Hair Loss after Pregnancy


Finally our baby is here and we have come to terms with breastfeeding, diaper changing and not enough sleep. Our little one is growing and we are full of love with this little miracle... and then after three months we are standing in the bathroom combing our hair and the shock: lots of hair in the brush. WHAT IS THAT? AM I SICK? These are thoughts that shoot through our heads.

But I can only say: NO - this is normal and it happens to every woman.

But why the hair loss

During pregnancy, the body produces more of the hormone estrogen. This stimulates hair growth. We have the feeling that our hair is more beautiful and fuller and enjoy this. After birth, however, there is a change in hormones. The estrogen decreases. This estrogen deficiency causes hair loss and at the same time many hair follicles change into the resting phase. This is also called "postnatal effluvium".

When does this happen & will it stop?

This does not happen immediately, but usually a few weeks after delivery, but sometimes after five months. The amount of hair we gained during pregnancy, unfortunately, we now lose again.

However, as soon as the hormones have returned to the right level, the hair loss decreases significantly. After about 9 months, hair loss is better again in most women. If not, you should consult a dermatologist or gynecologist to rule out a nutrient deficiency. Here, for example, an iron deficiency may be the reason. Already during pregnancy, we have a 60% higher iron requirement, and this continues during breastfeeding. This is why the gynecologist often recommends taking iron after birth.

Is breastfeeding a reason for hair loss? No, definitely not. In fact, if you breastfeed after giving birth, estrogen is going down more slowly. This means that hair loss can start later. For some women, it even comes after they stop breastfeeding (that's how it was with me). But even then, hair loss after pregnancy is not related to breastfeeding, but to the decreased estrogen level.

Can i do something?

And what do I do about it? Usually, hair loss ends on its own and you don't have to do anything special. Nevertheless, there are some tips that you can follow after giving birth to reduce the symptoms:

  • balanced nutrition rich in iron
  • Reduce stress (stress favors hair loss)
  • Do not "stress" the hair unnecessarily with dyeing and complicated hairstyles, also refrain from using too hot hairdryers (or curling irons, straightening irons)
  • Use mild shampoos and care products and also pay attention to combing gently
  • A visit to the hairdresser is simply good for you during this time - with shorter hair the hair loss seems a little less...

You are not alone. I've been through it three times, like many others and luckily my hair is now back to how it used to be :-)

August 2022 - Gravidamiga - Dr. Christine Krämer
This blog post has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“  Picture: Adobe Stock licensed.

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Updated: August 2022

Posted in in Medicine & Psychology