Is Hair Loss Normal After Having A Baby?
Are you a new mother worrying about hair loss? Have you noticed clumps of hair on your pillow or in the shower? Don’t panic - hair shedding after childbirth is completely normal, and your hair will usually grow back after a few months. Here we take a look at why this might be happening and when it’s a good idea to seek expert help.
What causes hair loss after the birth of a baby?
Not every woman will experience hair loss after childbirth, but if you do it’s a very natural phenomenon. During pregnancy your body is flooded with the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone – which prevent your hair from falling out. Your hair goes into a prolonged growth phase and you might well find it is thicker and glossier.
After you’ve given birth, however, your hormone levels plummet and your hair enters a resting phase, known as telogen, before falling out a few months later. This shedding can happen all at once, and understandably, it can be distressing. It’s known as Telogen Effluvium, and luckily, in most cases, your hair will grow back normally within a year. But if you’re worried, or your hair loss continues beyond a year, it’s definitely worth seeing a professional.
How Much Hair Loss Can I Expect?
We all shed between 30-150 hairs a day, but new mothers may start to lose significant amounts of hair three to six months after giving birth. Every woman’s experience of hair loss is different, but you may notice small patches of hair loss on your scalp or visible thinning all over.
This can last for around 10-12 weeks, but thankfully after this, new hair should start to appear.
Is there anything I can do to help my hair grow back more quickly?
Taking care of a newborn is exhausting and it’s sometimes difficult to make sure you’re looking after yourself. Eating a healthy diet, rich in iron, protein and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, is recommended by experts. Protein-rich foods, such as meat, fish, beans and eggs, as well as kale and asparagus are particularly useful, as the proteins in them are converted into keratin, one of the key building blocks of our hair.
Pregnancy can also affect your body’s ability to store iron. If your hair loss persists, you might consider having blood tests, to make sure you’re not experiencing an iron deficiency - one of the biggest causes of hair loss in women.
When Should I Seek Help?
Most women will find that they need no treatment, but if your hair isn’t back to normal after a year it’s a good idea to get some expert advice.
Dr Sarita Singh, is a leading Consultant Dermatologist, and one of the UK’s few specialists in female hair loss. She understands how emotionally challenging losing your hair can be, especially if it goes on for a long time:
‘I have suffered from pregnancy related hair loss myself and even as a doctor, I know how difficult it can sometimes be to get the right help and treatment.’
Dr Singh will explore any underlying conditions such as nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances or thyroid disorders. Hair loss can have complex causes and varies for every woman. As Dr Singh stresses: ‘It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis so that we can start to address any other factors that might be at play. It might be one problem, or a number of things, and once we’ve identified these we can start to effectively treat them.’
Visiting our London clinic
If you are experiencing hair loss and would like to find out more or make an appointment, please call 020 7244 4200.