What is postpartum hair loss? The biggest signs and advice on how to treat it

Even though we usually associate symptoms with pregnancy, there are many side effects that new mums experience during their postpartum stage.

Hair loss is an extremely common symptom that many mothers go through after giving birth. In fact, experts have noted that around 50% of mums experience postpartum hair loss.

However, although we know that it is completely normal, it can still be a terrifying experience to watch clumps of hair go down the shower drain or fall onto your hairbrush.

That’s why today, we thought we would take some time to delve into the science behind postpartum hair loss, and the best ways to treat it. Just remember - it won’t last forever, and it happens to the best of us:

So, what is postpartum hair loss?

When you are pregnant, your hair somewhat ‘pauses’ its active growth and simply rests, in what scientists call the catagen phase. However, once you give birth, your hormones begin to regulate again, and the hair that your scalp had been retaining during pregnancy starts to fall out alongside the expected strands from your hair cycle. So, postpartum hair loss is essentially the backlog of hair that you otherwise would have lost during pregnancy.

How long does it last?

It is not uncommon for mums to notice their postpartum hair loss almost immediately after giving birth. On average, the cycle of hair loss tends to last for up to four months - but, as we know, everybody is different!

How should you treat it?

For postpartum hair loss, it sounds simple, but the best thing that you can do to encourage hair regrowth is to practice as much self-care as possible.

We know it’s difficult during the newborn stage, but in order for your hair to come back (and come back stronger, too), then you have to give it a nurtured environment for it to return.

So, we would recommend implementing these top tips to keep that postpartum hair growth flowing beautifully:

Sleep - Yes, it's a broken record, but sleep really is the best way to keep yourself as rejuvenated as possible. Naturally, with a new baby, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always easy, but don’t fret! There are still other things that you can do to help your hair in its regrowth.

Eat healthily - Again, we know it sounds simple, but having a balanced diet will do wonders for your new hair growth. Keep munching away on those greens!

Exercise - This doesn’t have to be an intense workout, especially if you’ve just had a baby. Something simple such as a short little walk around the neighbourhood (with your little one in tow in their pram) can really help to encourage hair regrowth. Plus, it’s great for your mental health, too!

Vitamins and supplements - As with most conditions these days, there are lots of different vitamins and supplements available in pharmacies that are specifically targeted towards postpartum hair loss. If you think your body is lacking a few vitamins and nutrients, then it might be a good shout to give these a try. Of course, if you are breastfeeding your new bundle of joy, then it is always best to check with your doctor first before starting any new tablets.