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Post-natal hair loss uncovered

Having a baby comes with many changes and challenges for new mums, and post-natal hair loss might not be top of mind. Despite it being totally normal, it can be very distressing, and understanding more about what it is, why it happens and when it might stop, can often help with feelings of anxiety.

What is post-natal hair loss?

Post-natal hair loss, or post-partum shedding, is very common in the first six months after giving birth. That thick, shiny hair that many women experience during pregnancy starts to shed. Those with longer hair or who experienced significant growth during their pregnancy may notice it more. It’s actually everything just ‘returning to normal’.

When does it happen?

It differs from person to person, but mums will likely find that their hair loss starts two to four months after giving birth. It usually peaks at about four months post-partum.

Why does it happen?

Everyone loses around 100 hairs every day as part of their usual hair growth cycle. The fuller head of hair that many experience during pregnancy is due to soaring levels of oestrogen and progesterone, however, this is only temporary. After giving birth, your hormones return to normal, and the hair starts to shed. The total hair loss isn’t more than you would have experienced over the nine months of pregnancy, it just appears like a lot is being lost because it all comes out at once.

Can I do anything to stop it?

Post-natal hair loss is a natural process that sees your body re-balancing following birth, and unfortunately, there’s nothing that you can do to stop it. However, there are some steps you can take to help promote hair growth.

Maintaining a well-balanced and healthy diet really helps. Studies have shown that biotin, along with vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc will certainly benefit you. It’s worth considering taking a supplement to make sure you get everything your body needs.

Be kind to your hair and scalp. Hair washing won’t make any difference to the amount of shedding taking place, but be gentle, and don’t overload with products. Avoid heat styling where possible, using the cool setting on the hairdryer, and don’t tie your hair up into tight hairstyles. It’s also worth considering a weekly scalp DIY exfoliation treatment to boost blood flow to the area.

Will it grow back to its pre-pregnancy fullness?

In the vast majority of cases, post-partum hair loss is only temporary and by the time your baby has their first birthday your hair will have grown back to its natural fullness.

Remember, even though post-natal hair loss is normal, if you have concerns or feel you need support, always speak to your GP or local trichologist.

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