Why does your hair fall out after pregnancy?

No, it's not a curse to make you feel even more like a breastfeeding, sleep-deprived zombie, and it's not going to make you bald! But why does you hair fall out in the weeks after birth?

To start with, if you are reading this and you haven’t had a child before, fear not! You are not going to get the Kojak treatment upon the arrival of your darling baby!

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However, after the ups and downs of pregnancy hair care, you might well expect there to be some effect to your hair (along with the rest of your body), as things gradually adjust back to your pre-bump days.

Hair changes

When you are not pregnant, your hair gradually replenishes itself. A few strands fall out every day, and unless you are suffering from a particular medical condition which affects hair growth, more hair arrives to replace the loss.
During pregnancy, however, your body does not shed its daily load of hair. (My hairdresser assures me this is part of the process of the body going into ‘store’ mode to retain anything which might be needed for the birth.) The result can often mean that pregnant women suddenly notice they have lush, lustrous hair.

Post-natal fall out

Once the baby is born, your body does a bit of a ‘stock take’ and all that extra stored up hair is one of the things to go.
It doesn’t all fall out in one day, but gradually, the extra hair will go along with the returned daily fall-out. It can sometimes seem much more dramatic only because of this extra hair being shed. You might notice your hairbrush getting somewhat bushy, or your bath plug hole getting more regularly clogged!
Some women find this hair loss appears to a greater or lesser extent with each pregnancy, and others may find the hair loss only happens when they stop or reduce their breastfeeding routine.
Compared to your pregnancy months, your hair may now feel much thinner, but in reality, it is most likely simply to have returned to the thickness it was in the first place.

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Looking after your hair and yourself

The feeling that your hair is all going to fall out may be exacerbated by the fact that, in the months after the birth, you will be feeling more rundown. You are recovering from the birth, and now dealing with daily tiredness. It is easy to let ‘beauty’ regimes go out of the window, and being rundown in itself can affect your hair’s health and appearance.
Whilst there really are more important things in life than trying to look like a catwalk model straight after having a baby, try to add a good session of hair conditioning once a week, to give you some valuable ‘me time’.

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