Postpartum Hair Loss: How to Stop it Naturally

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Discover why you’re experiencing hair loss after pregnancy and find out how to stop postpartum hair loss naturally.

Postpartum hair loss happens to ALOT of women! It happened to me. Three times!

My third baby is now 13 weeks old and I’m currently deep in the trenches of it occurring for the third time. However this time I’m actively nourishing my body to help decrease the amount of hair I’m losing.

You can decrease how much hair you lose too!

First, learn what causes your hair to fall out after having a baby. The common reasons and the not as common reasons.

Then, discover which nutrients your body needs, which foods to get them from, and which supplements really work to help stop postpartum hair loss.

When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start and Stop?

During pregnancy, you likely experienced a full head of hair. This is due to how pregnancy hormones affect the hair cycle along with your nutritional state from prenatal vitamins. However, once you are no longer pregnant changes occur.

It is estimated that at least 50% of women will experience some degree of postpartum hair loss. The medical term for this hair loss is telogen effluvium. The hair loss typically begins occurring around 10-16 weeks postpartum.

Why Do We Lose Hair Postpartum

The hair cycle

Each hair we grow goes through a cycle. This cycle consists of a growth phase, a resting phase, and a falling out phase. Common postpartum hair loss is the result of many of our hairs entering the falling out phase around the same time. 

hormones

During pregnancy, we have an increase in hormones. One of these hormones is estrogen. Estrogen directly affects the hair growth cycle. When our bodies have significant amounts of estrogen our hair is more likely to stay in its growth phase.

Approximately 24-72 hours after a woman gives birth there is a significant decrease of estrogen in her body. This promotes the hairs in the growing phase to enter the resting phase. Hairs typically stay in this resting phase for about three months. Then they begin to fall out and a new hair cycle begins.        

What Else Contributes to Postpartum Hair Loss

A decrease in hormones is not the only factor causing postpartum hair loss. Anemia and thyroid issues can also play a role.

Anemia

Low iron blood stores can cause excessive hair loss. Low iron blood stores can occur during pregnancy. Anemia can also occur from delivery. Once a woman gives birth her iron needs decrease. However, if a woman was anemic during pregnancy it could take time for her blood stores to build after she has the baby. Additionally, if a woman lost a significant amount of blood during delivery she may become anemic.

Thyroid Problems

The thyroid hormone can also have an effect on hair loss. Either too much or too little hormone can result in side effects that affect hair. A simple blood test can diagnose thyroid issues. It is best to speak to your healthcare provider if you believe that you may have a thyroid problem. 

Can Breastfeeding Cause Hair Loss?

Breastfeeding has not been shown to cause women to lose hair at excessive rates. There is no reason to stop breastfeeding when postpartum hair loss occurs. 

Natural remedies for postpartum hair loss. Including which vitamins will help reduce hair loss. #newmom #pregnancy

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Side Note: If you are breastfeeding (or planning to) then you will want to take this course! It’s the BEST online breastfeeding course available. If you’ll be pumping, she also has a “back to work pumping” class and a class just for those that are planning to exclusively pump! You can’t go wrong with any of these classes!

How to Decrease Postpartum Hair Loss

Consuming a healthy diet and supplementing with vitamins are two of the best ways to slow postpartum hair loss. It is also best to style your hair gently, avoiding tight braids and styles, during the postpartum period. 

Diet for Postpartum Hair Loss

A proper diet can help decrease postpartum hair loss. Biotin along with vitamins A, C, D, E, and zinc have been shown to be beneficial.

The best Vitamins & Minerals for postpartum hair loss

Biotin is considered part of the B vitamins. It typically is a good source of protein as well. Foods that are rich in biotin include eggs, seeds, and nuts. 

Vitamin A plays a crucial role in cell growth. This includes hair cells. Vitamin A also helps the body produce sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that keeps the scalp moisturized. Foods high in Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, and kale.

Vitamin C contains antioxidants that help protect against stress. It also helps your body produce collagen. Lastly, vitamin C assists your body in absorbing iron. Iron is necessary for hair growth. Foods that are high in vitamin C include strawberries, citrus fruits, and peppers.

Vitamin D works to stimulate hair follicles. This stimulation assists with hair growth. Additionally, alopecia has been linked to low vitamin D levels. Our bodies process vitamin D with the help of rays from the sun. Supplements are your best source of vitamin D.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant like vitamin C. A small study was completed using tocotrienols from vitamin E. This study found positive hair growth in the group taking tocotrienols. Sunflower seeds, almonds, and spinach are all good sources of vitamin E.

Zinc also plays a role in hair growth and repair. However, too high of levels of zinc can be dangerous. Therefore, it is best to get zinc from your diet and not supplements, unless under the advice of your healthcare professional. Foods that provide a good source of zinc include pumpkin seeds, spinach, and lentils.

The Best Supplements for Postpartum Hairloss

For many years it was suggested that women continue to take their prenatal vitamins for as long as they are breastfeeding. However, you may now find advice that women switch to a postnatal vitamin during the postpartum period.

Postnatal vitamins, such as these or these, typically include higher doses of Vitamin D3, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. This increase in vitamins works to keep mom and baby healthy. These vitamins may also help slow postpartum hair loss. 

Some women believe that including a biotin gummy supplement into their routine significantly helped with hair loss. However, some women do report side effects.

This gummy and this one are consistently reported as favorites. However, it is best to consult your healthcare provider before beginning a supplement. 

Taking Care of Yourself

The postpartum period is one of the best times while also being one of the toughest times.

During the postpartum period, it is important to take good care of yourself. Taking care of yourself will help to reduce your postpartum hair loss.

Good nutrition is important, as you read about in this post. But you need to take care of your whole self. It can be tough but you should also pay attention to what you are putting on your body.

Stopping Postpartum Hair Loss

A combination of vitamins, minerals, and supplements can help to decrease the amount of hair you will lose after having a baby.

Did you lose hair during the postpartum period? Do you have any great tips or tricks to share to help make the hair loss easier? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Brooke has been helping families as a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, since 2007. Prior to that, she spent 4+ years working as a Registered Nurse in both pediatric and postpartum nursing. Brooke holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing. Additionally, she is dual-licensed in her state as both an APRN and RN.

4 Comments

  • Nour

    Postpartum hair loss is literally the worst. I went through it quite bad my first pregnancy. With no knowledge of what was happening I remember crying in my obgyn’s office. It can definitely be extremely devastated at possibly the worst time to have something affecting your appearance. By my third pregnancy I found a postpartum hair vitamin that has helped so much — I wish I could have shared it with myself the first round (before a bad haircut and a lot of tears). Anyway I always feel so bad for New Mama’s i try gift it and what not . The one I use is by Baby Blues and it’s a gummy (passion fruit flavored- really good) http://www.babyblues.care . I think now there are oils and things women are using but i’m not big on the oil scalp process. Hope it helps someone. thanks for the article!

  • Santhathi

    Thank you for sharing how to stop hair loss after pregnancy. I found it very useful for me. And this will really help all women’s. Keep sharing such an informative and useful blogs with us.

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