Postpartum shedding

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.


  1. vee says

    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.

      • Vee says

        Sadly, I’m going through this shedding again, four months after the birth of my second baby. Detangling after a wash is a nightmare! My hair no longer looks healthy and my hairline is fast fading. I’ve actually resorted to cutting it, from bra-strap length to below my ear. I’m now at a loss at to how to style it. Previously, wash-n-go was my preferred style, but I can’t risk it now. Even protective styling could cause more loss.

  2. Lukundo says

    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

  3. sabrina says

    I’m currently 7 1/2 months pregnant and my hair is continuously itching in the middle of my head…my hair dresser said that i could have psoriasis or fungus. Could that be possible ? Also what is the rule on prenatal pills when pregnant? I was told that you must continue taken them 6 weeks after you have your baby or you will experience hair lost

    • Tendayi says

      I think you should see a doc or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. When I gave birth the doc told me to keep taking prenatal vitamins for 6 months especially since I was breastfeeding. With a new born baby though i was so erratic in taking them. I often wonder if my shedding would have been better had i followed the doctors instructions properly.


  1. […] baby at the end of 2013, so 2014 began with a post where I was celebrating that I did not have any post-partum shedding.  Soon after that, the post-partum shedding began! I shed so much that my hairline thinned […]

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