postpartum hair loss

Postpartum Hair Loss: How to Treat It and When You Should Seek Help

After giving birth, the body understandably goes through some pretty big changes. As hormone levels start to regulate, many women notice a particularly worrying change in their hair.

Thinning and hair loss are surprising yet common symptoms after pregnancy. Known as postpartum hair loss, it can cause women a lot of distress, particularly if they aren’t aware of the condition. So, what exactly is postpartum hair loss and how can you treat it?

Understanding postpartum hair loss

Postpartum hair loss tends to occur within a few months of giving birth. During pregnancy, changing hormone levels cause the hair growth cycle to temporarily alter. This means you’ll typically notice your hair looks better than ever. As it stops shedding, it appears thicker and fuller than ever. However, after giving birth, hormone levels return to normal, kick-starting the hair cycle.

Now, what happens is the hairs that didn’t fall out during pregnancy, begin to shed. This can happen at an alarming rate, making hair loss and thinning more noticeable. It isn’t uncommon for women to experience noticeable bald patches when this occurs.

While it can be extremely worrying, you need to know that postpartum hair loss is only temporary. Within six months, most women will notice the hair has grown back fully. However, until it does, there are some treatments you can use to minimise the problem.

How is it treated?

There are a number of treatments you can try to eliminate postpartum hair loss. These include simple lifestyle changes, good scalp maintenance and in severe cases, medications.

What you eat can make a difference, so focus on consuming a diet high in iron and protein. Did you know that 25% of the daily protein intake goes to your hair? So, if you don’t get enough of it, it’s going to contribute towards hair loss and breakage. Similarly, when you give birth your iron levels drop.  So, consuming a diet rich in protein and iron will help to keep the hair healthier.

You should also aim to look after the scalp. Washing your hair regularly when you have new-born might not be easy, but it can minimise hair loss. Some experts also recommend using a scalp scrub once a week. This will help stimulate circulation and clear the scalp, ensuring the follicles don’t become blocked.

If lifestyle changes and scalp care don’t minimise the problem, medication may be needed. This includes topical treatments such as Minoxidil. While it isn’t always possible to prevent the condition, these are some of the best methods you can follow to reduce the issue.

Overall, postpartum hair loss is a common condition a lot of women suffer with after giving birth. While it can be devastating, the good news is it will clear up naturally over time. If your hair loss is significant or it is causing you distress, you can book a consultation with a hair loss expert. They will be able to assess the condition and determine whether treatment is required.