Postpartum Hair Loss - Causes and what to do about it!


Research by Trichologists suggests that an average person loses about 100 strands of hair per day but because this does not happen at once, you will barely notice it. However, a pregnant woman may lose around 15 strands or less per day. This is due to the high levels of estrogen that come with pregnancy. This will change once a woman births her baby.  A lot of women experience this and it's often scary and unexpected to some new moms. But what exactly is the cause, how long does it last and how can it be managed? 

Before we delve into this, let's look at what Postpartum hair loss is...

Essentially, Postpartum hair loss is just hair loss that is related to childbirth. Sometimes, it is referred to as "excessive hair shedding" according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In the months following delivery, many new moms notice that they are losing more hair than usual and that is exactly what is going on.


1. Hormonal changes 
  The key factor to postpartum hair loss is changes in hormones. From the early stages of pregnancy till the end, levels of production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone tend to increase rapidly. One of the effects of increased levels of estrogen and progesterone production in a pregnant woman's body is the increase in hair growth. This is why during pregnancy, there tends to be thicker and fuller hair because more hairs are being produced at a faster rate than the ones falling off.

Shortly after childbirth, the production of estrogen and progesterone in the body begins to die down, which means hair growth and quality reduces as well.

2. Blood volume changes

   During pregnancy, a woman's blood volume can increase by about 50% which leads to less hair falling out. But shortly after childbirth, the blood volume levels slowly decrease and goes back to normal which means your hair is going to start falling off again.

Does Breastfeeding Cause Postpartum Hair Loss?
        No. This is contrary to popular opinion amongst women of childbearing ages, postpartum hair loss has nothing to do with breastfeeding your child.

When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start to Happen?

This varies from one individual to another. Some women might notice that they are losing hair in clumps shortly after delivery while others will experience this after good 3 or 4 months later. However, there is a common time frame most women who experience postpartum hair loss seem to fall under. Between 2 months to 6 months after childbirth. 

It is worthy to note that not all women experience postpartum hair loss. Some women go through multiples of pregnancies without ever being affected by this while some others aren't so lucky.

How to Stop Postpartum Hair Loss

1. Less Stress: Stress is a killer in whatever context you think of it, both pregnancy, parenthood, and outside that. Therefore, it is imperative to make a conscious effort to avoid stress and live a calmer life. This will help to minimize the hair shedding fest.

2. Vitamins and Minerals: You need to infuse your body with adequate vitamins and minerals that it needs to function to the best of its abilities. You should also consider maintaining a good diet. Taking minerals and vitamins in the form of supplements is not enough. Vitamin pills are meant to complement an already healthy and well-balanced diet. They go hand in hand.

3. Good Shampoo

High-quality hair shampoo and conditioner can make all the difference in the world sometimes. I will recommend a good clarifying hair shampoo.

4. Comb Carefully

Do not stretch and pull your hair while combing. It is not war. Take it easy while handling and combing through your natural or permed hair. Strong pulling is only going to make your hair fall off at a faster rate than it already is.

5. Be careful with hair dyes: Dyes that contain harsh ingredients and harmful chemicals are going to speed up any postpartum hair loss you are already experiencing.

6. Avoid heat styling: Try your possible best to avoid heat stylings such as blow-drying, flat ironing, or heat curling as these will exacerbate hair loss.

7. See a Dermatologist: If everything fails or even before you try anything by yourself - consider scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist. They can suggest treatment options in the form of medication or therapy to stimulate new hair growth at a faster rate.

In conclusion, Postpartum hair loss is not glamorous and is not something women look forward to experiencing but you shouldn't panic about it. Some people have it easy while others don't. The fact is, about 90% of women experience a certain degree of hair loss after childbirth, so we are rocking this boat together, if not now, then later.

Your hair will definitely bounce back to normal, until then, hold your breath and your head high and think of it as some bad-ass badge you wear with pride.

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