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Hair loss after pregnancy - How to reduce your hair loss after childbirth

by Lotte Lindgren on Dec 03, 2019

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on April 9, 2024.

Table of contents

Hair loss after pregnancy - Guide to stopping hair loss after pregnancy.

This is how much hair you lose after pregnancy

Hair loss after pregnancy, also called "nursing hair", is completely normal and affects many women. Hair loss can occur during pregnancy and the first months after birth. Is your hairbrush full of hair when you comb it? Do not worry! We have created this guide that can help you get healthy and strong hair after your pregnancy.

Many new mothers experience severe hair loss either during or after pregnancy. In most women, it usually occurs around 3 months after the end of pregnancy. Where you normally lose 50-100 hairs a day, you can lose up to 400 hairs a day. It will therefore not be abnormal for your brush to quickly fill up with hair and for you to empty the drain in the bathroom more often.

This is why you lose your hair after pregnancy

The reason you lose your hair is because your hair's growth phase is disrupted by the hormonal changes that occur in your body during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone increase significantly. This leads to an increase in an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT affects the growth cycle of a woman's hair, causing more hair to enter the resting phase, which can result in temporary thinning. At the same time, your stress level for the body can be much higher than normal, which means that the growth phase is shortened or not as optimal as under normal circumstances.

Therefore, you may find that your hair is neither as strong nor as long as before your pregnancy. This is due, among other things, to the fact that your hair follicles switch more quickly to the resting phase, which is the phase where the hair goes to rest and does not grow any longer. This often happens between weeks 12 and 16, here a larger part of your hairs transitions to the which phase. After this, the next phase starts, the rejection phase, where the body rejects the hair and lets it fall out. This is why many women often experience more hair loss after pregnancy.

How long do you lose hair after giving birth?

Some believe that the hair loss is because they have chosen to breastfeed their baby. However, this is not the case. The hair loss is solely due to the change in hormones from before birth to after birth. Here, it is the hormone estrogen in particular that causes the hair to extend its growth phase. After pregnancy, the hormones return to their normal values, therefore approximately 60% of the hairs that were in the growth phase will go dormant. This is completely normal and can last up to a year before your hair is 100% normal again. However, it is normal that hair loss typically only lasts 2-6 months . In addition, some women may suffer from a condition known as telogen effluvium, where more than the normal amount of hair goes into the resting phase at once and therefore falls out months later. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to get your hair back quickly.

Sådan ser hårets vækstcyklus ud

Breast hair is not permanent

When your hair starts to fall out in large clumps, it's natural that you start to get a little worried. Because what if your beautiful hair never grows back? However, you can be quite calm - this is completely normal. About 90% of all new mothers experience increased hair loss three to eight months after their birth. Fortunately, the vast majority of people get their hair back.

In rare cases, however, pregnancy can help to trigger permanent hair loss. In this case, it is a genetic defect that has been stored in your body and which is triggered by the hormones during your pregnancy.

If you experience that hair loss does not begin to decrease after approx. six months after your birth, we recommend that you contact your doctor for a possible consultation.

You can read our guide to hair loss in women right here, where you can find general advice.

How to reduce your hair loss after pregnancy

Get a hairstyle that suits your hair

When your ponytail starts to get thin and limp, it might be a good idea to get a new hairstyle instead of sticking with the old one. When you have the same hairstyle as during pregnancy, you will be constantly reminded of how thick and shiny your hair was before. Maybe you find it difficult to feel as beautiful as before and you will constantly resent your now thinning hair. Therefore, it can be a super good idea to go to the hairdresser and let them work their magic, as they now do best. A hairdresser knows which hairstyles suit various hair types and will usually be able to create a hairstyle where thin hair or even bald spots on the scalp are covered, or at least not nearly as visible. This will help you to like your new self so that you too can be confident and think you look good again.

Avoid styling with hair loss

Avoid or reduce as far as possible your use of straighteners or curling irons, blow dryers, hair spray and other styling products for the hair. The straightener and curling iron puts extra strain on the hair by pulling on it and dries it out with heat treatments. In general, hair styling products help to wear down the structure of your hair and therefore make the structure even more fragile than it already is. For all intents and purposes, avoid styling products or, for that matter, hair care products with harmful chemicals.

Another good piece of advice can be to avoid hair elastics with metal in the joint. The metal is hard and breaks the hair, especially if the hair is already fragile and will therefore worsen your hair loss.

Nutritional supplements for the hair

In addition to a new hairstyle, there are also many other measures you can take to avoid hair loss after pregnancy. First of all, make sure your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs. Zinc and biotin play, among other things. both play a role in helping the body maintain normal hair.

With a small baby under your arm and probably minimal sleep, it can quickly become a difficult task to get the vitamins and minerals your hair needs through your diet. That is why we have developed Hair Vitamins , which i.a. both contain zinc and biotin, which maintain normal hair.

Hair vitamins

Eat a varied diet

In the ideal world, you can ensure that you get the right vitamins and minerals through a healthy and varied diet, so that you do not need to take supplements. With a small new baby, however, it is often a utopia that you have the time and energy to go into your own diet. There is full focus on the baby – and not as much on yourself for a period of time.
If you have the energy to keep track of which foods can help you get the vitamins and minerals that strengthen your hair, it is of course important that you do so. It may also be that your girlfriend can help you with it.

The diet is particularly important to get a stable hormonal level. This ensures that the hair that has gone into the resting phase can more easily enter its normal growth phase and start growing again. Even very small fluctuations in your vitamin and mineral balance can have an impact.

Avoid stress

It may seem like a bit of a joke to tell a new mother to avoid stress. Because you have just brought a new little person into the world, and that can be incredibly stressful. First of all, you will most likely not get optimal sleep at night. In addition, the majority of new mothers experience many thoughts and worries about this new existence as parents of a small new child.

However, you should try to avoid getting stressed as much as possible. Stress can contribute to worsening your hair loss after pregnancy and seen through those lenses, it is of course important that you work to reduce it. In addition, it is also extremely important that you try not to be stressed, so that you can have a good maternity leave and enjoy this special time with your child.

First of all, it is important that you try to get some sleep. It may be that you need to catch up on some sleep during the day so that you get enough hours of sleep a day. Then cooking and cleaning must wait until your girlfriend comes home. It is often said that when the child is sleeping, the mother should also try to sleep or relax as much as possible.

Søvn er især vigtig for at undgå stress

Shampoo and hair treatment can prevent hair loss

Some special types of shampoos and hair treatments should also have a beneficial effect in terms of preventing hair loss. Therefore, it is a good idea that you try to keep an eye on them the next time you need a new shampoo. It is especially a very good idea to avoid shampoos, conditioners and possibly hair treatments that contain SLS/SLES sulphate. This helps to dry out your hair and make your strands even more fragile.

It will definitely have the best effect if you make sure that both the inner and outer hair care are right in the cupboard. This means that you have at least done everything and created the best conditions for getting healthy and strong hair again after your pregnancy.

Frequently asked questions about hair loss after pregnancy

When does hair loss stop after pregnancy?

As a rule, it usually takes between 2-6 months from birth for the hair loss to stop. However, it can vary greatly from person to person, especially in relation to how much stress and hormonal influence the body has experienced during and after pregnancy. Hair loss is often at its peak around 3 months after birth, as it coincides with the life cycle of hair strands.

Why do you shed when you breastfeed?

When breastfeeding, it is normal for a mother to experience some hair loss. This is due to a hormone called prolactin, which is released during breastfeeding and causes temporary thinning of the hair. The hair follicles may become dormant and the production of new hair may be stopped for a period of time. This condition, known as telogen effluvium, is only temporary and should disappear on its own when breastfeeding stops. Additional contributing factors may be vitamin deficiencies or stressors that come with the demands of caring for an infant.

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