From knowing the science behind postpartum hair loss to preventing hair fall after giving birth, here’s a detailed version of post-pregnancy hair loss!
Extreme weight gain, change in body shape, skin problems like acne, warts etc. and the famous hair loss after pregnancy. But that doesn’t stop us from loving the fact that we’re women. So we’re here to be with you through this exciting yet difficult time! From the causes to prevention, check out everything about hair fall after birth.
Post Pregnancy Hair Loss
Hair falling out after having a baby is a common and temporary issue that most women face. This is related to the hair growth cycle, too. Before understanding why and what causes postpartum hair loss, it’s important to know the cycle of a hair follicle. There are three phases of a hair follicle and this is a cycle that contributes to the hair growth and fall. Hair follicle lives in a cycle of a long period of growth and a relatively short period of rest.
1. Anagen (growing): The growth period is where the hair from the hair follicle grows up to three to five years and this phase is called anagen.
2. Telogen (resting): The rest period is wherein the hair is attached to hair follicle but does not grow any further. Referred to as telogen, this phase lasts for 3-4 months.
3. Catagen (intermediate): After the resting phase, hair enters the shedding phase, known as catagen. This phase lasts for 1-2 weeks and deeper portions of hair follicle start to collapse.
Is It Normal to Lose Hair After Pregnancy?
Well, yes, hair falling out after pregnancy is very common. So no need to worry about it. In fact, even though you see more hairfall, your hair thickness after pregnancy is nearly the same as it was before you conceived.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?
Let’s take a look at how hormonal changes during and after pregnancy affect hair growth phases:
1. Hair Growth During Pregnancy
Usually, 85-90% of your hair is in the growth phase at any point of time. But the hormonal changes during pregnancy stimulate an increase in the percentage of hairs that are in the growth phase. And there will be increased levels of estrogen in the body, so the hair in the resting phase freeze and don’t shed. So, you will experience thicker, longer hair during pregnancy.
2. Hair Fall After Baby
With the birth of the baby, the mother’s hormones get back to normal. So, the hair in the resting phase starts to shed. The amount of hair shedding is more than normal. This is because of the extra hair that was in resting phase during pregnancy. But it’s normal to have hair fall as your hair length and thickness will be the same as it was before conceiving. Some women do experience slight changes in hair texture right after delivery.
Breastfeeding and Hair Loss
Breastfeeding the child has nothing to do with postpartum hair loss. Usually, postpartum hair loss starts after three months of childbirth. Most women will return to their usual hair growth cycle between 6 to 12 months after delivery.
Extreme Hair Loss
After childbirth, the hair shedding starts after 3 months of the childbirth, as that’s how long the shedding of hair phase is. So, it leads to hair fall. The amount of hair fall also depends on how much your hair grew during pregnancy. If it’s too thick then you’ll experience more hair fall.
If you feel your hair loss is greater and hasn’t stopped even by the time your baby is 12 months old, then it’s advised to seek a doctor. Excessive hair loss is caused due to postpartum conditions like:
- Thyroid imbalance known as hypothyroidism
- Iron deficiency and Anaemia
- Lack of vitamin B12
- Emotional stress
- Sudden shock, which may be physical or mental
How to Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss
One cannot completely get rid of postpartum hair loss. But you can try a few methods to minimize it.
1. Wash your hair with sulfate free shampoo. With lesser time for self-grooming, you don’t want to damage your hair with shampoos and conditioners with harsh chemicals.
2. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair. Avoid combing wet hair, which is prone to breakage.
3. Avoid tight hair-dos. This includes tying your hair into a tight ponytail and a bun. It might be difficult to manage hair with the baby. But you can braid your hair or tie it into a loose bun.
4. Stay away from chemical treatments like coloring and other styling methods. Instead, you can use henna for coloring your hair.
5. Maintain a healthy diet and hydrate well. Your food intake should contain foods that are rich in iron, vitamin C, vitamin D and biotin.
6. You can try hair masks, too. Try masks with egg whites, soaked fenugreek seeds water, coconut oil overnight mask and many more. Read about hair masks in my reverse hair loss article.
7. Massage your scalp. This helps in blood circulation through the scalp that regenerates hair growth. You can do in the shower while washing the hair or before shampooing.
8. And lastly, reduce stress. It may be difficult to avoid emotional stress post the childbirth. But try to give time for yourself and indulge in activities that you like. Meditation is also a great way to reduce stress.
Hair Regrowth After Pregnancy
Your hair will grow back once your baby is 12 months. In fact, it may even grow really long and healthy. Also, there are chances your hair grows out but will be frizzy, wispy and stubborn. In such cases, you need to take extra care of your mane. Let’s check out how!
1. Take the essential external vitamins. Since your body has undergone so many changes, you may have vitamin deficiency even after maintaining a good diet. So, consult your doctor to test for any deficiencies and consume vitamins as suggested.
2. Don’t wrap wet towel after a shower. Just pat it dry and let it dry naturally.
3. Skip using heat products on your hair for atleast a few months.
4. Massage your hair by applying a light oil on your palms. Good oils to try include olive, Moroccan and coconut. This will reduce the friction effect and increases blood circulation in the scalp.
5. Keep getting rid of split ends by going for regular trimmings to keep it looking healthy.
So, that was all about postpartum hair loss. Do you have additional points to suggest? Let us know by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja!
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Sahana is a Senior Staff Writer at ShilpaAhuja.com. With an experience in fashion and lifestyle writing, Sahana is responsible for Indian and international fashion week coverage every year, and is developing an expertise in apparel trend forecasting. She also writes about health and fitness, having pursued yoga for 6 years now. She’s not a gym person at all but is all for “running in the park” and is an amateur cyclist. Books and coffee are her other passions. She’s also an amateur photographer. She’s a hardcore Bollywood fan and she loves to cover the nostalgic topics on the same. From fashion trends to famous characters, she can make anyone love Bollywood! Her best article has been 90s Bollywood fashion, a readers’ favorite so far! Prior to her experience with ShilpaAhuja.com, Sahana has written as a freelance author for online magazine, Mashup Corner, and interned at EventsHigh as a content writer. Her blogs on basic fashion, makeup, fitness and city’s food joints that gave her a chance to experiment with her writing. She also has voiced her opinions about feminism and equal rights for men and women at PolkaCafe journals and after quitting her job, she decided to take up writing as her full time career.
Sahana is an engineering graduate and has worked in an MNC, Tesco, for more than a year as an Operations Support. It was her sheer love for fashion that made her quit the monotonous 9 to 5 job to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She’s originally from Bangalore and is currently settled in Chennai (she’s loving the city)! For any queries and discussions, contact her at [email protected] You can also tweet her at https://twitter.com/Sahana_17