Why Your Hair is Falling Out After Pregnancy

Why Your Hair is Falling Out After Pregnancy

During pregnancy, whether you feel blooming, or whether you feel like a beached whale and you’re never far from the toilet bowl, you should all notice one thing. Your hair gets thicker. Some women don’t notice it much, but pretty much all women after pregnancy will suddenly notice their hair seemingly falling out, sometimes in large quantities. The time this happens can vary, but it’s usually around 3-6 months after the birth. You suddenly notice loads of hair shedding, you brush your hair and great swathes of it seem to be coming out!

hair-falling-out-after-baby

A lot of women panic, they think they’re so stressed that their hair is starting to fall out, or that they’re lacking in some vitamin or mineral, and start researching hair transplant cost. But don’t panic. You may not need those hair extensions.

The reason your hair ‘falls out’ after having a baby

The truth is, when you’re in your normal, pre-pregnant state, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. Once this resting period is over, the hair falls out while you’re brushing or washing it. It is then replaced by new growth. An average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day. My vacuum cleaner thinks it is more than this.

During pregnancy, your body is producing increased levels of estrogen, which in turn  prolong the growing stage of the hair. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so your hair is thicker, and fuller than normal. Big hair rules!

After you’ve give birth, your estrogen levels take a dive and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon your hair will be shedding, coming out in the shower or on your brush. You may get a couple of thin patches or even bald patches. It will grow back! I had some thinning around my temples, and I thought I was receding last time, as I was an older mother (39) I thought that was it – it has since returned to normal, phew. This higher than average hair shedding will die down and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth.

Some women get some regrowth that is noticeable, like a little wispy fringe, or baby sideburns – like when toddlers hair grows. Ah, hormones, we do love you.

losing-hair-after-pregnancy

One of my Mum friends posted this picture on Facebook, and so many other Mums said they had the same sort of regrowth, or showed their thinning or bald bits. After having three, I can say with confidence that it does go back to normal. Here’s what my fellow Mums and bloggers have to say about their experience of hair loss after pregnancy:

Josie from Business for Mums says,
I knew it would happen so wasn’t freaked out by it but I couldn’t believe how long it went on for, my son was well past his first birthday by the time it stopped.
Does it stop for everyone? Natasha says (with tongue in cheek),
They say it takes a year to go back to normal. Mine started after the birth of my first child and has been ongoing… he is 16 years old soon.
You’d better watch out for your drains as well as your hoover according to Laura from Five Little Doves:
I had three babies in two years and literally lost half of my hair afterwards! I was convinced I was going bald and we spent a small fortune on sink and drain unblocker!
You may not notice it at all, like Naomi from Not a Perfect Parent:
I didn’t loose any more hair than normal (mines always falling out!) But I have found that when I have my hair cut it takes forever to grow since giving birth!
Take it from someone who’s right there with you:
I am currently in the throes of it…hair blocks plughole after a shower and I’ve had to cut it out of the hoover!! The joys!
– Sarah, Run Jump Scrap
Like me, Laura thought she’d got away with it:
No longer do I have thick hair. I thought I’d dodged it but then about six months post partum – BAM! There it was… or wasn’t as the case may be.
Jennifer from My Mummys Pennies describes her experience:
I’ve always had really thick hair so I didn’t really worry about losing my hair after pregnancy even though I’d heard the stories. Then after I had my eldest it started coming out in chunks, I almost had bald patches at one point which made worried about wearing my hair down. It did eventually even out though and although not quite as thick as pre-children, it seems to be back to normal now.
Lucy from Real Mum Reviews isn’t alone in seeking out hair thickening treatments, Katy also has turned to supplements to help:
My hair loss has been horrific second time around – keep on freaking out thinking there’s a spider on my carpet when it’s actually a little hair ball! Gross! I’ve found the Lee Stafford hair growth shampoo has really helped.
I’ve lost so much of my thick hair that it’s almost bald in places. However what has helped me is eating well, having good nutrition and vitamins. It takes months to start helping but it is really the key for me.
Hannah from The Amphletts doesn’t remember that lesson in antenatal classes,
Why did no one warn me about it?!? I’ve always found that my hair falls out, even before I got pregnant so I wasn’t too worried at first, but for a few weeks after I stopped breastfeeding I was unclogging the plug every time I had a shower – I even stopped washing my hair so often for fear of loosing too much! 
Kelly highlights the importance of talking about it:
I was really scared and ended up being tested for thyroid. Met a lovely hairdresser who made me feel less paranoid about it and over (a long) time it grew back.

Did you notice your hair feeling thicker during pregnancy? Did you lose your hair after giving birth? Has it returned to normal?

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own

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5 Comments

  1. February 10, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    Such an important topic and its great for mothers to know they’re not alone ☺️

    • Midwife and Life
      Author
      February 10, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      Thank you

  2. September 7, 2017 / 2:03 am

    Hi,

    Thanks for sharing this great article. When I gave birth to a little boy I noticed after 2 months that my hair is falling off. And you said it right, I am planning to undergo such transplant because I feel like losing all my hair. But I think it over that I should not panic, instead, I google search if it’s normal for a mom who just gave birth to experience a great amount of hair falling. I’m thankful that it is normal and I felt relieved :).

  3. January 27, 2018 / 11:44 am

    Great Suggestions. Keep the ideas coming in.

  4. briella p
    May 1, 2018 / 12:01 am

    I had the same experience! After I had my baby my hair started falling out like crazy. After many doctor visits and tests, he recommended that I use a natural shampoo, because my post-baby body was now not having a good reaction to the chemicals in shampoos. He recommended the Made from Earth Tea & Protein Shampoo, because its all natural, and has proteins in it.

    After about one week, I could see my hair getting stronger and filling out more. It has stopped falling out now. You will need a condtioner after using this shampoo, because it does make your hair like squeaky clean (from the tea tree oil), but its worth it because you get your hair back!

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