Some parents report feeling more settled a few months after giving birth, as they settle into a routine and (hopefully) get more sleep. It’s beginning to feel like your “new normal”. Then, an odd thing happens. There’s a sudden and severe loss of hair. However, don’t worry! This is a common occurrence after giving birth, but there are methods that have been shown to promote hair growth.
At what point after giving birth do women typically experience hair loss?
“Shedding” after giving birth doesn’t occur instantly. In fact, noticeable hair loss can be a post birth surprise, with peak hair loss occurring between four and five months post birth. You are not the only one who has experienced this. This affects roughly 50% of first-time mothers.
What causes hair loss after giving birth?
Unfortunately, the causes of hair loss after giving birth are not well understood.
The cycles of hair growth are normal (growing phase, resting phase, shedding phase: repeat). But because of the big changes in hormones that happen during pregnancy, your hair may stay in the growth phase, which is why many pregnant women experience thick and shiny hair during this time.
After the baby is born, hormone levels change (again), and the decrease in oestrogen causes your beautiful, thick pregnant hair to thin. Since so much hair falls out at once, hair loss appears to be more significant than it actually is (as do the clogged shower drains and tumbleweeds of hair on your bathroom floor).
How to treat hair loss after giving birth
The short answer is no; you don’t have to. Some mothers love the new thick locks that they have during pregnancy, so when it disappears, they are upset. However, generally, your hair is just returning to its pre-pregnancy state, and by the time your child is one, you probably won’t even notice a difference.
However, for your hair’s sake and your own self-esteem, here are some things you can do to promote new growth. Try different things out and see what suits you best!
- Have a good haircut – this is perfect to boost your self esteem. Many women go for shorter styles that are easier to manage after having a baby.
- Be gentle – when washing, brushing, and styling your hair be especially gentle.
- Avoid wearing your hair in tight styles – this can cause damage to your scalp and strands.
- Pick your products carefully – applying too much weight to your hair can make it look flat and lifeless, so use volumising shampoos and conditioners that aren’t too heavy.
- Diet – to ensure that your body (and hair) is getting getting all the nutrients it needs, it is important to eat well. You may want to take some prenatal vitamins.
When to ask for help with post birth hair loss
Visit your doctor if your hair hasn’t grown back after a year. For effective treatment, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis because hair loss or not being able to grow back lost hair could be caused by other things.