, and rest. The growth phase is just what you’d expect: a period in which a new hair forms beneath the skin, emerges from the follicle, and continues to grow. During the regression phase, the hair stops growing and begins loosening in its follicle. Finally, in the rest phase, the old hair falls out, allowing a new hair to begin forming beneath the skin.

Keep in mind that your hairs aren’t all operating on the same biological clock. Each follicle’s phase occurs at a different point in time, so it’s normal to shed a certain amount of hair every day. (Usually around 50-100 hairs.) Estrogen causes an increase in hair growth by lengthening the growth phase of each follicle. Once estrogen levels return to normal as described above, the growth phase quickly shortens, which means that the next phases will begin.

How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last?

Beautiful woman using a hairbrush after drying it

We mentioned postpartum hair loss being temporary, but how long does it last? According to the American Department of Dermatology, you’ll start to shed hair at a much faster rate about a month or two after giving birth. This is perfectly normal, and shouldn’t be any cause for concern. They do state, however, that you should consult a medical professional if the hair loss continues for any longer than a year. Past that point, most postpartum hormonal shifts should already be complete, so if your hair loss continues, there may be something else causing it.

Do I Need to See a Doctor?

Unless your hair loss has continued for more than a year, there’s no need to visit a doctor. Your hair loss will go away on its own, and most of the treatments to speed up the process can be found over the counter. Of course, you know your body better than anyone, so if you suspect there’s a larger underlying issue, don’t hesitate to book an appointment.

Can I Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss?

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to keep postpartum hair loss from happening. The postpartum hormonal shifts are a standard process, and will occur no matter the circumstances. However, the symptoms aren’t the same for everyone. Though hair loss does occur in a large proportion of new mothers, (estimates of around 40-50%) it’s not a guarantee. You may be lucky enough to only be affected by it to a lesser degree, or even avoid the effects entirely.

Postpartum Hair Loss Treatment

Woman taking Postpartum Hair Loss Treatment

Though there’s not much you can do to keep postpartum hair loss from occurring, there are ways to mitigate its effects. Maintaining the right routine with the right products can help reduce hair loss and ensure the hair you have is shiny and healthy. If you aren’t already using them, we recommend investing in a natural hair growth serum with peptides, gentle shampoo that promotes hair growth, and some high-quality conditioner. Start using these products in your regular hair care routine, and you’ll start noticing healthier hair that lasts throughout your postpartum hair loss and beyond. 

Looking for more great hair care tips, tricks, and products? Feel free to visit our site at NinthAvenue today!

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