Style, individuality, and even personality. We use our hair to show off all of these things, and our hair can tell a story about who we are with each little cut and color.
Which is why experiencing hair loss at any stage in life can feel so shocking and upsetting.
Whenever a body goes through a traumatic shock, hair can be one of the first casualties. Think of your body as a tree, and winter is coming. To protect itself, your body stops producing and lets go of hair to preserve the nutrients needed for vital functions. Some of the reasons the body can go through hair loss is:
- Hormone changes and therapy
- An accident
- Sudden weight loss
- Vitamin and nutrient deficiency
- and, you guessed it, childbirth
At any given time, 15% of human head hair is going through a shedding phase to make way for new hair. When estrogen levels increase during pregnancy, new hair stops growing and goes into a resting phase. For many women they feel like their hair is fuller than ever when pregnant.
But those nutritional debt collectors come calling once estrogen levels begin to return to pre-pregnancy levels. Postpartum women commonly go through a period of telogen effluvium, or temporary hair loss. About 3-4 months after delivery, many women experience what they would describe as excessive shedding of hair, this is because all the hair that was in a resting phase during pregnancy is ready to make way new strands and the old begin coming out at one time.
The good news is that it’s only temporary! You may see some thin spots around the scalp and ears, this can be even more frustrating if you didn’t have much hair to begin with. But your normal fullness should return several months later. If you continue to experience excessive hair loss either during pregnancy or after a year postpartum this may be a sign of vitamin deficiency and a doctor should be consulted.
Being a new mom can bring on many many surprises and challenges. Don’t let temporary hair loss catch you off guard. Embrace it. Rock a new ‘do for a little bit. (Maybe avoid tight ponytails). Either way, you’ve got this.