When author Giovanna Fletcher posted a picture of her hair on Instagram it wasn’t the usual ‘boast post’ we are used to seeing from celebrities. The Hello! magazine columnist was demonstrating her tufty regrowth following hair loss after the birth of her second child earlier this year.
Quickly garnering over 14,000 likes, Fletcher was applauded for bringing awareness to what many commenters felt was a little talked about aspect of motherhood.
Hair loss after giving birth
During pregnancy the active or ‘anagen’ phase of the mum-to-be’s hair growth cycle is extended. This means her hair grows for a longer period than usual, and is why many women enjoy thicker hair while they are pregnant. Once their baby is born, this extra hair is then shed.
This condition is incredibly common and is called Postpartum Alopecia – also referred to as post-partum hair loss or post-pregnancy hair loss. It is a form of the temporary hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium (TE), and as with TE, the hair fall usually starts to become noticeable around three months after giving birth.
Shedding from this type of hairloss presents as thinning hair from all over the scalp. It is often most noticeable at the temples, causing thinning edges and a general decrease in the hair’s volume. From where her regrowth is starting to appear, it seems Mrs Fletcher experienced classic symptoms, with her hairline, particularly around her temples, being affected.
We wonder if dealing with hair loss after having a child will make it into her new book, scheduled for release in 2017, entitled ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby’?
Dealing with postpartum alopecia
The hair will grow back on its own and can take up to a year to regrow naturally. Topical treatment for post-partum hair loss can be used should a woman wish to accelerate the regrowth process. It is only possible for mothers to start their treatment course once they have stopped nursing, however.
One thing women should be aware of is that, if genetic hair loss runs in their family, this form of TE can trigger female pattern hair loss. If their inherited predisposition is active, thinning hair may become more intense around the top of the scalp, again affecting the temples and hairline as well as along the parting and at the crown. This is a permanent condition but there are effective women’s hair loss treatments that can help to stabilise this shedding and promote hair growth but, again, these are only suitable for new mums once they have finished breastfeeding or pumping.
If the thinning does not subside by the baby’s first birthday, or if the excessive shedding is becoming troubling, a quick visit to a hair loss specialist is a good idea. Getting a professional diagnosis so that you know exactly what is going on, as well as recommendations for suitable hair loss treatments, where needed, can be a huge relief.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. 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 UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.