Telogen Effluvium: Is It Common to Lose Hair After Having A Baby?

At any time, over 90% of hair on our heads is growing. The remaining 10% is in what is called a “resting phase.” Every few months, the resting hair begins to shed. These three phases comprise the natural hair cycle. This cycle allows for new, healthy hair growth to continue. 

“We lose approximately 100 hairs a day,” explains Dr. Adam Mamelak, dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology. “These hairs shed as part of the normal hair growth cycle. This is also completely normal and does not cause baldness. When this portion increases, we start to see thinning.”

There are a number of conditions that can cause patients to lose their hair. Telogen Effluvium one such condition where a higher than average number of hairs are shed due to changes in the follicle. Telogen Effluvium typically follows a stressful event.

“Most commonly, this is a physical stress, such as childbirth or surgery,” explains Dr. Miriam Hanson, board certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas, “but can also be seen after emotion and psychological stresses as well.”

Is it common to lose hair after having a baby?

“Yes, in fact, 40%-50% of pregnant women suffer from Telogen Effluvium,” states Dr. Hanson. ” This is due to the fact that when a woman becomes pregnant, 60% or more of the hair enters the resting phase.” Most commonly, Telogen Effluvium causes women to shed hair excessively 4-5 months after pregnancy.

Though telogen effluvium usually occurs after a woman delivers a child, it is not unheard of for women to experience excessive hair loss before delivering as well.

“It’s definitely stressful,” says Dr. Hanson, “I have young women come see me convinced they’re are going bald.” The fact is, it is rare for telogen effluvium to cause hair loss to the point of baldness, visible bald spots, or permanent hair loss. “In most cases, the excessive hair loss begins to taper off shortly after the shedding.” Be sure to check with your doctor if you are concerned with excessive hair loss during pregnancy, there could be other causes besides telogen effluvium such as a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

How to Minimize the Affect of Telogen Effluvium

  • Consult with your Dermatologist to confirm you are suffering from Telogen Effluvium.
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables. If you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency, this could help.
  • Ask your dermatologist if there are topical treatments, such as shampoos or conditioners, that will help reduce further hair loss.
  • Be gentle with your hair, especially when it is wet, and avoid fine tooth combs.
  • Avoid excessively stressing your hair follicles when styling, for example, you should not use tight rollers, style your hair in cornrows, or tight braids.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing excessive hair loss, our compassionate and knowledgeable staff are here to help. Contact us at Sanova Dermatology today.

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