- A Guide to Postpartum Hair Loss: Causes + Products that Help
Postpartum hair loss is a deeply personal yet public experience. While we heard stories about women losing their hair after pregnancy, it didn’t make the experience any less difficult when it happened to us.
For so many people (ourselves included), we see our hair as a reflection of our identity. And those hair clumps on the bed, in our brushes, and on the pillow are painful to witness. But it’s important to be reminded that it really is “normal” and temporary. It’s estimated that about 40-50 percent of women experience “Telogen effluvium” (a.k.a. excessive hair shedding) in one way or another.
Since we had so many questions about why our hair was shedding and how long it would last – we put together some information in case you’re asking the same things. Keep reading for causes of postpartum hair loss, ways to manage it, and products we found useful.
What are the causes of hair loss in women after pregnancy?
After reading countless articles on this subject, we’ve gathered that the reason for hair loss has to do with our cycles. Essentially, when we’re pregnant our estrogen levels are high and hair is in a constant “growth phase.” This explains why it’s common to see more hair in other places like the abdomen and face.
But as our estrogen levels decrease after pregnancy, the hair begins to shed. Generally, this happens around two to six months postpartum.
*Sources: Today’s Parent, Cleveland Clinic and AmericanPregnancy.org
How long does postpartum hair loss last?
Here’s some comforting news: most women regain their hair growth within a year after giving birth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Some women also notice is a decrease within three to four months after giving birth. That said, some women notice their hair is permanently thinner but still returns to its pre-pregnancy growth patterns.
If you notice hair loss after a year postpartum, it’s recommended to reach out to your doctor to see if something else is going on and find the best course of action.
3 Ways to manage losing hair after pregnancy
We find it empowering when there’s something we can do to at least manage a situation. While these techniques won’t likely stop your postpartum hair loss – they won’t hurt either and may help lessen!
Vitamins are so important before pregnancy and during pregnancy. But they’re also important after your baby is born. Keep taking your vitamins – it’s one of the easiest ways to replenish your body with nutrients.
Ditch the Hair Dryer
It’s well documented that hair dryers can cause damage and breakage to our hair. We especially recommend not applying direct heat to your hair by pressing the dryer straight against your strands. Frankly, this isn’t ideal any time!
Nourish Your Body With Healthy Food
Be sure you’re getting protein, iron, healthy fats, veggies – you know where we’re going with this! It’s always a good thing to fuel your body with good food – helping your hair is no exception. Check out the Fit Mama in 30 Recipe Library for nutritious snacks and meals you can make in a pinch.
3 Products that can help with postpartum hair loss
First, you by no means need these products. If hair loss doesn’t bother you – skip this section! But if you’re looking for products to make it easier to deal with, these are some that helped us.
Tuck those “baby bangs” securely with headbands, hats, and hair scarves. We love the selection of knotted headbands on Anthropologie. You can also find some more affordable options – like this 10 pack of headbands for $10 – on Amazon.
If you’re not already using a volumizing shampoo you love, we recommend Bumble & Bumble’s Thickening & Volume Shampoo.
Turbie Twist / Hair Towel
Wrap your hair in a Turbie Twist or any hair towel to help speed up the drying time without relying on heat. We know you’ve got things to do mama!
Remember, hair loss after pregnancy is completely normal!
Again, up to 50 percent of women experience a version of postpartum hair loss. We know, it doesn’t mean it’s not still frustrating! In the meantime, treat yourself to a cute hair accessory you’ve been eyeing – and if it doesn’t get better within a year after your baby was born, consider reaching out to your doctor.
And from mother to mother – we see you and know that you have a ZILLION things to do. We hope this guide gives you a little comfort and assurance, so you have one less thing to spend time worrying about!
Dealing with Diastasis Recti? You’re not alone. Find out ways to recover your core.
Learn more about our Prenatal Workout Program!