Beauty Health and Fitness

Postpartum hair loss: What causes it and how to maintain your locks

Ensure postpartum hair less is one less thing to worry about in early motherhood.

Fuller, thicker hair is one of the perks of pregnancy for many women, but just when you’ve got used to those lustrous locks it starts falling out postpartum – and we’re talking to drain-clogging, vacuum-blocking proportions – which can be a little distressing to say the least.

While it can be upsetting to see your glossy hair going down the drain (literally), it is entirely normal and to be expected post-birth. However, there are a few things you can do and use to protect your pregnancy locks. We’ve got you covered…

What causes postpartum hair loss?

As with most other pregnancy-related changes, postpartum hair loss is all down to your hormones.

The average person sheds up to 100 hairs a day normally, but in pregnancy your hormones stop these hairs from falling out. When these hormones drop postpartum, it means your hair starts to fall out once again, and with nine months worth of shedding to catch up on, it’s no wonder you soon notice what feels like big clumps of hair falling out in your hands when you run your fingers through it.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

How long does postpartum hair loss last?

Don’t worry, you’re not going bald! Your hair is simply returning to how it was before pregnancy, which may take longer if you’re breastfeeding. Postpartum hair loss tends to peak once your baby is around four months old and will likely have stopped by the time they turn one. Contact your doctor if you feel like you are shedding too much hair, as it could be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis.

How can I stop postpartum hair loss?

Even if you’re loving your pregnancy locks, there’s no way to prevent hair loss completely. However, there are a few things you can do to support healthy hair and promote new growth as well as minimising damage to your tresses.

Take a supplement:

All women should consider taking a postnatal supplement to ensure you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need each day, particularly if you’re breastfeeding.

Vitabiotics Pregnacare Max Breastfeeding supplements not only provide your RDA of Vitamin D, calcium and iron, there is also an Omega 3 capsule that will be just as beneficial to you as it will your baby.

Vitabiotics Pregnacare Breastfeeding, £11.99, Amazon

Eat well:

Of course, no supplement can outweigh the benefits of a healthy diet so ensure you’re eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, and drink two litres of water a day (more if you’re breastfeeding). Not only will it help your hair, but your skin and energy levels will reap the benefits too.

Deep condition your hair:

In the early days after having a baby even washing your hair can feel like a huge achievement. But ensuring your hair is well conditioned and nourished can help to keep it looking it’s best, and will give you a rare bit of me time too. Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer can be slathered onto wet hair and rinsed off in the shower before shampooing to add moisture and help strengthen your locks. Leave on overnight for even better results.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, £17.40, Amazon

Use a detangling spray:

After washing, liberally spritz on a detangling spray like My Little Coco Detangling Coconut Water and use a wide tooth comb to get rid of any knots. One of the most popular products in Rochelle Humes’ collection, it may be marketed at kids, but it’s natural formula and dreamy coconut scent makes it a must-have for mums too. Helping you to brush your hair more easily after washing, it will hopefully minimise hair loss and damage from frantic brushing.

My Little Coco Detangling Coconut Water, £5.99, Boots

Avoid heat and chemical damage:

You may not have time to blow dry or style your hair even if you want to, but try to minimise your use of heated appliances like hairdryers and straighteners to further avoid damaging your locks.

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