What Causes Hair Loss After Childbirth?

What causes hair loss after giving birth? Is it a permanent condition? Do you need to see a doctor? What to do to prevent? How does it go? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

Will there be hair loss after giving birth?

If you’ve given birth to a beautiful baby and are worried about excessive hair loss, you’ve come to the right place. Women’s bodies are never the same after pregnancy. After childbirth, you can lose not only extra pounds, but also other things.

Related article: All about hair loss in women

Yes, pregnancy can also cause changes in your hair, you may experience hair loss after giving birth or your hair may become thinner. However, do not panic, as post-pregnancy hair loss is normal and temporary. Read on to learn all about postpartum hair loss and how to minimize it.

What does postpartum hair loss mean?

New mothers experience hair loss within a few months after giving birth. For some, shedding may begin right after birth or within a month. This condition is called postpartum hair loss, postpartum effluvium or postpartum alopecia and is caused by declining estrogen levels in the body.

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This is not true hair loss, as hair loss stops once estrogen levels return to normal. Hair loss continues for 6-24 weeks after birth and rarely lasts up to 15 months. If you’re wondering what causes this situation, you can find out in the next sections.
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Is hair loss normal after giving birth?

Yes, it is normal. In a study involving 98 patients, 88.7% experienced hair loss within 8 to 16 weeks after birth. Hair loss continued for 4-6 months and then hair growth returned to normal.

Although hormonal changes mainly affect the anterior region of the scalp, there is no evidence that this is the primary affected area in postpartum hair loss.

The same study also found that 59.1% of 98 patients had hair loss on the back of the scalp, 20.4% on the entire scalp, and only 11.2% had frontal hair loss.
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What causes hair loss after giving birth?

Here are the causes of postpartum hair loss, item by item:

  • Hormonal Changes

Fluctuating hormone levels can cause post-pregnancy hair loss. During pregnancy, there is a nine-fold increase in progesterone levels and an eight-fold increase in estrogen levels. Prolactin levels also gradually rise to a level 20 times higher than normal. These increased hormone levels return to normal 2-4 days after birth. This change can cause hair loss.
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  • Hair growth changes

The transition from anagen to telogen in the hair stages can also cause hair loss after birth. There are different phases of the hair cycle: anagen (growth phase), catagen (regression), telogen (resting phase) and neogene (hair loss). During pregnancy, hair stays in the anagen phase longer. After birth, the delayed anagen phase shifts to the telogen phase, causing hair loss.
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  • Vitamins and mineral intake
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Nutrient deficiencies can cause hair loss after childbirth. Research shows that deficiencies in zinc, biotin, iron, and folic acid can cause hair loss after pregnancy.
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  • Other reasons

Stress, post-surgery stress and disrupted sleep cycle can also trigger postpartum hair loss.

How long does hair loss last after giving birth?

In most cases, hair growth normalizes within a few months after birth. However, in some cases, this period may be prolonged and may even become permanent. Psychological stress and other hair disorders can affect postpartum hair loss.

If you are experiencing hair loss even one year after giving birth or if you have any underlying hair problems, you should consult a doctor for better treatment.

How is hair loss after giving birth?

There are some things you can do for hair loss after giving birth:

  • Keep your hair healthy by eating well and continuing to take your doctor’s recommended prenatal vitamin supplement.
  • Be extra gentle at shedding time to avoid excessive hair loss after pregnancy. Shampoo only when needed, and use a good conditioner and a wide-toothed comb to minimize tangles. Use hairpins instead of rubber bands to tie the hair and do not make a ponytail.
  • If possible, do not use blow dryers, curling and straightening machines and stay away from similar things until the hair loss stops.
  • If your hair loss is excessive, talk to your doctor. When accompanied by other symptoms, hair loss after pregnancy can be a sign of postpartum thyroid disease .

As a result

Don’t try things like shampoos, hair lotions, or conditioners that claim to stop hair loss after pregnancy. Because they probably won’t work. Be patient. Pamper yourself with a new haircut and enjoy your first year as a mother. Because your hair will probably return to its normal state like everything else.

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Frequently asked Questions

What causes hair loss after pregnancy?

Hair loss after pregnancy is usually caused by decreased estrogen levels. After giving birth, the level of this hormone in the woman’s body decreases again. In this case, hair growth is delayed, so more hair falls out. However, vitamin/mineral deficiency, stress and unbalanced diet during pregnancy can also cause hair loss.

How long does hair loss last after pregnancy?

Hair loss after pregnancy is not a problem if it lasts for several weeks or months. But if it lasts for months and you lose a lot of hair in the process, you should consult your gynecologist. Your doctor will check your hormone levels and test which vitamins and minerals you may be deficient in. In this way, other causes can also be excluded.

How is hair loss after pregnancy?

You cannot stop hormonal hair loss. 
As soon as the hormonal balance returns to normal, hair loss will go away on its own. For food-induced hair loss, your gynecologist will find a suitable treatment for you.

Does breastfeeding cause hair loss?

No. Postpartum hair loss has nothing to do with breastfeeding. Changes in hair loss and growth may be noticed during breastfeeding, but there is no direct link between breastfeeding and hair loss.

How to prevent hair loss during breastfeeding?

You can minimize hair loss by following a healthy diet. A lot of rest, little stress, and a healthy lifestyle also help prevent stress-related hair loss. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent hair loss after childbirth due to the decrease in estrogen levels. 
It only takes a few months anyway, and it will clear up on its own when the hormones return to normal.

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