Hair Loss after Pregnancy – Now What?

20 February 2023 | After Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H

Did you know that hair often falls out after having a baby? This is not always the case, and that is normal too.

For some people this comes as a surprise after giving birth. Some others may expect it, and can still be surprised by the duration of this change. This is a temporary condition of the body driven by pregnancy-related hormones (it may also appear with variations, such as thinner hair).

In this article, Marta Palombo shares her knowledge and tips about this topic that affects so many after pregnancy. Marta is a doula, yoga teacher and facilitator in circles for parents and babies. Originally from Italy, Marta has been living in Berlin for 7 years. 

You can learn more about Marta’s work on her website.

Let’s take a step back: estrogen is one of the hormones that reaches very high levels in pregnancy. One of its “powers” is to make our hair grow thicker, faster and stronger (again, not always: sometimes there is a change in texture or color, or hair may become oilier or drier). When estrogen drops back to non-pregnant levels, the hair that didn’t fall out during pregnancy will shed. This often happens around 3-6 months after giving birth.

When does it end? Usually, hair growth normalizes again between 6-12 months after giving birth, without requiring any treatments.

When hair keeps falling in large quantities or clumps for longer than this period, it’s worth asking the doctor or midwife. If there is a concern, iron levels and the thyroid will often be tested, and treated when needed.

Ok, so it’s normal. And what if you find yourself still worried about this?

  • Natural and temporary. Keep in mind that postpartum hair loss is a temporary condition and that your hair will eventually grow back. Your body is doing its job by letting go of this hair, too.

  • Share and connect. Asking your doctor or midwife can be reassuring, and so can be joining a group of new parents and discovering how common our worries can be. We are not alone.

  • Nutrients and support. We want to keep a healthy and balanced diet, and consider vitamin and mineral supplements, including vitamin A and biotin. This is usually covered by postpartum supplements.

  • Gentle care for hair. Limiting chemical products or even tight hairstyles. Considering a new hairstyle may not stop hair loss, but if it makes us feel more confident, it helps.

  • Self-care. Stress does not support body processes, and new parents have a lot on their plate. Time spent loving yourself helps, including breathing, gentle exercise, and giving priority to activities that de-stress us is a medicine.

The bottom line is: don’t panic. As the pregnancy-related hormones move back into the new balance, the body (and hair) will too.

These adaptations are often slower than we would wish, and extend into months rather than days or weeks. We may not be able to control how the body reacts, but we can invite love and care for this changing, miraculous body.

Thanks Marta, for your reassuring words!

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