Pregnancy can change your body in a lot of unexpected ways, but a lot of new moms are surprised to see how their bodies change after pregnancy—including their hair. Keep reading for everything you need to know about postpartum hair loss.
Why Postpartum Hair Loss Occurs
Most women notice their hair changing while they’re pregnant—oftentimes hair will thicken up, become fuller, and maybe a little on the dryer side. After pregnancy, however, these same women might notice that their hair starts falling out in earnest.
The simple explanation is this: there are a lot of different hormone shifts happening while you’re pregnant, one of them promoting hair growth. The hormones going on inside your pregnant body are actually preventing you from shedding. Everyone sheds every day, but that typically stops while you’re pregnant—something subtle that you might not notice. Instead, you’ll notice your hair getting thicker.
After pregnancy, your hormones return to their status quo, meaning there’s a big drop in estrogen. This drop triggers your regular shedding schedule—which you haven’t been on for months. So, your body starts shedding more than usual to get rid of all the excess hair. This event is called telogen effluvium and is usually triggered by a significant event like giving birth. It normally takes about three months of all that excess hair to shed out, which is why most women notice shedding around three months postpartum.
Don’t Worry—It Won’t All Fall Out
Postpartum hair loss is a temporary thing! While everyone’s postpartum hormonal shift acts differently, it’s very unlikely that you’re going from full volume to comb over after pregnancy. If your hair is feeling especially thin, there’s no need to worry. The time it takes to get back to your pre-pregnancy hair can vary from woman to woman—for some, it’s three months, and for others, it’s a year.
While you probably can’t stop hair loss altogether, there are ways you can control it. For starters, proper nutrition is essential to managing your postpartum hair loss. Getting all the vitamins and minerals you need will help keep your hair strong, healthy, and intact. Pregnancy is not the time (not that there’s ever a good time) to skimp on your protein or iron.
If your shedding genuinely seems out of the ordinary, you can always ask your doctor to air on the side of caution.
Handling Postpartum Hair Loss
Sometimes postpartum hair loss means your hair falls out evenly all over your head. Sometimes it means that clumps come out when you’re brushing it or washing it in the shower. Oftentimes, though, women lose the most hair around their hairline, making their hair look very fine and as if they’re balding. Even if you know it’s temporary; postpartum hair loss can take a toll on you and your confidence. Here are some simple things you can try to help you with the transition.
Try a new cut or color. A professional stylist will be happy to help you work with your postpartum hair! A shorter cut, bangs, fresh color, or layers can all help camouflage any thinning you might notice in your hair.
Keep it moussed and moist. Using the right product can go a long way in giving your hair some extra fullness. Volumizing mousse, for example, can help give your hair a boost. Conditioner is also essential during this time—do a deep or leave-in conditioner regularly to keep your hair soft and strong.
Change up your part. If you normally part your hair in the middle but notice your hair thinning around your temples, don’t be afraid to switch your hair part around to cover certain spots you’d rather not show.
Add texture. Sleek, straight hair can make thinning hair more visible. Try embracing your natural curl or adding some waves to give your hair extra body.
Accessorize. Headbands, bandanas, and scarves are all very in right now, and can help you feel more confident if you’re feeling self-conscious about your postpartum hair loss—not to mention, it’ll save you time in the morning!
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