Welcoming a little bundle of joy into your life brings endless love and joy. But along with those sleepless nights, milk feeds and diaper changes, there’s one more thing that might catch you by surprise: post-pregnancy hair loss. Don’t worry, though – you’re not alone, and there are ways to manage this situation. 

At Dame, we understand the concerns and challenges women face after childbirth when dealing with hair loss. In this article, we explain why hair loss happens after childbirth and provide practical tips and insights from our doctors at Dame on how to deal with female hair loss in Singapore.

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Why Does Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss Occur?

Over 90% of women experience postpartum hair loss. You are definitely not alone. Post-pregnancy hair loss is a natural phenomenon that affects most women after giving birth. The good news is, post-pregnancy hair loss is usually temporary for most women. Our doctors at Dame tell us why this happens.  

The Primary Cause: Hormonal Changes

During pregnancy, estrogen levels reach nearly 1000 times higher in a woman’s body. This increased estrogen levels contribute to that “pregnancy glow”. Higher levels of estrogen prolong the growth phase of hair follicles, resulting in reduced shedding and hair that appears fuller, thicker. 

After childbirth, estrogen levels drop a 1000 times back to pre-pregnancy levels. The increased hair follicles in the growth phase are now pushed to enter the resting phase all at the same time. This shift in the hair growth cycle triggers excessive shedding – the medical term for this occurrence is telogen effluvium. Typically, women may find clumps of hair in the shower drain one to five months after giving birth. Hair loss is typically diffuse or usually seen as “thinning hair”. Telogen effluvium typically resolves within 15 months postpartum as estrogen levels stabilise. 

Rarely, a small group of women may experience a mild form of female pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia late in pregnancy. Scalp hair in the frontal area typically recedes in androgenetic alopecia. This generally resolves postpartum, but may persist in some.

How Stress Affects Post-Pregnancy Female Hair Loss

While not the primary cause of post-pregnancy hair loss, stress can exacerbate it. The demands of caring for a newborn, coupled with sleep deprivations, can contribute to increased stress levels. Chronic stress can trigger hormonal imbalances, further disrupting the hair growth cycle and accelerating hair loss. 

Nutritional Deficiencies and Hair Health

New mothers often experience heightened stress levels and may neglect their dietary needs, which can further contribute to hair thinning. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, a woman’s body needs additional calories and nutrients to provide nutrition for her baby. Inadequate nutrient intake can contribute to post-pregnancy hair loss. Essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are not only vital for maintaining healthy hair growth, but also the well-being of the mother and her baby. 

Embracing the “New Normal” #MomLife

Sure, losing hair might not be the most glamorous part of post-pregnancy life, but it’s totally normal – and temporary! Think of it as your body’s way of hitting the reset button after nine months of baby-growing magic. While postpartum hair loss is temporary and resolves on its own, there are several strategies you can adopt to minimise its impact and promote healthy hair regrowth. At Dame, our doctors share some tips on how to manage post-pregnancy female hair loss. 

Rock the Mom Cut

New hair, new you. Time to zhng your hairstyle, mama! Embrace #Momlife. Post-pregnancy hair loss should not stop you from pampering yourself! Opt for a chic, low-maintenance haircut that is as stylish as it is practical. A good haircut can help hair appear fuller. An experienced stylist can tell you what will work for you. 

Eat Your Way to Healthy Hair

Healthy hair starts from a healthy body. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals promotes hair growth. Loading up on nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens, eggs, nuts and lean proteins support hair growth and overall well-being.

Find out more about the nutrients you need for healthy hair growth here

Hair Care Practices to Minimise Loss

Gentle hair care practices are essential for preventing further hair loss and promoting follicle regrowth. Avoiding harsh chemical treatments or styling products, heat styling tools and tight hairstyles can prevent further damage to fragile postpartum hair. Opt for gentle shampoos and conditioners formulated for thinning hair to cleanse and hydrate your scalp without causing irritation. Allow your hair to air dry whenever possible to minimise stress on the hair shaft.

Find out if Korean shampoos are better for your hair loss here.

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Scalp Massage to Promote Follicle Growth

Regular scalp massages can help improve circulation to the hair follicle, promoting healthy hair growth. Use gentle pressure and circular motions to stimulate blood flow and encourage the delivery of essential nutrients to the scalp. 

Practise Stress Management Techniques

Easier said than done, we know. Being a mom can be tiring AF. But don’t forget to pamper yourself once in a while. Whether it’s indulging in a spa day, binge-watching your favourite K-drama or simply a well-deserved nap, make sure to take time out for yourself. 

Stress can exacerbate hair fall, so it is essential to prioritise self-care and stress management techniques. Engaging in relaxation exercises such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to reduce stress levels can work wonders for both your sanity and your strands. 

Reach Out for Support

It is important to acknowledge the psychological impact of post-pregnancy hair loss and seek support when needed. Hair loss can affect self-esteem and confidence, especially during a vulnerable time like the postpartum period. Connecting with other mothers experiencing similar challenges, either through support groups or online forums, can provide valuable emotional support and encouragement. You are not alone in this journey. 

Consultation with a Doctor

If you are experiencing excessive hair loss or have concerns about your hair regrowth post-pregnancy, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. Our doctors at Dame can assess your medical condition, identify any underlying issues and recommend appropriate treatment options tailored to your needs. At Dame, you can speak to a MOH-licensed doctor at the comfort of your own home. Be it medication or a dietary adjustment, our doctors at Dame can address your postpartum hair loss safely and holistically.  

Available Treatment Options for Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss

medication for female hair loss in Singapore

Many new moms experience excessive hair shedding after pregnancy. However, by their child’s first birthday, most women regain their normal hair growth. While this is true for most women, there are cases where medical hair loss treatment may be needed. Here, our doctors at Dame explain the medications that may help in post-pregnancy hair loss. 

Topical Minoxidil

Topical minoxidil is the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of female pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil promotes hair growth by improving blood flow to the hair follicle. Some doctors may prescribe minoxidil when shedding begins in an attempt to support hair regrowth. This may be helpful for women who experience female pattern hair loss during the later part of pregnancy or have a strong family history of androgenetic alopecia. 

While topical minoxidil is generally regarded to be safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, it is advisable to use it under a doctor’s recommendation. Also, as with all medications for hair loss, the benefits of minoxidil on hair growth are not expected to be noticeable immediately. A full year of use is considered necessary to assess its effectiveness. Always discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional, our doctors at Dame are here to help.  

Read where you can find minoxidil shampoo for female hair loss in Singapore here

Oral Minoxidil

Small studies have suggested improvement in telogen effluvium during treatment with low-dose oral minoxidil. However, additional studies are still required to determine whether oral minoxidil is an effective treatment for post-pregnancy hair loss. 

Oral minoxidil is usually recommended for healthy people who prefer an oral medication as an alternative to topical minoxidil. It is a pregnancy category C medication, meaning that the potential benefits of the medication may outweigh the potential risks. Always consult a doctor before starting any medication for post-pregnancy hair loss. 

Read more about the differences between topical and oral minoxidil here

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We always recommend speaking to a doctor before starting any medication.

The Role of Hair Growth Supplement

There is little scientific evidence on the benefits of daily supplements for post-pregnancy hair loss in women with a healthy diet and no specific nutritional deficiencies or underlying medical condition. However, it is advisable for most women to continue their prenatal vitamin and/or supplemental iron for six to eight weeks following birth, especially if breastfeeding.

If you follow a restricted diet (for example if you are a vegetarian or vegan), or have other concerns about getting enough nutrients to support hair regrowth post-pregnancy, you can speak to our doctors at Dame if you need hair growth supplement. 

It is important to know that not all herbs or supplements are safe to be used during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. Our doctors at Dame can provide advice and support you on this journey. 

Read if medications or supplements work better for female hair loss in Singapore. 

Dame Cares: Your Partner in Women’s Health 

Post-pregnancy hair loss is a common occurrence among women, but it doesn’t have to be a cause for distress. By understanding the underlying factors and implementing effective strategies from our doctors, you can be in control of postpartum hair loss and promote healthy hair regrowth. 

At Dame, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive care and support for women experiencing hair loss. Whether you’re seeking medical hair loss treatment, emotional support, or simply advice on managing your hair loss, we’re here to help you feel confident and empowered every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

At Dame, we address the common questions our ladies ask our doctors about post-pregnancy hair loss. 

Q: Can post-pregnancy hair loss be prevented?

Unfortunately, postpartum hair loss is largely inevitable due to hormonal changes. However,  adopting a healthy lifestyle and gentle hair care practices can minimise its severity.

Q: Can breastfeeding contribute to post-pregnancy hair loss?

It is a myth that breastfeeding causes post-pregnancy hair loss. In fact, it is the hormonal changes post-pregnancy that directly contribute to post-pregnancy hair loss, breastfeeding or not.

Q: What can I do to expedite hair regrowth after postpartum hair loss?

Patience is key when it comes to regaining hair thickness post-pregnancy. Focus on adopting a healthy lifestyle, incorporating nutritious foods, managing stress, and following a gentle hair care routine to support the natural hair growth cycle. You can speak to a doctor for advice if you have any hair concerns. 

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