About Postpartum Hair Loss:
Postpartum hair loss is a common condition that affects many women after giving birth. It is a form of temporary hair loss that can occur 1-6 months after delivery. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause an increase in hair growth, but after delivery, these hormonal levels can shift rapidly, causing hair to fall out.
Causes of Postpartum Hair Loss:
Here are some of the common causes of postpartum hair loss:
- Hormonal Changes: During pregnancy, the body produces high levels of estrogen, which can cause hair to remain in the growth phase for a longer period of time. After delivery, estrogen levels drop, and hair enters the resting phase, leading to hair loss.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies, particularly in iron and vitamin D, can contribute to hair loss. These deficiencies can often be exacerbated during pregnancy and postpartum.
- Physical Stress: Giving birth can be physically stressful, and this can cause the body to redirect energy and resources away from hair growth.
- Emotional Stress: The hormonal shifts and lifestyle changes that accompany having a baby can be emotionally taxing, which can also contribute to hair loss.
- Genetics: Some women are more prone to postpartum hair loss due to genetic factors (Emily L. Guo & Rajani Katta, 2017). (Millikan, 2006).
How to Limit Postpartum Hair Loss?
It’s not possible to completely prevent postpartum hair loss, there are some things you can do to help limit the extent of hair loss:
- Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet that includes foods high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin D, and biotin can help support healthy hair growth.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is important for overall health, including hair health.
- Avoid heat styling: Heat styling tools like curling irons and hair dryers can damage hair, so it’s best to avoid them or use them on a low setting.
- Be gentle with your hair: Avoid tight hairstyles that can pull on hair, and be gentle when brushing and styling your hair.
- Take hair supplements: Hair supplements containing biotin, zinc, and other vitamins and minerals can help support healthy hair growth. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
- Get enough rest: Sleep deprivation can exacerbate hair loss, so it’s important to get enough rest whenever possible (Burg, 2022).
How Long Postpartum Hair Loss Last?
Postpartum hair loss is a form of temporary hair loss that can occur 1-6 months after delivery. The duration of postpartum hair loss can vary from woman to woman, but it typically lasts for 3-6 months. In some cases, it can take up to 15 months for hair to return to its pre-pregnancy thickness.
(Claudine Pierard-Franchimont & Gerald E. Pierard, 2013).
Ways To Manage Postpartum Hair Loss
Postpartum hair loss is a normal part of the postpartum experience, and in most cases, it will resolve on its own. However, there are some management and treatment options that can help minimize the effects of postpartum hair loss. Here are some options:
- Topical treatments: Some over-the-counter topical treatments can help stimulate hair growth and minimize hair loss. These treatments may contain ingredients such as minoxidil, biotin, or caffeine. Consult a dermatologist before using any topical treatment.
- Medications: In some cases, a healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help manage postpartum hair loss. For example, finasteride is a medication that has been shown to help treat hair loss in some people.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: PRP therapy involves injecting a person’s own blood into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. This treatment is still relatively new and there is limited research on its effectiveness, but some people have reported positive results.
- Hair transplant: In some cases, a hair transplant may be an option for people experiencing significant hair loss. During a hair transplant, hair follicles are taken from one area of the scalp and transplanted into another area.
It’s important to note that not all of these treatment options are appropriate or necessary for every person experiencing postpartum hair loss (G. Fabbrocini, M. Cantelli, & A. Masara, 2018).
FAQs on Postpartum Hair Loss
Q1: When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Occur?
Postpartum hair loss typically occurs about three to four months after giving birth when the excess hair that was retained during pregnancy begins to shed. It is a normal and natural process that usually lasts for several months, but hair growth should return to normal within a year after giving birth.
Q2: Is There Anything That Can Be Done To Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss?
Postpartum hair loss cannot be entirely prevented since it is a natural process. However, some measures can help minimize its effects, such as maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding tight hairstyles, using gentle hair care products, and taking prenatal vitamins. Nevertheless, there is no guaranteed way to prevent postpartum hair loss.
Q3: How Much Hair Loss Is Normal After Giving Birth?
It is normal for women to experience hair loss after giving birth, and the amount of hair loss can vary. On average, women lose about 100 hairs per day, but during postpartum hair loss, this number may increase to 300-500 hairs per day.
Q4: Is Postpartum Hair Loss A Cause For Concern?
Postpartum hair loss is a natural and normal process, and in most cases, it is not a cause for concern. It is a common experience that affects many new mothers, and the hair loss should gradually slow down and return to normal within a year after giving birth. However, if you are experiencing hair loss that seems excessive or if you have concerns, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider or a dermatologist for further evaluation.
Q5: Can Supplements Or Vitamins Help With Postpartum Hair Loss?
Postpartum hair loss is a common issue that occurs due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. While there is no single cure, taking supplements or vitamins may help to support hair health and potentially reduce hair loss. Biotin, iron, and vitamin D are among the supplements that may be helpful. Iron deficiency can cause hair loss, and biotin has been shown to improve hair thickness and reduce hair loss. Vitamin D is important for many aspects of health, including bone health, immune function, and hair growth.
In conclusion, postpartum hair loss is a common condition that affects many women after giving birth. While it is a temporary form of hair loss, it can be emotionally challenging. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and after delivery, nutritional deficiencies, physical and emotional stress, and genetics are common causes of postpartum hair loss.
However, there are ways to limit postpartum hair loss, including maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, avoiding heat styling, being gentle with hair, taking hair supplements, and getting enough rest. The duration of postpartum hair loss can vary, but it typically lasts for 3-6 months. There are management and treatment options, including topical treatments, medications, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and hair transplants, that can help minimize the effects of postpartum hair loss. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best options for managing postpartum hair loss.
- Millikan, L. (2006). Hirsutism, postpartum telogen effluvium, and male pattern alopecia. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 81 – 86.
- Emily L. Guo, & Rajani Katta. (2017). Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient and deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept, 1 – 10.
- Burg, D. (2022, January 31). 7 ways to prevent postpartum hair loss, according to a scientist. Retrieved from Motherly: https://www.mother.ly/postpartum/postpartum-hair-loss-according-to-a-scientist/
- Claudine Pierard-Franchimont , & Gerald E. Pierard. (2013). Alterations in Hair Follicle Dynamics in Women. Biomed Res Int.
- G. Fabbrocini, M. Cantelli, & A. Masara. (2018). Female pattern hair loss: A cllinical, pathophysiologic, and therapeutic review. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 203 – 211.