Monday, February 18, 2013

Post Partum Hair Shedding: Is It Normal?

My daughter, MadiMel and I (2005)
written by guest blogger Sdestra

The first time I went through Post Partum Hair Shedding, I was disturbed, bothered and even upset.  I was warned by many women I knew, including my mother by backing it up with horror stories and myths.  But I was not "educated" as to why it was happening about 4 months after giving birth.  My edges were gone and I had a severe widow's peak to match.

Let us fast forward to the beginning of my hair journey.  I started learning how to care for my and my daughter's hair which led me to educate myself about hair care, products and techniques that would help to gain and maintain healthy hair.  In the process, 
I learned more about Post Partum Hair Shedding too.  Thanks to my husband's awesome idea of having another child, we became pregnant and I was already armed with knowledge.

I had found and visited the site American Pregnancy Association to read more about Post Partum Hair Shedding.  It was more understanding because every thing that was laid out in the article made a lot of sense.

Here is what I gathered from reading about this "normal" issue that some women have after giving birth.

Telogen Effluvium is when there is excessive hair shedding from the resting phase that is caused by numerous factors including childbirth which is being discussed here.

With an average person:  Most of your hair is growing at one time and about 10% of it goes into a resting phase.  The hair that are in the resting phase eventually falls out which is then replaced by new hairs.  

With a pregnant woman:   Due to the rise in hormones during pregnancy, "more than an usual amount of hair" goes into a resting phase.  An average of 40-50% of women are affected, but it is only temporary.

I can assure that some of you who had given birth, experienced thick and luxurious hair.  Because of our friend estrogen, who plays a big role in the delayed process of the resting phase; roughly 3-4 months post delivery, the body's hormones tries to reach a point of equilibrium.  While your body is trying to get back to it's normal pre-pregnancy state, the hair that went into the resting phase falls out....almost all at once in a short period of time.  Remember that I mentioned earlier....during pregnancy, more hair is in a resting phase.  Therefore, more hair will shed.  This is the reason why it seems as though some of you and including myself had tumbleweeds of hair on our bathroom floors after having our beautiful blessings of joy.

Pros: This is only temporary.  It does not happen with every woman after child birth.  Keep in mind that every woman is different and every pregnancy is different.  There are those who never experienced it at all.  For example, my friend Traycee, of this great hair blog, never experienced Post Partum Hair Shedding after giving birth to any of her sons; whereas, it has happened to me...twice. 

Other things that can cause excessive shedding due to hormones:

* Discontinuation of most contraceptives
* An abortion
* Miscarriage/stillbirth (Missed Abortion)

If you experience Post Partum Hair Shedding, here are some things that has worked for me which I hope works for you as well.  Most of the things mentioned below should also be done during pregnancy too.  I also posted a short Video about it too.
  • Patience
  • Accept and deal with it
  • Using methods as to not cause stress to the hair: no tight ponytails, cornrows and other styles alike
  • Protein treatments: to keep the hair I have on my head strong
  • Moisturize my scalp and edges with Castor Oil
  • Cowashed more, to keep the hair moisturized
  • Detangling the hair once a week: This helps to remove the shedded hair so it will not cause the hair to be become more tangled.
  • More protective styles (this keeps to help from over manipulating the hair)
  • Exercise
  • Taking vitamins (prenatal or regular supplemental - be sure to consult doctor)
  • Drinking water and having a healthy diet
  • Stress less: Organize yourself better, keeping away from negativity and handling it accordingly, allow faith to help you focus your energy on important things
What other things might you suggest?  What was your experience(s) with Post Partum Hair Shedding if you went through it?  How did you maintain your hair?

(Please Note:  I am not an expert nor a doctor. Everything written above is due to things I have read, researched and which helped me understand what I was going through.   If your hair shedding persists, please see a professional because there may be other underlying factors/causes.)

My Photo
By Sdestra (KISS Guest Blogger)

Thank you for reading!

God bless!


  1. The whole reason I started my hj was because of shedding. It didn't happen until 4 months after I stopped breastfeeding so I didn't know. I started doing research and talked to an aunt, and she told me it was because I stopped bf. I had also stopped taking my prenatal vitamins and my iron vitamins when I had my baby so my hair was brittle and shedding. Talk about fun!

  2. I too began my hair journey after experiencing post pregancy shedding. It was BAD. My entire hair line broke off then add the shedding. It was a mess. Now after almost 2 years my hair is growing and thickening again. I'm remaining consistant with proper hair care. I'm now transitionong to natural so that will be an added bwnefit to the health of my hair too. Great post! Be blessed! :o)

  3. Ugh, my hair has been shedding like crazy since my daughter was born. She'll be one in five days and it has gotten better, but hopefully it'll go away soon. I'm trying to be patient...thanks for the post!

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  6. Good post about postpartum hair shedding. Quite interesting! Thanks for the link to the video.

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  10. Your videos and insights are most welcome. Thanks for sharing them. For me, it almost doesn't matter how the hair started to fall off or whether it is continually occurring. What matters is to get the lost hair back and get you back into shape. One way of course is through hair transplants, which you can very much access easily nowadays. All the best!

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  11. Mentioned points are good to increase the hair regrowth and to remove the bald patches! All of these points are good to understand better.