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Why Women Get Postpartum Hair Loss, According To Science

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Adjusting to motherhood is hard. Forget about the fatigue, the breastfeeding, and all of the changes associated with having a baby — it often feels like you've lost yourself in the process of becoming a mother, especially with all of the changes to your body. If you're experiencing postpartum hair loss, those feelings are amplified even more. Some moms think they've let the stress of motherhood cause them to lose their hair, but there's a scientific reason why women get postpartum hair loss. So trust me — it's not your fault.

If you're extra confused by your postpartum hair loss because you had such luscious locks during pregnancy, I get it. According to KellyMom, during pregnancy, the hormonal changes stimulate an increase in the amount of hairs in the growth phase on your scalp. Less hair is shedding and more hair than usual is growing. After pregnancy, however, the hormones shift again and there's a larger percentage of hair in the resting phase than usual, which means you experience more shedding and hair loss than usual.

I know — those pesky hormones, right? The American Academy of Dermatology also noted that this hair loss is more like excessive shedding, caused by the dropping estrogen levels, and not like typical hair loss. It's also temporary and you don't have to do anything to fix it. Once your hormones are back to normal, your hair should return to its original fullness, usually by the time your baby is 1 year old.

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According to Parents, this postpartum hair loss usually starts three to four months postpartum and, again, is simply a hormonal problem. You don't need to take vitamins or any type of supplements. If you'd prefer a shorter hair cut so you're not sweeping up so much hair each day, that's one solution, but there's nothing you can do to stop the hair from falling out. It's very common, and although it's irritating, it's not the end of the world. (Just less for your baby to grab and yank, right?)