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    6 Helpful Tips to Tackle Postpartum Hair Loss

    Updated 14 February 2022 |
    Published 27 December 2018
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Anna Klepchukova, Flo chief medical officer, UK
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Fast-growing and thick hair is a pregnancy symptom that many women love to have. So enjoy your luscious locks while you still can because in the months following delivery, you may experience postpartum hair loss. Read more about the postpartum condition and how to deal with it.

    Don’t panic! Postpartum hair loss is normal.

    It can be an alarming discovery. You’re going about your regular hair-care routine; savoring those moments alone where you can tend to your own self-care. When all of a sudden you look down at your brush and find large clumps of your hair tangled in the bristles!

    Don’t panic—postpartum hair loss is normal. Learn more about what causes postpartum hair loss, how long it lasts, and some postpartum hair loss remedies to help treat it.

    What causes hair loss after giving birth?

    All hair on our bodies grows in a cycle that can last anywhere from two to seven years. The active or growing phase of a strand of hair is called anagen and determines the length of our hair. After a period of time, the hair follicle enters a transition phase (called catagen) before entering its resting phase (telogen). Shedding occurs (exogen) and the process starts all over again.

    Changes related to your hormone levels before, during and after pregnancy can affect hair growth. It’s completely normal to experience hormonal imbalance after giving birth, and one of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance is postpartum hair loss.

    The medical term for postpartum hair loss is telogen effluvium. The condition, which is also referred to as postpartum alopecia, is relatively common, affecting between 40-50% of women in the months following childbirth.

    Postpartum hair loss occurs after childbirth because of the sudden change of hormones in your body, particularly the change between progesterone and estrogen.

    How hormones affect your hair growth?

    In pregnant, postpartum and menopausal women, estrogen is the leading hormone that affects your hair growth.

    During pregnancy, your body increases the amount of estrogen it produces which signals more follicles to enter the growing phase than the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. During this time, you may experience fuller, thicker hair. You may also notice that your hair grows significantly faster during pregnancy than it did before you were carrying your little one.

    Following childbirth, estrogen levels drop (returning to their pre-pregnancy levels), prompting the hair follicles to enter the resting phase and fewer hairs to grow. After about 100 days in the resting phase, the hair begins to shed.

    In addition to the estrogen and progesterone changes in the postpartum period, stress and nutrition impact hormone levels, which and can also influence hair growth.

    Thyroiditis, caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland, results in an imbalance of thyroid hormones which can also affect your hair growth. 

    When does postpartum hair loss start?

    Women may begin to experience postpartum hair loss two to four months after childbirth. The amount of hair loss you experience will be different for every woman and is not always relative to your hair quality or quantity during pregnancy. However, your hair loss may seem more extreme if you have longer hair, or experienced a lot of hair growth during pregnancy.