Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Verna Meachum
For many women, postpartum curly hair loss is a reality. After months of growing your hair out, you may start to notice that your hair is thinning or falling out in clumps.
And while postpartum hair loss is perfectly normal, it can be a bit of a shock to the system.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the amount of hair loss and promote new growth. With a little care and patience, your hair will be back to your pre-baby self in no time!
So you had a baby. Beautiful! And, like most new moms, you’re probably dealing with postpartum hair loss.
You know, the thinning hair, the patchiness, the overall feeling that your once-lush locks are now seemingly limp and lifeless.
It’s totally common—and temporary. Around 85 percent of women experience some degree of hair loss three months postpartum. But don’t despair!
It typically grows back within 12 to 18 months.
What is Postpartum Shedding?
Postpartum hair shedding is also known as postpartum hair loss, telogen effluvium, or postpartum alopecia.
Irrespective of the name you use, it’s a very distressing encounter at an already stressful time.
Having a baby is amazing, but it comes with a lot of changes – some of which can be pretty tough to adjust to.
One of the things that can be really hard for new moms to deal with is postpartum hair loss. It’s common for women to experience shedding after they’ve had a baby, and it can be really discouraging.
Curly-haired women may find that their postpartum hair is thinner and less curly than it was before pregnancy. Some may only experience subtle changes, while others have significant changes in their hair.
The primary reason behind this condition is the drastic changes in your hormones throughout pregnancy and postpartum.
Many women realize they rapidly lose/ shed a huge amount of hair about 3-6 months after giving birth.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help your postpartum hair loss. Try not to stress too much about it – it’s totally normal and will eventually grow back.
Now, let’s discuss some of the common causes of postpartum shedding.
Causes Of Postpartum Hair Loss
One of the most common causes of postpartum hair loss is due to changes in hormone levels. Your hormones change drastically throughout pregnancy.
During pregnancy, you have higher estrogen (hair-friendly hormone) levels in your body. High levels of estrogen stimulate the growth of new hairs.
However, after birth, estrogen levels quickly drop and this can cause the new hairs to fall out.
This type of hair loss is usually the most pronounced in the first few months after giving birth but it should gradually improve over time.
Estrogen’s primary role is to keep hairs in their growth (anagen) phase for an extended period and delays them from progressing to their resting (telogen) phase.
That means that when you’re pregnant, you’re likely to lose fewer strands than usual. And, that’s why many women notice their hair becomes fuller during pregnancy.
Once you give birth, your levels of estrogen revert to normal. And the hairs that were kept in their growth phase progress to their resting phase.
They usually rest for a few weeks, and then fall out after around three months. It explains why you may shed a huge sum of strands within a short duration.
Change in diet
Another possible cause of postpartum hair loss is due to changes in your diet or lifestyle.
Many new mothers are so focused on caring for their baby that they neglect their own health.
This can lead to malnutrition or vitamin deficiencies, both of which can contribute to hair loss.
If you’re struggling with postpartum hair loss, make sure to eat a healthy diet and discuss with you doctor whether you should take any vitamins or supplements.
Finally, stress can also be a contributing factor to postpartum hair loss.
The physical and emotional stress of childbirth, along with the lack of sleep, can all contribute to hair loss.
If you’re struggling with stress, there are a few things you can do to help.
- First, try to get as much rest as possible.
- Second, make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and taking care of yourself.
- And finally, consider talking to a family member, friend, therapist or counselor to help you deal with the stress of new motherhood.
How Much Postpartum Hair Loss Is Normal?
If you get many strands clogging the shower drain or on your pillow, you’re not imagining things.
If you haven’t just had a baby, shedding around 80 hairs daily is normal. However, new moms shed around 400 hairs daily.
By six months postpartum, the shedding of hair should slow down to pre-pregnancy amounts.
In case you feel hair loss is not slowing down, there’s a high likelihood that other health issues play a role.
In early pregnancy, your ferritin level may change. Ferritin is a blood cell protein that assists the body to store iron and may put the thyroid out of whack.
Ensure that you inform your doctor that you’ve noticed much hair loss, and request to have blood tests performed to check both.
How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last?
Don’t worry! Once the shedding begins, the hair loss normally lasts around three months and should reduce after that time.
Before your baby’s first birthday, you should have noticeable improvement and within 15 months, your hair will have grown back.
That said, some women notice that their hair doesn’t have the actual density it had before pregnancy.
10 Hair Recovery Tips and Recommendations for Postpartum Curly Hair Loss
Now that you know all about postpartum hair loss, you may be wondering how to bounce back from it.
If you’re shedding hair since giving birth, here are a few things you can do:
- If you have curly hair, the best way to promote growth and prevent further shedding is to hydrate your strands with a leave-in conditioner.
- When washing your hair, be sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping away natural oils.
- In addition, regular trims can help to get rid of any damaged or split ends.
- Get the right nutrients. Ensure your hair remains healthy by eating correctly and continuing to use your prenatal vitamin supplement (check with your physician).
- Pick the right accessories. Utilize TELETIES or scrunchies to put hair up rather than elastic bands — and avoid pulling hair into tight ponytails or buns.
- Go easy on your hair. Try to be gentle to prevent further hair loss after pregnancy. Use shampoo when necessary, and use a quality conditioner and a wide-toothed comb to reduce tangling.
- Abstain from chemically based treatments. Refrain from using any highlights, straightening sessions, and perms until the shedding stops.
- Turn the heat down. Avoid blow-dryers, flat irons, if possible.
- Speak to your doctor if your postpartum shedding is excessive. When hair loss after pregnancy is accompanied by other symptoms might be a sign of something else.
- Remember to stay patient – it can take up to a year for your hair to return to its pre-pregnancy state. With a little time and care, you’ll be rocking your curly locks in no time!
Your hair texture, type, and color may change throughout or after pregnancy. However, try not to panic about it as it is a temporary phase.
If you are experiencing excessive postpartum hair loss, make sure to speak with your physician to rule out any underlying health conditions.
In the meantime, take care of yourself, get plenty of rest, and use some (or all!) of these tips to help you cope until your hair grows back.