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October 6, 2022

Postpartum Hair Loss? Why it Happens

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Postpartum Hair Loss? Why it Happens

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Ashley Graham post partum hair loss
Photo Credit: buzzfeed.com

Postpartum and Hairloss

Giving birth is one of the most beautiful and priceless moments in life for new mothers.  Meeting your little human being that you’ve been nourishing and carrying for the past nine months, for the first time is such an unforgettable experience.  It makes all of the pain and sacrifice worth it.  People always talk about how tough pregnancy is and how painful childbirth can be.  But how often do you hear about how new moms are doing in the postpartum period?

Postpartum, arguably, can be one of the most difficult stages in one’s pregnancy journey.  The recovery process can be physically, emotionally, and even mentally painful, and these feelings are rarely ever brought to light in the news or media.  One condition that is frequently experienced, in almost half of the population,  in this stage is postpartum hair loss.

Why does hair loss happen post-partum?

Postpartum hair loss is when your hair starts to shed more frequently and in more than normal quantities. This can occur a couple months after giving birth and can persist for a short while. Our hair grows in cycles, which is why shedding occasionally is already common. However, when pregnant, because the mother’s hormones are going through so many drastic changes, their hair remains in the “growth” cycle for their pregnancy term. Therefore, once they give birth, the hair “loss” stage finally kicks in, which is what postpartum hair loss is. The amount of hair being shed can seem a lot more drastic than it actually is, because all the hair accumulated in the growth cycle is going through its natural process of shedding.  Imagine not shedding for 9+ months, and finally letting it all out! Rest assured that this should not be mistaken for balding, but that it is only a natural process. For most, their hair returns back to normal within a year, after their hormones all regulate out.

Should You Be Concerned?

There is no reason to be concerned enough to visit a doctor to receive treatment for postpartum hair loss, but there are things that can be done to control it and keep your hair and scalp healthy.  It is recommended to refrain from using hair styling products in this period.  This can include curling and straightening irons, hairsprays, gels, and hairdryers.  It is also important to stay nourished with a balanced diet and incorporate foods and vitamins/supplements that are beneficial to hair growth, like seaweed and leafy greens.  Lastly, using volumizing shampoos can revive limp or flat hair and can therefore work towards boosting the new mom’s confidence!

Rest assured!  You have nothing to worry about.  Your body going through its process of healing (inside and out) is beautiful.  Enjoy your new addition to the family and know that in time, you will be looking better than ever!

It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

-Written by Kaila An

Resources:

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/new-moms

https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/postpartum-health-and-care/postpartum-hair-loss/

https://www.lancastergeneralhealth.org/health-hub-home/motherhood/fourth-trimester/the-truth-about-postpartum-hair-loss

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11215848/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3884776

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