Hollywood actress Kate Hudson has revealed that she experienced postpartum hair loss after the birth of her son Bingham. Hudson, the 33-year-old star of films including Almost Famous and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, is mum to two young sons, but has recently stated that her second pregnancy was much more challenging than her first.
Speaking to Redbook magazine for their December 2012 issue, she explained: “When I had [first son] Ryder, I was 24 and didn’t really experience any changes to my hair or skin. But with my second child, I got acne, all my hair fell out after he was born, and I definitely had to work out to drop the weight. No pregnancy is easy to bounce back from.”
Hudson’s account echoes the experience of many women across the globe who find that their hair is thinning or falling out after giving birth.
Postpartum hair loss: the facts
Hair loss after pregnancy is generally caused by hormonal changes during the gestational period. During pregnancy, women experience elevated levels of oestrogen which cause hair follicles to stay in the anagen (or “growth”) phase of their cycle for much longer than usual. On average, most people lose around 100 hairs a day, but pregnant women can lose just half of that number.
Postpartum hair loss occurs after the baby is born and a new mother’s body is attempting to restore its hormonal balance, causing the hairs that remained in the anagen stage for longer than normal to fall out. The degree to which women are affected can vary, with some experiencing very little thinning and others experiencing more extreme shedding, but even hair loss in clumps is considered normal during the first 6-12 months after pregnancy.
Good news for new mums
The good news is that, for the majority of women, postpartum hair loss is a temporary condition, and their hair will return to its normal thickness and volume once hormone levels are rebalanced. There are also many lifestyle changes which can help to improve the condition of hair during the transition, including eating a good diet, washing hair less frequently, and avoiding heated styling tools such as blow dryers and straightening irons.
However, if you are worried about the amount of hair you have lost after pregnancy, or your hair loss has continued past your child’s first birthday, it is advisable to visit an expert who can make an assessment of your condition and check for any other possible causes of your hair loss. Stress or diet related conditions, such as Diffuse Thinning, can also affect new mothers, so it’s important to have your symptoms assessed to rule out any other possible conditions.
Below is a video, recorded by one of our very own treatment advisors, Trinity Gardiner, who herself experienced significant hair loss following the birth of her second child.