The period shortly after pregnancy is fraught with the nervousness and stress of taking care of a newborn child. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the times in which women are likeliest to experience some form of hair loss.
At best, that increases the stress of new parenthood; but at worst, it can lead to a variety of negative consequences including the onset of postpartum depression and the gradual worsening of hair loss.
What Is Postpartum Hair Loss?
Postpartum hair loss is classified as the loss of hair in a woman shortly after she gives birth to a child.
The rate and extent to which hair is lost when postpartum hair loss comes as a shock to many women.
This is because:
- Society has associated womanhood with hair, so losing it can threaten a new mother’s sense of femininity
- The period following childbirth is a very stressful one; so if a woman begins to lose her hair she may misdiagnose her postpartum hair loss as something more extreme, such as alopecia
- During pregnancy, a woman’s hair is far thicker and fuller than usual. Upon childbirth and at the onset of postpartum hair loss, many women become confused by the sudden loss of thickness that they had grown accustomed to
What Are The Causes Of Postpartum Hair Loss?
Typically, women begin to notice postpartum hair loss around three months after giving birth. The causes are largely hormonal.
There are roughly two phases of hair growth. The first, anagen, is a growth phase; while the second, telogen, is a resting phase. During pregnancy, women receive far more growth hormones than usual, which leads to a far greater amount of hair than normal.
The inverse happens following childbirth. Hormonal changes are that far more hairs than usual enter the resting phase; die and fall off the scalp.
What’s worth noting is that this happens to almost every new mother. In many instances, postpartum hair loss is a perfectly natural and normal part of motherhood; and shouldn’t be met with much concern.
Having said that, in certain women, postpartum hair loss can last for far longer than usual, with far more dramatic and negative consequences than in other women.
If your postpartum hair loss is still ongoing by the time your baby has reached twelve months old, that’s a good indicator that it’s time to consult a hair-care professional.