Hair Loss After Pregnancy - What Causes Postpartum Hair
During pregnancy many women find that their hair appears thicker, shinier and more
luxuriant than normal. Its one of the few physical bonuses we get during pregnancy! However a few weeks after
giving birth quite a lot of women become alarmed at the amount of hair they appear to be losing. They may find
greater amounts of hair than normal in their hairbrush and in the plug hole after showering. This can cause a
certain amount of panic and understandably so, its bad enough thinking you are going bald of you are a man but if
you are a woman it can be horrifying. Hair loss after
pregnancy is actually quite normal, nevertheless it can be a little unnerving.
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So What Causes Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
Under normal circumstances only around 90% of the hair on a person's head is
actually growing. The other 10% is in a resting state. After hair has been in the resting stage for a certain
amount of time it falls out, often when you are brushing or washing it. This hair is then replaced by new hair.
This loss typically happens at a rate of 100 hairs per day, very approximately.
When you are pregnant the increased levels of the hormone estrogen in your body
have the effect of extending the hairs growing stage. Therefore there are fewer hairs in the resting stage and so
fewer hairs falling out on a daily basis. This is the explanation for why so many women enjoy luxuriant thick hair
Once your baby has been born the hormone levels in your body begin to return to
their pre pregnancy levels and the amount of estrogen drops significantly. This causes more hairs than normal to
enter the resting and then falling out state. As a result a few weeks after you give birth you may start to notice
greater daily hair loss. No need to panic - this is not permanent!
Postpartum Hair Loss Is Temporary
Thankfully once your hormone levels get back to normal then so too will your hair.
The rate of loss will go back to what it was before you were pregnant and your hair will return to normal.
Basically you just have to be patient with this. However if it is really bothering you it might be worth trying a
new hairstyle - talk to your hairdresser ask get his or her advice on which styles will help to make you hair
appear thicker. Longer styles tend to make hair appear thinner so maybe go for a shorter cut for a
Can Hair Loss After Pregnancy be Prevented?
The short answer to this really is no, it can't. Its just part of the natural
process and one of the many delightful side effects of pregnancy! There are some measures which are thought to make
things a little better and so may be worth a try.
Hair Care Products - shampoos and conditioners which contain biotin and silica may
help to make you hair appear thicker.
Diet - eating a good diet full of vitamins and antioxidants will help to keep your
hair healthy and shiny, so even if its a little thinner it will still look great. Supplements of vitamins for hair growth may also help.
Brushing - of course you can't just stop brushing your hair but keep it to a
minimum and be gentle so as not to pull out any more hair than you have to.
Hair Styles - avoid wearing your hair in a tight bun, or ponytail as this will
exert force on the hair follicle.
Of course if you are worried that you have severe postpartum hair loss which is
beyond the norm then you should make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor, just to make sure that there
is no other cause. Whilst hair loss after
pregnancy is perfectly normal it should start to settle down
after around six months although it can take as long as twelve months. Any problems still remaining after
this time should be investigated.