Postpartum Alopecia -
Female Hair Loss After Pregnancy

Most women expect certain physical changes to occur after they give birth, but postpartum alopecia, or losing hair after pregnancy, is not one.

Even if you are fortunate enough to escape postpartum depression, you still may be dealing with stretch marks, excess skin, hormone changes, and exhaustion during the postpartum period. Many women are somewhat prepared for those changes, but hair loss after giving birth? It is more common than most women realize.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 40% to 50% of women will experience hair loss up to five months after giving birth.

postpartum alopecia can happen to any new mom

What Is Alopecia?

Alopecia is the formal term for hair loss. With postpartum alopecia, the hair loss that results is typically gradual and occurs all over the head as more of a thinning effect. In some cases, however, alopecia can occur in the formation of bald spots on the head.

The cause behind this condition is hormone-based, as are many other physical and emotional occurrences during the postpartum period. During pregnancy, high levels of hormones prevent a woman’s hair from shedding as often as it naturally would and encourages more hair growth, which results in fuller, more lustrous hair.

Shortly after you have given birth to your baby, your hormone levels plummet, which then signals the hair to resume the process of shedding.

Unfortunately, this can occur faster than it naturally would, resulting in drastic thinning and stringiness. It can also occur in patches or clumps.

How Can Alopecia Affect Postpartum Depression?

A bit of hair loss is a natural occurrence when you have recently given birth, however when dramatic hair loss results, it can have a serious effect on your self-confidence and quality of life. Every time you take a shower, look in the mirror, or brush or style your hair, you are reminded of the fact that your hair is losing luster and fullness. It might look stringy, dull, or greasy no matter what you do to perk it up.

Even if you didn’t exercise vigilance in caring for your hair before pregnancy, the sudden loss and degrading value of your previously more radiant locks could lead to feelings of helplessness, self-consciousness, and a loss of your former self. These negative feelings can be exacerbated by fluctuating hormone levels, which in turn can develop into full-blown postpartum depression.

In addition, this natural form of hair loss can be exacerbated if you are already suffering from postpartum depression. Postpartum alopecia is largely caused by hormone level fluctuations; however hair loss has also been known to worsen during times of high stress. Any parent knows just how stressful the first year of baby’s life can be. During this time where anxiety, worry, and insecurity are rampant, the chances of developing postpartum depression is increased.

If you are already suffering from postpartum depression, the additional stress caused by your condition can increase hair loss from a subtle occurrence to a severe affliction.

How Can Alopecia Be Treated?

Postpartum alopecia usually resolves itself around six months after the baby is born, but can sometimes last longer. If hair loss is worsened by postpartum depression, then you should pursue a treatment for your postnatal depression first and foremost, which will likely also improve the condition of your hair. 

Many women find that wearing a shorter hairstyle during the postpartum months is a fairly effective way to mask the fact that the hair has thinned. By the time your hair starts to grow long again, the condition of your hair should have resumed its pre-pregnancy state.

If you don’t want to adopt a shorter hair style, there is always the option of using a volumizing shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis, as well as taking supplements for hair loss. 

Do You Have A Question or Wisdom To Share About Postpartum Alopecia?

Do you have a question about postpartum alopecia? Or perhaps you have some wisdom to give to other moms about hair loss after pregnancy. Please contribute here!

[ ? ]

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Is use of hair extension right or not: ? 
My name is Seena, I am from new york, and I am suffering from baldness. I tried many ayurvedic products on my scalp, but didn't get any benefits. At …

New mom, with thinning hair! 
Hi, I gave birth to my first child on 9/1/2012, he is now 14 weeks. I just started noticing my hair everywhere, more frequent as in the past, but only …

Postpartum Alopecia and me 
Postpartum Alopecia was a major issue faced by me after childbirth. Also after delivery I got Hyperthyroid which caused much more hair loss. So, I had …

Hair loss after delivery Not rated yet
I have a four month old baby and after delivery I found a small patch right on the top of my head. I have experienced massive hair fall during hairwash …

Losing too much hair Not rated yet
My baby is 4 months old and every day I lose more hair. It is now definitely noticeable around the crown of my head. Will this grow back or will I forever …

Dramatic shedding of hair after giving birth Not rated yet
I delivered a baby in September 2016 and my hair start to shed in December 2016 when my baby turn to three months and it's a dramatic shedding that cause …

Hair loss amd patches on both sides of temple Not rated yet
I delivered on Dec 21, 2016 a baby girl. After 3 months I started losing a lot of hair and got bald patched on both sides of my temple. I am using Biotin …

Egg oil (eyova) for hair  Not rated yet
It is possible to treat post partum hairfall with egg oil (eyova):

my hair grows Not rated yet
I had a baby and lost all me hair but before that I had a lot of hair but it is growing back now and I am happy tho

Hair Loss Not rated yet
My daughter is going on 10 months and my hair loss is extremely upsetting. I decided to do a big chop to see if that helps but its worse- maybe I should …

New Mommy with Alopecia Not rated yet
Please read my story: and please leave any comments/feedback on my blog page. It would be greatly appreciated!!!

Inside and Out Care Not rated yet
I have been working with a mother of four and author of the book Body Back. I have been learning everything there is to know about being a woman AND a …

Is that my hair on the floor?  Not rated yet
I was so excited when the nurse entered the room and said that my daughter and I could go home. My hospital bags were already packed, I tossed the pamphlets …

Click here to write your own.

Return from Postpartum Alopecia to Postpartum Living

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Being a new mom can be challenging, especially if you’re fighting PPD. Use a powerful tool - positive affirmations!

Download my FREE ebooklet, “Positive Affirmations For The New Mom".

Positive Affirmations Ebooklet
Claim your Ebooklet NOW

Popular Articles

Take A PPD Test

Natural Treatments

PPD Personal Stories

7 Fat Loss Strategies