As your due date draws near, you’re probably looking forward to losing your big belly and extra baby weight. But there’s one thing you may not look forward to losing: Your thick, shiny pregnancy hair. It’s not your imagination. Most women find that pregnancy makes their hair thicker. And it’s not the stress of having a newborn that’s making your hair fall out! Here’s what’s up with your pregnancy hair, what you can expect, and what you can do about it.
Is it normal to start losing your hair after giving birth?
Absolutely. Many new moms are surprised to be shedding more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth, but it's perfectly normal. And there's no need to panic: Your hair should be back to normal around your baby's first birthday. Normally between 85 and 95 percent of the hair on your head is actively growing, while the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. After the resting period, this hair falls out – often while you're brushing or shampooing it – and is replaced by new growth. The average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day. During pregnancy, an elevated estrogen level prolongs the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you may have thicker, more luxuriant tresses.
Why is this happening?
Not every woman experiences postpartum hair loss but, if it does happen, remember it’s a very normal and natural process. Most of us experience hair loss around the third month after birth, or a little later if you’re breastfeeding. Like almost everything else, you can blame your hormones. Oestrogen levels increase during pregnancy, which can prolong the growth phase of the hair. This means less hair falls out, making what you have gorgeously thick, healthy and shiny.
Here’s what you can do
- Keep hair moussed and moist. Ssing the right products can give the illusion of fullness. Look for a volumizing mousse at the drugstore or salon. Also, always use a conditioner or a leave-in hair moisturizer after shampooing.
- Try color. Coloring your hair is always a great way to give it body. If you feel that your hairline is receding and you have dark hair, highlighting the front can act as a camouflage. Or try glossing, a treatment that gives hair all-over shine.
- Change the part. If you normally part your hair in the middle, a side part can disguise thinning hair at the temples.
- Get a new cut. First and foremost, pay a visit to a stylist for professional advice. It may be time to get a different hairstyle that will incorporate those fine hairs in the front. If you previously had long hair, or a layered cut with pieces that came down to the chin in the front, you may need to shorten that hair into long bangs that frame the face. It's a good idea to go shorter in the front. Sexy, short-in-the-middle, longer-at-the-sides Brigitte Bardot bangs would look great. Layering your hair all over will also give you more fullness.
- Wear hair ornaments. Headbands, scarves, and bandannas are fun and stylish ways to disguise hair loss. They're especially popular with new moms who have little time to devote to hair care!
In most cases, your postpartum hair loss is totally normal and not anything to worry about. If you’re still seeing clumps in your hairbrush after your baby hits their 1st birthday, you may want to talk to a dermatologist to make sure there isn’t an additional cause for your hair loss.