You gave birth to an adorable baby, and you’ve been cleared to work out. You may be excited about getting your pre-baby body and glow back. You activate your Zen mood. Then you roll out your yoga mat to do some downward dog, and you notice your hair thinning.
Pretty frustrating, right?
And now, on top of caring for your new baby and post-baby bod, you have to find out why your hair is shedding and if it will ever stop. Here are some reasons for hair loss after pregnancy.
1. A Change in Hormonal Levels
During pregnancy, a woman produces more hormones, including progesterone and estrogen. The body’s fluctuation of hormones affects everything from morning nausea and food aversion to painful ligaments and a change in complexion.
Extra estrogen prolongs the hair growth phase, resulting in less shedding and thicker, more lustrous hair.
However, once the baby is born, the hormones decide to “catch up” on time lost at around three months but possibly longer if you are breastfeeding. As a result, it appears like you’re losing a lot of hair when in reality, it’s your hormones adjusting to their pre-pregnancy levels. And for that to happen, you need to lose all the hair you didn’t lose in the nine months.
Regardless, this doesn’t make it easier, so it’s okay to feel frustrated.
Being a new mom comes with a lot of stress. Most newborns are fussy, you’re not getting enough sleep, and you’re still adjusting to your unique body. According to the Mayo Clinic, this stress can significantly contribute to hair loss.
But if that’s the case, why do moms who manage postpartum stress well still lose hair? Even one significant stressful situation like delivering a baby can cause hair loss months after it happens. This type of hair loss is known as telogen effluvium, and it’s associated with shock, stress, and traumatic events.
3. No More Prenatal Vitamins
Besides the hormone shifts during pregnancy, another reason your hair grows thick and shiny is the prenatal vitamins. They contain amped-up doses of folic acid, which boosts the generation of cells, nourishing your nails and hair.
Since your hair benefited from all the extra vitamins, suddenly ditching the prenatal can increase hair loss. However, many doctors tell new moms to continue taking prenatal vitamins after birth, especially if they’re nursing.
However, if you choose to continue with your prenatal vitamins, ensure you talk to your doctor. They will advise you on the best course for postnatal care.
4. A Bad Diet
Being pregnant and having a newborn are huge milestones that come with different demands.
When you’re pregnant, you need to eat the right foods and avoid processed junk food to ensure your baby gets proper nutrients and vitamins. Therefore, it’s normal to want to enjoy your newfound dietary freedom and even have a glass of wine after birth. Additionally, with the baby taking all your free time and minimal energy, you may have little or no time to fix a healthy meal.
This diet change can contribute to hair loss since your hair isn't getting the required vitamins and nutrients to support its regrowth.
Ensure you have a nutritious diet after giving birth and choose foods rich in Fatty acids, proteins, biotin, iron, Vitamin A, C, D, and B vitamins to support hair growth.
5. Incorrect Hair Products
Just like your body, your hair undergoes some significant changes during pregnancy. This means that the hair products you used before becoming pregnant may not be enough anymore. Some of them may be making your postpartum hair loss worse.
If you’ve been using the same shampoo, mask, and conditioners for over three months and your hair is still thin, it’s time to switch things up. It’s time to focus on hair products that boost hair volume. You’ll also need to shop for products that improve scalp health, connected to hair growth.
3pc Human Hair Must Haves by BeautiMark
6. Hot Hair Styling Tools
As I mentioned earlier, your hair structure has changed; it’s often more brittle and breaks easily, so it needs extra care. If you’re already experiencing hair loss, it’s time to drop all hot styling tools because they can cause even more hair breakage. These tools include your blow dryer, straightener, and curling wand. Too much heat can damage your hair, making it dry and brittle, leading to breakage. It also affects the hair shaft and enhances the look of any split ends.
If you have to use styling objects, apply a heat protectant before using any hot tools or invest in hair appliances that reduce heat damage, such as the Dyson hairdryer.
7. Fast Weight Loss Techniques
Once your OBGYN clears you to work out, you may be anxious to shed the weight you gained during pregnancy, but it’s not always easy, and it takes time. Healthy weight loss includes 20 minutes or more of exercise, four times a week, and a healthy diet. However, sometimes it’s tempting to cut corners and find techniques that cause sudden weight loss. Unfortunately, doing that can be unhealthy for your body and could cause hair loss.
Tactics for extreme weight loss include unhealthy diets with low-calorie intake. As a result, you lack the proper vitamins and nutrients that support hair growth, increasing postpartum hair loss.
Be patient with your weight loss journey, and with proper exercise and nutrition, you’ll get there.
Top Level by Jon Renau
What To Do About Hair Loss
If you’d like to add some extra volume to your hair, hair toppers are a great option, and they are easy to use! These hairpieces clip into your existing hair and add that extra boost to get you through your postpartum hair loss phase. Choosing the right hair topper can be daunting at first since there are many options with various base shapes, lengths, and colors. To help find the ideal hair topper for your lifestyle, take our Hair Topper quiz. In three questions, you’ll be given options of hair toppers right for you.
If you want to explore some hair toppers now, here are three recommendations: Top Billing by Raquel Welch, easiPart HD (variety of lengths available) by Jon Renau, and Effect by Ellen Wille.
easiPart T HD 18" by Jon Renau
Are you currently experiencing postpartum hair loss? What’s the most challenging part of managing it? Please let us know in the comment section.