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There are so many changes that occur around being a new mom, with the biggest and most exciting being the arrival of your new child. But throughout the experience of pregnancy and birth, and in the months postpartum, a woman’s body is going through many changes. During the third trimester of pregnancy, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone rise, which affects the hair growth cycle, preventing hair from entering the shedding phase. While this change in hormone levels causes lush, full hair during the third trimester, when the estrogen and progesterone levels drop after birth, the hair that was in the resting phase begins to fall out, resulting in excessive hair shedding in the months postpartum. Many new moms notice clumps of hair on their pillow in the morning, or the shower drain clogged, which can be distressing for many. Luckily, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, in NYC, is an expert in many forms of hair loss and can help you prepare for postpartum hair loss.

Postpartum hair loss is a hair loss condition that occurs due to fluctuating hormone levels before and after pregnancy. Affecting between 40 and 50% of all pregnant people, postpartum hair loss cannot be prevented. However, the condition is only temporary, lasting for approximately six to fifteen months after the birth of your child. During this time, Dr. Green has many recommendations for lifestyle changes that can reduce the appearance of thinning and shedding hair, including hair care products and styling tips. For patients looking to thicken existing hair and encourage new hair growth, Dr. Green may recommend in-office treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma injections, to improve hair follicle thickness and blood supply to the area. If you have questions about postpartum hair loss, the best first step is to schedule an initial consultation with experienced New York City dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.

Expert board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green has been masterfully treating patients in her Upper East Side dermatology office for more than 25 years. Providing individualized advice and treatment plans to her patients, Dr. Green is a specialist in hair loss, whether it be from postpartum hair loss, telogen effluvium, thyroid conditions, alopecia areata, or other causes of hair shedding. Dr. Green’s goal is to diagnose the cause of your hair loss and determine the best treatment to regrow your hair. Whether it be topical or oral treatments for your hair loss or the best plan to grow new healthy hair, Dr. Green is here to help.

What is postpartum hair loss?

Postpartum hair loss is a common condition that affects between 40 and 50 percent of people who have recently given birth. The condition is characterized by excessive shedding of the hair in the months following the birth of your child. Some of the tell-tale signs of postpartum hair loss include seeing excess hair in the shower drain or on your pillow when you wake up, which can feel very distressing. The thinning hair is often most noticeable along the hairline and for people with longer hair. While the effects can certainly be disconcerting, true postpartum hair loss is only temporary, though the amount of time it takes for the hair growth cycle to stabilize and for regrowth to occur is variable from individual to individual. It is difficult to predict who will be affected by postpartum hair loss as the effects of pregnancy are different for each person. Further, there is no set way to prevent or treat postpartum hair loss, though there are a variety of lifestyle changes to promote hair health and mask the effects of the condition.

What causes postpartum hair loss? Why does postpartum hair loss happen?

Many patients wonder why postpartum hair loss happens, and the answer lies in the shift in pregnancy hormones. Your hair naturally goes through cycles of growth, resting, and then shedding, with most people losing, on average, 100 hairs a day. Most of the hair on your head – between 85 and 95 percent of all hair – is in the growing phase, or anagen phase, at any given time, which can last anywhere between two and six years. That means between 5 and 15 percent of the hair on your head is in the resting stage, after which the shedding begins to make room for new hair growth. But to understand why excessive shedding occurs after pregnancy, it is important to look back at what is happening to your hair during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, levels of estrogen rise in the body, which can affect a variety of functions in your body, including the cycle of hair growth and shedding. While estrogen levels are high, your hair remains in the resting stage and does not move into the shedding stage. So, the thick mane of hair during pregnancy is not the result of an increase in hair growth but rather an increase in hair retention. After giving birth, your hormone levels return to pre-pregnancy levels, meaning your level of estrogen drops. The hair shedding phase, which naturally comes after the hair resting phase, is then triggered for a much larger amount of hair than usual, leading to excessive hair shedding. This higher-than-average amount of hair loss is called telogen effluvium.

When does postpartum hair loss happen? When does postpartum hair loss start?

Many patients begin to notice postpartum hair loss about three months after giving birth. Your hair naturally goes through cycles of growth that consist of the growth phase, the resting phase, and the shedding phase. During pregnancy, rising hormone levels, such as increased estrogen and progesterone, cause hair that would normally move to the shedding phase to stay in the resting phase. After birth, when the hormone levels fall, the hair that remains in the resting phase during pregnancy will move into the shedding phase, meaning that there is a higher-than-typical amount of hair that is moving into the shedding phase, leading to more hair loss. This shift to the shedding phase, where hair falls out, can occur between three and five months after giving birth. While the start of the condition is variable from person to person, on average, this is when significant hair loss begins to occur postpartum.

KC 37 Before and After PRP Hair 2 sessions 6 months MGWatermark

PRP for hair – 2 sessions, 6 months

How long does postpartum hair loss last?

The amount of time that postpartum hair loss lasts is variable, but the condition is temporary, and the hair should fully grow back with time. New moms typically begin to notice excessive shedding of hair within three months of giving birth, as estrogen levels drop and hair moves from the resting phase into the shedding phase. Not all of the hair follicles that have moved to the resting stage during pregnancy will move into the shedding phase at once, and as such, excessive shedding can occur for six months to fifteen months postpartum. After this prolonged shedding phase, hair regrowth will occur, and your hair should resume its pre-pregnancy growth cycle. Some patients find that while the regrowth has occurred, their hair has not grown back with the same density as before their pregnancy, and still others may find that their hair texture has changed.

When does postpartum hair loss peak?

For most people who experience postpartum hair loss, the peak of excessive hair shedding occurs four months after they have given birth. Many patients report that their hair is thick and lush during their third trimester, when estrogen levels increase, preventing hair shedding. Postpartum hair loss typically begins between three and five months following birth. As estrogen levels fall, the hair that was held in the resting phase during the final trimester of pregnancy moves into the shedding phase of the growth cycle, meaning that a higher-than-typical amount of hair is in the shedding phase at once. This prolonged shedding phase can last for up to fifteen months, though most patients see a return to their regular growth cycle within one year of giving birth.

When does post-pregnancy hair loss stop?

The effects of postpartum hair loss – excessive shedding of the hair stops after the hair follicles that remained in the resting (catagen) stage during pregnancy have completed their shedding stage. Following the shedding stage, regrowth occurs, though often, the hair does not grow back as densely as before, and hair texture may have changed. The shedding stage of the hair that is arrested in the resting phase during pregnancy typically ends between six and fifteen months after birth. In other words, postpartum hair loss should stop after six to fifteen months.

How long does postpartum alopecia last?

Alopecia is a condition in which hair is shed from an area in which hair would typically grow. Postpartum hair loss can be a form of alopecia known as telogen effluvium, which is a temporary hair loss condition that occurs after a stressful event, such as pregnancy or childbirth. Typically a temporary condition that lasts up to six months, postpartum hair loss resolves once the growth cycle returns to normal. Most patients observe the condition of their hair has resolved by the time the child turns one.

Does postpartum hair loss grow back?

Yes! Postpartum hair loss is a temporary condition. The hair loss that occurs is a result of the shedding phase of the hair growth cycle, which occurs to make room for new growth. As a result, the hair that is lost during postpartum hair loss will grow back, though perhaps not with the same density as pre-pregnancy. If the alopecia, or excessive hair loss, continues for longer than fifteen months postpartum, it is best to seek out an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green. Hair loss that continues for longer than fifteen months may be a sign of a larger problem with your thyroid, low Vitamin D levels, or anemia. If you ever have any questions about your postpartum hair loss, you can schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Green, who will be able to advise you on the best methods to ensure new hair growth.

How to stop postpartum hair loss? How to stop postpartum hair fall?

Postpartum hair loss occurs due to the sudden falling levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone after the birth of your baby. While high levels of these hormones during the third trimester keep your hair in the resting phase, the sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone levels causes more hair than is typical to move into the shedding phase, resulting in more dramatic hair loss. This can certainly be distressing, but unfortunately, there are no ways to stop postpartum hair loss from occurring. Luckily, the condition is only temporary, and your hair growth cycle should return to normal within one year of giving birth.

JM before after PRP 1 year Back MGWatermark

How to reduce postpartum hair loss

While they may not be possible to prevent fully, postpartum hair loss symptoms can be reduced by making some lifestyle changes. First, it is essential to choose hair products that will not weigh down the hair, which can emphasize the appearance of thinning hair. Rather, patients should turn to volumizing shampoos to make the hair appear thicker and light conditioners to hydrate the hair without weighing it down. Secondly, patients should avoid the use of hair dryers and tight hairstyles, such as ponytails and tight braids, which can pull the hair and create more hair loss. Patients should also be sure to maintain a healthy diet that is rich in protein, iron, and Vitamin C to improve the health of hair follicles for stronger, thicker new hair growth.

How can I stop postpartum hair loss? How to prevent losing hair after pregnancy

There is nothing that can be done to stop postpartum hair loss, but it can be helpful to consult with an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green, who can help prepare you for the symptoms. If you are worried about the effects of postpartum hair loss, a great first step is to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Green, who can walk you through the stages of the condition and generate a treatment plan that will be safe for you and your baby. The hair loss condition is temporary, and your hair growth cycle should be back to normal within 6 to 15 months.

How to prevent hair loss after giving birth? How to prevent postpartum hair loss?

Postpartum hair loss is a temporary condition due to hormone fluctuations that occur during and after pregnancy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a guaranteed method for preventing this type of hair loss. Luckily, most patients observe that their hair returns to its natural state by the time their baby is one year of age, with hair loss and shedding improving six months after their pregnancy. Several hair care strategies help to reduce the effects and visibility of postpartum hair loss, including using volumizing shampoos and light conditioners, changing your hairstyle, and maintaining a diet rich in protein and iron.

Treatment of postpartum hair loss

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, many patients notice visible improvement in their hair by their baby’s first birthday. However, there are times when hair regrowth after childbirth does not follow this trend and does not occur as quickly as one would like. It is important to continue taking prenatal vitamins, maintain a healthy diet, and check other vitamin levels and hormones to make sure that the pregnancy hormones have returned to normal. Dr. Green will do a proper assessment of your hair, scalp, and medical history to ensure that the cause of your hair loss is not related to any systemic disease, such as lupus or other autoimmune diseases.

If you are not breastfeeding, Dr. Green may suggest other treatments for your hair loss, such as topical minoxidil (Rogaine) or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to thicken your existing hair and to help encourage new hair growth. A healthy lifestyle, proper hair health, and rest are all important in allowing the new hair to grow. Avoiding hairstyles that can pull your hair or affect your scalp should also be avoided during this time.

SH 35 female 2m prp hair 3 sessions MGWatermark

PRP for hair – 3 sessions, 3 months

What to do for postpartum hair loss

Postpartum hair loss is not a condition that can be prevented, though it is only temporary, affecting new moms for only six to fifteen months after the birth of their child. There are several treatment options to help reduce the visible symptoms of postpartum hair loss, which can include thinning hair, excessive hair shedding, and changes in hair texture. Some lifestyle changes can include the use of volumizing shampoo and lightweight conditioners and the avoidance of heat-based hair products, such as hair dryers and irons. For patients looking to strengthen their hair follicles for thicker, healthier new hair growth, Dr. Green may recommend the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, which uses injections of platelet-rich plasma derived from the patient’s blood. PRP injections are effective at improving new hair growth in patients with various forms of alopecia: thickening existing hair follicles, improving blood flow to the injection site, stimulating reparative cells, and extending the growth phase. To find out if PRP injections are the best treatment option for you, schedule an initial consultation with expert dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.

How to prevent hair loss after pregnancy? How to avoid postpartum hair loss

Unfortunately, postpartum hair loss is not a condition that can be prevented. It is possible to minimize the severity and promote healthy hair by maintaining a well-balanced diet and continuing to take your prenatal vitamins. To lower the risk of hair loss, you should also refrain from using products that lead to hair breakage, typically hair styling implements that use heat, such as straightening irons, blow dryers, or curlers. Dr. Green also recommends hairstyles that do not pull at your scalp, which includes tight ponytails and braids.

What can I do about postpartum hair loss? What helps with postpartum hair loss?

Many patients wonder how to treat postpartum loss. While the condition cannot be prevented, there are several ways to minimize or hide the symptoms of postpartum hair loss. These haircare methods are simple lifestyle changes that can help to retain hair or reduce the visibility of hair loss.

Hair Care Products: When trying to strengthen your hair, you can turn to a volumizing shampoo. Volumizing shampoos often contain ingredients such as biotin, which coats the hair to strengthen the hair follicle and make your hair look fuller. Other products that keep your hair moist, such as a mousse, can also help to make your hair look fuller. You need to be careful to avoid “conditioning shampoos” or any other intense conditioners. These conditioners can go down the hair, which further speeds up the process of hair loss. Instead, seek out a conditioner for fine hair, as those conditioners will be gentler on the hair follicle and not weigh down your hair.

Hair Styling: If you are experiencing postpartum hair loss, a visit to the stylist may be in order. Postpartum hair loss often results in hair loss along the hairline framing the face. As such, a middle part hairstyle with longer bangs meant to frame the face can make hair loss more visible. A haircut with bangs along the forehead and many layers can help to hide the hair loss at the hairline. Further, wearing your hair curly can help to hide the loss as opposed to wearing your hair straight. Stylists also recommend hair accessories like headbands or headscarves to cover up hair loss.

Does postpartum hair loss happen to everyone?

While postpartum hair loss does not happen to everyone, it is a very common condition—almost half of all people who have given birth experience hair loss postpartum. As everyone’s rate of hormonal changes is different, the severity and amount of time the condition lasts varies from person to person. It can be difficult to predict if postpartum hair loss will occur, and some patients may find that hair loss happens after one pregnancy but not another.

Does collagen help with postpartum hair loss?

Collagen is a protein that is found naturally in your body. It gives your skin, hair, and joints structure and strength. As collagen production decreases in our body as we age, collagen supplements have risen in popularity. Collagen is important in giving hair strength, and for that reason, many patients wonder if collagen supplements can help address postpartum hair loss. Some say that taking collagen supplements can help boost the growth of new hair following hair loss and can strengthen hair for a fuller look.

Before taking any supplements, be sure to consult with your OBGYN. Many supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, meaning there is little oversight to determine if they are safe and effective for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. For your safety and the safety of your baby, it is imperative to receive the go-ahead from your OBGYN before consuming any supplements or medications in case the side effects are harmful.

YR Before and after 4 sessions of PRP 10 7 2020 and 1 13 2021 MGWatermark

PRP for hair – 4 sessions, 4 months

Hair tourniquets that cause hair loss

Something to be aware of as a new mom, especially if you are experiencing postpartum hair loss, is hair tourniquets. A hair tourniquet is when a hair falls out of your head and gets wrapped around your baby’s finger, toe, or any other body part. This can cut off the circulation to that area for your baby. If you notice your baby crying for an unexplained reason, check their hands and feet for a hair tourniquet. If you find one, remove it by gently unraveling it. If you cannot find the loose end from which to unravel it, gently cut it off with small scissors. If you are struggling to remove the tourniquet, seek help from a healthcare professional immediately.

How do I get started today with treatment for my postpartum hair loss?

During pregnancy, many patients find that their hair is thicker and fuller than ever before. Still, afterward, between 40 and 50% of women postpartum may experience the alarming condition of postpartum hair loss. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and the postpartum period can lead to excessive shedding and loss of hair. Luckily, postpartum hair loss is usually a temporary condition, and there are many hair restoration treatment options available at Dr. Green’s private dermatology office that can help promote thicker, fuller, healthier hair, including topical rogaine and platelet-rich plasmas (PRP) treatment. Patients can also consult Dr. Green for the best hair care treatments that will reduce the appearance of excessive shedding until the hair growth cycle returns to normal, including the right shampoo and conditioner for everyday use.

Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned expert in treating hair loss, whether it is postpartum hair loss or hair loss related to other hormonal or metabolic changes. Dr. Green is a specialist in hair loss treatments, including Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and customizes each patient’s treatment plan to suit their particular needs and goals best. She is consistently identified as one of New York’s best healthcare providers by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors for her dedication to her patients and expertise. It is important to address the first signs of hair thinning early on in order to achieve optimal results. If you are experiencing postpartum hair loss or other types of hair loss, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Michele Green today by calling (212) 535-3088 or contacting her online.

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