Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss: What Causes It, and What to Do About It
If you’re a new mom, you may notice that your hair is thinning. Many new mothers are shocked to find that their head shedding what seems to be an excessive amount of hair once the baby is born. While losing hair can be frightening, there’s no need to panic. Unless there’s an underlying health issue such as a thyroid disease, you won’t go completely bald.
How Does Pregnancy Lead to Hair Thinning?
You may have noticed that your hair felt thicker and fuller while you were pregnant. While this may seem like it’s a part of the “pregnancy glow”, it’s also a known scientific fact that many women actually experience thicker, stronger hair during pregnancy.
Pregnancy creates hormone surges that disrupt the hair growth life cycle. When you’re not pregnant, normally about 85-95% of the hair on your head is growing. While that hair grows, the remaining hair ducts enter a resting stage where they let your old hair fall out. The average woman sheds about 100 hairs every day. When you’re pregnant, however, increased levels of the hormone estrogen prolong the growth stage of your hair. Fewer hairs go into the resting stage.
Post-Partum Hormones Cause Temporary Hair Loss
Unfortunately, once a woman has given birth, the hairs that once held extra hair will enter the resting stage. You may notice more hairs in the shower drain or your hairbrush. Don’t worry; this is temporary. The shedding will slow and your hair growth cycle will become more balance within 6-12 months of when you gave birth.
Hair loss is not always as noticeable as you think. It’s most noticeable in women with longer hair.
What Can I Do About Post-Partum Hair Loss?
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stop your hair from falling out. Nature decides who is more prone to hair loss following childbirth. Remember, this is a part of a natural cycle and just like you, your body needs to adjust to the experience of having a baby.
If you’re feeling naked with the loss of hair, you may want to try a new, shorter hairstyle. You ay want to experiment with hair thickening products, such as volume-boosting mouse. You may find that your hair loss is dramatic enough that you want to get hair extensions or a hairpiece until it grows back.
A short haircut is also advisable to first-time moms because of the many complications long hair can cause for you and the baby. Long strands of hair are easy for your baby to tangle around their arms or other body parts, which can actually be painful. You may find your baby pulls on your hair while you hold her or otherwise messes it up. Keep in mind that long hair is also a favorite place for babies to spit-up at the most inconvenient times possible.
Make sure that you take care of yourself, too, and get the right vitamins to boost hair growth as well as your overall health. A daily multivitamin with the Vitamin A, B and C is recommended. Biotin will also help you grow strong hair as well as nails. If you’re a light eater, make sure you’re getting enough meat or protein in your diet on a regular basis.
If you follow these suggestions and don’t see any new hair growth over the months following your childbirth, you may want to see your doctor for a full workup. Many diseases as well as vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss. Take time to take care of yourself if you notice no improvement.