Main content
Coping with postpartum hair loss? We tapped experts for the lowdown on hair shedding after pregnancy and tips for dealing with it.

Postpartum Hair Loss: How To Handle Hair Shedding After Pregnancy

Coping with postpartum hair loss? We tapped experts for the lowdown on hair shedding after pregnancy and tips for dealing with it.
Postpartum Hair Loss: How To Handle Hair Shedding After Pregnancy

The nine months of your pregnancy are a time full of change. While some of these physical adjustments can be challenging at times (like swollen feet and stretch marks), it’s all worth it in the end when you meet your bundle of joy. However, once you bring your little one home, you may be surprised to find yet another change—increased hair shedding, also known as postpartum hair loss. Although it can be worrisome at first, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Postpartum hair loss is actually very common and women all over the world deal with this issue.

Whether you’ve recently given birth or your due date is fast approaching, there are several ways you can prepare for postpartum hair loss. Ahead, we consulted board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green and licensed psychologist (and PsychoHairapy founder) Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka to find out more about this topic. Read on to discover what causes postpartum hair loss, how long it can last, and more.

What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?

Although hair fall can have many causes, postpartum hair loss is directly linked to hormonal changes that occur after giving birth. According to the Cleveland Clinic, estrogen levels rise during the third trimester, which can help prevent hair fall during this time. “During pregnancy, hair stays in the anagen [growth] phase longer due to a surge in estrogen,” Dr. Green explains. “As a result, hair grows longer and looks fuller during pregnancy.”

However, once those nine months are over, estrogen levels drop, which can cause your hair follicles to enter a resting phase (known as the telogen phase). This, in turn, can lead to excessive hair fall. “As the body readjusts to its pre-pregnancy phase, there’s often a hormonal imbalance,” explains Dr. Green. “As the hormones stabilize, it can cause increased shedding and no [hair] growth.”

Is Postpartum Hair Loss Normal?

Unfortunately, yes, increased hair shedding after pregnancy is usually considered normal. While it’s generally normal to lose some hair after pregnancy, it’s still essential to speak with your doctor about any hair loss concerns you may have. If you’re experiencing excessive hair loss that persists for more than a year, your doctor can help you pinpoint whether an underlying condition may be to blame.

While postpartum shedding is common, it doesn’t mean that everyone will experience it. There are several other changes to your mane that can occur postpartum, such as changes in your hair’s texture and strands that feel brittle, dry, or dull. According to Dr. Green, the severity of these changes can also vary for each individual. If you’re dealing with changes to your mane’s look and feel, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted hair stylist for some tips and styling advice.

Good hair day by @rochellegoldenhairstylist.

How Long Does Postpartum Hair Loss Last?

Every pregnancy and postpartum journey is different, so the length of postpartum hair shedding can vary from person to person. According to Dr. Green, some women will begin to see signs of postpartum hair loss as soon as three months after giving birth, while others won’t experience shedding until six to nine months out. Once postpartum shedding begins, Dr. Green says it can last up to 12 months.

How much hair you lose during this time may be related to how much your hair grew during pregnancy. This is because the normal hair fall that was delayed during pregnancy may shed all at once. So, if your hair grew significantly during pregnancy, you may notice more hair loss than someone who experienced less growth. “The hair loss experienced post-pregnancy is hair that you would have lost during a normal hair growth cycle,” Dr. Green says.

How Can I Prevent Hair Shedding After Pregnancy?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent hair shedding after pregnancy. As Dr. Green stated above, the hair loss you experience after pregnancy is typically the hair you would have lost during a regular growth cycle. However, while postpartum shedding may be inevitable, Dr. Green says that there are several things you can do to support your strands.

She recommends eating a healthy diet rich in leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), proteins, and healthy fats (like avocados)—and making sure your hair stays clean, conditioned, and moisturized. You can also try a shorter haircut to help create the illusion of more fullness and volume. Playing with your hair part is another great way to help disguise thin patches.

Should I Be Worried About Postpartum Hair Loss?

According to Dr. Mbilishaka, it’s normal for hair shedding after pregnancy to impact your emotional state. “Many new parents experience a hit to their self-esteem, feelings of frustration, and sometimes even social withdrawal.” This is why Dr. Mbilishaka believes that building a relationship with a haircare expert, especially a trichologist, is vital when coping with postpartum hair loss.

Trichologists are hair and scalp specialists who look to solve issues in a holistic way. “These pros aren’t just about fixing the issue; they’re there to listen and guide you through this tricky phase with genuine care and understanding,” she says. “This connection does more than just help your hair—it’s a lifeline for your mental and emotional health during a time when you might feel particularly vulnerable.”

There’s no need to struggle alone when dealing with postpartum hair loss. “Knowing there's someone in your corner who understands and is rooting for you can lighten the load significantly, making the journey through postpartum hair loss a bit less daunting,” says Dr. Mbilishaka.

Good hair day by @chloe_ste_marie.

Does Biotin Help with Hair Shedding After Pregnancy?

Biotin is a B vitamin that plays an important role in many bodily functions, like metabolizing food and supporting the healthy function of blood cells. According to the Cleveland Clinic, most people get adequate amounts of biotin through their diet. However, some people also choose to take biotin as a nutritional supplement, because they believe it can help support hair growth. When it comes to taking biotin supplements for postpartum hair loss, scientific research is limited. We recommend speaking with your doctor to see which nutritional supplements may be right for your postpartum needs.

Biotin can also be found in some haircare products, like Redken Extreme Length Shampoo and Conditioner. While biotin-infused products won’t grow hair from the root, they may help strengthen your existing strands and reduce the chance of experiencing breakage. If you’re interested in trying haircare products with biotin, your stylist can help recommend shampoos, conditioners, and other strengthening products for your daily haircare routine.

Good hair day by @iamsiannarenee.

Will My Hair Grow Back After Postpartum Hair Loss?

Postpartum hair loss can be stressful, but the good news is that it’s usually temporary. Most women who experience postpartum hair loss will see their manes return to their former glory. “Postpartum hair loss does grow back as hormones stabilize and the hair returns to the anagen [growth] phase,” Dr. Green says.

It can take a few months for your hair to return to the anagen phase, so don’t expect an overnight recovery if your hair has been shedding for several months. “It can take up to three months to start noticing shedding as hair enters the telogen [resting] phase—the phase that hair goes into the dormant cycle—and starts to fall out,” Dr. Green explains. “The telogen phase can last another three months, so it can take up to six months before hair starts to make a complete recovery.”

As mentioned above, if it’s been more than a year postpartum and you’re still experiencing significant shedding, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor.

Which Haircare Products Should I Use for Thin, Weakened Hair?

While there’s no quick fix for thin, brittle strands, there are haircare products that can help you fake the look of fuller, thicker-looking strands. Here are a few products that can help you on your journey to longer, healthier-looking hair.

Biolage Professional Full Density Shampoo

To help temporarily boost the thickness of your mane, we recommend a shampoo like Biolage Professional Full Density Shampoo. Formulated with biotin, zinc PCA, and Gluco-Omega Blend, this shampoo gently cleanses the hair by removing follicle-clogging impurities. When used as a system with the Biolage Professional Full Density Conditioner, it helps fortify your strands and promotes healthier-feeling, thicker-looking hair.

L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Shampoo

If keeping your hair strong and hydrated is your top priority, opt for a formula like the L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Shampoo. This shampoo is made with gold quinoa and protein to restructure damaged or weakened hair. Use it in tandem with the Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Conditioner for more resilient strands that are visibly less damaged.

L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Masque

A weekly hair mask can go a long way when it comes to boosting the look and feel of your mane. Aside from a strengthening shampoo and conditioner, we suggest trying a nourishing and deep conditioning treatment—like the L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Masque. This hair mask instantly restores very sensitized hair and hydrates weakened strands.

Kérastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Original Hair Oil

When styling your mane, try to be as gentle as possible and avoid heat styling as much as possible. If you do decide to use hot tools, help protect your hair with a heat protectant—like Kérastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Original Hair Oil. This luxurious-feeling hair oil adds shine and deeply nourishes your strands to help prevent breakage.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Reset Overnight Hair Serum

Try incorporating an overnight hair serum into your regimen to further strengthen, soften, and revitalize your mane. We like Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ultimate Reset Overnight Hair Serum because it’s safe for use on different hair types and textures. (See one editor’s glowing Shu Uemura review of the beauty sleep-friendly formula on her 4C texture.)

Next Up: Flat Hair: Why It Happens and 22 Expert Tips To Help Add Volume

Interested in more expert hair tips? salon locator to book an appointment with a pro stylist near you.

Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device