Hair Loss after Having a Baby: What to Expect

By Jessica J. Krant, MD, FAAD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology
SUNY Downstate Medical Center

If you’ve recently given birth and are concerned about hair loss, there is no need to worry. Many women experience noticeable hair shedding after having a baby; it is normal, temporary, and caused by falling estrogen levels. It usually starts about three to four months after giving birth and peaks several weeks later. The good news is that women don’t have to do anything to remedy it. By their child’s first birthday or even earlier, most women see their hair return to its normal fullness.

If you are bothered by excessive hair loss, consider the following tips.

  • Use A Thickening Shampoo. These shampoos often contain ingredients like protein that coat the hair, making the hair appear fuller.
  • Avoid “2-In-1” Shampoo-Conditioners. These contain heavy conditioners that can weigh down your hair and make it look limp.
  • Use A Conditioner Formulated for Fine Hair. These are lighter formulas that will not weigh down your hair. Avoid conditioners labeled “intensive” because these are too heavy.
  • Use Conditioner Primarily on The Ends of Your Hair. Avoid your scalp and the top half of your hair to prevent your hair from being weighed down.
  • Try A New Hairstyle. Some haircuts can make hair appear fuller. An experienced stylist can help you find a cut, style, or color that works well for you.
  • Avoid Practices That May Worsen Hair Loss, such as chemical treatments and excessive styling.

If your hair does not regain normal fullness after one year, see a board-certified dermatologist. People lose hair for many reasons, and an accurate diagnosis is essential for treatment.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 18,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair, and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails. For more information contact the AAD at 888-462-DERM [3376] or aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), and YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).