On an average day, most of us lose about 50 to 100 strands of hair. However, for pregnant women, the hair shedding journey is a bit more complex. It’s not just limited to the antepartum period; many experience hair loss even after pregnancy (sometimes even a year later!). Surprisingly, a lot of young women are unaware that delivering a baby can trigger hair thinning and damage.
In this blog, Lordhair - a global women's wig and toupee brand - sheds light on the reasons behind hair loss after pregnancy. But that’s not all; we will also share valuable recovery tips and ideas to help you regain your beautiful locks.
So, for those who are eager to understand and combat postpartum hair fall, stay tuned as we guide you through the entire process!
What Causes Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
Here are some common reasons behind hair fall after childbirth:
Dermatologists state that elevated levels of estrogen prolong the growth phase of hair during pregnancy, resulting in thicker and fuller hair. This surplus of estrogen keeps more hair follicles in the growing phase which reduces normal shedding. Women love this aspect of pregnancy!
However, after childbirth, hormone levels drop rapidly, causing a large number of follicles to shift into the resting phase. This abrupt change leads to postpartum hair shedding, making it seem like hair loss is more pronounced.
For those who don’t know, telogen effluvium is a hair loss condition in which a significant number of hair follicles enter the resting (telogen) phase simultaneously. Triggered by the physical stress of childbirth, the affected hair falls out usually after a delay of about three to six months.
While it may be alarming to experience sudden hair loss in women, the good news is that telogen effluvium is usually temporary. Meaning, hair regrowth will occur once the body recovers from the stress of pregnancy.
A woman’s body requires additional nutrients to support the growing baby during pregnancy. However, if a mother doesn’t get enough essential vitamins and minerals during the year after childbirth, she may face hair loss and thinning. Nutrients like iron, biotin, zinc, and vitamins B12, A, C, D, and E are particularly pivotal for hair health. Deficiencies of these can contribute to hair shedding.
In some cases, women experience hair loss due to postpartum thyroiditis. As the name suggests, it is a condition where the thyroid gland becomes inflamed after giving birth. This can lead to temporary hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) followed by hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). Thyroid imbalances can negatively impact hair growth and result in hair loss after pregnancy.
Stress and sleep deprivation
Medical experts say that the period after childbirth can be stressful and full of sleep deprivation due to the demands of newborn care. Stress and lack of sleep can disrupt the hair growth cycle for as long as a year and contribute to increased hair shedding in women.
It is true that genetics plays a crucial role in determining a person’s hair characteristics including thickness, texture, and susceptibility to hair loss. Genetic factors can influence the sensitivity of hair follicles to hormones (particularly androgens like DHT which can lead to miniaturization of hair follicles and eventually hair thinning).
Therefore, if a woman’s family - especially her mother or grandmother - faced hair loss after pregnancy, she may have a higher likelihood of experiencing similar issues.
Hairstyles and treatments
OK, let’s be honest: who doesn’t love styling their hair to cheer up the mood? For young women, it’s almost a form of self-expression. But do you know that certain hairstyles and hair treatments can contribute to hair loss, specifically when worn for extended periods or treated with harsh chemicals?
Hairdos that tightly pull strands (such as tight ponytails, braids, or cornrows) can trigger a condition called traction alopecia. This occurs when the constant tension on the hair follicles weakens them over time, leading to hair breakage and loss, particularly around the hairline and temples.
Chemical treatments like hair straightening, perming, or bleaching can also damage the hair shaft. Additionally, some hair products and styling practices that involve heat styling like excessive use of hot irons or blow dryers can make strands more prone to breakage after pregnancy.
Breastfeeding can bring many drastic changes in a woman’s body including hormone fluctuations that can impact hair growth. Some dermatologists believe that estrogen levels drop significantly after childbirth. And this sudden hormonal shift can lead to a higher percentage of hair follicles entering the telogen phase. As a result, many hair strands may shed at once, leading to hair loss after pregnancy.
Is Hair Loss After Pregnancy Permanent?
Now that we have discussed some common causes of hair loss experienced by women after childbirth, you may be thinking, “Wait, is it permanent? Am I going to get my lost hair back or not?”
Well, here’s some good news: postpartum hair fall is temporary! With practical advice and helpful suggestions, women can regain their confidence and enjoy a full head of hair once again.
But now the question arises: What are some effective treatments and recovery tips to address this temporary condition in new mothers? Don’t worry, we’ll talk about those next.
What Are Some Treatments to Stop Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
Here are some treatments and lifestyle changes that are helping women regain their precious strands after pregnancy along with confidence:
Healthy hair starts from within. A nutrient-rich diet is the cornerstone for combating postpartum hair loss and promoting overall hair health. Providing your body with the right vitamins, minerals, and proteins will support the hair follicles and encourage strong, vibrant growth.
Start by ditching junk food and switching to a healthy diet. Foods rich in biotin such as eggs, nuts, and whole grains play a crucial role in strengthening hair shafts and reducing breakage. Vitamin C found in citrus foods and berries will also aid in collagen production.
Additionally, foods like leafy greens and lean meats will contribute to the proper oxygenation of hair follicles.
From the time of our grandmothers, scalp massages have been revered for their hair-strengthening benefits. This age-old treatment involves gently massaging the scalp with fingertips while using essential oils. Scalp massages nourish the hair roots, promoting hair growth.
They work by increasing circulation to the scalp which brings nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles. This revitalizes the strands, promoting stronger healthier hair. Scalp massages also flush away harmful toxins, reducing inflammation in the process and creating a favorable environment for hair growth after pregnancy.
Use natural oils like coconut, jojoba, or almond oil to make the most of any scalp massage. Simply apply the oil to your fingertips and gently massage your scalp in circular motions. Massage your scalp every other day to reap the full benefits and perhaps put a halt to hair fall. This a great tip for young mothers struggling with hair damage even after one year!
Supplements can play a vital role in supporting hair health and aiding fast recovery from hair loss after pregnancy. We know it’s best to get most of our nutrients from a balanced diet. But some women may benefit more from additional supplements to make certain they are getting enough essential vitamins and minerals.
Although biotin supplements are among the most commonly used for promoting hair growth, collagen supplements can also provide the structural protein needed for healthy hair growth. Additionally, supplements containing iron can also help in addressing hair fall related to iron deficiency anemia - a common issue after childbirth.
Note: It is essential to take advice from a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure that it won’t interfere with any existing medical conditions or medications.
There are various topical treatments available that can help address postpartum hair loss. These treatments can either be applied directly to the scalp or used in the form of foams, serums, or liquids. They contain active ingredients that aim to extend the hair growth phase, promote hair regrowth, and minimize shedding.
Designed to be used as a part of a daily hair care routine, topical treatments can be found over the counter. However, make sure to consult with a dermatologist since they have their share of side effects as well.
Hair wigs and toppers
Sometimes, hair refuses to retain its old glory even one year later. In severe cases where natural hair recovery may take time (or may not be possible), hair wigs and toppers offer a valuable solution to cope with hair loss after pregnancy. For those who don’t know, they are an immediate and non-surgical way to regain the appearance of a full head of hair.
Real hair wigs can even be designed to match the individual’s hair color, texture, and style preferences. They look natural and blend seamlessly with existing hair, offering a safe alternative to women who may not be suitable candidates for other treatments or prefer a non-invasive approach to managing hair loss after pregnancy.
Check out how good Kelly looks in her Lordhair hair replacement unit:
And they're not just for women, thousands of men across the globe have also been using toupee hair replacement systems to recover from hair loss and damage too.
Hair Loss After Pregnancy: Final Words
There you go! We have covered all the essential aspects of hair loss after pregnancy. Remember, postpartum hair shedding is a natural and temporary phenomenon that affects women across the globe. So, if you’re experiencing it, know that you’re not alone!
Simply understand its underlying reasons (which you have already!) and take proactive steps to support healthy hair growth. If nothing works even after a year, consult a doctor or consider buying a hair wig or a hair integration system.
As a leading manufacturer of hair wigs for men and women, we ship recovery products to 100+ countries and give the promise of premium quality while doing that. Feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. We’ll be super happy to answer any of your questions!