As if there weren’t enough shocks to cope with when having a baby, nature throws one more at you—postpartum hair loss.
My hair loss started at about 12 weeks after Jacob was born and it’s still going on now (24 weeks postpartum). I first noticed that my brush was covered in hair, which I thought was odd because I’d cleared it out two days before. Then I started to notice that the plug hole was blocking when I showered. Finally, I started to find hair everywhere. All over my clothes. All over the baby. All over the floor. I became alarmed. How was it possible that I had any hair left? Was the whole lot going to fall out?
Postpartum hair loss is common
A quick Google later and I’d discovered that hair loss is incredibly common—and normal—after having a baby. Apparently, during pregnancy the normal hair growth cycle is disrupted. The increased estrogen causes less hair to fall out—which is why pregnant women tend to have thicker hair (part of the mythical ‘pregnancy glow’—I already have pretty thick hair so this wasn’t the blessing it’s made out to be). Once you’ve given birth the estrogen levels go back down to normal, so the hair cycle goes back to normal and all the hair that didn’t fall out during pregnancy starts to fall out in one go.
I then started asking around other friends with babies. It happened to all of them too. One even had to get a fringe to hide all the regrowth at the front of her hair!
So what can we do about postpartum hair loss?
Some websites recommend using a thickening shampoo and condition to improve the appearance of the hair you do have. Others recommend being gentle with your hair to prevent any extra shedding, so things like avoiding blow drying your hair or using straighteners. You can take a postpartum supplement to make sure the hair loss isn’t being exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies, but this is unlikely. I guess it’s worth a go if it makes you feel better to be doing something though. The overwhelming consensus is that it’s a natural phenomenon and we just have to put up with it.
According to my research, hair should go back to normal between 6 and 12 months after giving birth. I’ll let you know once mine goes back to normal!
Did you have postpartum hair loss? How long did it take for your hair to recover its former glory?