When does hair fall out postpartum


Postpartum hair loss is a common experience that many women go through after giving birth. This type of hair shedding affects almost two out of three new mothers. It results from dramatic hormonal shifts that take place in a woman’s body after having a baby.

During pregnancy, higher levels of certain hormones – such as estrogen – not only delay shedding during pregnancy but also promote longer, thicker hair growth while pregnant. After childbirth, the levels of these hormones drastically decline, leading to an increase in shedding.

Knowing more about the biology behind postpartum hair loss and when it is likely to occur can help you understand what’s going on and learn how to cope with it:

What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?

Postpartum hair loss is a very common condition that can affect many new mothers. It typically occurs around 2-3 months after delivery and can last for several months. In some cases, it can continue for up to a year. This type of hair loss is caused by a hormonal shift that occurs during pregnancy and childbirth. While it is usually temporary, it can be distressing and can cause anxiety in new moms.

Let’s take a look at what causes postpartum hair loss and how it can be managed:

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes is the most common cause of postpartum hair loss. During pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations cause an increase in hair growth and thickness due to an increase in the hormone estrogen. Since this hormone doesn’t remain at pre-pregnancy levels indefinitely, a corresponding decrease can lead to shedding of significant amounts of hair. Depending on the baseline rate of shedding, this increased rate could still be within what’s considered normal or it could present as thinning or bald patches.

Postpartum shedding can start from four weeks to six months after giving birth, but typically begins around three months postpartum. Many women report that it is completely over around six months after the baby is born and some say the new ‘normal’ for their hair sheds even stops earlier than that.

While there is no proven way to speed up this process, including a focused nutrition plan, good sleep hygiene and stress management tips may help contribute to overall well-being during recovery from childbirth.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are known to trigger postpartum hair loss in many women, due to the high levels of hormones that can be put into motion during this time. Specifically, the hormone cortisol is released when a woman experiences high levels of stress or anxiety, kicking off a chain reaction in the body resulting in an increase in hair shedding. Stress and anxiety can also affect pregnancy hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which typically remain unchanged during the postpartum period. A decline or unbalance in either one of these hormones can cause telogen effluvium (TE), a type of hair loss that can occur suddenly after childbirth, making it more difficult for women to achieve beautiful motherhood hair.

The best way for women to manage their stress levels is through relaxation strategies such as deep breathing and mindfulness exercises. Additionally, speaking to a therapist or using online tools such as meditation apps or online forums may help reduce stress-induced postpartum hair loss. Lastly, it’s important for new moms to practice self-care when possible by joining support groups or taking some time alone each day so they are better able to cope with any challenges they may face while learning how to adjust to their new roles as mothers.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Postpartum hair loss is a common symptom of childbirth, caused in part by nutritional deficiencies brought on by the stress of pregnancy and childbirth. Women should be especially mindful of their nutrition during and after pregnancy to ensure they’re getting the nutrients they need to support healthier hair growth.

Nutritional deficiencies are linked to higher risk of developing postpartum hair loss as well as weaker overall hair health. It’s important to pay attention to your diet during and after childbirth, because both can influence postpartum hair loss. Some key nutrients that are important for helping maintain normal healthy hair growth include:

  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Biotin
  • Zinc

Eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure you’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for good health – including those that promote healthier hair growth.

In addition to eating a balanced diet full of nutritious foods, you may want to consider taking additional vitamins if recommended by your physician. Taking prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is recommended for most women, but others may also benefit from more specialized multivitamins or supplements for postpartum health, especially if nutritional deficiencies are suspected or diagnosed before birth. Women should always consult with their doctor before taking any new medications or supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding since some may not be suitable for use during these times.

When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start?

Postpartum hair loss is a common phenomenon among new mothers, but it can vary from woman to woman. Some women report that their hair loss began during their pregnancy, while others begin to experience hair loss shortly after childbirth. It is important to understand the timing of postpartum hair loss in order to recognize when it is happening and take the best steps to care for your hair and scalp during this time.

Let’s look at when postpartum hair loss typically starts, and what you can do to minimize it:

Timing of Hair Loss

Hair loss during or after pregnancy is a normal side effect of the hormonal fluctuations that change during pregnancy and postpartum. It primarily affects women and usually starts anytime between two to four months postpartum but could be delayed as long as six to 12 months.

A pregnant woman’s hormone levels are usually higher and altered, which causes their hair to stay in the anagen phase longer – the part of hair growth where most hairs remain on the head instead of falling out like they normally would in non-pregnant states. During the postpartum period, hormone levels rapidly return to their pre-pregnancy levels and this causes a large amount of shedding sometimes referred to as “telogen effluvium” which can continue for up to six months afterwards.

It’s common for some women to experience shedding of 50-100 hairs per day above what is considered their normal rate – it can last from a few weeks up until six months after birth but should slow down after that point completely stop eventually. The good news is that it should all grow back within about 12-18 months with proper care such as using mild shampoos and avoiding harsh styling techniques or chemical treatments like bleaching or coloring.

Duration of Hair Loss

Postpartum hair loss is a normal part of the process your body goes through after childbirth. While hair loss might seem distressing, it’s perfectly natural and typically resolves on its own within 6-12 months. Most women experience this form of temporary hair shedding 2-4 months after delivery, but for some women it may begin even sooner, or extend beyond the typical time frame.

Those with long hair are most likely to notice shedding, but postpartum thinning affects all women regardless of length. To understand why this happens, it’s important to look at the hormonal shifts experienced during and after pregnancy. During pregnancy, higher levels of estrogen allow your body to retain more of its normal level of hair. After delivery, when estrogen levels return to non-pregnant levels, the amount of shed hairs returns to their regular state – typically 50-150 hairs a day. This change can feel particularly alarming due to the sudden increase in lost hairs compared to during pregnancy when fewer hairs were shed daily.

It’s important that you not be alarmed if you experience postpartum hair fall out. As mentioned above, this is a common part of adjusting back to nonpregnant hormone levels and will resolve in 6 -12 months time on its own with no special treatments needed unless advised otherwise by a doctor or other qualified medical professional.

In addition there are some lifestyle habits which you can adopt that may help lessen symptoms:

  • Wearing protective hairstyles such as braids & buns.
  • Reducing heat styling like blow drying & flat ironing.
  • Avoiding chemical processing such as coloring and bleaching your hair.

Treatment Options

Hair loss after childbirth, also known as postpartum alopecia, is a common problem for new mothers. The sudden drop in hormones during pregnancy can cause hair to become weak and brittle and start falling out. This can be a very distressing situation for new mothers and can be difficult to manage.

In this article, we will look at some available treatment options for postpartum alopecia:

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and nutrition can play an important role in preventing postpartum hair loss. Eating a balanced diet that contains plenty of protein, iron and folic acid can help nourish the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. Vitamin C is also beneficial because it helps the body to absorb iron, while other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids have been found to have a positive effect on hair growth.

In addition to consuming a nutritious diet, making sure that you are drinking adequate amounts of water is also key. Water helps to keep your scalp hydrated and adds shine to your strands.

It’s important to remember that nutrition is only effective when coupled with topical treatments such as topical shampoos or conditioners for treating postpartum hair loss. When used along with healthy dietary habits, these treatments can help fight the signs of shedding due to hormonal changes after childbirth.

Stress Management

Managing stress levels is a key part of treating postpartum hair loss and helping to restore normal hair growth. Managing stress levels can take different forms, such as exercising and doing activities that help relax the mind. Taking time out for yourself and engaging in self-care can also be beneficial to managing stress. Methods of relaxation may include different techniques like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or massage therapy. These techniques all aim to reduce stress levels and allow the body to start to return to its natural state where it can then focus on hair growth again.

It is also important for individuals experiencing postpartum hair loss to practice good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle that includes:

  • Adequate water intake
  • Nutritious meals
  • Enough sleep each night

When the body is well nourished this will give it the best possible chance of recovering from postpartum side effects including hair loss.

Hair Care and Styling

Once your postpartum hair loss begins, it may have a profound effect on the way you feel about your appearance. While the best course of action is patience, there are some treatments and styling tips that can be employed to help manage the fallout. Here are some hair care and styling tips to help alleviate the stress caused by postpartum hair loss:

  • Keep your scalp clean: It’s important to keep your scalp as clean as possible by shampooing regularly and conditioning with deep scalp oils. Avoid harsh shampoos or over-vigorous scrubbing.
  • Let your hair air dry naturally when possible: Forced air drying or heat styling can damage delicate strands of postpartum hair, causing them to break off more easily. Whenever possible, try letting your postpartum locks dry naturally in a low humidity environment.
  • Opt for gentle hairstyles: When styling postpartum hair, try softer looks such as beach waves or textured buns instead of more severe styles like tight ponytails and braid with elastics. Keep in mind that gravity will pull at weakened strands more than usual during this time.
  • Eat nutritious foods high in iron and protein: Nourish your body with a diet consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein-rich foods like nuts, eggs and lean meats to help promote healthy new growth while supporting existing strands too.
  • Look for products designed to support thinning hair: There are many over-the-counter products that can aid in controlling shedding while imparting volume and shine on existing tresses such as topical volumizers, strengthening shampoos or scalp creams containing caffeine or biotin (a B vitamin).


In conclusion, it is normal to experience hair shedding postpartum. It is caused by hormonal shifts as the body re adjusts after giving birth and it can start 2-3 months after delivery. The hair may fall out in clumps or gradually and it can last for several months, up to a year in some cases. However, it should not be cause for alarm as in most cases the hair will grow back thicker and stronger than before.

To protect your locks during this time, make sure to use gentle shampoo, conditioner and styling products that are specifically designed for postpartum hair care. In addition, eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly can help promote healthy hair growth.