Postpartum hair loss...Some of you may have experienced this. While you were pregnant, your hair was thick, luscious, beautiful. Then, your bundle of joy arrived and all that beautiful thick hair went down the drain... literarily. Your hair started coming out in clumps, you started seeing thinning areas, bald patches. You are not the alone, according to the APA reports, postpartum hair loss occurs in 40 to 50% of women.
What causes postpartum hair loss:
Hair has 3 stages of growth. The first phase is the growth phase, where your hair is actually growing and increasing in length. The second phase is the catagen phase, this is the transitional phase where the hair follicle begins to shrink. The last phase is the resting phase, in this phase the hair stops growing and remains at the same length. This resting strand is eventually pushed out as a new strand starts to grow out resulting in normal 'shedding'. During pregnancy, high oestrogen levels cause more strands to stay in the anagen phase (growth phase) as a result you have significantly less shedding than normal and beautiful, thick hair. But of course, all good things must come to an end, when you eventually give birth and your oestrogen levels drop, the hairs that were in a prolonged anagen stage begin to fall out resulting in the 'excessive' shedding known as postpartum hair loss.
How Long does it last:
Postpartum hair loss starts from about 3 months after child birth and can last for anywhere from 2 to 12 months.
How to prevent postpartum hair loss:
Postpartum hair loss varies from person to person and even with the same person, it varies from pregnancy to pregnancy. There is no way to prevent it. However, taking prenatal vitamins, garlic supplements and biotin supplements which promote hair growth and healthy follicles may help. Avoid styles that put a lot of tension on your scalp, this could aggravate the problem. Get creative and opt for styles that make the problem less noticeable.
Will your hair ever grow back?
Yes, postpartum hair loss is temporary. By the time it's time to celebrate your child's first birthday your hair should be back to its pre pregnancy state. If you are experiencing postpartum hairloss for an extended period of time, see your doctor. Get tested for postpartum thyroiditis: A thyroid problem that often occurs after pregnancy which may among other things cause excessive hair loss in women.
|Get tested for thyroiditis|
For most of us, it can be difficult to deal with hairloss along with all the other changes that come with pregnancy. However, just hang in there and give your body time to do what it does and recover from the total body experience that is pregnancy.
What has your experience been with postpartum hair loss? Are you one of the lucky 50 to 60 percent who don't experience this? If you aren't, how did you cope with it and how long did it last? Tell us in the comments below.