Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss is a bit of a misnomer: when it happens, it kicks in about two to four months after a woman gives birth and results in a marked increase of hair shedding. But it’s not a sign that a woman has a hair loss problem as such: in fact, she is merely returning to normal after amassing too much hair – if such a thing is possible – during the run-up to birth.
It happens because the normal growth process for hair can be thrown into turmoil during pregnancy and, while alarming, Post-Partum Hair Loss should not in itself cause too much of a problem. Whilst it can cause thinning hair, it is unlikely to lead to visible patches or any other kind of baldness. For dads, however, quite the opposite may be true…
A new study by Australian researchers has found that 10 per cent of new dads experience anxiety around the birth of a child, with symptoms including worry, irritability and – says the Daily Mail, which reported on the findings – fears for the baby’s safety.
But there can be physical effects that arise from anxiety and stress, too. And hair loss is certainly one of them.
Forms of shedding
Sudden shock or a traumatic incident is one of several possible triggers for the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata and if men notice patchy bald spots anywhere on their scalp in the run-up to or up to three months after the birth of their child, it is possible this could be the cause.
The type of on-going stress the body may encounter when a new baby arrives, such as a lack of sleep and disruption of your normal routine, including eating and exercise habits, can cause thinning hair. This generally starts around three months after the trigger event and can regrow naturally up to a year later once the body is better adjusted – and better rested. The cause of this type of temporary hair loss is Telogen Effluvium which is closely related to the Post-Partum Alopecia experienced by women. In cases where this lasts for longer than 12 months it is known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium, or Diffuse Thinning, and both conditions present as thinning hair from all over the scalp.
Emotional stress and anxiety can also speed up – or even trigger – the hereditary hair loss condition known as Male Pattern Baldness, which is the type of hair loss that sooner or later affects most men. This affects the top of the head and frontal hairline only, in those with a genetic predisposition. In times of severe stress the body has a way of trying to preserve its energies for where they are most needed, meaning that in some cases the scalp may be left with less nutrients than usual, disrupting the growth cycle and potentially leading to hair loss.
Treatment for hair loss
Treatment for all the above mentioned conditions which can be caused by varying degrees of stress and anxiety, can be treated, and suitable solutions can be recommended following a consultation with a hair loss specialist.
As well as considering clinically-proven treatments from a specialist hair loss clinic, any new dads who are shedding extra hairs would do well to take a deep breath and recognise that they are experiencing one of the most emotional times of their life.
Becoming a parent, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming and it can naturally take some time to adjust. Your relationship with your partner, work issues, juggling friendships and family visits can all take their toll.
Whatever you’re going through, the good news is that in most cases things have a way of settling down – especially if you can find the odd moment to relax and remind yourself that millions of men have been through it before you.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.