05 Jun Hair loss after delivery
Q. I have just delivered my baby four months ago. I have noticed that my hair has started to shed more than usual. Is this normal? What is the cause? Is there anything I should worry about?
A. It is a normal phenomenon that many mothers will shed a considerable amount of hair on their scalp a few months after delivery. This “excessive shedding” is usually temporary and the hair will regain its fullness usually between 6 months to one year.
Normally, 85 to 95 percent of the scalp hair is in the growing phase and the rest in the resting phase. Hair in the resting period will shed off soon during brushing or shampooing and will be replaced by new growth. It is estimated that a woman sheds an average of about 100strands of hair a day.
During pregnancy, the increasing levels of oestrogen will stimulate more hair in the growing phase. As a result, many women will have thicker and luxuriant hair.
After delivery, levels of oestrogen plummet and more hair enter the resting stage resulting in an apparent excessive shedding when women shower or brush their hair.
This process will slowly taper off and the hair will regrow to its pre-pregnancy state.
While waiting for the hair to regrow, you may like to try the following:
- Get a good haircut: shorter hair may be easier to manage.
- Experiment with a new hairstyle. Some haircuts may make the hair look fuller.
- Try different styling products: these may “bulk up” the appearance of your hair.
- Use a good quality shampoo and conditioner.
- Avoid using a brush or comb that pulls or stresses the hair.
If the amount of hair loss is more than normal or if the regrowth is slow, you may like to consult a dermatologist as there may be other underlying medical conditions such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) or anaemia that may cause hair loss.
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