Friday, August 5, 2011

Postpartum Hair Loss.

I don't remember having better hair than when I was pregnant. I had a full, luscious head of hair! But as we all know, nothing last forever.

About 3 months after delivering my daughter, I started to notice some hair loss. I remember having a lot of hair on my hands just by running my fingers through it. There was hair on my clothes, on my pillows and on the carpet. It was scary! But nothing was scarier than getting handfuls of hair falling out when I was showering. I really thought I was going bald. Actually, I started noticing some small bald spots on my head! I was very self-conscious about it and I used to cry some days while showering ( after deliver I used to cry a lot about little things and this was not little).

As a first time mom I had no idea that this was one of those temporary pregnancy side effects. Only after talking to other mothers through a web forum (ivillage) that I started to realize that I was not the only one experiencing hair loss.

Later I came to understand that it was all related to the hormonal changes. During pregnancy, estrogen levels are high causing hair to remain in the growing phase which keeps it from falling out (that is the reason I had such a nice hair during pregnancy!). Some women may even grow hair in unexpected areas, such as chest, face and arms.

After deliver or weaning from breastfeeding (while breastfeeding estrogen levels are high) there is a drop in the estrogen levels causing the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle. The hair may fall out all at once (my case).

As I mentioned before, this side effect is only temporary and hair loss returns to normal within six to twelve months.

There is no medication that can prevent this hair loss, but here are some helpful tips:

  • Shampoo only when necessary and when you do it, use a thickening shampoo and conditioner.
  • Use a wide tooth comb and avoid combing wet hair
  • Avoid ponytails or any other style that pulls your hair
  • Avoid blow dryers and curling/flat irons

Even though pregnancy side effects can be hard to go through, it is all worth it. At the end, everything goes back to normal and we have a beautiful baby to love!

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    1. My hair is coming out in clumps now! My baby is 5 months old. It started falling out about a month ago. Hope it ends soon!

    2. Thank you for sharing! I am in the TTC phase of starting a family. And while we are trying and planning, we've been researching what to expect. I hadn't heard about hair-loss. Who would have thought? Thanks for being honest about your experience with this postpartum side-effect. I'm certainly not looking forward to this one, but as you said, for a little one, it will be worth it!

    3. Ugh. I know what you're going through. This is just a tip I learned recently. Stinging nettles will help your hair grow thicker. It comes in a tea form in most local health food stores and you can actually use it to rinse your hair out. Followed by water. Also, put a tiny bit of coconut oil on your palm and massage it though your hair. I hope this helps and don't worry. It's well worth it and will come back. :D

    4. Another tip is to get them cut short even if you know it is for a short while only. They tend to get everywhere and my son, as a baby, learnt so quickly (from me) that it was something that was ‘yucky’. To date, he is 2yr 8mths old, if he sees a strand close to him anywhere he gets squirmish.

    5. Thank so much for the tips! My baby is 7 Months and I'm experiencing some hair loss too.

    6. I had my hair fall out in chunks after my second child. I remember I was so scared thinking something was wrong with me (I also cried endlessly about it). Its just not something that people ever mentioned to me, so I didn't know about it either. Thanks for posting this and passing along the word it will make many moms feel better.

      I have awarded you the "versatile blogger award" on my blog, I hope you accept :)

    7. Thank you all for the commments and new tips!
      @Mitz Thank you very much for the Award!!! It is my second Versatile Blogger Award"!!!

    8. I am at the 3 month postpartum hair loss stage. I remember going through the same thing when my daughter was born and deciding to just chop off my hair. This time around I want to keep the length but it's just depressing to see all the hair loss and noticing more and more the bald spots. I can totally relate. I am also struggling to loose my baby weight and then some. Join me at

      Thanks for your post!!

    9. It's amazing the little things moms have to go through after having a baby. It's never easy for new moms: having to take care of new baby and going through so many body changes. Thanks for posting this.
      Wishing you a great day,
      Español para Niños (Spanish for Kids)

    10. I hated the hair loss stage! It did not happen with my first but on number two, I thought I had something seriously wrong with me. By number three, I had learned and as soon as that little baby came out I was on hair vitamins and special shampoos. Even though it was still bad, it was not nearly as bad as before! Call me vain, but I wanted to keep me hair! Now I just need to deal with all the baby hairs growing in!


    11. I totally went thru this...just now starting to lose less and less hair, thank God! Thanks for posting because while I was aware that you can lose hair post-pregnancy, I didn't know it was a few months AFTER delivery, so I was totally freaking out like most other moms I'm sure. Great post!

    12. I remember having that beautiful long silky hair when I was pregnant too. Then after each baby I would stand in the shower and literally clumps of my hair would be coming out. I knew what to expect the second time around. Thickening shampoos did help but I noticed changes in my scalp too. I had developed a dermatitis on my scalp hat lated all the ay through breast feeding with each baby.
      Congrats on your precious baby!
      much love

    13. That experience can be disconcerting, but try to remember, oftentimes you are only returning to the thickness of pre pregnancy but we tend to forget how thick that is.... Eating more Omega 3s as well as zinc containing foods helps.
      Stopping by from VB.

    14. OMG I loved my pregnancy hair! Insert: va va voom! And the same thing happened to me after giving birth, boo hoo hoo. My hair was falling out in clumps on my hand in the shower. I was also concerned, but like you, did the research and learned that yes, this is normal. Although I did read that if it lasts for more than 6 months after you give birth, it would be best to see your doctor to make sure it's not something else.

      Thanks for your post!

    15. Thanks for the hair care tips after pregnancy. I will pass them on to my daughter. Stopping by from VB. Have a great week.

    16. Found you through vB.

      I remember when that first started happening with my first son. I wish it stopped happening, though! My youngest will be 8 in two months, and I still pull out handfulls of hair in the shower. Luckily, my hair is really thick and it seems to regrow, despite the large amount of loss.

      Thanks for sharing this with new moms--I remember how freaked out I was when it first started!

      Full Cart Full Wallet

    17. Yup...going through it right now. It is terrible.. I have chopped my hair, followed all the rules, and you know what it is still falling out in wads.
      last time it took getting pregnant again to get rid of it.

    18. Thank you for all comments! It is REALLY good to read about all of your stories and realize that I'm not alone. We all go through that!

    19. Aw! Don't worry, u'll be back to normal in no time!

      I came across your website on the SITS Forum Thread 'Let the Following Begin'.
      I am now following you.
      Do visit my blog too and follow it.
      Keep the 'Sistahood' alive!


    20. i have been down this road with all 4 kids! sucks!!! but it grows does!! but i hate feeling all bald...not cool.

      i'm a new follower, hope you'll follow back! :)

    21. Ditto here also it was horrible I felt so weird.
      When it started growing back I was so happy. New follower from bloggy mom. I hope you can by and check my blog out.

    22. I used to love my hair before kids. It was a nice colour that turned into a non-colour after the kids were born :(

    23. Yes!! My baby is 8 months old and my hair is going :(

    24. I am a new follower. This is my first time stopping by. Hair loss is scary....I remember losing more hair than I ever had, but luckily hadn't had the handfuls of hair loss. Luckily like you say it grows back

    25. I wish someone had warned me about this. I thought something was seriously wrong when my hair starting falling out...and not from me pulling it out :-)

      Thanks for visiting and following MaMe happily following you!

    26. Reading your post from the Vb Stumble event...I remember losing hair after childbirth..your body has gone through so much it's no wonder!

    27. My baby is now 14 months and slowly my hair is getting to it's normal volume again before this it was a nightmare especially after shower and looking down at the floor where there are masses of hair on the it. Thank god it's normal phew! :)


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