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Having a child can be one of the most stressful experiences on a woman’s body, both from an emotional and physical point of view. The hormonal changes that a woman’s body undergo during pregnancy can be extremely challenging, resulting in many different changes to the hair. The changes do not stop once the pregnancy has reached completion. As the body starts to revert back to its pre-pregnancy state, there can still be varied effects on the hair.

What happens to your hair when you are pregnant?

Each pregnancy is different, so the effects on your hair are different too. Your hair can become brittle and break off easier, or it can become thicker and fuller. 

Why does your hair fall out after having a baby?

After the birth of the baby, both estrogen and testosterone levels will return to normal. This means that hair will start to enter a more natural cycle. This, combined with the shock of having given birth, can cause large amounts of hair to shed all at once.

Whilst pregnant, estrogen is produced at a much higher level and prevents hair from falling out at its normal rate. Therefore, once the pregnancy has completed, nine months’ worth of hair falls out practically all at once. It might seem like there is more hair falling out, but this is only because it happens in one go.

Another reason for hair loss after having a baby is due to reduced blood flow. Blood flow increases throughout the body during pregnancy, including to the hair follicles, by up to 50 percent during the third trimester. Once the pregnancy has completed, the blood flow drops back to normal levels within a few weeks. As a result of this, not enough oxygen is carried to the blood follicles, so some of the hair is unable to continue to grow and must therefore shed.

What helps hair loss after pregnancy?

Unfortunately, there are no treatments, vitamins or medications that are proven to help hair loss after having a baby.

If you are very concerned about your hair loss after pregnancy, you can try some of the tips below to help minimise the appearance of hair loss.

  1. Avoid styling

During this time, avoid any styling to your hair. The hair will be brittle and extremely sensitive, so any extreme temperatures, for example hair rollers and straighteners, may cause more damage than normal.

Also take care when brushing the hair. Brushing too hard can cause the hair to fall out in larger clumps than normal, so be sensitive when brushing.

  1. Have a healthy, balanced diet

One of the best things you can do to regrow hair after postpartum hair loss is ensuring that your body has all the natural components it needs to start creating hair. This means eating a balanced diet of proteins, vitamins and minerals.

The top foods to eat to ensure you have the correct nutrients to regrow hair are:

  • Dark leafy greens, which contain iron and vitamin C
  • Orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and carrots, which contain beta carotene
  • Eggs, which contain vitamin D
  • White fish, which contains omega 3 and magnesium

What vitamins help with hair loss after having a baby?

Vitamins that will most help with hair loss after having a baby include Vitamin B complex, such as biotin (B7) or folic acid (B9), and Vitamin C, which can be found in tablet forms or in citric fruits, such as oranges.

Does cutting hair help with postpartum hair loss?

Cutting hair does not help with hair loss after having a baby, however, some hair styles may mask the hair loss that has occurred postpartum.

How much hair loss is normal after having a baby?

There is no “normal” amount of hair loss after having a baby, it will vary from person to person. However, if hair loss is still being experienced 12 months after the birth, talk to a GP or dermatologist to ensure that there is no underlying condition that may be causing this.

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