Postpartum Alopecia - Hair Loss after Pregnancy

Published: 12th February 2010
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It is not uncommon for a woman to experience hair loss after the birth of her baby. Postpartum alopecia is marked by hair loss after pregnancy, and is due to the reduction of the female sex hormone, estrogen.

During pregnancy, estrogen levels are at their highest, leading to increased hair growth. After pregnancy, estrogen levels drop, which causes an increase in the male hormone testosterone, resulting in hair loss. Testosterone is produced in the male testes, and in lesser amounts by the female ovaries.

Normally, we shed between fifty to one-hundred hairs per day. Postpartum alopecia most often peaks in approximately four months after giving birth. After about twelve months, normal hair thickness and length returns.

At any given time, about ninety percent of you hair is in the growing stage. The remaining hair is in a resting stage and falls out after completing this stage. As old hairs are shed new hairs take their place. It is after the resting stage when hair loss occurs.

When your hormone levels are elevated, hair growth is above average and will result in less shedding. Once the delivery has occurred, all the hair that would normally have been shed will tend to fall out in one go. The result will be a head of hair that appears thinner than before.

This is all a very normal occurrence and not much can be done to avoid it. You can take steps to make postpartum alopecia less noticeable. For instance, wearing a shorter hairstyle can help giver a fuller look to the hair.

Tying your hair up when you sleep can reduce the effects of friction on your hair loss.

Satin pillows are great for limiting postpartum hair loss, and at other times as well for that matter. This is because of the reduction in friction that the satin pillow brings. As a matter of fact, it is this friction which will cause your baby to lose hair as they rub their head while lying in the cot.

Hair may be missing from the back of your child's head which is normal and will be a temporary situation.

Hair loss may also be caused by:

Miscarriage, stillbirth, imbalanced hormones, coming off birth control pills and abortion.

The above causes all have an impact on estrogen levels and it is these estrogen levels which are at the heart of hair loss issues with females.

Managing this condition:

- Focus on eating plenty of naturally occurring foods.

- Avoid the use of harsh chemical preparations on the hair

- Avoid wearing your hair in any style that pulls tightly at your brow.

- Use shampoos and conditioners that contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, such as biotin to nourish the hair

There is not much you can do to stop postpartum alopecia from occurring. What you can do is take steps to minimize the obvious appearance of this condition as well as treating your hair with tenderness to ensure as little falls out as possible.


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Jared Wright is the marketing manager of Clivir.com where people meet to learn from one another on topics such as female hair loss. You can follow the links to find more related articles such as female thinning hair and hair loss in woman.

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