Why Is Your Hair Falling Out In Vast Quantities?
If you’ve noticed an unusual amount of hair loss between three and six months following childbirth, you’re probably experiencing postpartum alopecia.
As many as 90% of new mums experience postpartum alopecia in the months that follow childbirth. Shedding unusual volumes of hair can be quite distressing at a time where lack of sleep and radical changes in hormone levels can cause emotions to feel unbalanced. When you start to notice bald patches too, it’s only natural to wonder what on earth is going on.
Wearing hair toppers is a great way to cover up any bald spots that appear and will help enormously to restore your confidence as you lose your hair. But if you’re still uncertain about what is happening, then it might help to understand a little more about the science behind hair loss.
Is Hair Loss Normal?
Throughout pregnancy, your body experiences high levels of both estrogen and progesterone which place your hair cycle in a stage of ongoing growth. Where usually it would fall out and be replenished simultaneously, pregnancy hair just keeps going which produces those luscious shiny locks you loved whilst you were expecting. Unfortunately, once baby is born, even though you may be looking forward to regaining your figure, it’s also time to say goodbye to that extra hair. Where a non-pregnant person usually sheds around 80 hairs a day, a new mum could expect to lose up to 400 hairs a day. If you’re noticing them clogging up your hoover or shower drain, then you’re not imagining things.
What If The Hair Loss Doesn’t Slow Down?
For most people, you would expect the shedding stage to have largely completed by about six months postpartum. You will still be losing hair at this stage, but it should have slowed down to shedding within the typical range. If this is not the case, then your first job should be to speak to your doctor who may need to book you in for a thyroid function test. If this important gland is not working correctly, then this could have a knock-on effect on your hair cycle. Similarly, they may also want to test the levels of ferritin in your blood – this is a protein which regulates how your body stores iron.
Treatment for Hair Loss
If your bloodwork highlights a problem, then you may be prescribed medication to assist in balancing your body, which may in turn level out your hair loss. In the case that your blood test results do not return any abnormalities, then you might turn to alternative therapies for assistance. Heightened stress levels caused by the arrival of a new baby, plus the lack of sleep and endless hours of nursing can leave your body starved of essential nutrients. Taking a multivitamin is important to keep your reserves stocked, but you must also eat a diet full of fresh foods and minerals.
There are also treatment options to target follicle growth and to reduce inflammation around the follicles themselves.
Relaxation is also tremendously important postpartum. This might seem easier said than done with a little one in tow, but accepting help from family members and taking time out for yourself is essential.
The great news is that hair loss is not known to increase with each pregnancy, which will leave you free to continue with growing your family just as you had planned.