Postpartum Hair Loss: The Causes and Treatment

  • 4th March 2024
  • 7 min read

Most people lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, according to the NHS [1]. However, after giving birth, it’s common for women to experience increased shedding. In fact, 4 out of 10 new mums will experience hair loss in the first three months after having their baby [2].

Learn more about what postpartum hair loss is, its causes, and how to manage it with our FUE Clinics guide.


What is postpartum hair loss?

Postpartum hair loss typically occurs in the weeks or months following childbirth. You might notice more hair in the shower drain or coming out when you brush.

This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium, triggered by factors such as stress, trauma, and hormonal changes — common occurrences during and after giving birth.


What causes postpartum hair loss?

Hair loss after pregnancy usually comes down to hormones. High levels of oestrogen and progesterone support hair growth, keeping hairs in the growing stage of the hair growth cycle for longer [3, 4]. As a result, many women notice their hair looking thicker and shinier around 15 weeks into pregnancy [5].

However, after giving birth, hormone levels start to return to normal, and the extra hair growth begins to shed. While most women only lose the additional hair they gained during pregnancy, it can still be alarming to see hair falling out.


How long does postpartum hair loss last?

According to the NHS, hair loss usually lasts around three months after giving birth [6]. If it continues for longer, there might be another reason behind it.

To learn more, read our guide on the main causes of female hair loss.


Can postpartum hair loss be prevented?

Unfortunately, hair loss after pregnancy can't be completely prevented — it's a natural part of the recovery process after giving birth. However, there are some steps you can take to support hair regrowth, including:

  • Maintaining a nutritious diet — Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help support overall hair health and encourage regrowth. For example, hair follicles are primarily made up of protein, so getting enough in your diet can aid growth. Lean meats, beans and legumes are excellent sources of protein to include in your diet! 
  • Be gentle with your hair — Hairstyles that pull on the scalp — like a slick back bun — can put unnecessary strain on the already vulnerable follicles. This is known as traction alopecia and can contribute to postpartum hair loss. Instead, opt for a looser hairstyle or wear your hair down.


How to hide postpartum hair loss

Although hair loss is nothing to be ashamed of, there are a few things you can do to manage it and boost your confidence.

  • Try a different hairstyle — Opting for a shorter cut or a bob can create the illusion of fuller hair. These hairstyles are often easier to maintain, which can be especially helpful when adjusting to life with a new baby! However, keep in mind that hair loss after pregnancy is typically temporary, so avoid making drastic changes that you might regret later. 
  • Use volumising products — You might want to try a volumising shampoo or mousse to add some body to your hair if it's looking thin. Experiment with different products to find the perfect one for your hair type.
  • Try heatless curls — Heatless curls are a gentle way to add volume and reduce the appearance of thinning hair. Braids are a simple way to do this. Simply braid your hair while it's still slightly damp, leave it overnight or for a few hours and then unravel it for natural-looking waves.


Other causes of hair loss in women

If you're experiencing persistent hair loss after pregnancy, there could be another cause. Other causes of female hair loss or thinning include:

  • Female pattern baldness — Also known as androgenetic alopecia, female pattern baldness typically presents as a gradual thinning of hair, especially at the crown and along the parting line. It's believed to be a hereditary condition [6].
  • Stress — High-stress levels can increase hormones like cortisol that help us deal with potentially dangerous situations. This can lead to more hair follicles entering the resting (telogen) stage of the growth cycle. The result can be excessive shedding and thinning of the hair. 
  • Diet — Ensuring you have the essential vitamins and minerals, like iron, zinc, biotin, and vitamins A, C, and D, in your diet is key to hair health. To learn more, read our guide on nutritional and vitamin deficiencies that can cause or worsen hair loss.
  • Medications — Hair loss may be a side effect of various medications, including chemotherapy, antidepressants, and weight loss drugs. Read our guide on medications that may cause hair loss to learn more about potential side effects and management strategies.
  • Medical conditions — Various medical conditions, like thyroid disorders and autoimmune diseases, can also contribute to hair loss in women. It's important to consult with your GP for diagnosis and treatment if you suspect a medical condition may be causing your hair loss.


Can I get a hair transplant for postpartum hair loss?

Hair loss after pregnancy is usually temporary and should resolve itself over time. Therefore, it usually doesn't require treatment like a hair transplant. Instead, focus on promoting overall hair health through proper nutrition, stress management, and gentle hair care practices. 


Learn more about FUE Clinics

Postpartum hair loss usually improves within a few months, but some genetic conditions like pattern baldness may persist regardless.

Hair transplantation offers a long-term solution for alopecia, delivering lasting results when you select a trusted clinic such as FUE Clinics. The newly transplanted hairs seamlessly integrate with your natural hair, resulting in a natural look that can boost your confidence.

To learn more, read our guide to everything you need to know about hair transplant surgeries.

Book a free, no-obligation consultation to understand if you're a candidate for a hair transplant. Or, check out our FAQ section to discover more about our clinic and the procedures we offer. 









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