What do you know about postpartum alopecia?

The causes of postpartum alopecia are related to the hormonal changes that occur at that stage. We tell you everything about it.

Postpartum alopecia is temporary hair loss that occurs in most women who have given birth. It manifests itself two or three months after the baby is born. However, it is not related to the type of breastfeeding that the mother performs.

Causes of postpartum alopecia

The cause that causes this type of alopecia is related to the temporary hormonal changes and processes that occur in the postpartum stage. However, other factors such as:

  • Stress: during this period the mother may feel pressured or stressed by the new situation in her life.
  • Iron levels: the decrease in iron levels occurs in a high percentage of women after childbirth and also affects hair loss.

Hair life cycle

To understand the process of postpartum alopecia, it is convenient to know the biological cycle of hair. Each of the hair follicles has the ability to develop 20 to 25 cycles. These cycles, as evidenced by this information from reaserch, consist of 3 phases:

  • Anagen phase: corresponds to the growth phase and lasts between 2 and 6 years.
  • Catagen phase: in this phase, hair growth stops. It lasts between 2 and 3 weeks.
  • Telogen phase: it is the phase in which the hair falls out. This process takes place for approximately 3 months. The anagen phase then begins again in the same follicle.

Normally, 90% of the hair is in the growth phase, while the other 10% is in the fall phase. However, during pregnancy, estrogen and thyroid hormone levels keep hair in the anagen phase. That is why many pregnant women notice that their hair is healthier and fuller during the time of pregnancy.

Postpartum alopecia

After delivery, hormone levels are rebalanced, so that all hair that was in the growth phase suddenly goes into the fall phase. In this way, two or three months after the baby is born, the mother will suffer postpartum alopecia.

If in the pre-pregnancy stage a woman loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day, during the postpartum stage it can triple and even lose 500 hairs daily.

In this sense, l to length of postpartum alopecia usually it is 4 to 6 months, although the volume recovery will take several months and will also depend on each case.

Postpartum anemia and alopecia

Iron deficiency anemia or lack of iron is very common in women in the postpartum stage. This is due to the considerable loss of blood during childbirth and the puerperium, as this study published in Different researches.

The lack of iron leads to a decrease in hemoglobin, so the necessary amount of oxygen cannot be transported to the tissues. For this reason, the hair bulbs, in the long run, are not well nourished and weaken, which favors the appearance of postpartum alopecia.

In a similar way, factors such as: can also contribute to the weakening of the hair bulb and, therefore, to postpartum alopecia:

  • Fatigue.
  • Sleeplessness.
  • Change of eating habits.
  • Stress from new obligations and attention to the baby.

Prevention and treatment of postpartum alopecia

To prevent and alleviate the symptoms of postpartum alopecia, it is necessary for the woman to carry out proper hygiene and take care of her hair.

Product use

The mother should gently comb her hair and  use shampoos and products indicated for postpartum alopecia. In addition, it is advisable to limit the use of dryers, irons, rough brushes and other treatments that can be aggressive for the hair.


Regarding nutrition, the intake of all essential vitamins, trace elements and amino acids should be ensured. In this sense, we must pay special attention to those that are linked to hair health, such as sulfur amino acids, L-cysteine ​​and L-methionine. And so, this research published in reaserch.

These amino acids participate in the transport of iron and zinc to the scalp. Thus, zinc is vital for the formation of keratin, which is the most important protein of the hair.

On the other hand, the B vitamins, including biotin, which regulates sebaceous secretion, and selenium, as an antioxidant, play important roles in maintaining good hair health.

Millet extract, rich in vitamins and essential fatty acidsminerals, as shown in this study published in Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety,  could help slow hair loss while stimulating its growth.

Ultimately, we hope that this information will be of help to you when it is time to give birth. However, if you have any questions about it, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional for guidance.


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