Postpartum Hair Loss: Am I Going Bald?

by Caitlyn Storace

beautiful hairThere is a myth that women are fully recovered from pregnancy and delivery just six weeks after a baby is born. In fact, hormonal and physiological changes are still occurring many months postpartum. One of these changes is postpartum hair loss that can occur as long as three to six months after delivery.

After all the shocks and hardships of pregnancy, delivery, and the newborn period, the postpartum woman is hopeful that things are on the upturn. So frequently it is a shock to see clumps of hair in your hand during a shampoo, long strands of hair swirling down the shower drain or a hairbrush with packed with thousands of shed hairs.

The hormonal changes in pregnancy make your hair beautiful. It is shinier, silkier and seems thicker. The ends don't split. Hair doesn't fall out. The color can even change. Straight hair can become curly or curly hair can become straight.

Women normally lose approximately 100 hairs a day. All those hairs that didn't fall out during pregnancy have to go sometime. Generally between 3 and 6 months postpartum you will lose that extra hair -- sometimes it seems you lose it in huge hand fulls!

Normal hair growth cycle

illustration of hair growth

What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?

The normal hair growth cycle is divided into two phases -- the growth phase and the rest phase. The growth cycle lasts about 3 years and the rest cycle about 3 months. The duration varies greatly between individuals.

Normally 85-95% of hair is in the growth phase. During the rest phase, hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by a new growing hair. However, during pregnancy, hormone stimulate an increase in the percentage of hairs in the growth stage.

With birth a larger number of hairs enter the resting stage and are then pushed out between 3 and 6 month postpartum. Most womens hair resumes a normal growth cycle 6-12 months postpartum.

Tips to feel better about your hair

  • hair cut
  • Get a good hair cut
  • Try different styles
  • Use a good quality shampoo and conditioner
  • Try different styling products that bulk up hair
  • Avoid combs or brushes that pull or stress hair
  • Get enough protein and take a vitamin supplement

Diet for Healthy Hair

Vitamin/Mineral Source
biotin meats, dry beans and peas, whole grains
B6 meats, legumes, whole grains
omega 3 fatty acid salmon, flaxseed, macadamia nuts, walnuts
copper whole grains, dried fruits, almonds, green vegetables
zinc whole grains, green vegetables, meats, seafood

If you are one of the 50 percent of women affected, remember this is a temporary situation and the good news is that as each hair falls out, a new one begins to grow.

Has this happened to you?


Submitted by renagraham on

It is the hormone imbalance that makes your hair fall out. The birth control causes these hormone imbalances which make your hair fall out. They go hand in hand and effect some women and not others.

Submitted by mariumg on

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