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Postpartum Hair Loss: All You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jul 26, 2022

Postpartum Hair Loss: All You Need To Know

Of the changes new moms can expect after delivering their baby, postpartum hair loss may be the most unexpected. Also known as “postpartum telogen effluvium,” this post-partum change happens due to changes in a woman’s hormone levels. In some cases, the hair loss is minor, while in others it can be extensive.

Hair loss can be quite stressful, especially considering the physical, emotional, and psychological changes a woman goes through after the delivery.

During pregnancy, hair gets thicker. And hair growth is one of the many things that is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy. After delivery, the hormone levels go back to normal resulting in the thinning and shedding of hair.

Worry not, the excessive shedding of hair is not permanent in most cases. This period generally lasts for three to four months.

Here’s everything you need to know about your post-pregnancy hair, what to expect, and what to do about it.

Postpartum Hair Loss: Hormonal Changes Before and After Delivery

During pregnancy and after giving birth, the hormones in women changes drastically.

From the time a woman first takes their first pregnancy test, you might have noticed that there is a sudden rise in hormone levels. These hormones include estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin, and most importantly human chorionic gonadotropin, also called hCG.

After the delivery of the baby, the hormone levels go back to normal levels within two days. However, there are several hormones like prolactin that takes a longer time to get back to normal. Also, the blood volume increases during pregnancy, within a few weeks of the delivery.

How Do Changes in Hormones Affect Hair Growth?

A change in hormones is the biggest reason behind hair loss before and after delivery.

As said earlier, during pregnancy, hormone levels increase. This increase in estrogen helps to give strength to the hair.

You might have noticed that your hair has become stronger during pregnancy, and there is also a significant increase in hair fall. Also, the fact that there is an increase in the blood volume in your body also prevents hair loss.

After the birth of your baby, most hormones return to normal within a few days or weeks. These sudden changes in hormone levels result in hair fall.

It’s natural to be panicked if your hair is falling in such bigger clumps. But you do not need to worry. Postpartum hair loss is completely normal.

With proper care and few lifestyle changes, you will be able to prevent hair loss. Over a period of time, as your routine return to normal, there will be a decrease in your hair fall. Most mothers experience postpartum hair loss for six months.

postpartum hair loss

Is Postpartum Hair Loss Common?

Not only is postpartum hair loss normal, it is fairly common, too. Many mothers experience postpartum hair loss. The only difference is the amount of hair loss. Some might have more hair fall, while others are less. It completely depends on the hormone levels. The hair fall after the delivery is completely normal and it may last for a few months, and sometimes even a year. By the time your little bundle of joy celebrates their first birthday,

You may have a good amount of hair on your scalp. Well, it is also the time when you will have less hair on the comb.

If the excess hair fall sends you in a panic mode every time you comb your hair talk to your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe you supplements and oil to apply on your scalp and hair to prevent excess hair fall.

Postpartum Hair Loss Treatments To Try

Hair loss is completely normal after delivery. The duration of hair loss is about three to four months. However, if the hair loss is bothering you may take precautions to prevent the hair loss.

  • Eat healthy food – Make sure your meal comprises of a lot of fruits and vegetables. You must consume that are good for hair growth. Your meal must include protein-packed foods such as liver, avocados, sweet potato, salmon, milk, cheese and yoghurt. Vitamin A-rich foods such as carrots, potatoes, spinach, kale, eggs, and pumpkins.
  • Be gentle to your hair – This is the time your needs all the pampering and not the heat from those hairdryers and straighteners. Avoid fancy styling your hair as much as possible. Comb your hair regularly and have a good massage. Do not color your hair. Avoid straightening, curling or blow-drying your hair.
  • Increase your vitamin intake – It is important to increase your intake of vitamins. If you have a vitamin deficiency, your doctor may prescribe supplements for the same. Even though vitamins do not help to prevent postpartum hair loss it will definitely be beneficial for our overall health. Your doctor may ask you to continue the supplements for a few months after the delivery.
  • Use good haircare products – Use hair care products that are gentle on your hair. Use products that are chemical-free. If you feel your looks thinner, you can try using volumizing shampoos that help to make your hair looks healthy and glossy.

If you feel your hair loss is excess and is not completely because of the delivery of your baby, talk to your health care expert. Excess hair fall can also be a symptom of postpartum thyroiditis.

Learn more about the postpartum period, here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD


Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jul 26, 2022

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