Postpartum shedding

10 May

This article will dwell on postpartum (post pregnancy) shedding of the hair.  I think I may have experienced this after my pregnancies but I am not sure.  My hair was breaking and in a bad state at the time so I don’t know whether it was shedding or breakage that I experienced.  For the differences between shedding and breakage read this article.

Postpartum shedding occurs after you have delivered your baby and can last until your baby is a year old.  It is a normal hormonal response to the delivery of your baby.  During pregnancy, increased levels of oestrogen prolong the growing stage of the hair.  This means that during pregnancy less hair is shed as most of the hair is in the growing phase.  This is why some women get thicker and longer hair while they are pregnant.  Once the baby is born, oestrogen levels drop and a lot of hair follicles enter the resting phase after which the hair is shed.

As the hair sheds, you find yourself losing a lot of hair.  Some women report of hair coming out in clumps!  You also begin to find hair everywhere – floor, shower, clothes etc.  This can be disconcerting because you begin to wonder if you will end up bald.  In most women, the hair will return to its pre-pregnancy state.

So is there anything you can do about it?

During this time be gentle with your hair.  Cause as little stress on your hair as possible.  You do not want to add breakage to the shedding as well.  Continue to look after it as best as you can, given that you will have your hands full with a new baby.  Some women prefer to do protective styles during this time.  This will not stop the shedding but it does mean you won’t have to face the falling hair every day.  Some women say they have had success with using garlic shampoos and conditioners (you can add garlic cloves to your shampoo or conditioner if you don’t have access to these), taking odourless garlic supplements (please talk to your doc before starting any supplements).  I am a bit sceptical of these ‘treatments’ for postpartum shedding because I feel that it’s difficult to tell whether the garlic worked or whether the postpartum shedding came to an end by itself!

As a parting word, just remember – postpartum hair loss is not permanent hair loss.  The hair will grow again.

Have you experienced postpartum shedding?  Please share your experience below.


11 Responses to “Postpartum shedding”

  1. vee 10 May, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Ooh, yes…. I gave birth over 5 months ago. And my hair is dropping a lot! I don’t even put a brush to it anymore. I’m need desperate need of a relaxer, but will wait a bit.

    • Tendayi 11 May, 2012 at 8:48 am #

      All the best Vee. I agree that you put off the relaxer for a bit until the shedding stops.

  2. PushDumpFatButton 28 May, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Reblogged this on Push Dump Fat Button.

  3. Lukundo 12 August, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    My LO Is now 5 n the shedding/breaking wasn’t slowing down. I couldn’t take it anymore because people noticed. so one day I took a pair of scissors n did the big chop! Left onlyabout 2cm n now I have had it braided. Am hoping to start over with this hair. Hop to have healthier hair

    • Tendayi 13 August, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      All the best Lukundo. Post partum shedding can make the hair thin quite noticeably.

  4. Mandy Dlamini 11 June, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Please tell me…. what are protective hairstyles???

    • Tendayi 11 June, 2013 at 11:51 am #

      Protective styles are styles that protect the ends of the hair from rubbing, splitting, and being damaged by the elements as well as our clothes. The hair is either tucked away or braided so that it is not rubbing against clothes, couches, car seats etc.

      see this post on protective styles –

  5. Abi 12 February, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    yes i had post partum shedding after i had both my children but it grew back overtime

    • Raequell 19 February, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      Do hair stop growing during this phase of post partum shedding?

      • Tendayi 03 March, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

        No, hair continues to grow.


  1. Happy New Year | africanhairblog - 17 January, 2014

    […] is not in a protective style I do something really simple e.g. a bun.  I’ve been wary of post partum shedding.  I’ve been looking out for it.  It hasn’t started yet (thank goodness).  I do plan […]

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