How Much Postpartum Hairloss is Normal?
It's common for new moms to experience increased hair shedding and thinning in the months after giving birth. But how much postpartum hair loss is normal? Here's what you need to know about this temporary issue.
Why Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen?
During pregnancy, high levels of oestrogen cause more hairs to stay in the growing phase, leading to thicker hair. After delivery, oestrogen levels quickly drop, which triggers more hairs to shed. The medical term for this is telogen effluvium. It's your body's way of readjusting your hormones post-pregnancy.
Most women lose an average of 100-150 hairs per day. Postpartum shedding can increase this to 300-400 hairs daily. For most, this phase lasts 2-4 months as hair follicles reset to the normal growth cycle.
How Much Hair Loss is Normal Postpartum?
Losing up to 50% more hair than usual is considered normal postpartum shedding. For example, if you typically lost 150 hairs per day, up to 225 hairs daily would be expected.
See your doctor or trichologist if you're losing more than 50% of your normal fullness, the shedding lasts over 6 months, or you notice bald patches. This signals a more serious issue like patchy alopecia.
When to Seek Guidance
Consult your GP or a trichology specialist if you experience:
- Hair loss exceeding 50% of your normal density
- Bald patches on the scalp
- Hair shedding continuing past 6 months postpartum
- Hair not regrowing after the postpartum phase
This indicates a hair loss condition unrelated to postpartum hormonal shifts that requires treatment.
Tips to Minimise Postpartum Hair Loss
While you can't prevent postpartum shedding completely, you can reduce excessive hair fall. Try these tips:
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals postpartum supports hair's structural integrity, stabilises hormonal fluctuations, nourishes hair follicles, promotes healthy hair growth cycles, improves scalp circulation, reduces stress, boosts immunity, and aids in collagen production, all pivotal for combating hair loss.
- Take a nutritional supplement like Zita West Vital DHA. Omega-3 fatty acids may benefit postpartum hair loss due to their anti-inflammatory properties, nourishment of hair follicles, promotion of scalp blood circulation, stress reduction benefits, and support for overall health.
- Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner formulated for postpartum hair loss. Using specialised shampoos and conditioners, like those with biotin or keratin, helps fortify fragile strands, cleanse without stripping natural oils, and address specific postpartum hair needs.
- Avoid excessive heat styling that can damage hair. Minimising the use of tools like straighteners, curling irons, and blow dryers prevents weakening hair cuticles, reduces the risk of breakage, and preserves the natural structure of postpartum hair.
- Try scalp massages to increase circulation. Regularly massaging the scalp using fingertips or a scalp massager can stimulate blood flow, deliver nutrients more efficiently to hair follicles, and promote healthier hair growth during the postpartum phase.
- Use hair masks and oils to add moisture. Incorporating hydrating treatments like argan oil or coconut oil masks can deeply nourish the hair, restore its natural shine, and combat the dryness often seen in postpartum hair.
- Manage stress through self-care activities. Managing stress through self-care activities like meditation, gentle exercise, journaling, and taking time for relaxation postpartum is crucial as it fosters emotional well-being, counteracts hormonal imbalances, promotes healthy hair growth cycles, and reduces the physiological impact of stress-related hair loss.
While postpartum hair loss can be disturbing, remember it's temporary. Focus on your health, enjoy your new baby, and your hair will regain its fullness over time.
Zita West products have been supporting individuals and couples throughout their fertility and pregnancy journey for over 20 years. We...
ArticleBringing a new life into the world is a remarkable journey, but the postnatal phase brings forth a unique set...
ArticleIf you've recently undergone a C-section, you're likely aware of the challenges that come with post-surgery recovery. This surgical procedure,...