What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?

What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?

Out of many postpartum changes we hear and read about, postpartum hair loss is something many new mother face. If you’re among the 30-60% of women who are experiencing it in the months following birth, you may be wondering if your hair ever return to normal. The good news? It will—postpartum hair shed is a temporary phenomenon.

On average, we lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. This is very normal and hardly noticeable because it doesn’t occur all at once. This natural shedding process is followed by new hair growth which means you’ll barely notice – if at all – any difference.


While breastfeeding is often blamed for hair loss, there is no evidence to show that breastfeeding causes or increases hair loss in the postpartum period. Unfortunately, this is a symptom that almost all moms will experience. While this condition can become extreme (called Postpartum Alopecia) some hair loss is normal and a natural part of postpartum. Most moms will experience this symptom somewhere around three months postpartum. It can last a few weeks or a few months, depending on how long your hair cycles last. Often moms forget that they are still considered postpartum by this point and don’t think to relate childbirth to this symptom.

You may have noticed during your pregnancy that your hair looked great – fuller and more vibrant than at other times. One of the reasons is that you are likely taking prenatal vitamins, which help our hair look its best. The other reason is that when you are pregnant your hair goes into a dormant cycle and you lose less hair. This is called the telogen phase. Eventually, your hair will go into the next phase (telogen effluvium) and fall out. Therefore, when you have the baby you start losing all of the hair that you didn’t lose when you were pregnant. The hair loss and regrowth will probably be most apparent in the area above your forehead. If you gained a lot of extra hair when you were pregnant, this can look quite dramatic.


What you can do about it

  1. Continue to take a prenatal vitamin supplement and eat a balanced diet of healthy, nutritious foods.
  2. Be gentle to your hair during the shedding process to prevent excess hair loss.
  3. Avoid over-washing (as if you have time to wash your hair!). Use a good quality shampoo and a hydrating conditioner.
  4. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently style hair and minimize pulling and tugging.
  5. Don’t pull hair up into tight ponytails and use scrunches or clips instead of rubber bands.
  6. Take a break from heat styling products and chemical treatments like highlights and perms to avoid further hair damage.
  7. Speak to your health care provider if you are experiencing excessive hair loss

You can always speak to us, too – American Aesthetic Medical Center.  Our hair loss and restoration specialist can calm your worries or help you plot a course back toward a full and healthy head of hair. Plus, we offer free consultations – just call us on our toll-free number to schedule your appointment.


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