It refers to excessive shedding of hair few months after childbirth and is caused by hormonal fluctuations during and after pregnancy
Also known as “telogen effluvium”
The Science Behind Hair Growth
Hair growth stems from small pores in the skin on the scalp known as follicles. The cycle of hair growth has 3 phases that repeats throughout lifetime.
- Anagen phase: phase of active hair growth. It can last between 2-6 years.
- Catagen phase: a short, transitional phase where hair follicles shrink
- Telogen phase: a resting phase that lasts about 3 months. After this period, the follicle releases the hair and hair falls out
The Truth of Postpartum Hair Loss
Pregnancy hormones can cause many hairs in the growing phase (anagen) to suddenly enter the resting phase (telogen) and cause hair loss within a few months. However this condition is temporary and shedding should last less than 6 months.
Changes in the hormone estrogen during and after pregnancy.
When estrogen levels are high, it prevents typical shedding of hair. However after childbirth, estrogen levels drop causing a large number of hairs to enter the resting phase of growth.