Postpartum Hair Loss : How to Deal

Delivery day!  The day you get to hold your sweet little babe in your arms for the first time and finally wave goodbye to all of those pregnancy symptoms you spent the last 9 months dealing with!  …until a couple of weeks later when you brush your hair first thing in the morning and notice a tumbleweed of hair fall to the ground at your feet. And so, postpartum hair loss has begun.  

While a perfectly normal experience for all new mamas, postpartum hair loss is rarely discussed preemptively by your doctors, friends, or family, leading you to believe it’s abnormal and scary!  Don’t stress, Mama–we’re here to tell you why it’s happening to you, and what you can do to prevent or alleviate it!

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What is postpartum hair loss?

Simply put, it’s the rapid loss or thinning of hair after your baby is born.  Before pregnancy, the normal rate of hair loss is about 80-100 hairs each day.  However, during your pregnancy, your levels of estrogen and progesterone increase greatly, causing that number of hairs lost to decline to almost 0!  Once you’ve had your little one, those hormone levels go back down to their normal setting, and your scalp has to make up for lost time!

So much so, that it’s perfectly normal for a postpartum mama to lose up to 400 hairs a day!  You will see this when brushing your hair, during your shower, or any time you run your fingers through your hair — and while it may seem alarming, trust us, it’s normal, and almost all of us go through it!  While it can take up to 12 months after baby’s birth to go back down to normal hair loss, it can end as early as 6 months after!

Can I prevent it?

Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed ways to prevent postpartum hair loss — it’s a natural part of your hormonal cycle throughout pregnancy and motherhood, and your scalp just has to do it’s thing.  Don’t take it personally, Mama, it’s only temporary!

How can I deal with it?

Supplements.  Just because your pregnancy is over, doesn’t mean you need to immediately stop taking those prenatal vitamins!  Chock full of essential nutrients for your body, there’s no secret that they can lead to better skin, hair, and nails.  You can also try fish oil or biotin! (Make sure you always discuss supplements with your medical professional if you have any concerns.)  You can also supplement with a good diet — healthy fats are great for hair health!

Don’t. Stress.  Postpartum or not, stress can be directly correlated to hair loss!  When juggling life with a new baby, it can be overwhelming — make sure you’re taking some time to yourself, too!  You can see some of our top self-care tips here.

Avoid heat-styling.  This will come as no surprise that heat tools are hard on your hair!  Don’t stress the hair you have left by putting excessive heat on them.  Try air-drying after you shower, and opt for a messy bun, chignon, or ponytail over highly stylized hairdos!  

Targeted products.  There are plenty of shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in products that are specifically formulated for postpartum hair loss!  They’ll promote growth, encourage thickness of hair strands, and work to return your hair to its natural state…quickly!

Have patience.  We know, mamas, it’s hard when your hair doesn’t feel like your own, and you feel like you have no control!  But rest assured that your hair WILL return to normal! (*If you ever feel like you’re experiencing excessive postpartum hair loss, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor!)

People may not talk about postpartum hair loss, but it’s a natural part of the pregnancy process!  Armed with a little bit of knowledge and some patience, we promise you’ll get through it just fine, Mama.  Rock that messy bun!