Hair Loss After Pregnancy
Byron Harrison | Pregnancy

The simple answer is no; hair loss after pregnancy is no reason to panic. In fact, many women experience hair loss in the few months after giving birth. To understand the reason, we must look at the cycle of hair growth.

Hair Growth Cycle

At any one point, only 85% of the hair on our head is growing. The other 15% is in the resting phase. Hair falls out at the end of the resting phase and a new hair begins to grow in its place. This cycle is repeated all over the head. Generally, women are said to lose 100 hairs a day under normal circumstances. Normally, hair loss occurs when new hair cease to grow, and the hair which is lost is not replaced. However this is not the case for hair loss after pregnancy.

Hair Growth in Pregnancy

Whilst pregnant, women produce more of the female hormone estrogen. This boost in estrogen levels can sometimes extend the growth period of the hair, which is why many women experience longer thicker hair during pregnancy.

After pregnancy, as the hormone levels return to normal, the hair that has been in extended growth phase rests. This increases the percentage of resting hair dramatically and in turn, there is also more hair lost daily. It is this increase in hair loss that some women experience in the months after pregnancy.

Because there is no damage to the follicles and hair is still going through the normal cycle, new hair will grow and in most cases, women will have a full head of hair again in twelve month after giving birth.

Most hair is lost after brushing and shampooing. Sometimes it can be quite alarming to see the amount of hair which is lost after pregnancy and women can come concerned. This is especially true as those women who tend to suffer from such loss have longer hair, which can make it look like even more hair is being lost. However, it is rare for such hair loss to become so severe as to cause baldness.

Treatment

Because this form of hair loss is really just a result of the body returning to normal after a time of hormonal imbalance and the fact that hair will grow back naturally in time, there is no treatment needed.

If the hair loss is severe enough to cause feelings of embarrassment for women, playing with different hair style and hair products for temporary solution such as clip in hair extensions to add volume could be the perfect way to disguise the hair loss for a few months until the hair returns to its pre-pregnancy thickness. Some women choose to take the opportunity to go for a shorter haircut that they have been considering for some time.

However, is there are other symptoms that present themselves with the hair loss and a woman is concerned, a doctor should be consulted as hair loss can be the cause of numerous underlying medical issues such as thyroid problems.