Having a baby is one of the most incredible experiences in a woman’s life. And, despite the major changes her body goes through, she’ll tell you how the toothless smile, baby scent, and tiny fist gripping her finger makes her heart melt every time.
While you do enjoy every moment of the bonding with this beautiful new entrant into your life, it is understandable that you’re concerned about the recovery process that your body is going through – including the post-pregnancy hair loss. Let’s begin by telling you that you have absolutely nothing to worry. Nature has the issue under control, and the shedding you see is a very normal step in your body returning to its pre-pregnancy state.
Understanding the Growth Stages of Hair
Before you figure out why post-pregnancy hair loss happens, you should know about the natural growth processes of your hair. Hair grows in three stages:
- Anagen stage: In this stage, the hair cells at the root are growing quickly at the rate of close to 1 cm every 28 days or so. And, a new hair shaft is created and emerges from the scalp. The anagen stage or active growth stage lasts for 2 to 6 years, and your hair will continue to grow longer.
- Catagen stage: Lasting for about two to three weeks, the catagen stage is when the outer covering of the hair root starts to shrink and sticks to the root.
- Telogen stage: This stage is considered the resting stage for the hair and lasts for around 100 days. After this period is complete, the hair sheds. You can expect to lose about 25 to 100 strands on a given day.
But, Why Does Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss Have to Happen Anyway?
During pregnancy, you have a boost of the estrogen hormone in your body. And, the hormone works to extend the anagen stage of your hair. For this reason, many women talk about how their hair seems thicker and more lustrous than ever. They link it to the pregnancy euphoria and glow that accompanies it. Once you deliver, the estrogen returns to normal levels and without the added boost supporting your hair, more of the hair strands enter the catagen stage quickly. In short, you notice post-pregnancy hair loss.
Women typically start to see shedding at four months, and this process continues up to six months. You can rest assured that the post-pregnancy hair loss you see is only a shedding of the hair that would have normally completed the telogen stage months back. While your hair does seem thinner than before, it’s probably returning to the thickness and texture you had before you became pregnant.
Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss Happens to All Women
While there are a few who don’t have noticeable post-pregnancy hair loss, most women can expect to shed up to 500 strands after delivery. You might also notice that the texture of your hair has changed. For instance, it might be more curly, straighter, drier, or oilier than before. That’s very normal too. Within 12 months, you should expect to see that your hair has recovered completely.
If You’re Still Concerned, Talk to a Dermatologist
If you suspect that your hair loss issues are not pregnancy related, you can talk to an expert dermatologist. She can advise you best on whether the condition is just post-pregnancy hair loss or connected to other causes. These reasons could include genetic factors, your immune system reacting to some medications you’re taking, or any other. She will also let you know if the cause is simply the stress of having to care for your baby and manage your other home and work related tasks. Do keep in mind that your body should be able to recover from the post-pregnancy hair loss naturally without the need for any medication or treatments.
Yes, You Can Take a Few Precautions
As you wait for your body and hair to recover from childbirth, your dermatologist will likely help you with a few recommendations.
- Try getting a volume-building shampoo.
- Avoid heavy intensive conditioners that make you hair look limp and weighed down.
- Consider getting a new haircut. Shorter hair has a fuller look and is easier to maintain given that you have a baby to care for.
- Avoid using an excess of heating appliances on your hair including curling irons, blow dryers, pressing irons, or any other.
- Never tightly bind back your hair. Treat it gently, so it does not weaken.
- As your pediatrician will also recommend if you’re nursing, avoid using too many chemicals on your hair that can damage the strands and seep into your bloodstream.
- Ask your doctor about any vitamins you can take and hair nourishing foods that you can add to your diet.
Consider Getting Hair Restoration Procedures
Since post-pregnancy hair loss is a natural process, you don’t need to take any measures to deal with it. But, if you feel you need to speed the recovery process along, you could consider getting treatments at aesthetic centers. For instance, if you’re in the vicinity of the Los Angeles County, consider checking out the Beverly Hills hair restoration center. Try the NeoGraft LTS Red/Green procedure. The treatment is non-invasive and only works to boost the circulation of blood in your scalp, so you can safely have the procedure even if you’re nursing.
Spend all your time enjoying the enchanting experience of your little one’s babyhood. Put away a lifetime of memories that you’ll cherish when she’s all grown up. As for the hair loss, weight gain, and other issues, leave them to nature to deal with. You’ll soon be back to your pre-pregnancy self in no time.