Postpartum Hair Loss – Is It Permanent?
There are so many changes that occur to a mother’s body after she has a baby – from stretch marks and weight gain to loose ligaments and abdominal muscles separating. One of the lesser-known symptoms of being pregnant is losing hair after the baby is born.
Here we explain a little bit more about this condition, otherwise known as telegenic effluvium.
- What is it?
Postpartum hair loss is considered totally normal. The reason it occurs is because during pregnancy, higher oestrogen levels cause hair to grow and become thicker. The expectant mother’s body tells her hair to remain in its resting phase and not shed, which results in shinier, healthier and fuller locks.
However, the downside to this is that once she has given birth and hormone levels return to normal, the lustrous hair that she has grown now needs to shed.
According to Mother And Baby, this occurs around the third month, while it can be later for mothers who are breastfeeding and whose hormone levels remain high.
“Your hormones revert to normal and the hair that was supposed to fall out but didn’t, comes out all at once,” the publication states.
- How much hair loss is normal?
It is thought that new mothers can shed around 400 strands of hair every day, which can be a big shock when they see their tresses fall out in the shower or on their hairbrush.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as this typically only lasts for around ten to 12 weeks, after which hair loss and growth should return to its normal cycle.
The amount of hair that falls out will vary from mother to mother, depending on how much she grew during her pregnancy, the length of her locks, and what her lifestyle, diet and stress levels are like postpartum.
- What is not considered normal?
While some mums might find they are still losing a significant amount of hair six to 12 months after their baby is born, for a few it may continue longer than this.
Flo Health recommends seeing a doctor if hair loss is severe or lasts for more than a year, as it could lead to permanent baldness.
This is what happened to Rima Theisen after she had her second child. While the 37-year-old experienced typical hair loss following the birth of her son, who is now three, it was when her 17-month old daughter was born that she found bald patches on her scalp.
Speaking with The Sun, the mother-of-two said she had long, luscious locks until she noticed it falling out and becoming thinner.
While her GP reassured her hair loss after pregnancy is normal, Ms Theisen explained handfuls were coming out in the shower and her scalp was beginning to show.
Six months after giving birth, she had had enough of her brunette tresses falling out in chunks that she shaved off the remaining strands.
Since then, she has had a diagnosis of alopecia universalis, which means her hair loss is permanent. Rima told the publication that her eyelashes, eyebrows and body hair have also fallen out, and there has been no sign of her hair growing back.
- Dietary changes
While having a healthy diet and taking nutritional supplements, such as vitamin B, iron, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, will all help postpartum recovery, for some mothers like Rima, hair loss can be permanent and unavoidable.
In this case, hair loss treatments in London might be the only solution for mums who want their tresses to return to normal after having a baby.