Hair loss after pregnancy is quite common, but can be very disconcerting, especially to a first time mother. This ranks high on the “what they don’t tell you about pregnancy and childbirth” list that all mothers find out about after the fact! The condition is medically named telogen effluvium and occurs because of hormone fluctuation following childbirth. During pregnancy some hair is pushed from its resting phase into a growing phase, and after childbirth this hair then falls out causing extreme hair loss after pregnancy in some cases.
Even though it is common, hair loss after pregnancy is very frustrating. Generally occurring between 6-12 weeks following birth, hair can come out in clumps. Following a shower was the worst time for me. Having extremely thick hair did not help my battle with hair loss after pregnancy, and I was pulling my hair out in handfuls all day every day for about 2 months. In some cases the hair loss can last up to a six month period, so don’t despair if yours is lasting longer than a few weeks!
Unfortunately, there is no cure for hair loss after pregnancy. Unlike normal hair loss, none of the supposed helpful products will work on your hair, either. Like pregnancy, you will just have to tough it out for a few months and then it will be over! Luckily, the hair loss after pregnancy is usually not permanent and it will grow back. However, in some cases bald spots are left behind that never fully recover. This is generally not the case and your hair will return to its usual state within a few months, if not sooner. In the meantime, you can continue to color and cut your hair as you normally would. These processes will not affect the hair loss in any way.
If your hair loss after pregnancy is severe, you may want to check with your doctor. Hypothyroidism can be commonly diagnosed post partum and hair loss is a symptom that runs rampant among women. In addition to hair loss, other symptoms may include fatigue, inability to lose weight, hoarseness, depression and weight gain. Again, these symptoms are quite common among women that are within months of just having a child, so the hair loss after pregnancy is most likely caused simply by the pregnancy itself. However, if you are concerned contact your doctor to express your questions and possibly have some tests run to ease your mind.