When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start: 8 Important Facts to Know

When does postpartum hair loss start?  You must have gathered all the knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth; then you must have come across the postpartum hair loss1 topic and wondered, When does postpartum hair loss start?

Hairballs are among the most significant and trending issues affecting many youth and adults. Though postpartum hair loss is not a part of this problematic premature hair fall, it is common in almost every female parent after childbirth.

When does postpartum hair loss start?  Because of less awareness about the postpartum period actions, many women became so stressed and tensed while facing this situation after childbirth that they sought medical assistance by mistaking it as a physical issue.

As a consequence of this, you have to educate yourself about the reasons that cause postpartum hair loss and the effects that it has. Your journey from being clueless about postpartum hair loss to becoming accurately aware of all the aspects of it has started.

1. What is Postpartum?

When does postpartum hair loss start
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To know about Postpartum hair loss, one must need to know about Postpartum. Being a parent is a beautiful feeling; it feels like a blessing when you see your baby’s tiny little hands and those shiny little eyes in your hands. The period just after childbirth considers a postpartum period.

When does postpartum hair loss start? The word ‘Postpartum’ has been taken from Latin in which post refers to ‘after’ and partum refers to ‘giving birth’, postpartum together means “after childbirth”. Thus a period of post-childbirth is called Postpartum.

2. What is Postpartum hair loss?

After giving birth, a parent’s life will take a dramatic turn for the worst, as there will be a lot of adjustments and new hurdles to overcome. One of the difficulties that might affect a new mother or father after giving birth is hair loss, known as postpartum alopecia.

A sudden excessive hair loss, bunches everywhere, including your pillow, hair comb, shower drain, towels, on the floor etc. There is no reason for alarm since this behaviour is typical among new parents. Just a little patience is required during this period, and try ways that help in minimizing your stress.

3. The causes of Postpartum hair loss

The following are the cause of postpartum hair loss:

3.1 Hormonal changes

The human body is an astonishment, and childbirth is another wonder. Being a parent comes with lots of hormonal changes in the body. When does postpartum hair loss start? Bringing a new life to this world is a big thing done by the female body; it gives excessive burden and exhaustion to the body. Therefore a lot of hormone levels increase and decrease in the body.

When does postpartum hair loss start
Image by xboctoba from Pixabaycopyright2020

You must have seen people admiring the radiance and thickness of a pregnant woman; the reason behind this beautiful thick hair is the increased estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is a kind of hormone responsible for the hair’s thickness. When does postpartum hair loss start?
During pregnancy, the anagen phase of hair is extended by the increase of estrogen hormone level2. Therefore, pregnant women have healthy hair at that time.

When does postpartum hair loss start
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But just after childbirth, the pregnancy hormone changes,  leading the estrogen levels to drop drastically, which causes sudden and excessive hair shedding. When does postpartum hair loss start? It happens because, after childbirth, the hair that didn’t fall during pregnancy goes into a resting stage phase of the hair growth cycle. At that time, the hair follicle is in the most fragile stage; it is the last stage of hair which is now going to fall out, and the cycle will go on with new hairs. The official medical term for the postpartum hair loss phase is telogen effluvium which results in thinning hair.

3.2 Sudden change in the routine of daily life

Before children, you would have spent your daily life on a fixed schedule. When does postpartum hair loss start?
But after childbirth, the new phase of life has started; all the prior fixed scheduled routines will take a turn as you won’t have a fixed time for sleeping, waking up or even having food.

When does postpartum hair loss start
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash/copyright 2021

A new baby keeps you busy throughout the day, and you don’t get time for yourself. A substantial amount of attention and care must be given to newborn infants throughout the first few months of their lives. When does postpartum hair loss start?
The responsibility gets so overwhelming that it suppresses your overall health, which can also add to postpartum hair loss.

3.3 Breastfeeding

The first 6 months after childbirth are considered essential for breastfeeding the baby as the mother’s first milk is filled with several essential nutrients for the baby that are necessary for growth.

When does postpartum hair loss start
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Breastfeeding can come under the scale of the cause of postpartum hair loss as it increases the body’s responsibility, which can lead to further interference of the estrogen’s buildings. When does postpartum hair loss start?
Because of this, one may argue that it is one of the factors that contribute to hair loss after giving birth.

3.4 Postpartum Depression

A lot of hormonal changes in the postpartum period lead to mood swings, guilt, and even depression, known as the term postpartum depression3.

When does postpartum hair loss start
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Postpartum depression starts just after childbirth and can last up to one month. Depression can be called an adversary to hair strength as it weakens your hair follicle, causes premature greying and causes hair fall. This depression can strengthen postpartum hair loss.

3.5 Lack of Nutrition

When does postpartum hair loss start? Childbirth is an exhaustive and tedious task done by the body, which leaves the body in a frail condition. It had lost a lot of nutrition which is needed after childbirth.

A mother’s body needs much more nutrition than regular nutrition to recover its strength. A lot of vitamins, proteins, and micro and macronutrients4 are needed for the new mother.

Lacking consumption of all of these essential nutrients can add to more excessive shedding of hair. Therefore, thinning hair or healthy hair also depends on your diet.

4. When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start?

Post Partum Hair Loss | What to do/What NOT to do!

When things come to the beginning of postpartum hair loss, doctors have said that most commonly, postpartum hair loss starts just after a couple of days of childbirth.

The hair sticking firmly to the scalp because of increased estrogen levels is now falling out because of a sudden 70 per cent decrease in estrogen levels in the body. When does postpartum hair loss start?
The growing phase has ended, and the resting phase has started.

5. How Long does Postpartum hair loss persist?

If it isn’t for additional reasons like depression or lack of nutrition, postpartum hair loss is a normal part of the postpartum period.

Usually, from the first day of postpartum, telogen effluvium5 can last up to three to four months in most women. In many women, it can be stretched up to one year. When does postpartum hair loss start?

If the symptoms of excessive shedding persist even after one year of childbirth, then you should consult your dermatologist, as it can be a sign of problematic hair falls.

6. Effects of Postpartum Hair Loss on women

When does postpartum hair loss start
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay/ copyright 2017

Many women who experience postpartum hair loss find it so depressing that they panic or take excessive tension about it. Many uncanny thoughts like extra thin hair and baldness make them restless.

Though it is expected, women may be hurt deeply by excessive shedding. But there is no need to panic in this situation as it is a temporary phase of hair loss that will only last up to 6 months postpartum. After that, you will get your normal fine hair or even sometimes better hair health with stronger hair follicles when the hair regrowth phase starts.

7. Problem of Hair Tourniquet

When does postpartum hair loss start
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay/ copyright2017

Your falling hair postpartum could be around your bed, room, floor and pillow. It is most likely that your newborn will also become a favourite place for your hair to be scattered on as the new baby has the most need of a mother and stays with the mother all the time.

There is a hundred per cent chance that the fallen hair can get entangled around your baby’s finger and other body parts, which can cause cease of blood circulation and a sharp cut to your baby’s super soft skin. You must be aware of these hair tourniquets when you notice your baby’s excessive crying without specific reasons. You should check for any hair rings entangled with your baby, causing unease.

8. Postpartum Hair Loss Treatment

Although there is no specific treatment to prevent postpartum hair loss, as it is a normal part of the postpartum period cycle, you can reduce its effects by following some following simple steps:

8.1 Organic products

Organic products are known to be a boon for overall health. As in the postpartum duration, the hair becomes excessively fragile, organic shampoo and oil can be helpful in this condition.

When does postpartum hair loss start
Image by Huyền Lương Ngọc from Pixabaycopyright2017

Organic volumizing shampoo help maintains the scalp’s regular cleaning preventing further hair loss and irritation. Oiling with organic oil and massaging your scalp will boost blood circulation and help promote healthy hair. It will also reduce excessive hair loss.

Moisturizing your hair with a good moisturizer also plays a vital role in hair loss minimization as it keeps your hair moisturized and prevents further damage. Conditioning shampoos also will be helpful.

Reducing chemical products and including more organic hair products in your hair care routine will help reduce hair loss.

8.2 Stop using heat products

Heat products like blow dryers, straightening irons etc., are very likely to damage your hair and further increase the excessive shedding. Therefore try to avoid any heat products during postpartum hair loss.

Use accurate accessories like a wooden comb to comb your hair, and try new hairstyles and sides to show a not-very-thin portion of hair.

8.3 Healthy diet

When does postpartum hair loss start
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash/copyright 2017

As there is an immense need for essential nutrition in new mothers, they must be cautious about their diet. A well-balanced diet should be designed accurately according to the body’s needs and have all the needed macro and micronutrients.

8.4 Exercise and Meditation

Though the mother’s body is not ready for just after childbirth for exercise, after a couple of weeks, when fully recovered, the mother must do any simple and easy exercise to boost and activate the body and mind.

When does postpartum hair loss start
Image by Dana from Pixabay/copyright2020

Along with exercise, meditation also is beneficial in relaxing the mind. When does postpartum hair loss start?
It especially helps in postpartum depression. It keeps you at peace and strengthens your mental preparation for a stressful postpartum period.

9. In sum up

When does postpartum hair loss start?  Postpartum hair loss is as average as tremendous pain from delivery; there is no need to panic; just be patient and use a proper diet, meditation, and hair care products to minimize it. The temporary phase starts just after childbirth and up to one year. After that phase, you will get new and average hair growth.

  1. Hirose, Asuka, et al. “Investigation of exacerbating factors for postpartum hair loss: a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study.” International Journal of Women’s Dermatology 9.2 (2023): e084. ↩︎
  2. Gizlenti, S., and T. R. Ekmekci. “The changes in the hair cycle during gestation and the post‐partum period.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 28.7 (2014): 878-881. ↩︎
  3. Jahangard, Leila, et al. “Prenatal and postnatal hair steroid levels predict post-partum depression 12 weeks after delivery.” Journal of clinical medicine 8.9 (2019): 1290. ↩︎
  4. Suliburska, Joanna, et al. “Relationship between prepregnancy BMI and the concentrations of iron, calcium, and magnesium in serum and hair during the first trimester of pregnancy in women.” Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 83 (2024): 127388. ↩︎
  5. Harrison, S., and R. Sinclair. “Telogen effluvium.” Clinical and experimental dermatology 27.5 (2002): 389-395. ↩︎

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