Why is My Hair Falling Out After Pregnancy?

Pregnancy takes you on a wild ride. You puke, you gain weight, you deal with aches and pains. But it’s all worth the effort for the beautiful baby you bring into this world. After delivery, we think the worst is behind us and we can get back to life as normal.

And then we start losing chunks of hair in the shower. What’s going on?

Don’t panic. Losing your hair is perfectly normal – unfortunately. The good news? It’s not permanent, and there are things you can do to keep it from getting worse.

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What causes hair loss after pregnancy?

Why is this happening to me? That’s the question most new moms ask as they pick up clumps of hair off the shower floor.

Most women experience sudden shedding about three to six months after giving birth. Because this happens suddenly and quite a while after baby is born, moms don’t usually make the connection that their hair loss is related to their pregnancy.

So what’s causing all this hair loss?

The human head loses 100 hairs per day. But they’re lost a few at a time, so we barely notice them. During pregnancy, your hormones kept those hairs from falling out. That’s why your hair looked better than ever while you were pregnant (that’s one perk).

Now that you’ve had your baby and pregnancy has come to an end, your hormones are also rebalancing back to pre-pregnancy mode. As your hormones drop back to normal, those extra hairs will start falling out as usual.

The good news? This isn’t true hair loss. Doctors call this excessive shedding, which is completely normal. Those extra hairs that are falling out are caused by dropping estrogen levels.

Postpartum hair loss: how long does it last?

You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your hair loss is normal, but how long is this going to last?

Postpartum hair shedding is not permanent. Most women find that their hair returns to normal by their baby’s first birthday. For some women, things start to get back to normal even quicker

If your hair loss is excessive, you may need to talk to your doctor. Excessive hair loss may be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis.

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How to stop postpartum hair loss

Is there anything you can do in the shedding phase to keep as much hair on your head as possible? Yes – and no.

Breastfeeding may help you hold onto those extra hairs a little bit longer. But there’s little you can do to actually stop your hair from shedding. It’s important to remember that this is a completely natural part of the process.

With that said, there are things you can do to prevent excessive hair loss and keep your hair looking fuller in the meantime.

[Read more about Breastfeeding]

Tips to reduce hair fall after delivery

There are both natural remedies and products you can use to keep your hair looking its best in this postpartum shedding stage.

But there are also some things you can do that will help keep as many hairs as possible on your head.

  • Be gentle: Treat your hair like you would a lace dress – be gentle. Try shampooing only when you need to, and use a detangling conditioner to prevent hair loss from tangles.
  • Cut the heat: Keep blowdrying and curling to a minimum (as if you had time for that anyway). Heat damages your hair and styling tools may pull even more hairs out.
  • Avoid certain hairstyles: Certain hairstyles, like tight ponytails, will make hair loss even worse. Use fabric hair ties, and don’t tie your hair too tightly. Some moms find that now is a good time to cut their hair short, so there’s no need to even worry about tying your hair back.

With these few things in mind, here are some natural remedies to minimize hair loss.

Natural remedies

Use these natural remedies to prevent excess hair shedding after pregnancy.

Take your prenatal vitamins and eat a healthy diet

And you thought your prenatal vitamins were only useful during pregnancy. Continue taking your vitamins and eat a healthy diet to keep your hair healthy and strong.

Toss out those processed foods. Cut back on the sugar and carbs. Make sure you’re getting enough healthy fats and lean protein. Drink plenty of water. Keep your snacking in check.

Oh, and don’t forget to eat plenty of greens.

Eating healthy will not only help prevent excess shedding; it will also help you start losing some of that baby weight.

In many cases, a lack of certain nutrients can cause hair loss. Your doctor can test for deficiencies, so you can supplement or change your diet as needed. The following nutrient are important for healthy hair growth:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B complex

If you’re deficient in any of these essential vitamins and minerals, you can supplement or eat foods that contain high levels of these nutrients.

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek is great for the scalp and hair, but you need the seeds for this treatment to work. If you can’t find seeds in the store, you can buy them online.

To create this treatment, soak the seeds in water overnight. Strain to remove the seeds (don’t dump the water!). Apply the water to the scalp, and allow it to sit for one to two hours. Rinse and enjoy a healthier scalp.

As a bonus, fenugreek will help treat dandruff if you have any.

Repeat this treatment once or twice per week for as long as needed.

Essential oils

Essential oils can also be applied to the scalp to help prevent hair fall and keep your hair healthy.

Don’t apply the oils directly to the scalp. Instead, mix them with a light oil (jojoba is the best) and apply all over the scalp, massaging along the way (you could definitely use the massage).

Some of the best essential oils for scalp health include:

  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Peppermint
  • Juniper
  • Basil
  • Clary sage
  • Sage

You can use just one oil, or a combination of these for maximum scalp health. Many of these oils are anti-bacterial (great to get rid of dandruff) and increase oxygen to the scalp (helps prevent hair fall).

Best products

Along with natural remedies, there are also products you can buy to make your hair look fuller and to help prevent excess shedding.


Biotin plays an integral role in hair health and growth. If you’re not getting enough of this vitamin from your diet, a supplement can help.

We like this biotin supplement because it also contains coconut oil, which helps improve absorption. Each capsule contains 5,000mcg of biotin.

Biotin will also improve your nail health – something we all can benefit from.

Big sexy hair powder

Until your hair returns to normal, volumizing products can help make your mane look fuller and thicker.

Sexy Hair’s  Powder Play is weightless (great for fine hair) and will give you tons of volume.

Tea tree oil shampoo

Tea tree oil contains tea tree essential oil, which has antibacterial properties to keep the scalp healthy. It prevents dandruff, too.

To keep your scalp healthy, your hair strong and to prevent excess shedding, a tea tree oil shampoo can help. We like this shampoo because it doesn’t contain harsh ingredients that can dry out your hair and make hair loss worse.

Hair loss can be devastating for any women, but it’s important to remember that this is only temporary. Soon enough, your hair will be back to normal and you can forget this ever happened (seriously). Until then, use the products and remedies above to keep your hair looking its best.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Postpartum Thyroiditis and How Can it Affect Hair Loss?

Postpartum thyroiditis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the thyroid gland after childbirth. It can initially cause high thyroid hormone levels leading to symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, rapid heart rate, and weight loss. Later, it can lead to low thyroid hormone levels causing symptoms like fatigue, depression, weight gain, and hair loss. If hair loss becomes excessive, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider to check for conditions like postpartum thyroiditis.

Can Stress Increase Postpartum Hair Loss?

Yes, stress can potentially increase postpartum hair loss. During periods of intense stress, the body can push more hair into the shedding phase. Given that postpartum is a time of significant hormonal changes and potential stress, managing stress levels can be beneficial in reducing hair loss.

Are There Specific Hair Products to Avoid During Postpartum Hair Shedding?

Avoid hair products that are chemically laden, as they can cause more harm than good during postpartum hair shedding. Harsh shampoos, conditioners, and styling products can lead to hair breakage and exacerbate the shedding. Opt for gentle, natural products that nourish the hair and scalp.

Can Certain Hairstyles Minimize the Appearance of Postpartum Hair Loss?

Yes, certain hairstyles can help minimize the appearance of postpartum hair loss. Loose, voluminous styles can make hair appear thicker. Additionally, avoiding tight hairstyles that pull on the hair can prevent further hair loss. Haircuts that add layers can also give the illusion of fuller hair.

Are There Specific Foods that Can Help Curb Postpartum Hair Loss?

A balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals can promote hair health. Foods high in protein, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E can support hair growth and strength. Examples include lean meats, fish, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and fruits. If you suspect a deficiency, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider.