Postpartum Hair Loss
Here’s something they don’t tell you about having a baby: most people will experience postpartum hair loss in the first year after giving birth.
Generally we shed around 100 hairs a day (when we’re not pregnant), and our hair naturally goes through growth and loss cycles over time. That doesn’t mean it all grows or sheds at exactly the same time - we’d be bald half the year if that was the case! Nope, it’s usually about 85+% of our hair that’s in the growth phase at any given point. When you get pregnant, the influx of hormones stimulates your hair growth, so that more is growing and less is falling out. That’s why your hair probably looks pretty awesome during the third trimester!
However once baby is born and the pregnancy hormones begin to chill out, that lovely period of growth either slows down or stops, leading to postpartum hair loss. This can look and feel quite dramatic - I remember washing my hair in the shower one day about four months after having Max and wondering if I’d accidentally used hair removal cream instead of shampoo because there was SO.MUCH.HAIR on the floor! It also felt like it came out more when I was brushing my hair, so we were constantly hoovering…
Postpartum hair loss usually starts around 2-3 months after giving birth, and can continue for up to baby’s first birthday. It tends to be in patches, rather than all over, but everyone’s different. For me, it was patches around my hair line and forehead. The months after having a baby can make you feel pretty crappy anyway due to the changes in your hormones, still having a bit of a pregnancy belly, constantly cleaning up baby poo and puke, and now your hair is falling out too?! Not quite what you were expecting, right?
But you know what? This is the perfect time for some pampering and self care. Why not book in for a hair cut - either go to the salon (and have someone else look after baby for a couple of hours - double treat!) or book a mobile hairdresser to come to your house. When Max was about six months old I had my previously past the shoulders hair chopped to chin level - it looked good, and I felt AMAZING! Oh and even better, given that on maternity leave money was super tight, my cut was free as I signed up to be a ‘model’ for a trainee hair stylist! (Worth asking at your local salons).
Check out my selfie leaving the salon - you can see how good I feel (but also the weird hair line where I lost most of the hair from)...
If you’re not feeling it with a hair cut, you can try putting your hair in different styles (nothing that pulls it back too tight though, as this can stress the hair further), or using a new conditioner to help it look fuller and glossier. If you’re still experiencing lots of hair falling out after that it might be worth a trip to your GP to get your hormones tested.