Coping With Postpartum Hair Loss

If you’ve had a baby, you’ve probably experienced the common (but dreaded) postpartum hair loss. It affects most new mothers, generally occurring between three and six months after giving birth. Postpartum hair loss is temporary, but can be significant. And, at a time when many bodily and hormonal changes are occurring, it can be difficult to deal with.

 

We’ll share a few tips for recognizing and dealing with postpartum hair loss below.

 

postpartum hair loss

 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, postpartum hair loss is not true hair loss, but instead is something called excessive hair shedding, which is caused primarily by hormonal shifts.

 

When a woman is pregnant, increased estrogen levels halt the normal hair growth and loss cycle. Specifically, the telogen phase – a normal resting phase in the hair growth cycle, in which hair is released and subsequently falls out – is skipped. Then, after birth, estrogen levels fall, and all of the hair that was not lost during pregnancy begins to fall out.

 

Once the hair shedding occurs, hair loss generally stops. Most women regain their normal hair fullness within a year of giving birth, barring any additional issues. But in the meantime, women can experience bald spots, widened parts and general thinning of hair, which can be difficult to manage.

 

Postpartum hair loss can’t be prevented, but there are a few things new moms can do to minimize the effects.

 

First, use shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for thin and limp hair, and use conditioner only on the ends of the hair. This will prevent the hair from being weighted down. Thickening hair sprays or products can also minimize the appearance of hair loss.

 

Second, continue taking prenatal vitamins, eat a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables and Omega-3 fatty acids, and drink plenty of water. Boosting nutrition to the skin and scalp can help hair regrow more quickly.

 

Third, try a new hairstyle! If your hair is getting especially thin at the ends, consider a hefty trim to make it look and feel fuller.

 

If your hair loss continues past the postpartum period, it may have another, more serious cause. Contact your doctor, then call DK International to discuss our innovative line of hairsystems, extensions and wigs. Our compassionate hair loss professionals can help you find a hair solution that fits your budget and meets your needs.

The Hair Growth Cycle

In order to have an awareness of hair loss, it’s important to understand the hair growth cycle. This will allow you to pinpoint any abnormalities in your hair growth and loss, and can potentially help to determine the cause of any excessive hair loss.

There are three distinct stages of the hair growth cycle: the anagen phase, the catagen phase and the telogen phase. When one or more of these phases is disrupted due to a medical condition, stress, trauma or some other reason, hair loss can result.

hair growth cycle

 

Anagen Phase

This is the growth phase. In general, hair grows about half an inch per month, and often grows faster in the summer months than in the winter (likely due to the climate and increased absorption of vitamin D and others). On average, the anagen phase lasts between three and five years. If a hair was allowed to grow for the full phase, it could reach up to 30 inches.

 

Catagen Phase

There is no significant change to the hair during this phase. Instead, it is a relatively short transitional phase, and usually lasts about 10 days.

 

Telogen Phase

This is known as a resting phase. It is the time during which hair is released, and falls out. It is normal to lose up to 80 hairs every day. Since each hair on your head is at a different stage of the hair growth cycle, you likely won’t notice those lost hairs. However, if you notice more strands in your brush or the shower drain, it’s a sign of abnormal hair loss.

Following the telogen phase, hair follicles remain inactive for about three months. The hair growth cycle then restarts with the anagen phase.

 

If you are concerned about abnormal hair loss, it’s a good idea to contact your physician and determine whether any underlying medical issues are the cause.

At DK International, we understand that hair loss can be a very difficult and stressful experience. We offer a variety of hair replacement and restoration services. Contact us today for a free private consultation at our Minneapolis hair loss salon.