How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last
Postpartum hair loss is a temporary phase, and it’s unlikely that your hair will go from extra-thick to barely there. That said, everyone’s hormonal shift will manifest differently. “It’s a very natural process,” Dr. Shah says.
Don’t fret if your hair starts feeling extra thin. While there are exceptions, Dr. Shah reassures that most of the time, hair loss will spontaneously normalize. “The time to recovery varies. In some people it’s three months, in some people it’s six months. Occasionally it can last a year,” she says.
How Severe Can Postpartum Hair Thinning Be
While postpartum hair thinning is commonly a self-limited issue requiring nothing more than time and patience, for some women, this period of increased shedding can be prolonged or even permanent. Why does this vary so much from woman to woman? It may have to do with other hair-related risk factors.
Some experts debate how common postpartum hair thinning truly is. Itâs been suggested that the true underlying issue may be a missed indicator of androgen-sensitive thinning. Cases of hormonal related hair thinning can affect both men and women, despite its common referral as âmale pattern baldness.â In women, it commonly presents as generalized hair thinning over the top of the head. But why would this hair shedding suddenly become more apparent after pregnancy?
With androgen-sensitive hair thinning, an individualâs hair growth cycle is shorter than typical, meaning their hair is quicker to switch from the growth to resting phase in addition to a process called miniaturization, where the hair follicle becomes smaller and smaller. But during pregnancy, some scientists believe that individuals who commonly have a shorter growth phase enjoy a temporary exemption, as their pregnancy hormones allow more hair follicles to stay in the growth phase longer. The downside? Once the hormonal changes of postpartum hit, all of these hairs are shifted out of the growth phase of the hair cycle.
Hormones Are To Blame
When youre pregnant, your body begins to produce higher levels of certain hormones.
Among the hormones that see a spike are estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin. One of the first hormones to begin to rise is human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG.
For parents who have long been hoping to see those pink lines on a pregnancy test, that spike in hCG levels will be very welcome. After all, pregnancy tests are designed to test for raised hCG levels, indicating that a woman is expecting.
These and other hormones, as well as an increase in your blood volume, help your baby grow and develop.
But immediately after your baby is born, you no longer need those elevated hormones. Your body stops producing as much, and your levels drop. The levels of some of your hormones return to your pre-pregnancy normal in as little as 24 hours after your baby is born.
Some of your hormones, including prolactin, remain elevated while youre breastfeeding, then drop.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Braces While Pregnant
Is There Treatment For Postpartum Hair Loss
Taking care of a newborn is a stressful, exhausting time and can put a lot of strain on your body, as can breastfeeding. Start by ensuring your blood sugar, iron, ferritin, zinc and vitamin D levels are normal. Next, do as much as you can to minimize stress , eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein to aid the hair growth process, and dont be afraid to shampoo frequently. Its commonly thought that not shampooing as often will minimize hair loss, but the truth is, the frequency with which you wash your hair will not affect the amount of hair you lose, says Salinger. The hair that is ready to fall will fall.
If youve ascertained that your blood work is normal, consider talking to a dermatologistor certified trichologist. Treatment options can include medication, therapies to reduce inflammation around hair follicles and at-home lasers that stimulate new hair growth.
The bottom line: Though losing clumps of hair feels anything but normal for most women in their child-bearing years, it really is. Its almost a mom badge of honour, says Midey. I ended up wearing headbands, and strategically parted my hair to cover bald spots. I even used hairpieces at times. But my hair is growing back steadily now. Even if I had to go completely bald in order to have my children, it would still be worth 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.
Recommended Reading: Can Pregnant Women Use Vagisil
You May Like: Is It Ok To Use Vagisil While Pregnant
Relaxing Or Coloring Of Hair
The opinion of experts differs about relaxing or coloring of hair during pregnancy. While some experts say the fewer chemicals the better, but others say there’s no danger to the baby. Those against dyeing of hair argue that there are many pores deep on the scalp so there is a potential that harmful chemicals may be absorbed by the body especially on an irritated scalp.
So they recommend usage of a natural dye such as henna. Another recommendation is that keratin treatments should be avoided as they have the harmful chemical formaldehyde. Also, medicated shampoos should not be used during pregnancy
Other hair color experts who are in favor of dyeing suggest that coloring hair during pregnancy can be done, but only at the right time in your pregnancy. They suggest second trimester for hair coloring. A patch test at least 48 hours before coloring is a must even if the same color or brand has been used before pregnancy.
The reason is that hormone changes in the body may change the way the body reacts to the chemicals. The presence of the chemical PPD could cause an allergic reaction, therefore an allergy test is a must.
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.
Donât Miss: Is Kinesio Tape Safe For Pregnancy
Don’t Miss: Can You Donate Plasma When Pregnant
Why Does Your Hair Get Thicker During Pregnancy
Its thought that excess hair growth in pregnancy is related to oestrogen. During pregnancy the body releases oestrogen, which causes the hair growth and loss cycle to slow down. So rather than shedding hair as normal, the scalp retains it. As a result you may notice that your eyelashes, the hair on your head and eyebrows grow thicker during pregnancy.
Not all women will find that their hair grows thicker and shinier during pregnancy in fact some may even experience hair loss during this time. Hair loss during pregnancy is relatively uncommon, but you can expect your hair to go through several changes over the course of your pregnancy.
Hair Treatments During Pregnancy
As women, its only natural for us to want to look our best. It gives us more confidence, makes us feel sexy and, in all, brings out the best from within. But now that youre pregnant, there are some precautions to take into consideration.
Below are a few different hair treatments you might think twice about when youre expecting.
Recommended Reading: Donating Plasma While Breastfeeding
Settings Selected Throughout Your Course Of Laser Hair Removal
Settings are extremely important for results. If settings are not increased at the right time your results will suffer. Because we are a dedicated hair removal clinic all of our staff are trained to use the full range of settings our lasers have to offer. Setting increases are vital to the success of your treatments. If they are not increased enough hairs wont be completely disabled. If settings have been kept consistently low throughout your course of laser they may regenerate. In some instances where settings were kept low full regrowth may return after you have given birth.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
We all know that maintaining a healthy diet is an important factor for optimal health and wellbeing. For postpartum women in particular, a healthy diet can help your overall recovery and stop postpartum hair loss from progressing.
Make sure your diet includes the necessary balance of vitamins and nutrients found primarily in vegetables, whole grains and fresh fruit. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated.
Recommended Reading: Is It Safe To Use Vagisil Cream While Pregnant
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.
Hair Thats Drier Than Usual During Pregnancy
Over-cleansing robs your already-dry locks of their essential oils, so dont wash your hair too often if you’ve been experiencing dry hair during pregnancy. And dont skip conditioner, as extra-dry hair benefits from a moisture-rich softening agent after shampooing.
If you blow dry your hair, always use the lowest heat setting and remember to have patience: Low heat typically means longer drying times, says Bennett. Amp up the sun protection too, using a leave-in conditioner with zinc oxide.
If youre a swimmer, wet and condition your hair before diving in and wear a cap for an extra layer of protection.
You May Like: Accidentally Donated Plasma While Pregnant
Does Hair Grow Back After Pregnancy If You Have Had Laser Hair Removal
No, all of your hair growth should not grow back after pregnancy if you have had laser hair removal. However, you may see a slight increase in fine, light growth a few weeks after birth. During pregnancy it is not uncommon for excess hair to develop. We would strongly recommend not treating this hair if you have noticed it started growing while you were pregnant. This hair tends to reduce when hormones have had a chance to regulate in the months after birth. If you notice you have slight regrowth in your treatment area simply have 1-2 top ups at a 8-10 week interval to reduce this growth. Again this is a result of hormone levels fluctuating after birth. Does hair grow back after pregnancy if you have had laser hair removal? this question can be a concern if you plan to become pregnant.
In general a fully course of 6-10+ sessions are needed to see an 80-85% reduction in growth. Top ups are needed 1-3 per year to maintain results. If you have had a full course of treatments before pregnancy you may have achieved this reduction. If you did not have a full course results may not be as good due to you not completing this. Results from laser can vary from person to person depending on a number of factors.
Manage Stress As Best As You Can
Being a new parent is hard. Period. Managing the stress that comes along with parenthood becomes doubly important since stress can induce or prolong hair loss.
Be sure to have a whole box of stress management tools at the ready, which could include things like exercise, meditation, getting as much sleep as you can, and even just getting some fresh air.
Also: 9 Ways to Lower Cortisol Naturally
Also Check: Donate Plasma While Pregnant
How To Stop Postpartum Hair Loss
Because postpartum hair loss is a normal result of your changing hormones, it is not something that you can immediately stop. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects of postpartum hair loss and help promote healthy hair growth.
Here are six things you can try for postpartum hair loss treatment:
Is There Anything I Can Do To Reduce The Severity Of The Process Does Nutrition Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss
Unfortunately, there doesnt seem to be anything promising that can outright stop the process of postpartum hair loss. As explained above, this hair loss is the result of normal hormonal changes. Although currently used to treat postpartum alopecia, thyroid supplementation , topical steroid locations, oral contraceptives, and special shampoos have not been proven overall to be effective in reducing postpartum alopecia.
Human studies are lacking on nutrition interventions to treat postpartum hair loss, but research on sheep has found more severe postpartum hair loss in sheep with higher levels of prolactin, cortisol, and lower levels of zinc, copper, and calcium. Whether the same holds true for humans has yet to be studied, but it points out the interplay of hormones, stress, and nutrition on postpartum hair loss.
You can certainly give your hair its best shot by ensuring you are eating a well-rounded, balanced diet and keeping mineral stores up.
Your hair is primarily made up of keratin, a tough protein and so a lack of protein along with essential fatty acids, minerals , vitamin A, C, D and E, B vitamins, and biotin can impact hair growth and loss. Eating a variety of meats, eggs, fish and other seafood , dairy nuts and seeds, vegetables , legumes, and berries can help ensure your hair is getting the nutrients it needs to be strong and healthy.
You May Like: Is It Safe To Donate Plasma While Breastfeeding
How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow Back After Chemo
Chemotherapy is usually used to treat cancer. Chemo is a potent medication that attacks rapidly diving cells, such as cancer cells, but it may also attack the hair follicles in the scalp and other parts of the body, leading to rapid hair loss.
Hair will start to regrow on its own two to three weeks after chemotherapy is completed. The hair may grow back as a soft fuzz at first. After about a month, real hair will begin to grow back at its normal rate of 6 inches per year.
Your new hair may grow back a different texture or color than before. In rare instances, hair loss from many years of strong chemotherapy can be permanent.
Why Did My Hair Type Change After Pregnancy
May 23, 2021
Straight to suddenly curly? Formerly the queen of curls and now left with a limp wave? Hair texture change can happen during or after pregnancy – and tbh no one is really talking about it so, what gives?
For all of my life I had straight hair. I embraced it, I loved it actually. When pin straight locks hit the runways when I was in high school I felt right on trend.
Sure I still owned a straightener, and if it rained I would get a slight wave going -but by all accounts my hair was straight.
Fast forward to my first pregnancy, and my hair thickened. I was on the pregnancy “good hair ride”. Thick + shiny hair, and I was loving it.
Then, towards the end – maybe month 8 I noticed my hair was becoming harder to manage.
Soon after delivery my hair became increasingly dry with a distinct wave to it. I thought it was weird, but honestly didn’t give it too much thought as it wasn’t too drastic a difference.
When my sister called me this past year asking if straight hair to curly after pregnancy was a thing , I started to wonder… was it a thing?
Also Check: Restylane While Pregnant
Why Postpartum Hair Loss Occurs
Most women notice their hair changing while theyre pregnantoftentimes hair will thicken up, become fuller, and maybe a little on the dryer side. After pregnancy, however, these same women might notice that their hair starts falling out in earnest.
The simple explanation is this: there are a lot of different hormone shifts happening while youre pregnant, one of them promoting hair growth. The hormones going on inside your pregnant body are actually preventing you from shedding. Everyone sheds every day, but that typically stops while youre pregnantsomething subtle that you might not notice. Instead, youll notice your hair getting thicker.
After pregnancy, your hormones return to their status quo, meaning theres a big drop in estrogen. This drop triggers your regular shedding schedulewhich you havent been on for months. So, your body starts shedding more than usual to get rid of all the excess hair. This event is called telogen effluvium and is usually triggered by a significant event like giving birth. It normally takes about three months of all that excess hair to shed out, which is why most women notice shedding around three months postpartum.