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Postpartum Hair Shedding

Overview

Many women find that they rapidly lose a large amount of hair about 3-6 months after giving birth. Known as postpartum hair shedding, postpartum alopecia, or telogen effluvium, this can be a very distressing experience at an already stressful time. However, postpartum hair shedding is completely normal, and is absolutely nothing to worry about. Shedding should taper off about 6 months postpartum, and the hair you lose will grow back.

What Causes Postpartum Hair Shedding?

When you are pregnant, you have higher levels of oestrogen in your body. Oestrogen is a hair-friendly hormone: it keeps hairs in their anagen (growth) phase for longer, and delays them from moving into their telogen (shedding) phase. This means that while you are pregnant, you are likely to shed fewer strands than usual. Hence why many women find that their hair is fuller during pregnancy.

However, after you give birth, your oestrogen levels revert back to normal. The hairs that were being kept in their growth phase now move into their shedding phase. They rest for several weeks, and then after about 3 months, they fall out. This is why you might shed a large number of strands within a short period of time.

What are the Symptoms of Postpartum Hair Shedding?

On average, it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day, provided they are growing back. However, postpartum shedding can result in as many as 400 hairs being shed in a 24 hour period.

You will probably notice more hairs coming out when you brush and style, in your shower drain, and perhaps on your pillow and clothes. Rest assured that this type of hair loss is always temporary and is nothing to worry about at all.

Feel free to continue shampooing, conditioning and styling your hair as normal. These actions will not cause or worsen shedding.

Hair shedding should slow down around 6 months postpartum. If you find that it does not, there may be another underlying issue. Pregnancy can affect your thyroid function and your ferritin levels, both of which can impact your hair. The stress of having a newborn and/or breastfeeding may also take a toll on your body. If your hair shedding does not ease off after about 6 months, we suggest that you consult with a Trichologist and/or your doctor.

 

If you are worried about any form of hair loss, our Clinics in London and New York specialise in all aspects of hair and scalp health, and will be pleased to welcome you.