Is Postpartum Hair Loss Normal and Can I Stop It?

So you survived 40 weeks of pregnancy, countless hours of labor, and 3 months of sleep exhaustion with your newborn. Now, you get to lose your hair, yay! That dreaded postpartum hair loss is here and its inevitable.

Postpartum Hair Loss

Most moms will experience postpartum hair loss, and there really is no way to avoid it. Right around the 3 month mark is when it starts. You glide your hand through your hair and out comes a fistful of hair! If you haven’t experienced this yet, be prepared, it’s a lot of hair. We know its coming but why does it happen and what can we do about it?

The Why

Blame the hormones, estrogen specifically. Normal hair has three phases, a growth phase (anagen), a transitional phase (catagen), and a rest phase (telogen). During pregnancy, you experience an abnormally large amount of growth resulting in thick, full hair. Once you give birth, the hormones drop off and that new hair goes into the rest phase. It is after a few weeks of this rest phase that you will start to notice the hair loss. It typically starts at 3 months postpartum and can last up to 12 months postpartum, yikes!

Can You Stop It?

Sorry, but no. This hair loss is not any problem really, it is a normal part of your hormone changes. You can do some things to promote healthy hair and hair growth, but you will still lose all that hair you grew during pregnancy. Here are some things that promote healthy hair:

  1. Continue to take your prenatal vitamin for proper nutrition.
  2. Take a Biotin supplement. Always consult your physician before starting supplements, especially if breastfeeding.
  3. Use a good shampoo and conditioner, try to minimize hair washing.
  4. Do not use any strong chemicals on your hair until your hair returns to its pre-pregnancy state.
  5. Minimize heat, like blowdrying and straightening.
  6. Be gentle when brushing so you don’t put stress on the hair follicle.

When to Worry

While postpartum hair loss is normal, there are some things to watch for. You should not develop any bald areas on the scalp, this is not postpartum hair loss. Another thing to watch for is continued hair loss after 12 months postpartum. Your hair should return to its pre pregnancy state by this time.

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Postpartum Hair Loss

Postpartum Hair Loss

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