Why is my hair falling out?

Q: Why is my hair falling out after my baby was born?

A: No, you're not going bald -- this is a temporary phase that affects most new moms at some point after pregnancy ends. Here's why it happens:

In the normal cycle of hair growth, some hair is lost every day. But during pregnancy the increased levels of estrogen in your body freezes hair in the growing (or "resting") phase of the cycle. Hair that would normally fall out stays put, resulting in thicker-looking hair. But after you give birth and your estrogen levels decline, all that hair that was resting starts to fall out.

This usually starts the third or fourth month postpartum and ends by six months, although some women say it can last for a year. Sometimes hair falls out all over your head. Or clumps may come out when you brush it, or in the shower. Often women just lose a lot around their hairline, so that their hair looks very fine in the front. This temporary hair loss doesn't mean you're deficient in nutrition or vitamins -- it's simply hormonal.

While your hair's transitioning back to its pre-pregnancy thickness, there are plenty of things you can do to keep looking good, like getting a new cut that incorporates bangs or layers, coloring your hair to give it more body, changing up the part, or wearing headbands or scarves to disguise the thinning. --Gina Bevinetto

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