Hair Loss After Pregnancy
During a pregnancy, all of the hairs that are supposed to stop growing and fall out don't. Instead, they go into a deep and protected state. The rise in both estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy keeps those hairs in place.
This is why pregnant women often notice that their hair seems to have become thicker and shinier. What they are really noticing is that their individual hairs are not thicker, but they have many more hairs on their head than ever before because those hairs that should have fallen out (about 100 per day) are all sticking around.
After the pregnancy, however, hormone levels return back to normal. The decrease in hormone levels allows all of those "once protected" hairs to now enter the "resting phase." This abrupt shift of hairs entering the resting phase results in an increased shedding of hair.
Postpartum telogen effluvium is very common, temporary, and not tied to anything you are doing or not doing enough. It cannot be prevented, nor is it influenced by any treatment. It may, however, be minimized.
Here are a few suggestions on how you may be able to minimize post-pregnancy hair loss:
- Be extra gentle when managing your hair.
- Avoid any unnecessary styling (i.e., excessive combing, brushing, teasing, etc.).
- Avoid pigtails, braids, and/or tight hair rollers. Anything that pulls your hair too tightly can result in the loosening and pulling out of additional hairs.
- Hair is most fragile when wet, so be extra careful handling your hair when wet.
- Eat a nutritious diet, with plenty of protein, fruit, and vegetables.