Looking like a Chia Pet? Here's what you need to know about postpartum hair loss.
Updated: Apr 4
I still remember the shock I felt when, at four months postpartum with my first baby, I ran my fingers through my hair and saw clumps of it come out. By 6 months postpartum, I looked a little like a Chia Pet. Or maybe even a Troll. It was NOT a good look, and I ended up getting a haircut to even out all of my thinning hair.
There's not much you can do to prevent this (I'll deep dive into the science below) but hopefully, this blog post will help prepare you for postpartum hair loss.
Why do moms lose their hair postpartum?
Postpartum hair loss is a common condition that occurs after pregnancy. It is caused by hormonal changes in the body that occur during and after pregnancy. During pregnancy, the level of estrogen in the body increases, which causes the hair to remain in the growth phase for a longer period of time. This results in thicker, fuller hair. However, after pregnancy, the level of estrogen drops, causing the hair to enter the shedding phase. This results in hair loss.
Tips to help your hair grow back
The good news is that postpartum hair loss is temporary and can be treated. Here are some tips to help hair grow back:
Be patient: It takes time for hair to grow back. On average, it takes about 6-12 months for hair to return to its pre-pregnancy thickness.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help support hair growth. Foods such as salmon, spinach, and avocados are great for hair health.
Take supplements: Certain supplements such as biotin, iron, and folic acid can help support hair growth.
Avoid heat styling: Heat styling can damage hair and make it more prone to breakage. Try to avoid using heat tools as much as possible.
Avoid tight hairstyles: Tight hairstyles can cause hair loss and damage. Avoid tight braids, ponytails, and buns.
Use gentle hair care products: Use shampoos and conditioners that are gentle on hair and scalp. Avoid using harsh chemicals and products that contain sulfates.
Massage your scalp: Massaging your scalp can stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles, which can help promote hair growth.
Try a new haircut: As I mentioned above, getting a haircut was really helpful to blend my new postpartum hair growth into my pre-pregnancy hair. Find a hairstylist you trust and ask them for their advice on what style will look best on you.
Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep can help reduce stress, which can lead to hair loss.
Manage stress: Stress can lead to hair loss. Try to find ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, or exercise.
Consult with a doctor: If hair loss persists, it is important to consult with a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
In conclusion, postpartum hair loss is a common condition that can be treated with patience and the right approach. By following these tips, you can help promote hair growth and return to your pre-pregnancy hair thickness. Remember to always be kind to yourself and give yourself time to heal, especially after giving birth.