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- 08/29/2016

Hair loss after having a baby: What to expect

H&PC Today

For new mothers concerned about hair loss, dermatologists say they needn’t worry. Many women experience noticeable hair loss after having a baby, and experts say it is normal, temporary and caused by changes in hormones.

“Excessive hair shedding after pregnancy is very common and caused by falling estrogen levels,” said board-certified dermatologist Jessica J. Krant, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “It usually starts about three to four months after giving birth and peaks several weeks later. The good news is that women don’t have to do anything to remedy it. By their child’s first birthday or even earlier, most women see their hair return to its normal fullness.”

If a woman is bothered by excessive hair shedding, Dr. Krant recommends the following tips:

  1. Use a thickening shampoo. These shampoos often contain ingredients like protein that coat the hair, making the hair appear fuller.
  2. Avoid “2-in-1” conditioner-shampoo. These contain heavy conditioners that can weigh down your hair and make it look limp.
  3. Use a conditioner formulated for fine hair. These contain lighter formulas that will not weigh down your hair. Avoid conditioners labeled “intensive,” as these are too heavy. 
  4. Use conditioner primarily on the ends of your hair. Avoid your scalp and the top half of your hair to prevent your hair from being weighed down. 
  5. Try a new hairstyle. Some haircuts can make hair appear fuller. An experienced hair stylist can help you find a cut, style or color that works well for you. Avoid treatments that may worsen hair loss, such as chemical treatments or excessive styling.

“If your hair does not regain normal fullness after one year, see a board-certified dermatologist,” said Dr. Krant. “People lose hair for many reasons, and an accurate diagnosis is essential for treatment.”

These tips are demonstrated in “Hair Loss in New Moms,” a video posted to the AAD website and YouTube channel. This video is part of the AAD’s “Video of the Month” series, which offers tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails. A new video in the series posts to the AAD website and YouTube channel each month.