You're not alone - Victoria Beckham suffered from postpartum hair loss after giving birth.
Many new mums are often concerned when they find themselves losing more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth. However this is a completely normal occurrence and there is no need to panic. In fact, most mum’s hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness before their baby’s first birthday.
Here’s what’s going on. Hair loss that occurs after pregnancy, known as postpartum hair loss, is a type of telogen effluvium which is caused by hairs entering the resting phase and in doing so, increases the shedding stage of the hair cycle. While in most cases postpartum hair loss will only continue for up to 12 months after giving birth, some studies have also suggested that the shedding may last for up to 24 months.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?
There are a variety of possible causes of postpartum hair loss and a woman’s hair can be affected by one or more of these simultaneously. However none of these are cause for major concern, and there are many hair loss treatments and hair restoration options available.
Increase in Hormone Levels
Oestrogen and progesterone levels increase significantly during pregnancy. These hormones increase the length of the anagen phase which actually maintains more hairs in both length and number. Therefore a woman’s hair often looks better during her pregnancy. Shortly after giving birth however, these hormone levels will drop, causing the hair that should have fallen out during the pregnancy, plus the normal hair fall, to come out all at once.
Pregnancy is a common time for women to become anemic or iron deficient as the developing fetus needs iron and the pregnant mother is producing more red blood cells. Most women take a prenatal supplement, but stop after they have given birth. This can lead to an iron deficiency, which may cause an increase in hair loss. It is important for a new mother to have her iron, complete blood count, and ferritin checked within a few weeks of having her baby.
Both an epidural and C-section require the use of a regional anesthetic and with any anesthesia, there is a risk that the woman’s hair cycle could temporarily be disturbed. In addition, the increased loss of blood during a C-section surgery may lead to a lower iron level that may result in some hair loss.
Lack of sleep is common with new mum and this combined with the stress of looking after a newborn, can negatively affect her hair cycle. Stress hormones and stress proteins can cause the anagen phase (growth phase) of the hair cycle to shorten temporality, leading to postpartum hair loss a few months later.
Many women will attempt to shed their excess pregnancy weight too quickly after giving birth.
Sometimes the new mother will follow a ‘crash diet’ to help speed up her weight loss. Losing more than 7 kilos over a 4 week period can cause metabolic changes which may lead to postpartum hair loss.
What to do if Postpartum Hair Loss Strikes
A lot of the causes of postpartum hair loss are a natural part of pregnancy/post-pregnancy and with time your hair should return to normal. However to gain faster improvement, Transitions Hair suggests women begin exercising as soon as possible, to take some relaxation time-outs, and to choose good nutritional diets. Additionally, if you’re iron deficient, Andrew Wilson, Director of Transitions Hair Sydney, suggests taking an iron supplement for a few months. (Note: If you are breastfeeding, any supplementation should be approved by your physician.)
In some cases, you may still feel your hair is not at its desired thickness or that you want a hair loss solution during the regrowth stage. BioTHIK Hair Fibres are a fantastic solution for this. BioTHIK is a cosmetic hair thickener that instantly creates fuller, thicker looking hair.
Occasionally, even after treatment and regrowth, a woman’s hair may never recover. In these instances, we offer a range of long term hair replacement and hair restoration solutions specifically for women. For more information visit phone us on 1300 427 778 or click here for a free confidential consultation.