Postpartum hair loss
One of the most difficult hair loss consultations I have to do is with a woman with thinning hair—not just any woman, though. This woman is a new Mom. Everybody—the patient, the baby, and even I sometimes—are all crying because the hair loss can be tremendous! Literally, hair is rapidly shedding, clogging the drain, filling the brush, and is everywhere! This situation was recently reported all over the world with Kim Kardashian as well as with Princess Kate.
This is NOT female pattern hair loss (FPHL); this is a condition called Telogen Effluvium (TE). It is a reactive hair loss. In other words, is reacting to some physiologic situation—that beautiful new baby, in this case.
The rapid hormonal changes after giving birth, the physiologic stress of labor and delivery, and even significant sleep depravation causes this type of hair loss. The really good news is that it is temporary and, in most cases, reversible. The hair usually grows back—eventually. It is important to realize that the hair can shed for up to three to four months…AND…it will take another three to six months for it to grow back. Not minutes, hours, days, or weeks, but months!
Now, just because a woman experiences TE does not mean that she may also have the most common cause of thinning hair in women—Female Pattern Hair Loss as well.
When I ask older women during their hair restoration consultations when they began to lose their hair, a very common response is “after I had my kids”. What happened was that the expected regrowth of hair from the TE did occur, but the density of their hair did not recover to their pre-pregnancy thickness. In other words, their hair didn’t grow back as thick as it was before the pregnancy; and, with each subsequent baby, their hair thinned and thinned and thinned.
Just remember, the hair loss in new Mom’s—Telogen Effluvium—is temporary and it will grow back!