My Experience with Postpartum Shedding

Monday, February 04, 2013

What is postpartum shedding?

Sudden shedding that occurs after pregnancy. Most mothers experience this hair loss 3-6 months after giving birth.

How does this shedding occur?

During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant hair.

After you give birth, your estrogen levels decrease and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. You'll notice more hair coming out in the shower, comb, sink etc.

How long does it last?

The shedding will decrease and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness approximately 6-12 months after you give birth.

My Experience..

The picture above was taken (2011) 4-5 months after I gave birth to my son. I can honestly say that I never experienced postpartum shedding until maybe 9-10 months after pregnancy. My shedding started after I went back to work. My stress increased, my eating/vitamins decreased, breastfeeding decreased and I was inconsistent with my regimen due to lack of time, energy etc. I shed A LOT of hair. The weight of my hair felt so different and light in comparison to when I was pregnant. I was horrified. Being at home for months on end allowed me to keep up with my regimen and I think that's partly why my hair never suffered greatly.

Another reason why I believe my hair thrived after giving birth was because I continued to take the same vitamins I took during my pregnancy i.e. Prenatal vitamins, B Complex, Omega 3's and Vitamin C. From what I've been told recently, B-complex helps extend your growth cycle and circulation to your scalp which helps with shedding. By the time my son was 1 years old, my hair got back into it's normal groove and my excessive shedding decreased.

Unfortunately I did develop problem areas and that was my edges & nape. Some say that breastfeeding causes your hairline to fade/break. I'm not entirely sure how true that is, but mine did! I noticed thinning as quickly as 3-4 months after giving birth. What really helped me was introducing Tropic Isle Living Red Pimento Oil into my regimen through a challenge that took place on I would massage the perimeter of my hair line every other day prior to washing. I also left it in my scalp while I deep conditioned under heat for maximum penetration. After 3 months or so it grew back fuller. How's my nape doing? well...that's still a work in progress!

During my pregnancy, I stuck to my original regimen. I changed NOTHING. I stretched to (at max.) 12 weeks for my relaxers, but I usually relaxed at 10 weeks post relaxer. I would moisturize nightly and tie my hair up with a satin scarf before bed. I flat ironed twice throughout my pregnancy and I trimmed my ends every 6 months. I was very strict!

My Advice...

  1. After giving birth, try to keep yourself healthy by eating well and getting sleep when the baby sleeps.
  2. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins, religiously! 
  3. Drink a lot of water to help circulate the nutrients.
  4. Try to keep up with your regimen (as much as possible), post pregnancy. If you have to cut down to washing once a week, do it. (Tip: sleeping in conditioner at night and rinsing it out in the morning works like a charm for your busy lifestyle & saves time! I did it at least 1x/week)
  5. Shedding after pregnancy is bound to happen, it's just the way it goes.  Just take it one day at a time. Once your baby is 1 years old, hair loss will be finished and your hair will be back to normal :)

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  1. Hi sunshyne, can I use a brand new pair of regular scissors to cut, trim and dust my ends?

    1. No. It's best to use Sheers designed for hair trimming/cutting.

  2. I really appreciate you posting this. I've got 5 weeks left before my LO is supposed to arrive, and I'm not looking forward to all my hair 'falling out'. :)

    1. Aww Congrats!! Not to worry. Try to follow the tips I left above. Hope it helps. Enjoy the little one. They grow up sooo fast!

  3. Thanks. I am just at the phase where my edges are growing back. It is good to know I am not alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel

  4. Great post Sunshyne! I think this topic gets neglected. I too was horrified of the post partum shedding, I thought I was going bald. I jumped on youtube and found a lot of women suffering from this in the same areas around the temple. My hairline or (temples) have yet to recover from 3 pregnancies since 2007 w/a year of nursing in between...I have yet to experience a full hairline:) Hopefully the factory is closed and my hormones can get back in sync!

  5. Thanks for posting this Sunshyne! My baby will be 1 on the 25th. My shedding was unbelievable, but it has decreased and I hope my hair returns to its former thickness...guess I'll just have to wait it out.

  6. Thanks so much for this post! My son is two months old and I've been experiencing a bit of shedding around my edges. I'm sticking to my regimen and hopefully will get my hair back in shape!!

  7. I'm wondering if there is a link to when you stop breastfeeding and pp shedding. I bf for 9 mos, and when my dd was about 13 mos, my hair started shedding like a dog! That's what made me start my hj.

  8. Oh wow lucky you I knew I was pregnant because my hair started shedding like mad. I treated my hair and did everything its when i got morning sickness I realized why my hair was shedding so badly. It shed right through the first trimester I was so miserable at first till I realized I was pregnant. Then it didn't matter.

    1. Oh I'm sorry to hear that. So you were shedding all throughout your pregnancy? What state is your hair in now?

  9. I am going through this post and thinking of it’s theme and trying to understand what is this post about. At last I can have found something from this post which feels pretty good.


About Me

About [span]me[/span]

Hi, I'm Val aka Sunshyne!
I’m the owner of Hairlicious Inc. and Thank you for visiting.

For years I struggled to understand my relaxed hair. I created this blog to track my journey, set backs and progress!

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