Postpartum Hair Loss
Though morning sickness and fatigue can be incredibly challenging, an advantage that many people enjoy during pregnancy is a boost to the hair’s thickness. About 15 weeks into a pregnancy, many women notice their hair becoming much fuller. This added thickness is caused by a hormonal change which impacts the normal hair cycle.
Typically, the hair cycle goes as follows:
- Anagen phase – The active growing phase, which lasts about two to six years.
- Catagen phase – The transitional phase where the follicle shrinks, this lasts 10 days.
- Telogen phase – The resting phase before the cycle restarts, this lasts about 3 months.
- Exogen phase – The shedding phase in which old hair falls out and new hair emerges.
During pregnancy, estrogen extends the length of the telogen phase. For this reason, hair is resting for significantly longer and does not shed as quickly. While added thickness and fast growing hair is a perk for many pregnant people, once the child is born and hormones recalibrate to their normal levels, the hair cycle will also return to normal. Telogen effluvium is the medical name for postpartum hair loss.
How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last?
Though the timeline for postpartum hair loss varies from person to person, it is common for women to notice hair loss two to four months after giving birth. Telogen effluvium can last from six months to a year. Do not be discouraged if your hair continues to shed. However, make a note if your hair becomes thinner than it was before you were pregnant. Some people experience a condition called postpartum thyroiditis, of which excessive hair loss can be a symptom.
What Can I Do?
While some hair loss is normal, it’s important to know that there are some things you can do to facilitate the strength and growth of your hair following the birth of your child, such as:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Regularly take a prenatal vitamin or supplement
- To avoid excessive tugging, skip rubber bands and opt for clips or berets to put up your hair
- Be gentle as you shampoo and condition
- Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle
- Avoid heat treatments and blowdrying
- Stay patient, postpartum hair loss doesn’t last forever
To be clear, post-partum hair loss is totally normal, but it should only be temporary. If you have a condition that causes more permanent hair loss, you still have options. Reach out to the team at Hairline Ink at 585-444-3559 to learn more about scalp micropigmentation, a permanent solution to the appearance of hair loss.