The process is scientific. what happens is that the anagen stage – which is the growth stage of hair- often accelerates during pregnancy. More hair follicles actually become active during this time and the normal daily shedding that would take place is drastically slowed, so that’s why during pregnancy the hair often gets thicker and longer. Also, around this time the hormones are high and this accelerates growth as well.
Postpartum shedding often sets in anywhere from three months to six months after you have your baby and its effects can last over a year. Remember that usually during that nine month stretch, little to no shedding takes place. What happens is that as your body returns to normal hormone levels, the hair growth cycle kicks in and says “Hey! It’s been a while since I did some cleaning”; hence, most of those extra follicles that came into operation during pregnancy, start to let go off the hair that should have shed.
The thing is that with regular shedding hair is often released a little at a time. With postpartum shedding however, the problem is that it all happens at once; there seems to be a drastic release of hair instead of a slow and measured periodic effect that you get with normal everyday shedding. What makes matters worse, is that you can go for days and it will seem like every time you breathe you have handfuls of hair falling out everywhere, then you notice the thinning.
What Should You Do?
Prior to Delivery
- Stay calm– this is easier said than done if you’ve never heard of postpartum shedding, but one way to calm yourself is to be informed. Once you are informed, remind yourself that stress will only make the situation worse. It also helps a tad if you remind yourself that it will grow back and unless your hair and scalp are severely damaged, you will not go completely bald.
- Know what to expect – while persons have documented loss on Youtube showing huge bald patches all over the head, postpartum shedding usually occurs at the edges; the widow’s peak, temples and nape area. Knowing this can assist you in that you can alter your styling choices to limit the excessive loss in some cases. In cases where loss is still a bit much, you can style your hair in such a way that it covers the affected areas. Some women use this opportunity to get a tapered cut.