Hair Falls Out For Many Reasons
Many new moms experience excessive hair shedding after pregnancy. Hair shedding usually peaks about four months after giving birth. By their childs first birthday, most women regain their normal hair growth. If your hair does not regain its normal fullness after one year, you may want to see a dermatologist. Something else may be causing your hair to fall out. People lose hair for many reasons, and an accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment.
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Postpartum Hair Loss Is A Dispiriting Reality Heres How I Found Help And Hope
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It started in the shower. I have thick, curly hair and am accustomed to shedding when washing or combing100 strands a day is, apparently, normal. What I was not accustomed to was when, around two months after I gave birth to my son last May, seemingly thousands of hairs began leaving my head every time I shampooed. Soon it was no longer just in the shower: It was when I gently raked my hair back into a ponytail and my hand emerged with a competing ponytail of escaping strands or when my pillowcase appeared to be covered with floating clouds of dark coils or, God forbid, when I actually brushed it and an American Girl dollsworth of hair clogged the bristles. Worse still is that I began noticing patchy spots around my hairline. My scalp was newly visible and I was not pleased to see it. Was the muffin-top of residual baby weight hanging over my C-section scar, and my ballooning, milk-leaking breasts not enough aesthetic trauma to suffer? Apparently not.
Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen To Everyone
While postpartum hair loss does not happen to everyone, it is a very common condition. Almost half of all women who have given birth experience hair loss postpartum. As everyones rate of hormonal changes is different, the severity and amount of time the condition lasts varies from person to person.
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Why Does Your Hair Fall Out After Having A Baby
A dramatic fluctuation occurs in your hormone level during and after your pregnancy. Pregnancy causes a rise in the levels of estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and prolactin. Also, the volume of your blood rises by 50% more than the normal level, by your due date.
Thus, during pregnancy days, you see a reduction in your usual hair fall rate. After delivery, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop quickly to their normal levels within 24 hours, while your blood volume drops back to normal within a few weeks.
This is when your scalp makes up for the lost period by shedding hair in much larger amounts than it generally does. In fact, the whole volume of your hair loss may not be more than that you would have shed over the last 9 months.
You just feel like you are losing more hair as it is happening all at once. This type of temporary hair fall due to hormonal imbalances is called telogen effluvium .
Dont Worryit Wont All Fall Out
Postpartum hair loss is a temporary thing! While everyones postpartum hormonal shift acts differently, its very unlikely that youre going from full volume to comb over after pregnancy. If your hair is feeling especially thin, theres no need to worry. The time it takes to get back to your pre-pregnancy hair can vary from woman to womanfor some, its three months, and for others, its a year.
While you probably cant stop hair loss altogether, there are ways you can control it. For starters, proper nutrition is essential to managing your postpartum hair loss. Getting all the vitamins and minerals you need will help keep your hair strong, healthy, and intact. Pregnancy is not the time to skimp on your protein or iron.
If your shedding genuinely seems out of the ordinary, you can always ask your doctor to air on the side of caution.
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Hair Loss After Childbirth And Pregnancy
People lose up to a hundred hairs a day, thats completely normal. Only when this number is exceeded is one speaks of Alopecia. The lifespan of a hair is around two to six years. However, if more than a hundred hairs fall out every day for several weeks, the hair loss is considered to be pathological. Hair loss after childbirth and pregnancy is usually considered harmless and usually stops on its own. Some women want theirs too haircolor despite hair loss after pregnancy. Here, too, the effect can be different. In some women, hair loss worsens, while others do not even notice it.
Why Is My Hair Falling Out After Pregnancy
Like many of the changes your body goes through during and after pregnancy, excessive hair shedding once youve had your baby is usually caused by changes in your hormones.
While youre pregnant, your levels of oestrogen, progesterone and other hormones rise dramatically. These hormonal increases push more of your hairs than usual into the growth, or anagen, phase of the hair growth cycle, which can lead to your hair looking and feeling healthier and thicker.
But after you give birth, your hormone levels fall dramatically, particularly oestrogen. And this causes more of your hairs than usual to go into the resting, or telogen, phase of the hair growth cycle. This leads to a drop in hair growth and an increase in hair shedding, which is known as telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium compensates for the extra hair growth you enjoyed during pregnancy, and its completely normal to lose a lot of hair in the months after you give birth.
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What Causes Hair Loss After Giving Birth
All hair on our bodies grows in a cycle that can last anywhere from two to seven years. The active or growing phase of a strand of hair is called anagen and determines the length of our hair. After a period of time, the hair follicle enters a transition phase before entering its resting phase . Shedding occurs and the process starts all over again.
Changes related to your hormone levels before, during and after pregnancy can affect hair growth. Its completely normal to experience hormonal imbalance after giving birth, and one of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance is postpartum hair loss.
The medical term for postpartum hair loss is telogen effluvium. The condition, which is also referred to as postpartum alopecia, is relatively common, affecting between 40-50% of women in the months following childbirth.
Postpartum hair loss occurs after childbirth because of the sudden change of hormones in your body, particularly the change between progesterone and estrogen.
Is Hair Loss A Sign Of Pregnancy
Hair loss is not typically an indication that a person is pregnant.
Although hair loss can occur during pregnancy, it typically results from a decrease in estrogen, which can happen:
- when a person stops taking their oral contraceptive pill
- due to a hormonal imbalance during pregnancy
- if a person has experienced a pregnancy loss or abortion
Signs of pregnancy
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Dermatologists Tips For New Mothers
If the excessive hair shedding bothers you, these tips from dermatologists can help until your hair regains its normal fullness.
Use shampoo and conditioner that add volume. Heres what dermatologists recommend using and avoiding:
Use a volumizing shampoo. These shampoos tend to contain ingredients like protein that coat the hair, making the hair appear fuller.
Avoid any shampoo labeled conditioning shampoo. These contain heavy conditioners that can weigh down the hair and make it look limp.
Use a conditioner formulated for fine hair. These contain lighter formulas that will not weigh down hair.
Use conditioner primarily on the ends of your hair. Applying conditioner to your scalp and all of your hair tends to weigh down hair.
Avoid conditioners labeled intensive conditioners. These are too heavy.
Finding the best shampoo and conditioner for thin hair is really a matter of trial and error. There is no single ingredient that makes a volumizing shampoo or conditioner for fine hair better than the rest.
Try a new hairstyle. Some haircuts make hair look fuller. An experienced stylist can tell you what will work for you.
Many new mothers prefer short hair. A short style can make hair look fuller. Short hair also can be easier to manage, which can save time. With a baby, anything that saves time can be a real boon.
Your Health Questions Answered
Answered by: Healthilys medical team
Breastfeeding doesnt cause or prevent postpartum hair loss. But because your hormones may not drop as quickly after the birth if youre breastfeeding, theres some evidence that any postpartum hair loss can be delayed. Its important that you get enough protein in your diet when breastfeeding, and low levels can also contribute to hair loss. The amount of iron youll need is usually lower than during pregnancy, until your periods start again unless you lost a lot of blood during delivery, in which case your doctor may recommend a supplement.
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Short Hair Is Totes Cool
Short hair is literally cooler. It is an actual weight off of your shoulders. Lugging around a baby, car seat, diaper bag, and the hundred other things we carry around all day gets heavy, tiring, and HOT. While hormones are out of whack after pregnancy, especially when breastfeeding, body temperatures are all over the board as well.
Many women either complain of waking up freezing or completely drenched in sweat. A shorter hairstyle will be cooler and also absorb less sweat! Shorter hair allows your neck to get a breeze. That breeze will be a giant relief especially in the summer heat. Having a hairstyle that allows a breeze naturally is much easier than trying to juggle a baby and put your hair up in a ponytail or braid.
Hair Thats More Limp Than Usual During Pregnancy
Pump up the volume on limp hair with texture spray or mousse at the roots, then turn your head upside down to blow dry using the lowest temperature setting with a vented round brush.
Washing at night, and allowing your fully-blown dried hair to rest in a high bun while you sleep can be the volumizing hair hack you never knew you needed, notes Bennett. A high pony helps the roots retain volume, while the bun adds a beautiful bouncy curl to the ends, she adds.
Other smart steps to take include avoiding leave-in conditioners, thick gels or pomades that weigh down hair. Some experts say a quick cold-water rinse after you condition can seal hair cuticles, creating a natural shine. If that doesnt do the trick, try a clarifying shampoo with a light conditioner, focusing on the ends.
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What Causes Hair Loss After Baby
The body experiences soaring estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy, says Salinger, which causes hair to remain in an ongoing stage of growth, creating thicker, more lustrous strands. Then your hormones level out in the months following childbirth. Hair remains in this resting stage for approximately three months before it falls out and new growth shows itself, says Salinger. Typically the regrowth is in the form of baby bangs appearing along the hairline.
When Should You See The Doctor About Postpartum Hair Loss
If you notice that your hair loss is particularly severe, for example, if itâs patchy or youâve been shedding hair for longer than about six months or so, it might be time to see your doctor.
In some cases, a thyroid issue such as having an overactive thyroid may be causing the hair loss. Some thyroid conditions are also linked to pregnancy or the postpartum period. If your doctor diagnoses a thyroid condition, he or she will be able to recommend treatment.
Another possible cause of hair loss is an iron deficiency. If untreated, this can lead to a condition called iron deficiency anaemia, which can lead to other symptoms like
Your doctor will be able to investigate the reasons for the iron deficiency and â if necessary â prescribe iron tablets to remedy the lack of iron in your blood.
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How To Manage Postpartum Hair Loss
Its best to try to limit scalp irritation and inflammation during this time. Try to avoid ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals found in shampoos and styling products. They can cause inflammation at the scalp, leading to excess hair loss and weakened new growth, says Pacheco. Use vitamin and protein-rich shampoos, conditioners, and masks. Look for ingredients like keratin and collagen to help fortify the hair.
Dr. Yates has a Daily Thickening Shampoo that helps with fine and thinning hair. It is a volumizing cleanser containing pumpkin seed oil, yucca root extract, and biotin. Its formulated to thicken each hair strand and gently cleanse the scalp by removing residue and DHT build-up. The result is healthier, fuller-looking hair, says Dr. Yates.
Caffeine is another great ingredient to stimulate blood flow. It’s commonly used in skin care and hair care for its antioxidant properties. You can also stimulate blood flow by manually massaging your scalp daily. This can be done manually, simply by moving your fingers around your head in the shower. You could also use a tool like the Briogeo Scalp Revival Stimulating Therapy Massager.
Cédric recommends using silk scrunchies instead of harsh elastics, a microfiber towel , and avoiding hot tools as much as possible to prevent any further breakage or damage on your already delicate hair.
How Do I Get Started Today With Treatment For My Postpartum Hair Loss
Dr. Michele Green is an expert in hair loss, whether it to postpartum hair loss or hair loss related to hormonal or metabolic changes. If you are experiencing hair thinning or new hair loss, please consult Dr. Green at her private discreet NYC dermatology office today. Dr. Green is a specialist in hair loss, and hair loss treatments, including Platelet Rich Plasma for hair loss. It is important to address the first signs of hair thinning early on, in order to prevent excessive hair loss, which cannot be treated. If you are experiencing postpartum hair loss or other types of hair loss, please contact Dr. Michele Green today at or contact her online.
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How To Disguise Thinning Hair
If youre experiencing postpartum hair loss, there are several ways you can disguise your thinning hair until it grows back to its former glory.
1/ Time for a trim
One of the areas where hair loss is at its most visible is at the front. Many women are concerned about the small, thin and weak hairs that grow along the hair line after pregnancy. But this may be the perfect opportunity to try a new hairstyle bangs perhaps? Layers can also be an excellent ways of creating the illusion of thickness and volume.
2/ Change your parting
Another area women notice their hair thinning after pregnancy is along the parting. To disguise this, simply change where you part your hair! A new parting line can also have the added bonus of making your hair look more voluminous.
If you are looking to improve hair density, Serioxyl Volumising Colour Sprays instantly conceals sparse areas on the scalp, for a natural-looking densifying effect.
3/ Update your colour
Hair colour can be a wonderful weapon when it comes to disguising thinning hair. Ask your hairdresser about colour placement: a few well-placed highlights or a radiant balayage can really help give density and shape to flat, thin hair.
4/ Thickening treatments
Incorporate thickening treatments into your haircare routine.
5/ Play with accessories
6/ Styling tricks
What Hair Changes Can A Person Expect After Pregnancy
A person may experience hair loss from the scalp approximately 3 months after giving birth.
Postpartum hair loss medically known as telogen effluvium occurs shortly after childbirth due to the bodys changing levels of progesterone and estrogen. Doctors may also refer to postpartum hair loss as excessive hair shedding.
After the birth, the bodys hormone levels drop quickly to return to their prepregnancy levels. This decrease in hormones triggers the hair to revert to its former growth cycle.
Although it can differ from person to person, the hair should grow back entirely in 36 months.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology , postpartum hair loss is normal and temporary.
It is also important to note that it is not true hair loss. It usually stops within 6 months post-birth, and most people see their hair return to its usual thickness within 1 year, although this could happen sooner.
Those who do not regain fullness within 1 year should talk with a doctor, as excessive hair loss could be due to another health condition, such as hypothyroidism or thyroiditis.
Hair loss due to pregnancy is temporary, and a person does not need to take any steps to treat it. However, the AAD suggests the following tips for postpartum haircare:
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Do I Have Postpartum Hair Loss
Normally, a person loses about 100 hairs a day . But ladies with postpartum hair loss will notice much more than that. Youll seem to be shedding more than ever, especially compared to during pregnancy when you barely noticed any hair falling out.
Youll notice the extra hairs on your hairbrush, or you may even see some smaller clumps falling out. I realized I had this issue in the first three months or so of having my baby. I noticed my hair seemed to be thinner than usual and saw my hairbrush filling up way more than in the past.
I didnt understand why it was happening, and I felt like there was something wrong with me. It wasnt easy to deal with, but I did take some comfort in knowing I wasnt alone once I did some quick research online about the problem.
So if you see this happening, dont freak out. Its normal and common. Up to half of all women will lose more hair than usual in the first five months after having their baby.
The good thing is there are ways to disguise your hair loss until your body begins to recuperate from all its been through. When I was dealing with this, I learned some great tricks to fake a full mane that Ill share with you in a later section.