Postpartum Hair Loss: Everything You Need to Know About Losing Hair After Pregnancy – Allure Magazine
Being a new mom can be one of the most emotionally rewarding — and challenging — experiences a woman faces. And while you may have anticipated your body to go through a whirlwind of changes, you may not have expected your hair to start falling out in clumps.
Also referred to as postpartum hair loss, telogen gravidarum, and telogen effluvium, excessive hair shedding after childbirth (which would occur anywhere between two and four months after giving birth) can affect between 40 and 50 percent of women, according to statistics from the American Pregnancy Association.
“When a woman is pregnant, she has a lot of extra hormones in the body, including estrogen,” says Christine Carlan Greves, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in Orlando, Florida. “The estrogen helps protect us from losing our hair. Then when she has the baby, there’s a sudden change in the hormone levels, including a drop in the estrogen. And this shift can cause a response in the body that may affect the hair cycle.”
In fact, Greves adds that breastfeeding can also contribute to hair shedding because it increases prolactin levels (the hormone produced in the pituitary gland that is responsible for breast milk production), which is associated with hair loss as well.
Margarita Lolis, a board-certified dermatologist who practices in New York and New Jersey, explains there are three different stages of hair growth: anagen (the growing stage), catagen (the intermediate period during the growing stage), and telogen (the resting or shedding stage). “In telogen effluvium, all the stages synchronize, so you’re seeing the hair fall off,” she states.
While post-baby hair shedding cannot be prevented, the good news is that it’s a temporary condition that usually corrects itself by your little one’s first birthday. In the meantime, Lolis shares tips for promoting new growth and treating your hair with TLC during this sensitive time.
Use a volumizing shampoo. These products tend to contain dimethicone, which is a silicone-based polymer. “This ingredient coats and seals the hair, which makes it look healthier and fuller,” she says.
Condition the “light” way. Lolis suggests avoiding shampoos and conditioners labeled “conditioning” since these heavier products will weigh the hair down. “When you use conditioner, just condition the roots and not the scalp for the same reason,” she adds.
Stimulate your scalp. She advises using Restorsea Revitalizing Scalp Treatment, which is made from an enzyme that a baby salmon releases at birth. “This spray helps clear all the dead skins around the hair follicles, helping the hair follicles to stay open.” Keep in mind, this product is only available through licensed physicians.
Consider supplementing. While biotin seems to get most of the attention, Lolis recommends the hair supplement Nutrafol. “It contains enzymes that are naturally found in the body, which help to promote hair growth,” she explains.
More on hair loss:
- How to Deal With Excessive Hair Shedding in the Fall
- Why Your Hair Is Shedding and What You Can Do About It
- The 6 Best Shampoos for Thinning Hair Recommended by Dermatologists
Everything You Need to Know About Skincare When You’re Pregnant: