Postpartum Hair Loss: Oh No! What’s happening to my hair?

A few months after a woman has had a baby she is sleep deprived, has loose skin and extra pounds hanging around her midsection, and if she is nursing she is serving as a walking milk truck. But at least she still has that thick, lustrous hair leftover from pregnancy, right? Wrong. In fact, her hair very likely is falling out…sometimes in clumps.

So what’s happening to my hair? Don’t panic, it’s totally normal. Technically, your hair is just going back to its normal, pre-pregnancy state. During pregnancy the extra estrogen in your system is responsible for less strands ending up in your brush and down the shower drain. The average non-pregnant woman loses about 100 strands a day, but while you are pregnant you retain more of those precious hairs. But when your hormones post-baby begin to normalize, those extra hairs you would have normally lost decide to jump ship…seemingly all at once. This post-partum hair loss does not occur in all women but does occur in most. Sometimes women lose hair in clumps. It is most noticeable in women with long hair and typically begins three or four months after birth. Thankfully the hair loss should stabilize in a few months and your locks will resume their usual rate of growth and everyday strand loss when your child is nine months to one year old.

In the meantime, talk with your hair stylist about cuts that will minimize the appearance of your temporarily thinner hair. If your hair loss was centered around your hairline, it might be a good time to try sexy long bangs. If you have already been contemplating a wash-and-wear pixie, shorter cuts may mask those lanky locks hanging down your back. You can also experiment with hair accessories and hair thickening products. My favorites right now are Foxy Locks and Living Proof Thickening Cream.

You should also continue striving for a healthy diet and taking your prenatal vitamins or a daily multivitamin recommended by your doctor. Those vitamins and minerals that were good for your growing baby such as iron, B12, biotin, omega-3s and healthy proteins are also essential for healthy hair growth.