Hair loss after pregnancy

By Jordan Coauette, MD May 09, 2017

Hair loss after pregnancy is the sudden shedding (sometimes in clumps) that many new mothers experience between three and six months after they give birth. Normally, the average head loses 100 hairs a day — but not all at once, so you don’t notice them. The pregnancy hormones keep those hairs from falling out. But all good things must come to an end, and that includes your awesome hair! Thus hormones drop back to normal, the extra hairs drop, too.

First of all, calm down. You’re not going bald; you’re just getting back to normal. If you’re breastfeeding, some of your extra hair may hang on to your scalp until you wean or start to supplement with formula or solids. But nursing or not, take comfort in knowing by the time your baby is ready to blow out the candles on that first birthday cake, your catch-up hair loss will be finished, and your locks should be back to normal, too.

Keep your hair healthy by eating well and taking a prenatal vitamin supplement. Be extra-gentle during your shedding season to prevent excess hair loss after pregnancy. Shampoo only when necessary and use a good conditioner and a wide-toothed comb to minimize tangling. Use scrunchies or barrettes to put hair up, instead of rubber bands. Skip blow-dryers and curling and flat irons if you can and put off any chemically based treatments until the shedding stops.

Talk to your practitioner if your hair loss is excessive. When it’s accompanied by other symptoms, hair loss after pregnancy could be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis.