Pregnancy can be a weird time for your body. Changes in your skin, nails and hair are completely normal and usually temporary.
During your pregnancy you may notice some differences in the way your hair grows. This isn’t always a bad thing. Some pregnant women say their hair grows faster and stronger. Because there are higher estrogen levels when you’re pregnant (which stimulates hair growth), it is likely that you’ll have full and luscious hair while you’re expecting. On the other hand, some women experience hair thinning and hair loss while pregnant. Either way, most women eventually get their normal pre-pregnancy hair back between 6-12 months after giving birth.
Most of the hair loss associated with pregnancy occurs after delivery. A few months after childbirth, many new moms experience noticeable hair loss, medically known as Telogen Effluvium. Postpartum hair loss is actually normal, and is technically hair shedding, not hair loss. The excessive hair shedding is simply a result of the hormone levels in the body dropping and normalizing. At higher levels, these hormones were delaying your hair from shedding during pregnancy. After birth, they return to normal levels and your hair begins a normal growth cycle again. Therefore, the shedding that was delayed may happen all at once. Shedding is usually at its worst around four months after childbirth and resolved one full year after giving birth.
You might not be able to avoid postpartum hair loss altogether, but you can take extra good care of your hair by keeping it extra healthy. Be gentle on your hair when it’s shedding—avoid blow-dryers, irons and chemical treatments (like highlights and relaxers) and swap hair elastics for scrunchies. Don’t pull your hair back too tight, eat healthy and talk to your doctor about vitamins you can supplement your diet with.
If after your child’s first birthday, you’re still experiencing issues with your hair growth, it may be time to seek help. With so many causes of hair loss, it could be something else triggering yours besides your pregnancy.