I had my baby three months ago, and now my hair is starting to fall out. Is this normal?
Many new moms are surprised to find themselves shedding more hair than usual sometime in the first few months after giving birth, but it's perfectly normal. And there's no need to panic. You won't go bald. In fact, your hair should be back to normal by your baby's first birthday.
Here's what's going on. Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and 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 your hair) and is replaced by new growth. The average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day.
During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage so there are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses. But after you give birth, your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage ó and that means more hair coming out in the shower or on the brush. This unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth.
By the way, not all women notice dramatic changes in their hair during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Among those who do, it tends to be more obvious among women with longer locks. What can I do about it?
You won't be able to stop the hair from falling out, but you can experiment with different hairstyles or hair products (such as hair thickeners or mousse) to give it a fuller look during this transition period. Many moms, tired of scooping hair out of shower drains or sweeping up clumps of long hair, find that this is a good time to go for a short cut. Plus, a short, wash-and-go hairstyle is easier to take care of when you have a new baby in the house and you're strapped for time.
A note to new moms with long hair: Strands of hair can end up tightly wrapped around your baby's tiny appendages, including his fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, and penis. This is called a "hair tourniquet" and it can be quite painful for your little one. If you find him crying for no apparent reason, check carefully for tight bands of hair.