Postpartum Hair Loss: Why It Happens and How to Recover

There is almost no greater feeling than giving birth to your very own bundle of life and joy — the feeling can almost seem unmatched. However, once the new realities of life post-baby hit you, you may notice some bodily changes you’re not too proud of.

Although there is beauty in childbirth, there are some possible side effects. Perhaps you’ve noticed your hair is shedding more than usual, or your edges are beginning to thin out.

If you’ve noticed these symptoms, you’re probably suffering a little afterbirth side effect known as postpartum hair loss. However, there is no need to worry!

Before you go mad and take a pair of scissors to your thinning locks of hair, keep on reading to learn more about this common form of hair loss.

Postpartum Hair Loss & Shedding | Natural Hair

Why Am I Losing Hair?

Most pregnant women will indeed undergo a period of their hair thriving more than it ever has before. It’ll probably appear bouncier, fuller, and even longer. This all relates to hormones as well as the hair growth cycle.

Our hair goes through an active hair growth cycle known as anagen. The anagen phase will go on from two to seven years until it then enters the catagen phase, then moving along to the resting stage known as the telogen phase. After the telogen phase is the exogen phase, where hair loss happens, and the process will repeat itself all over again.

Hormones tie into this due to your body’s estrogen levels fluctuating. While you’re pregnant, your estrogen levels will increase more than usual, and you’ll go into the anagen stage. This is why when you’re pregnant, it seems that your hair is thriving, its because it is!

So now, I can imagine why you’re probably a bit confused as to how you went from flourishing tresses to a pile of strands on the bathroom counter.

After giving birth, your estrogen levels will drop, and you will go back to your pre-birth levels. You will then proceed to go through the rest of the cycle’s phases, and after a while, you will inevitably hit the exogen phase where your hair will shed. Just as your hair grew rapidly, unfortunately, your hair will also shed rapidly.

This is also referred to as postpartum alopecia.

Is This Normal for All Women?

Postpartum alopecia is absolutely nothing to worry about and is completely normal for women of all shapes, sizes, and races. Your hair should return to normal by your baby’s first birthday.

Can I Prevent Postpartum Hair Loss?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a proven elixir for preventing postpartum alopecia.

Of course, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle will possibly help, but nothing is guaranteed. The best thing you can do is to be patient and remember that your hair will come back to you in due time.

PostPartum Hair Loss: Tips and Tricks to Grow Back Your Hair After Baby

How to Treat Postpartum Hair Loss

Of course, sitting still and being patient is a lot easier said than done! I mean, sitting by and having to cover up patches of fallen hair isn’t exactly an easy thing to do for anyone. If you’re itching to try some DIY hair growth experiments, consider trying a few of these.

Leave It Alone

One of the best things you can do for your hair during this time is not to manipulate it so much. By continually messing with it, brushing it, washing, tugging at it, etc., you’re giving your hair more of a chance to shed.

Overly brushing your hair will cause you to see your hair fall out in larger clumps. Over shampooing your hair will cause your hair to be dry and then shed more as well. The best advice is to leave it alone simply.

Change Your Lifestyle

Practicing a healthier lifestyle will not only help with your hair’s health but will better your overall health too. Speaking mainly to your hair’s benefit, however, by eating healthier, you are promoting hair growth.

You can find many vital nutrients that your hair and body need to flourish in fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc.

By exercising along with your healthy eating habits, this will also help with your body’s overall health, and when your body is healthy, your hair is healthy.

Get oil Massages

Massages are really easy tricks to stimulating some hair growth. Try buying some oils that are known for promoting hair growth. My favorites are castor oil (a very thick oil, a little goes a long way), and almond oil (a lot thinner, won’t weigh your hair down). Take your oil of choice, rub it into your hands, and then massage your scalp with oil. These massage motions will bring some blood circulation, and the oil will be very moisturizing, which will make your hair follicles very happy.

Castor Oil USDA Organic Cold-Pressed


Take Vitamins

Taking some vitamins will help give your hair a needed boost. Some recommended vitamins, according to the American Pregnancy Association, are:

  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Switch Up Your Shampoo and Conditioner

We all have our favorite hair products, but you may want to consider switching it up during this time. Your average shampoos could be overly clarifying, meaning they’re stripping your hair’s moisture too much. Your hair maintaining moisture is necessary to see any type of growth after postpartum hair loss.

Nioxin System 1 Cleanser Shampoo for Natural Hair


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you want to use a gentler shampoo, maybe consider a more moisturizing one.

For as conditioning, you’ll also want to use a very moisturizing one and make sure you’re using it after every shampoo. So, for those of you that try to get lazy on wash day and hope a leave-in conditioner alone will do the trick, think again. You’ll need to incorporate both types of conditioner into your hair routine for postpartum hair loss.

ArtNaturals Argan Hair Growth Conditioner


Postpartum hair loss is not a pretty part of the pregnancy aftermath, but it is quite common. It’s easy to get down on yourself during this trying time, but you are not alone in the struggle. To learn more about hair growth, read How To Grow Long Healthy Strands Naturally.

Traneah Ford

Author: Traneah Ford

Traneah is a content writer based in St.louis, MO. She also writes for the Arkansawyer newspaper, a campus-based newspaper for The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Bio