• Jemma

hair today, gone tomorrow

Postpartum hair loss is another one of the hush, hush secrets that people never talk about to pregnant women. Why we keep all these things hidden, yet people opening discuss the 'horror' of child birth, God only knows. Surely it’s better for a woman to be prepared for; not only the fourth trimester, but what happens after that....



I’d completely forgotten about the hair loss that occurs around month 3/4 after having your baby and it really took me by surprise this time around. One day I was merrily having a rare shower alone and as I washed my hair clumps of it were coming away in my hands. Not the odd hair we’re used to seeing flow down the plug hole I’m talking fist fulls.


So, why does this happen after months of lustrous full locks during pregnancy? And what can we do to help retain the hair and then tame the baby hairs that grow afterwards? I spoke to a couple experts to get the facts and top tips to help us mums out.


 

Stephanie Ooi aka @the_gp_mum gave me the medical background....


Almost every mum I know has experienced the dreaded hair fallout after their baby is born! I used to refer to it as my “tufts” but the technical term is Telogen Effluvium!


It’s normal to shed anything from 30-150 hairs from our scalp on a daily basis. Hair should regrow automatically, so that the number of hairs on our head remains constant. Each hair goes through a growing phase and shedding phase. Normally 10% of the hair is in the shedding phase but in telogen effluvium it increases to 30% or more. Childbirth can trigger this as well as emotional stress, marked weight loss or introduction of a new medication. During pregnancy Oestrogen levels increase, this can prolong the growth phase of the hair meaning it doesn't fall out as often. The hair loss bit comes after you’ve given birth, as your hormones revert to normal and the hair that was supposed to fall out, but didn’t, comes out all at once.