Post-partum hair loss – or shedding excess hair after giving birth – can be a really stressful time for new mother’s – so much so, that celebrity mum’s have spoken out about it to help others.
Author Giovanna Fletcher and TV personality Stephanie Davies have both spoken openly about their relationship with their hair during and after pregnancy.
Raising the profile is helping other pregnant women and new mum’s to understand what it is, how shocking it can feel and what can be done to help.
What is post-partum hair loss?
So many physical changes happen to a woman during their nine months of pregnancy, giving birth and in the weeks and months afterwards. Hair volume and texture changes due to hormonal fluctuations and lots of pregnant women sing about their fuller hair and shiny, clear skin.
However, for many, the lustrous locks don’t last as oestrogen levels fall when baby is born, leaving mum with excess cortisol (stress) hormones which can play havoc with hair follicles. The pre-natal period often finds women’s hair shifting from the anagen or growth stage to the telogen or shedding phase. While it usually grows back, it can be an anxious time.
The “mom hair” debate
This change in the hair cycle of new mum’s has heralded the phenomenon of ‘mom hair’ – a bit like ‘mom jeans.’ Lots of new mother’s take drastic steps to thicken their dwindling hair count by chopping it off, layering or adding a fringe. Most experts say this is a bad idea.
When women are feeling particularly uncomfortable with their bodies, a brave, bold haircut can be overly drastic and draw attention to them. On top of that, hair tends to regrow after the post-partum stage and until you know what you’re dealing with, say 12 months after giving birth when your hair has settled, it is advised to leave well alone.
‘Mom hair’ can be avoided and for most women, post-partum hair loss is temporary and hair will be back to normal within months. For those who find themselves with thinning patches of hair or bald patches there are also lots of great cover ups and techniques available, including the increasingly popular scalp micropigmentation but it is important to be patient – and follow the advise of many celebs who are speaking out about it – don’t panic!