Postpartum Hair Loss? What To Do & How To Help Prevent It
When it comes to pregnancy, most people talk about the three trimesters. The first is when you’re likely to get morning sickness, the second when you’re feeling that pregnancy glow, and the third is when impatience settles in and you’re dying to meet your new bundle of joy. What sometimes gets forgotten is the fourth trimester, AKA postpartum, and A LOT goes down. We’ll be real, T4 can be a difficult time to navigate, especially for first-time moms – not only are you learning how to care for another human being, but there’re also so many changes happening to your body, from unexpected bleeding to cracked nipples, and of course, today’s topic of discussion, postpartum hair loss.
You may have heard about postpartum hair loss recently as tons of new moms have been taking to Instagram to share their stories. The DL? Your hair is likely to thicken and become hella-lustrous during your pregnancy thanks to the influx of hormones, but once you enter the fourth trimester, these hormones leave your body, and the stress of childbirth and blood loss takes its toll, which can result in hair loss and shedding. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent serious hair loss. We recently spotted a new HAIRtamin hair vitamin designed specifically to help with postpartum hair loss, so we reached out to the Co-Founder of HAIRtamin, Leyla Milani, to get all her tips and insights on the topic.
Why Do So Many Women Experience Postpartum Hair Loss?
According to Leyla, “Hair loss is very common among pregnant women, and it’s especially prevalent in the postpartum stage of pregnancy.” This is due to many factors, but mostly due to hormonal changes; more specifically, it’s caused by the dramatic increase in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy that level out and drop following childbirth. Leyla adds that it can also be linked to “underlying medical conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and stress that new moms experience.”
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While we know it can feel quite scary at the time, try to remember it’s completely normal, and there are so many women experiencing the same thing. Take Ashley Graham (a new mom you’ll love to follow), who shared her very normal experience of postpartum hair loss with a dollop of humor.
How Much Hair Loss Is Normal and How Much Is Expected During Postpartum?
Leyla says, “While many women experience improvement in their hair quality during pregnancy (faster growth, thicker, shinier hair), the majority (about 50% of women in the US according to the American Pregnancy Association) experience hair loss after they have delivered their baby.”
She adds that, on average, men and women lose about 50-100 hairs each day. However, during post-partum new moms can shed approx. 400 hairs a day. In general, it takes around three months for your pregnancy growth to fall out, so many women start to notice hair loss at this stage. After approx 3-6 months post-partum, hair loss should regulate and return to normal levels. If the shedding does not slow down after six months, it could be signaling other health issues, so be sure to tell your doctor. For example, pregnancy can change your ferritin levels (a blood cell protein that helps your body store iron) and, therefore, can disrupt your thyroid levels, which need to be monitored closely by your doctor.
Where on Your Scalp do you Typically Experience Hair Loss?
Leyla says that in general, “We tend to lose hair around the hairline near the forehead and temples.” This is often the case with post-partum hair loss. Regrowth also tends to be around the hairline, which can sometimes look like baby bangs. Leyla adds that “Sometimes hair loss can happen in a clump that resembles a round bald patch. This is referred to as Traction Alopecia. For some reason, hair loss/thinning can happen all over where they notice more hair in their brush or in the shower or their ponytail feels thinner.”
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Is There Anything You can do to Prevent Pregnancy-Induced Hair Loss?
Thankfully, Leyla says there are plenty of things you can do to control post-partum hair loss. First and foremost, she believes in taking vitamins. Leyla explains, “New moms are advised by their doctors to take a good prenatal that contains folic acid/folate, among other vitamins/minerals during pregnancy. This is vital for the development of the fetus and supports the mom with the nutrients she needs to carry a healthy pregnancy. A lot of times, it’s the lack of nutrition or vitamin deficiencies that lead women to experience dry, brittle, thinning hair postpartum.”
She confirms that this is why she developed HAIRtamin MOM, $30, a complete pre-and postnatal support formula that also supports your hair growth and retention throughout pregnancy and beyond. Leyla adds, “It’s a one-per-day, vegan capsule formula that contains 35 highly potent and bioavailable, plant-based ingredients including the natural form of Folate (not the synthetic Folic Acid), which is absorbed by the body better, as well as antioxidants like turmeric, ginger, vitamin C, a vegan form of D3 that comes from Lichen and digestive enzymes.”
Leyla insists, “It can be used before pregnancy, during, and after to help support you, your growing baby, and your hair throughout all stages of pregnancy. Since the body does need time to get adjusted and start absorbing vitamins, it is best to start as soon as possible to allow your body to be ready.”
How Else Can you Encourage Hair Growth Postpartum?
In most cases, your hair should grow back naturally, however, there’s typically an awkward stage of regrowth where you have shorter hairs around your hairline. If you want to speed up the regrowth process, here’s what you can do:
A healthy lifestyle: “Besides reducing stress, which is easier said than done, making sure we are getting adequate rest [is important]. Feeding our body with nutrient-dense foods and supplements that are bioactive and bioavailable, which means they get absorbed and used by the body, and encouraging blood circulation on the scalp is key,” says Leyla.
Scalp massage: We’re actually obsessed with scalp massages as they’re not only relaxing but they’re also proven to encourage regrowth as they stimulate blood and oxygen flow. Plus, it’s completely free! Check out our hair massage technique here.
High-tech beauty tools: Thanks to the boom in beauty technology, loads of devices target loss and help encourage hair growth. One of our go tools is the Hairmax Ultima 12 LaserComb Laser Hair Regrowth Device, $399, as it delivers red light energy to your hair follicles through 12 medical-grade lasers. The clinically proven hair growth technology helps to stimulate growth at the follicle, leaving you with thicker, fuller hair.
For more hair loss tips, check out five products proven to boost hair growth.