One year post partum and my hair is just now returning to my pre-pregnancy state. During pregnancy most women love their hair, and I was no exception. It grew and grew and grew, looked healthy and full and shiny and bright (well, that’s my memory of it, at least).
Post partum it felt like I was shedding at an alarming rate. My new hair cut was as much for style and ease as it was to decrease my perception that I was losing my hair. When hair clogs the drain after a serious shampoo, it looks like less when the hairs are short. A non-pregnant / non- post partum woman will shed 50-150 hairs per day. Losing more than this amount can seem excessive, I can empathize.
There is scientific merit behind my hair loss worries. The hair life cycle is separated into 3 phases: anagen (the growing phase), catagen (the transition phase), and telogen (the resting phase). To make this clinically relevant, the most important phases are the growing phase and the resting phase. The hair life cycle is altered during pregnancy – the growing phase is longer, so most of the hairs on your head are doing just that. The growing and growing and growing is because of this elongated growing phase. Postpartum, all those hairs enter the resting phase, which should be called the “falling out phase”. It may feel like your hair is falling out at an alarming rate but it’s just returning to your pre-pregnancy state.
Will it ever go back to normal? At fifteen months post baby your hair growing / resting ratio should be back to normal (some sources say even as early as six months!). I’m noticing the ratio returning to normal around now, at 12 months post partum. I know, that still seems like a long time. Hang in there.