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Postpartum Hair Loss: What Happens to Your Hair After Pregnancy?

Postpartum hair loss is hair loss or shedding soon after giving birth. It isn’t unusual, however, it can be quite shocking to see noticeable amounts of your hair on your pillow or bathroom floor. Also, the hair fall rate varies from person to person with some not experiencing anything that’s noticeable, so it can be difficult to establish what is ‘normal’. 

Rest assured, we’re here to tell you that hair loss postpartum is normal. But what can you expect? In this article, we explain what postpartum causes hair loss, how much hair loss is normal, how long postpartum hair loss lasts for and most importantly, give practical tips for how to deal with hair loss postpartum. 

What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss? 

So what causes hair loss postpartum? Some health care professionals put it down to the levels of estrogen and progesterone. The high levels during pregnancy cause hair to remain in the ongoing growth stage. This is why pregnant people are often told they have amazing hair, it’s because they aren’t losing hair and so their hair looks lush and thick. However, post birth your hormone levels start to ‘even out’. The hair loss isn’t immediate as your hair stays in the ‘resting’ stage for a few months before it begins to fall.  

How Much Postpartum Hair Loss Is Normal? 

As we mentioned before, it can be difficult to establish what is ‘normal’ as the rate varies from person to person with some not experiencing anything noticeable at all. But on average a person loses anywhere between 50-150 hairs a day, however, post pregnancy you can experience hair fall of up to 400 hairs a day, which is why it’s quite noticeable. 

How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last? 

Ok, so we’ve established how much hair is lost but the real question is – how long does postpartum hair loss last? You should see the hair loss/shedding start to slow down around six months postpartum. However, if you feel that the rate of hair fall isn’t slowing down, we would suggest seeing your GP for further advice and perhaps blood tests. 

6 Tips For Dealing With Postpartum Hair Loss

Now, we’ve explained what causes postpartum hair loss, how much postpartum hair loss is normal and how long postpartum hair loss lasts, it’s time to move onto the practical tips for dealing with hair loss postpartum. 

Afrocenchix postpartum hair loss image of black woman holding a baby

Eat A Healthy Diet

We know that looking after a newborn can be stressful and tiring, but as best as you can and try to look after yourself by making sure you are eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, and drinking your 8 glasses of water. This isn’t a cure but this will aid in the healthy hair growth process. 

Be Careful With Your Hairstyles

We’re all for styling your hair in ways to hide your postpartum hair loss, but we would recommend low manipulation, protective hairstyles. This will help especially if your hair is prone to breakage too. So give your hair a little break and try a bun or flat twists. The same goes for if you have locsvary hairstyles and considering the tension you’re putting on your hair when styling and locking your roots.  

Keep It Loose

Avoiding tight hairstyles and headbands is great practice regardless but even more so with postpartum hair loss, so keep it loose and avoid things that will pull or be heavy on your hair and edges. And please make sure that you’re sleeping with a protective bonnet/scarf or pillowcase to help keep your hair protected while you sleep. 

Tip: Why not treat your hair to the Afrocenchix Essentials Accessories Pack? It has everything you need to style your hair and was created with curly and coily hair in mind!  

Keep A Good Hair Routine

Contrary to popular belief, washing your hair less will not help with postpartum hair loss. Instead try to keep to a simple hair routine of cleansing, moisturising and simply styling your hair. Make sure you use a mild shampoo and conditioner and please avoid chemicals and heat! Why? Well, heat, chemical straighteners or dyes can leave your mane even dry and more prone to damage

Product Recommendation: Have you seen our Swish, Swirl and Microfibre Towel Turban Gift Set? The set comes in a lovely cotton drawstring bag and includes, Swish, our sulphate-free shampoo, Swirl, our silicone-free conditioner and our quick-drying microfibre towel.

Mix Things Up!

During this uncertain time, it can be easy to be scared of change but if you are looking for a different look for this new phase in your life, why not opt for a cut instead? This is something that our co-founder Rachael did post pregnancy and she found it gave her a confidence boost and helped with making her hair look neater and fuller. 

Be Kind To Yourself

This is probably the most important tip of all: be kind to yourself. Pregnancy and childbirth is a massive journey and your body and hair will change but be patient. And remember you aren’t alone – reach out to friends and family for support, or connect with us on social media or via email or our newsletter, we are always happy to help support our community through their hair journeys.  

NB: Excessive hair loss can be a sign of an underlying medical issue, so please consult a trichologist or your GP if you are concerned.

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