What do you know about postpartum alopecia?

Postpartum alopecia is the temporary loss of hair that appears in most women who have given birth. It manifests itself two or three months after the birth of the baby. However, it is not related to the type of breastfeeding that the mother does.

Causes of postpartum alopecia

The cause that causes this type of alopecia is related to changes and temporary hormonal processes that occur in the postpartum stage. However, other factors also influence such as:

  • Stress: During this period the mother may feel pressured or stressed by the new situation in her life.
  • Iron levels: the decrease in iron levels occurs in a high percentage of women after childbirth and also affects hair loss.

Biological hair cycle

To understand the process of postpartum alopecia, it is convenient to know the hair's biological cycle. Each of the hair follicles has the capacity to develop 20 to 25 cycles. These cycles consist of 3 phases:

  • Anagen phase: corresponds to the growth phase and lasts between 2 and 6 years.
  • Catagen phase: in this phase the hair growth stops. It lasts between 2 and 3 weeks.
  • Telogen phase: it is the phase in which the hair falls out. This process is carried out for approximately 3 months. Next, the anagen phase begins again in the same follicle.

Under normal conditions, 90% of the hair is in the growth phase, while the remaining 10% is in the resting or falling phase.

However, During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and thyroid hormones keep the hair in the anagen phase. For this reason, many pregnant women can see that their hair is healthier and with more volume during the time of pregnancy.

You may also be interested: 5 habits to combat hair loss

Postpartum alopecia

After delivery, hormone levels are rebalanced, so that all the hair that was in the anagen phase passes abruptly to the telogen phase. In this way, after two or three months of the baby's birth, the mother will suffer a sudden and diffuse postpartum alopecia.

If in the pre-pregnancy stage a woman loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day, during the postpartum stage it can triple, even losing 500 hairs daily. The duration of postpartum alopecia is usually four to six months, although the recovery of the volume will take several more months.

Anemia and postpartum alopecia

Iron-deficiency anemia or lack of iron is very common in women in the postpartum stage. This is due to the considerable loss of blood during childbirth and the puerperium.

The lack of iron leads to a decrease in hemoglobin, so that the amount of oxygen needed can not be transported to the tissues. For this reason, the hair bulbs, in the long run, are not well nourished and weak, which favors the appearance of postpartum alopecia.

Similarly, They can also contribute to the weakening of the hair bulb and, therefore, to postpartum alopecia, factors such as:

  • Fatigue.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Change of eating habits.
  • Stress for new obligations and baby care.

Read also: Foods to prevent anemia

Prevention and treatment of postpartum alopecia

To prevent and treat postpartum alopecia, It is necessary that the woman pay attention to the proper hygiene and care of her hair.

Use of products

The mother should comb her hair delicately and use shampoos and products indicated for postpartum alopecia. In addition, it is advisable to restrict the use of dryers, irons, rough brushes and other aggressive hair treatments.


In terms of nutrition, the intake of all vitamins, trace elements and essential amino acids should be ensured. Special attention should be paid to those linked to capillary health, such as sulfur amino acids, L-cysteine ​​and L-methionine.

These amino acids participate in the transport of iron and zinc to the scalp. Zinc is vital for the formation of keratin, which is the most important hair protein.

On the other hand, the B vitamins, including the biotin that regulates the sebaceous secretion, and Selenium as an antioxidant plays important roles in maintaining good hair health.

Millet extract, rich in vitamins, mineral essential fatty acids and capilectin, slows hair loss at the same time that stimulates its growth.