After a woman experiences pregnancy and gives birth, she may notice that she’s starting to lose a lot of hair. It’s noticeable because pregnancy can give women thick, luscious hair, but that’s all taken once we give birth. It’s very common for new moms to have postpartum hair loss but typically by the baby’s first birthday, the mom’s hair should be growing at a more normal rate. However, moms can continue losing hair for years after giving birth.
According to the American Academy of Dermatologists post-partum hair loss peaks when babies are four months old. This is after the fourth trimester and that tough newborn stage. When things start to get easier with the baby, that’s when our hair starts to fall out because that’s motherhood. One year after a woman gives birth, her hair loss should slow to a normal rate which is losing 50 to 100 hairs a day. A woman experiencing postpartum hair loss can lose up to 400 strands of hair every day!
When hair loss doesn’t regulate, this can be concerning for many women. However, hair loss in women is more common than you would think and women in their 30s could already be noticing more natural hair loss. When we think of hair loss, we usually think of men and how they can either go soon from the front of their hairline or the crown of their head. Women experience hair loss as well as we age as well, we just don’t talk about it as much.
How Much Hair Loss Is Too Much?
If a woman has given birth more than a year ago and is still experiencing a lot of hair loss, or if hair loss begins to occur years after giving birth, it’s likely other health issues may be at play. Our hormones control our hair and our hormones change significantly during pregnancy and after.
Healthline explains that Elevated estrogen levels are what prevent hair loss during pregnancy and result in thicker than normal hair. After giving birth, estrogen levels lower, and hair loss increases. If your hair loss never really slows to a normal rate or begins to pick up again, it’s likely a hormonal issue could be at play.
The first thing you should do if you’re experiencing sudden hair loss or a lot of hair loss is to consult your doctor or your dermatologist. They can do blood tests to check your hormone levels to make sure everything is normal.
Hair Shedding Vs Hair Loss
There is a difference between hair shedding and hair loss. Hair shedding is when an individual is losing more strands of hair a day which is typical, but there is an explanation for it. Here are some reasons for hair shedding.
- Lots of Stress (ex. loss of a loved one, caretaking, loss of job, loss of home, working too much)
- Losing more than 20 lbs.
- Hormone regulation after giving birth
- Recently had an operation
- Recovery from serious illness
Hair shedding usually stops 6 to 9 months after the stressful event is over. Unfortunately, for some who live with a lot of stress, shedding hair could become normal for them and something a woman needs to work around if she can’t reduce her stress levels.
Hair loss is a little different from hair shedding. Hair loss is when hair stops growing and your body isn’t reproducing all the normal strands of hair that fall out every day.
- Genetics is the most common reason for hair loss for both sexes.
- Other reasons could be certain medications
- Tight hairstyles that pull on hair too much
- Immune system issues
- Harmful hair care products
As a woman, the first thing you will notice is thinning hair perhaps on your crown or when you’re putting your hair in a ponytail.
Again, seek out help and advice from a dermatologist. Dermatologists can tell a difference between shedding and loss, so it’s definitely worth going in. There possibly may be a treatment for any hair loss you may be experiencing. Pregnancy is usually a woman’s first experience with hair shedding and feeling that they may be going soon. For most moms, their hair recovers and continues to grow, but for others hair shedding, and even hair loss, remains part of their life.
Motherhood brings us many challenges and many are physical. Women losing hair years after giving birth should seek out treatment for a diagnosis. There is a reason moms loose hair, and it’s very possible there is a way to stop it and treat it. Physically, we’re never the same after giving birth, but our kids are lucky they’re (usually) worth it all.
Source: American Academy of Dermatologists, Today’s Parent, Healthline