For many women, there is nothing so frightening as the possibility of hair loss and the detrimental effect this would have on their appearance. It’s a worrying thought that, combined with other worries about their career, the kids, the haircare routine and everything in-between, can cause additional stress that adds to the likelihood of hair loss.

It’s important, therefore, that we provide a little reassurance by addressing a common misconception about hair loss and breastfeeding. The short answer is that breastfeeding does not cause hair loss. However,  hair loss may occur during this period because of a factor known as postpartum hair loss. This results from a change in oestrogen levels.

Today, we will go over the factors causing hair loss during and after pregnancy, followed by some advice that can help you minimise this hair loss.

What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?

The Australian Breastfeeding Association states that hair loss during the breastfeeding phase isn’t related to breastfeeding itself. It’s pregnancy that influences a change in the levels of hormones linked to hair growth. An increase in oestrogen, for example, causes hair to grow thicker during pregnancy until childbirth.

In the postpartum phase, after childbirth, a significant decrease in oestrogen moves more hair follicles into the shedding phase (more on this below). As a result, the hair continues its regular lifecycle but with slight increases in its falling frequency.

The hair that should have been shed during the pregnancy phase begins falling out now. However, this is nothing to be worried about, as it shows that the hormones are following their regular cycles, and the hair will soon return to the growth phase.

What Is The Typical Hair Cycle?

Before moving on to consider possible treatments and ways of dealing with this hair loss, we need to understand the regular growth cycle in the ‘life’ of a hair follicle. There are three main phases in this cycle.

Normally, we lose around 50-100 strands daily, but this obviously changes in the postpartum phase. More than 70% of hair in the anagen phase moves to telogen, and this is known by dermatologists as telogen effluvium.

Is There Any Treatment For Postpartum Hair Loss?

Most cases don’t require you to do anything, as postpartum hair loss is temporary, and your hair will return to its healthy pre-pregnancy cycle within a year. However, there are a few things you can do to minimise this hair loss and make your hair look thicker and fuller:

Eating healthily and exercising shouldn’t be forgotten either, as properly nourished hair is stronger, resists outside pressure better and regenerates faster. Include fruit and vegetables in your diet and keep yourself hydrated for better overall health and healthier hair.

Final Thoughts

Breastfeeding has nothing to do with hair loss. Changes in hormone levels cause irregular and temporary hair loss after childbirth as the regular cycle of hair growth is disrupted. While this might be distressing, it is nothing to worry about and will correct itself in a matter of months.

Nourishing your hair and putting less pressure on it when styling can minimise hair loss significantly. If your hair loss continues for more than a year after you’ve given birth, you should speak with an expert. Vinci Hair Clinic is offering a free consultation to all our new clients. Book your appointment today to end your hair loss worries!