About 90% of women experience postnatal hair loss. For some it is milder than others, however losing hair is never a pleasant experience and almost always worrying. Here we shed some light on the issue and the hormonal fluctuations at play.
The mighty hormonal duo
During pregnancy, placenta works hard to produce additional oestrogen and progesterone supporting female body and the healthy growth of the fetus. However almost immediately after childbirth, specifically – the ejection of the placenta – progesterone levels return to pre-pregnancy levels. (Oestrogen levels after pregnancy remain at the same high level, resulting in what is called oestrogen dominance – the effect that can cause moodiness from this hormonal imbalance.)
The effect of this postnatal hormonal homeostasis on hair growth is similar to that caused by stress, where significantly higher proportion of hair follicles enters telogen – shedding and resting – stage, the effect which we previously described as stress-related telogen effluvium. Normally 10-15% of your hair is in telogen – resting – phase. During pregnancy this number decreases dramatically meaning that although the number of your hair follicles doesn’t increase, more of them are in anagen – growth – stage. This leads to expectant mothers to have more of the thicker, lustrous hair which pregnancy period is known for.
In other words, during the postnatal period all the extra hair follicles that SHOULD have been in telogen stage but weren’t – enter it, and this is also IN ADDITION to the usual proportion of follicles already naturally in it as part of your hair growth cycle. Therefore, as per average duration of telogen stage, it takes about 3 months for new hair to starts growing well.
Back to normal
On average people lose 100-125 hair strands a day, however in postnatal stage this number can increase 4 fold. This cumulative simultaneous entering into shedding stage can lead to worry over going bald, however in most cases, hair loss rate returns to pre-pregnancy levels and hair follicle enter anagen stage again. The good news are – your hair will start growing, and slightly less good news – it won’t be the super-natural mane you might have experienced during your pregnancy. After 3-6 months, your hair loss rate should return to normal and in most cases you don’t need to do anything else to regulate that. If excessive hair shedding continues well after that period, it is worth checking with your GP to ensure there are no other factors at play.
What can you do?
To stimulate your hair follicles in their hair growing task, you can consider massaging you scalp, taking supplements, especially those rich with vitamin C – here [link] we sang an ode to Vitamin C and explained its role in promoting healthy hair growth, and maintaining balanced nutrition, ensuring it has sufficient amount of proteins, fats and complex carbohydrates.
We know how difficult it is to spin all the plates once your baby is born and how difficult it is to incorporate a degree of self-care amidst the joys and challenges of motherhood. If you are contemplating to onboard The Hair Fuel journey to help your post natal hair loss, those weekly 45-60 minutes of applying the mask, can be your little ritual that you dedicate to yourself, and nobody else – in between changing nappies, nipping out to the store and / or responding to work emails. You’re a hero and you only deserve the best!