How long does postpartum hair loss last?
It's really the main question you want answered when experiencing postpartum hair loss. So here we go!
While our bodies all handle stress, hormone dips, and absorb vitamins differently; we are going to do our best to give you a road map for what's happening, and when you will likely see some relief.
Your hormones were living large. Estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, they were all at elevated levels. These elevations help your hair grow.and grow.. and well they stunted your hair loss cycle that typically was shedding about 50-100 hairs every day.
Circulation also increases during pregnancy and with that comes increased blood flow. This can be great for your hair and hair follicles. It means a lot more nutrients are flowing + extra oxygen.
In addition to more hair on your head, (because of less fall out), you may have noticed overall your hair just looked better + healthier.
Off-topic but worth noting, the increased blood flow can also have its downside.
Many women experience bulging veins postpartum from veins swelling with this extra flow and sometimes valves not closing properly.
Check with a vein specialist if you notice any postpartum bulging veins (often found in the legs).
After delivery, your blood volume and that increased circulation goes back to normal and your hormones quite suddenly drop down.
The Great Shedding (approx. 3 months pp):
This triggers "The Great Shedding" as I like to call it, although its officially called telogen effluvium.
Suddenly a good amount of your hair follicles are in a resting or shedding phase instead of a growing phase.
This can be a sad and emotionally draining time as women watch a good amount of their hair fall out.
When does postpartum hair loss happen, and what's the peak?
If you've survived the first few weeks.. or even months after delivery and thought to yourself, hmm maybe I avoided the dreaded hair loss phase... well you are likely wrong. Sorry.
Honestly, it may be a good thing there is a delay; because I personally don't think I could have handled being a week in with my new baby boy and watching my hair fall out.
It will likely be around month 2 or 3, juuuuust when you've settled into somewhat of a routine; that you first notice the hair loss.
This delay is because after delivery your hair follicles will move into the resting phase and they usually hang out there for a few months before falling out.
Everything with hair moves in cycles.
While the extent of shedding is going to vary with each person and postpartum hair vitamins , rest, and keeping your scalp stimulated (remember increased blood flow increases oxygen) can make an impact on moving the hair follicles to the growth phase faster; the peak tends to be around 4 months pp.
How long does the shedding from postpartum hair loss last?
While every woman will have a slightly different experience most shedding lasts between 4-6 months.
Now some women who may not have experienced as high of a hormone rise during pregnancy or increased blood flow might have more minimal hair loss for a lesser period.
Others, in more rare cases, will find themselves shedding up to a year postpartum.
I don't say this lightly. If you feel like you are losing clumps consistently and for an extended period this can be a sign of thyroid issues, iron and other nutritional deficiencies.
Your doctor will be able to rule any of these out usually with a simple blood test.
While postpartum hair loss can often feel traumatic on its own, it's a good idea to ensure that is all that is going on.
How long until your hair returns to normal with postpartum hair loss?
I remember my doctor telling me not to worry, that by my sons first birthday my hair would be back to pre-pregnancy.
That's not quite true. Again, there is going to be a fluctuation with women...but about that 1 year mark your hair should be well on its way growing back.
Keep in mind that while it's growing back you are going to have a layer of new growth that is going to vary in length from your existing hair.
If you aren't already there. Imagine you have bangs growing in.. only you never wanted bangs. These baby hairs can be a styling nightmare.
You may find yourself exploring headbands or a new cut to lessen the severity of varying lengths.
Pro tip: Postpartum hair vitamins can significantly accelerate the rate at which your hair grows. So if you don't want to play catch up longer than you have to the baby blues postpartum hair lilikoi gummy ones with biotin, collagen, and folic acid may be your new best friend.