Postpartum hair loss: what is it due to?

A concern for women during the postpartum period is excessive hair loss. Several causes influence this problem. Discover them!

Last update: 12 March, 2022

Postpartum hair loss is normal. However, this condition tends to cause anxiety in women, who wishes to soon recover the luxuriance of his hair. In general, it is estimated that between 40% and 50% of mothers lose their hair excessively after giving birth.

This occurs because the body’s endocrine process changes in a severe way. This transformation is known as “telogen effluvium”, that is, the resting phase of growing hair follicles that do not complete their cycle and tend to fall out, explains the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Why does postpartum hair fall occur?

The hair has a life span segmented into three phases; the first is anagen, based on growth. The second is catagen, linked to growth arrest; finally, the third is telogen, referring to the fall.

After a woman gives birth, the hormones seek their balance. In this grade, the hair that remained in the growth phase tends to fall out excessively, product of estrogen secretion. Therefore, when combing your hair, whether in the shower, on the pillow or simply by touching yourself, you will notice that you lose hair.

Although the process is scary, it is not permanent. It is estimated that it lasts between 4 and 6 months. After this time, your hair will return. Although the main reason for this baldness is hormonal, other postpartum scenarios favor it.

Hormonal changes that occur postpartum often explain excessive hair loss.


In vaginal or caesarean delivery, when the placenta detaches, profuse bleeding occurs. When the human being loses blood Iron levels in the body decrease. Therefore, it has less hemoglobin.

It is through this last protein that the blood carries oxygen to the hair follicles. Consequently, when reduced, the nutrition of the hair is less, so it can be detached more easily.


A newborn in the family implies new responsibilities and more burden for the mother, especially for breastfeeding, sleeplessness and other necessary care.

This routine leads to fatigue and lack of sleep, which predisposes to an emotional state that damages the hair bulb and ends in a telogen cycle.


Inflammation of the thyroid gland can cause alterations during pregnancy and after childbirth. The imbalance of these hormones It is related to postpartum hair loss and delayed hair growth.


What you eat is reflected in your health, even in the capillary. Keep in mind that there is a high concentration of hormones that, added to stress, dilate the anagen phase of a hair. Follow a proper diet and you will see how temporary alopecia heals.


For some it is a myth that breastfeeding is responsible for hair loss, as some women do not breastfeed and also suffer from this type of baldness. Nevertheless, there are those who relate the problem to prolactin disorders.

Recommendations to avoid or reduce hair loss in the postpartum period

Do not forget that hair loss after giving birth is temporary. However, by putting into practice some simple tips, you prevent the intensity of this physiological process.

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy. Foods rich in minerals, vitamin B and omega 3 fatty acids nourish the hair bulb through the blood. This is how your hair benefits from a varied menu of chicken, fish, lamb, meat, oats, soybeans, wheat germ, avocados, etc.
  • Take vitamin supplements. Ask your doctor which vitamins are recommended for hair health, volume and density, which are compatible with breastfeeding. In general, these are complexes high in iron.
  • Do not apply aggressive treatments. Even the hair dryer, the iron or rough combing affect the hair in the postpartum period. Prefer neutral pH shampoos, space out your washes and delay chemical straightening, dyes or perms as long as you can.
  • Let your hair down. Do not pull or put pressure on the hair with pigtails or braids. The more natural you use it, the better.
  • Massage with almond or castor oil. Both serve to stimulate hair growth, with gentle movements on the scalp. Set aside a moment of relaxation in the middle of the routine and dedicate it to massaging your head.
The application of massages with oils can help stimulate hair growth.

When to go to the specialist?

If you have reached a year since you began to notice hair loss, it is time to visit a specialist. Similarly, Go for medical help when the scalp is quite depopulated.

The Professional Pharmacy magazine notes that the current market has a range of products to correct or stop the progress of alopecia. However, it is necessary that the dermatologist is the one who indicates the treatment.

In any case, be patient. Although postpartum hair growth patterns return to normal, in each woman the process varies.

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