If you want the answer right away – yes, postpartum hair loss is completely normal. So don’t worry – you’re not going bald. The hair loss is temporary and almost all mothers experience it, though some notice it more than others.
When does it happen?
Postpartum hair loss occurs between three and six months after giving birth and should stop by the time your baby turns 12 months old.
What causes postpartum hair loss?
Firstly, hair loss has nothing to do with breastfeeding! The real cause of postpartum hair loss lies with hormones and the hair growth cycle.
During pregnancy and after childbirth our body goes through a lot of hormonal changes. Normally, 85 – 95 percent of the hair is growing and the other 5 – 15 percent is in a resting stage. The rise in estrogen levels during pregnancy prolongs the growing stage and keeps you from losing hair.
After childbirth, estrogen levels reduce, which causes the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle. It’s normal to lose about 100 to 125 hairs a day, but after delivery, it may increase to 500 a day.
Where will you experience hair loss?
Unfortunately, hair loss doesn’t spread across the body. Most hair loss will be on the top of the head, similar in style to balding.
The rest of your body will still be growing hair unless, of course, you used laser hair removal in the past. If that’s the case, the body hair growth should remain the same, although, for a limited few, there may be a small, yet noticeable change in regrowth.
What to do about it?
Well, you can’t stop the hair from falling out, but if the loss bothers you, there are different options you might try:
- Eat well! Fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids and antioxidants that encourage hair growth.
- Keep taking prenatal vitamin supplements. Iron, zinc, biotin, omega 3, vitamin B, vitamins E and C help increase hair strength and health.
- Get a haircut. You can experiment with different hairstyles, but many moms prefer short hair. It makes hair look fuller and it’s easy to take care of.
- Use shampoo and conditioner that add volume.
- Avoid hairdos and accessories which can pull and stress your hair (rubber bands, pigtails, braids, hair weaves, etc.).
- Try not to use a flat and curling iron, blow dryer, and other heated hair instruments, if possible.
- Use a wide-toothed comb, while working with wet hair.
- Avoid stress.