Ask any mothers what having a baby really entails and they'll tell you there are certain elements of pregnancy that came as a shock to them as they are not widely discussed.
One of these is the hair loss that can occur shortly after giving birth, known as Postpartum Alopecia.
The latest new mum to experience this phenomenon is Real Housewives of Atlanta star and Dish Nation host, Porsha Williams, who spoke about having her 'edges snatched' by the temporary condition, on Instagram.
In the video posted to social media and shown here above, Porsha Williams showed off a receding hairline and thinning hair, which she put down to post-partum alopecia. She gave birth to her first daughter, Pilar Jhena Mckinley in March 2019.
The Housewife posted a message on her 4-month-old daughter's Instagram page, saying “Ok sooo I had to hack Pj’s page because I know a lot of amazing mommies follow her! So HELP ME ! My edges have fallen out after childbirth! I heard it would happen but I didn’t think it would have snatched mine”.
During pregnancy women's hair growth cycle becomes disrupted in a way that causes it the anagen phase - when hair is actively growing - to become extended. This is why pregnant women are often said to enjoy thicker, healthier-looking hair.
Postpartum hair loss occurs when the hair growth cycle returns to normal and the extra hair hoarded during this time is shed, which can take up to three months after having a baby to begin.
It is entirely normal and the amount of hair loss varies from woman to woman, though in all cases it affects the entire scalp, causing diffuse shedding.
Whilst post-partum hair loss treatment is available to those who are not - or have finished - breastfeeding, generally the new mother's hair will return to its pre-pregnancy state by the time the baby's first birthday. However in some instances this may not be the case.
Whilst post-partum alopecia is the most obvious hair loss condition Porsha may be experiencing, the look of her hairline in her July 2019 video suggests it may not be the only issue present.
Prior to having her daughter, and during her pregnancy, Williams - who has her own line of wigs and hairpieces - was showing signs of hair loss around her hairline.
These appeared to be consistent with a diagnosis of Traction Alopecia, a condition often brought on by the frequent wearing of tight and/or weighty hairstyles, including wearing wigs - something the 38 year old has done daily for a number of years.
When a temporary issue, such as post-partum alopecia, presents, it can exacerbate existing hair loss or - in the case of Female Pattern Hair Loss - even trigger it, as long as the individual has the relevant underlying genetic predisposition to this hereditary condition.
Having a temporary hair loss condition can make any additional hair loss look worse; however, where there is more than one present simultaneously, both can generally be treated together. A dedicated specialist can tailor a personalised hair loss treatment course based on the patient's condition(s) and medical profile, as well as any lifestyle needs.
Topical applications of the dose-dependent drug, high strength minoxidil are clinically-proven to treat women's hair loss. Whilst this medication is only MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for use in treating Female Pattern Hair Loss, its use to help regrow hair in cases of other conditions, including Traction Alopecia, is widely acknowledged by the professional trichological community.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.