What is Post-Partum Hair Loss?
Post-Partum Hair Loss is caused by the abrupt pregnancy hormone change after the baby is born.
What is the cause of Post-Partum Hair Loss?3
During pregnancy, the elevated estrogen hormones cause the hair to grow thicker and stronger. After delivery, the hormones drop rapidly and this abrupt change leads to a reduction in hair growth and excessive shedding and hair loss.
What are the symptoms?
Post-Partum Hair loss is extreme hair shedding that begins about two to four months after pregnancy. Hair can even come out in startling clumps.
How is it diagnosed?
Hair loss in clumps after pregnancy with long strands of hair that have white tips or bulbs present on the end of the strands.
What tests are needed?
No tests are usually needed
What is the expected duration?
It usually takes 8 to 12 months for the excessive shedding to subside, so patience is required to endure the initial severe shedding that can occur.
How can it be prevented?
Taking prenatal vitamin supplements is the most proactive way to avoid Post-partum hair loss, however the sudden hormonal changes after childbirth cannot be prevented
Continue to take prenatal vitamins three months after the baby is born. Keep a healthy lifestyle with good food and sleep. Hair conditioners and moisturizing products will help strengthen hair and minimize the risk of hair breakage in addition to the shedding. In the meantime your stylist can assist you with wearing a hairstyle that minimizes combing, brushing, and shedding.
When to contact a professional
If the hair shedding is severe enough to cause concern then see a dermatologist to verify the diagnosis and proper direction with management.
The majority of ladies that experience post-partum hair loss experience a full recovery within a year with the total return of normal hair growth. Rarely, this condition can last longer and continue for several years or more. Some ladies will notice persistent thinning in the middle of the scalp after post-partum hair loss; in these individuals there is an underlying genetic predisposition to androgenetic alopecia (AGA) which is unmasked by the post-partum shedding. Appropriate treatment for AGA would be necessary to improve the hair growth for these individuals