Motherhood calls for a new wardrobe and requires wearing multiple hats, but if managing hair loss was one role you weren't prepared to take on, hang in there. The light at the end of your locks withering away starts with knowing the facts about pregnancy and postpartum hair loss. Here to answer your questions about all things pregnancy hormone-related hair loss is Beverly Hills-based OB-GYN Dr. Thaïs Aliabadi M.D., who also teaches medical residents at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and medical students at the University of Southern California. Keep scrolling to find out the sources and solutions of hair loss during and after pregnancy, how much hair loss to expect, and the supplements needed for regrowth when it's all shed and done.
Hair Loss During Pregnancy
Dr. Aliabadi says that hair loss during pregnancy is normal but additional factors to be aware of include a hormonal shift, vitamin deficiency, mineral deficiency, and stress. While hair loss can occur temporarily/minimally during pregnancy, Dr. Aliabadi notes that hair usually becomes fuller/thicker due to the shift in hormones. But to avoid any surprises, expect to lose an average of 50-100 hairs per day. Rest assured, brushing and washing won’t increase hair loss if done correctly. She says, "To brush, use moderately stiff, natural bristle brush and apply full strokes from scalp to tips of hair to distribute natural oil. Be gentle and avoid brushing your hair when wet. It's best to use comb on wet hair." As for washing, Dr. Aliabadi assures it's safe to use a basic shampoo designed for your hair type, but to avoid ones that contain too many chemicals. If you're looking for a new shampoo, try any of the deeply refreshing OUAI Shampoos, all of which are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and safe for expecting moms.
Postpartum Hair Loss
If you experienced hair loss during pregnancy, there's a chance you'll shed hair after the fact too. Still, you may only experience hair loss after you've given birth. "Hair loss is more common during postpartum than during pregnancy itself. Hair loss occurs most often after delivery around 1-5 months postpartum," Dr. Aliabadi tells us. Certain causes and symptoms include:
- Hypothyroidism: one symptom of hair loss
- Iron deficiency: can cause hair thinning
- Trauma: hair shedding/loss
- Vitamins: ask your doctor
Daily Care and Supplements
To get your locks back on track, Dr. Aliabadi suggests using a Volumizing shampoo (hi, OUAI Volume Shampoo) or a conditioner formulated for fine hair, and to avoid shampoos labeled “conditioning shampoo” and conditioners labeled “intensive conditioners.” As for pregnancy hair loss solutions that start on the root, Dr. Aliabadi recommends prenatal vitamins, Biotin, and Rogaine Solution (if you're not breastfeeding).