Most women report having thick and full tresses during pregnancy, only to start massive shedding soon after delivery. The previously thick and shiny locks soon become thin as they experience more dropping during brushing or washing. Contrary to popular belief, post-partum hair loss is not due to the stress of having a newborn. What’s behind it? Let’s pull back the curtains on the topic.
The Reason Behind Hair Loss After Pregnancy
Typically, your tresses grow in four phases:
- Growing Phase
This is when the hair is actively getting longer.
- Transitional Phase
At this stage, the follicles become smaller, and the hair growth slows down.
- Resting Stage
There is no growth recorded in this phase.
- Shedding Phase
In this period, the strands fall. Another cycle then begins to replace the lost hair.
During pregnancy, estrogen levels in the body rise, thus disrupting this cycle. These increased estrogen levels cause the growing phase to be longer than the resting phase, resulting in thick and fuller locks. Alternatively, during post-partum, the estrogen levels in your body go down, which then induces the resting and shedding phases. Consequently, you will start noticing massive hair loss.
How Long Hair Loss Lasts After Giving Birth
While some women experience loss all over the scalp, others may lose strands only along the hairline. The intensity and period of post-partum hair loss vary from person to person as hormonal changes manifest differently.
More often, the shedding begins two months after delivery and can last for six months up to a year. After that, your locks should return to their regular growth pattern. However, the new strands will be shorter than the rest of the hair, but the lengths will normalize in time.
How to Manage Hair Loss After Having a Baby
Post-partum hair loss is normal and thus should not be a cause for alarm. Here are a few tips to help you maneuver this stage while keeping your mane healthy and beautiful.
- Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
To ensure that your tresses are getting essential nutrients, you must watch your diet. Include foods rich in iron, beta carotene, and omega 3. Additionally, keep taking pre-natal vitamins for an extra nutrient boost.
- Be Gentle When Washing and Combing Your Mane
Scrubbing your locks thoroughly or combing too hard can cause bigger clumps of hair to fall off. Only brush the locks when necessary and avoid heat styling as it can make the mane appear thinner.
- Use Lightweight Conditioners and Volumizing Shampoos
It is vital to keep off intensive conditioners as they may make your strands look more limb and thin. Instead, to manage hair loss after pregnancy, opt for lightweight leave-in conditioners and volumizing shampoos as they help add the body to the roots and strands while leaving them moisturized and healthy.
- Try a New Hairstyle
Changing your hairstyle by layering can help you conceal the loss while making your hair appear fuller. It’s also fundamental to avoid tying your hair too tightly as it can strain your strands, adding to the shedding. Trying a new color can also boost your mane’s look. It’s always a good idea to talk to your hairdresser and ask for different styling tips.
Don’t Worry – This Is Temporary!
Post-pregnancy hair loss is entirely normal, and it should not worry you. Just give it a few months to a year, and you’ll see your locks return to their old selves. In the meantime, focus your attention and energy on taking care of your newborn and resting. If your hair loss does not stop one year post-partum, perhaps a visit to your dermatologist will do the trick.