My Hormonology

A few months after you gave birth, did you notice more strands of hair in your bathtub drain and hairbrush–and were reassured by friends and family that your shedding hair will grow back?

It won’t. But, that’s actually okay.

The truth behind hair shedding after pregnancy

It’s true that it’s normal to shed a bit more hair in the few months following pregnancy.

However, this is actually extra hair.

New York City hair loss specialist David H. Kingsley, Ph.D. of HairAndScalp.com explains that hair strands you normally would have lost during the previous nine months of pregnancy stayed put due to higher estrogen.

When the level of this hormone climbs during pregnancy, it prolongs a part of your hair’s natural cycle–the resting phase–which keeps your strands from falling out.

Once your estrogen levels return to normal, it triggers the release of this extra hair and you return to the same hair thickness you had before pregnancy.

Still think your hair is thinner than before your pregnancy?

Your hair can naturally get thin as you age due to descending estrogen levels. If this is the case with you, Kingsley advises using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. That’s because lower estrogen can dry out your scalp due to less activity in oil glands—and this can lead to brittle hair that breaks. Using a conditioning shampoo and conditioner adds moisture back to your hair shaft so it stays strong.

Another common cause of hair loss is chronic stress. As Kingsley explains, hormones released when you’re under stress (such as cortisol) drain energy from the hair follicle so it stops growing. If you can’t fix the problem or change the situation that’s stressing you out, considering taking 500 mg. of vitamin C twice daily. Numerous studies show that vitamin C reduces the body’s usual response to stress, curbing the output of stress hormones.

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