Postpartum hair loss is a widely accepted part of any woman’s postpartum experience. But while many mamas have already accepted this inevitable fate, we’re here to shed–pun not intended–a little light on this simple question: why does postpartum hair loss happen?
“I was shocked by the amount of hair I would shed every time I took a shower. Our bathroom floor was full of hair,” shares new mama Therese. But, of course, this scenario isn’t new at all.
According to experts, it’s not unusual to lose hair every day. We lose as much as 150 strands of hair per day! However, it’s a red flag if you gather a clump of hair the size of a golf ball.
For mamas who have just given birth, hair loss is even worse because of mainly one thing: hormonal changes.
A Look Into Why Postpartum Hair Loss Happens
You see, pregnancy usually causes estrogen and progesterone levels to rise. These two hormones help keep hair growing and stay in the growing phase–also called the anagen phase.
During this time, the average hair fall decreases! That is why for most women, pregnancy is the time when the hair looks healthier and feels fuller.
After giving birth, though, the high estrogen and progesterone levels drop. Healthline writes that hormone levels drop within 24 hours after birth, except for the prolactin hormone, which will remain high if one is breastfeeding.
This change in hormone levels pushes your hair away from the “growing” phase and into the “resting” stage. During this stage, your hair falls faster than usual because, in a way, it’s making up for all the hair that didn’t shed when your estrogen and progesterone levels were soaring.
According to the Australia-based director of the International Association of Trichologists, David Salinger, hair stays at rest “for approximately three months before it falls out and new growth shows itself. Typically the regrowth is in the form of baby bangs appearing along the hairline.”
But did you know that while we commonly call it postpartum hair loss, the American Academy of Dermatology Association notes that it is not real hair loss? Instead, it’s called telogen effluvium.
If It’s Not Real Hair Loss… Then What Is It?
First, let’s understand what actual hair loss is. According to experts, hair loss (medically known as anagen effluvium) in women usually first happens along the part line. In addition, hair around the top of the head gets thinner.
Unlike postpartum hair loss, which is triggered by hormonal changes, actual hair loss is triggered by the following:
- Hereditary hair loss
- Immune system overreacts
- Some drugs and treatments
- Hairstyles that pull on the hair
- Harsh hair-care products
- The compulsion to pull out one’s hair
On the other hand, the hair loss experienced by women who have just given birth is telogen effluvium or simply excessive hair shedding.
It “is when your hair is still growing, but more hairs than usual fall out each day. It’s usually temporary and stops on its own,” explained Jeffrey Hurley, MD, a dermatologist at Chester County Hospital.
Also Read: Postpartum Hair Loss Remedies and Other Tips
Tips To Manage Postpartum Hair Loss or Excessive Hair Shedding
Now that we’ve found out what causes postpartum hair loss, here are a few steps you can take to help your hair look fuller, thicker, and healthier:
- Do not shampoo your hair excessively. When you wash your hair, use shampoos formulated for hair loss and as natural as possible to avoid harsh chemicals.
- Use a conditioner only on the tips of your hair. Applying conditioner to the roots will weigh down your hair even more.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to minimize tangling.
- Use scrunchies instead of rubber bands.
- If you are going to put your hair up in a ponytail, don’t make it too tight.
- Avoid hot styling tools and chemical hair treatments in the meantime.
Also Read: Pregnancy Hair Loss: 7 Tips To Help You Stop It
Manage Postpartum Hair Loss with Mama’s Choice Hair Care Series
Discover an ally in Mama’s Choice Anti-Hair Loss Series if you’re dealing with postpartum hair loss. This series comes with our Treatment Shampoo and Treatment Conditioner, designed and formulated to address excessive hair shedding by nourishing the hair from roots to tip, strengthening the roots, and stimulating hair growth.
Inspired by nature, our Anti-Hair Loss Series harnesses the powers of kiwi, candlenut, and green peas to create a nourishing formula to manage hair loss.
Kiwi, for instance, is rich in vitamin C, which is highly beneficial for strengthening the roots. Likewise, Candlenut is traditionally known for its regenerative properties, helping promote hair growth by activating stem cells in the hair follicles. Lastly, green peas are rich in iron and biotin, essential for promoting healthy hair and preventing hair loss.
Besides these incredible benefits, our Postpartum Anti-Hair Loss Series is s free of toxins, parabens, sulfates, and other harmful ingredients. Not to mention, it’s lab-tested and hypoallergenic!
Today, experience a safer and more natural way to deal with postpartum hair loss!
Mama's Choice Team
A team of passionate writers, young mamas, and creative superheroes who help mamas face motherhood one educational article at a time!