Search icon

Health

05th Jul 2024

Everything you need to know about postpartum hair loss

Niamh Ryan

Postpartum hair loss affects about 40% of women in the first three months after birth.

This type of hair loss is known as telogen effluvium and is caused by the rapid change in hormone levels after giving birth.

Oestrogen levels increase in the last trimester of pregnancy, which helps prevent shedding.

However, these levels drop again after childbirth.

Extra hair typically grows during pregnancy and will thin out after the baby is born.

This can look alarming but usually resolves itself.

Symptoms

  • Hair shedding on your pillow and around your home
  • Hair building up in the shower drain
  • Hair coming out while brushing
  • Patches of hair loss

According to the HSE, telogen effluvium usually stops after 3-6 months, and hair will begin to grow again.

How to treat it

While treatment isn’t necessary, there are things you can do to promote stronger and healthier hair.

A balanced diet will benefit hair, as certain vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and iron strengthen the scalp and hair follicles.

A good haircare routine will also help with the hair loss.

If your hair is damaged, a gentle shampoo and moisturising hair mask are perfect.

Contrary to popular belief, blow drying your hair is more beneficial than letting it air dry.

Your hair is most vulnerable when wet, so drying with heat will prevent further breakages.

Avoid tight hairstyles as this will put a strain on your hair.

When to seek treatment

While it’s typically harmless, there are certain symptoms to keep an eye on.

If the hair is falling out in clumps, falling out at a rapid rate, or it continues for more than six months, contact your GP.

In some cases, it could be an underlying condition such as a certain medication or another medical condition.

READ MORE: