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Everything you need to know about postpartum hair loss

Everything you need to know about postpartum hair loss

The postpartum period is filled with many joyous – and not-so-joyous – moments. As you enter motherhood, you’re still in the process of recovering from pregnancy and childbirth, which can lead to a number of changes. One of the most common changes is excess hair shedding, also known as postpartum hair loss.
Here, we take a closer look at postpartum hair loss and discuss the best ways to manage it.

What is postpartum hair loss?

Postpartum hair loss, scientifically known as telogen effluvium, is a normal phenomenon following pregnancy. The good news is that this type of hair loss is temporary, and your hair will naturally return to its pre-pregnancy state within a few months.  

Where does postpartum hair loss occur?

The extent of hair loss varies, but you may feel a slight thinning across your scalp. You may also notice more hair in the shower drain, on your pillow, around your home, or during your haircare routine.

What causes postpartum hair loss?

Postpartum hair loss is triggered by the hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy and postpartum – not the stress of having a newborn!
The average person loses 50-100 hairs every day. However, during pregnancy, elevated oestrogen levels shift more hairs into the growth phase (anagen) and reduce the number of hairs in the shedding phase (telogen), making your hair thicker and fuller.
Following childbirth, oestrogen levels fall dramatically, prompting the body to shed the excess hair that was retained during pregnancy. This synchronised shedding can lead to noticeable hair loss.
In other words, postpartum hair loss is merely losing the extra hair you gained (or didn’t fall out) during pregnancy. As such, although it’s not considered ‘true’ hair loss, it can still impact your mental health during a difficult time.

How long does postpartum hair loss last?

Although each woman's experience with postpartum hair loss is different, you may notice increased shedding in the months after childbirth (also known as the fourth trimester, with it reaching its peak around three to six months postpartum.

Will postpartum hair loss grow back?

As mentioned, postpartum hair loss is always temporary. You can expect a gradual return to your pre-pregnancy locks within six to twelve months postpartum or by your child’s first birthday.
If, however, your hair doesn’t fully grow back within one year, you may want to have a chat with your GP, as there could be other factors at play, such as iron deficiency or thyroid issues.

Coping with postpartum hair loss

While you can’t stop postpartum hair loss, you can take steps to keep your hair as healthy as possible after childbirth.

  • Reduce heat: Use blow-dryers, straighteners, and curling tongs sparingly.

  • Use forgiving accessories: Consider switching from elastic bands, which pull hair tightly in ponytails, to gentler silk scrunchies.

  • Give your hair some TLC: Only wash your hair when necessary, invest in a nourishing conditioner, and use a wide-toothed brush to reduce tangling.

  • Avoid chemical treatments: Refrain from dying or perming your hair until your shedding stops.

  • Enjoy lukewarm showers: Hot showers strip your strands of natural oils, making them drier and more likely to break, so turn the temperature down.

  • Don’t panic: Postpartum hair loss is perfectly normal. You just need to give your hair time to adjust.  


Vitamins for postpartum hair loss

Making healthy nutritional choices is essential for both your hair and overall health during postpartum. Consider the following advice.

Continue taking your pregnancy multi

It’s a good idea to continue taking your prenatal multivitamin throughout postpartum. Not only does it contain a comprehensive spread of the most essential post-pregnancy nutrients to support your health and your baby’s development, but it also delivers plenty of hair-loving vitamins and minerals.
Our bespoke formula, Multi-Max Pregnancy, provides relevant levels of key hair nutrients, such as iron, vitamin C, biotin, zinc, vitamin D3, and selenium.


Your hair follicles are made up of a super-strong protein called keratin, which means you need sufficient dietary protein postpartum to keep it healthy (2).  Try to include a high-quality protein source with each meal. Good options include organic lean meat, oily fish, dairy products, eggs, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, and black beans), nuts, and seeds.


Iron transports oxygen to cells, including those that support hair growth and repair (3). Animal products like red meat, poultry, and oily fish provide highly bioavailable iron, meaning the body can easily absorb it. Women following vegetarian and plant-based diets can increase their iron stores by upping their intake of spinach, lentils, quinoa, and tofu. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C not only supports iron absorption but is also involved in collagen formation, which is essential for hair health (4). You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, kiwis, and spinach.


A water-soluble B vitamin, biotin supports the maintenance of normal hair. Nuts, seeds, eggs, and potatoes are great sources.


Zinc is vital for hair health, too. One review reported low zinc stores were associated with higher incidences of hair shedding (5).


An essential trace mineral, selenium supports the maintenance of normal hair. It also serves as an antioxidant, protecting (hair) cells from oxidative stress, which has been linked to hair loss (6).

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is also critical for hair. Studies suggest low levels have been associated with increased hair shedding in women (7).

Omega 3s

The essential fatty acids in omega 3’s, DHA and EPA, are often recommended to support hair health (8). Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, and anchovies, are amongst the best sources of omega 3s. However,  walnuts, chia seeds, and plant-based microalgae also contain generous amounts of healthy fats. 
You may want to take a high-strength fish oil or a vegan alternative to cover any nutritional gaps postpartum. 

Collagen for postpartum hair loss

Aside from famously supporting skin, some studies suggest collagen supplements may also be a useful addition to hair health.
In a randomised, placebo-controlled study on women aged between 39 and 75 years, researchers found those taking bioactive collagen peptides saw an increase in hair thickness after 16 weeks (9).
Our high-strength collagen supplement, Collagen Beauty®, is derived from porcine collagen and provides VERISOL® Bioactive Collagen Peptides with biotin, vitamin C, and silica in capsule form.
VERISOL® Bioactive Collagen Peptides have the same nutritional profile as collagen but have undergone 'enzymatic hydrolysis', a process that breaks down the nutrients in collagen into shorter chains of proteins, which makes it easier to absorb.
VERISOL® stimulates the fibroblasts – cells in the dermal layer of the skin – to increase their metabolic activity. The result? Higher collagen synthesis, balancing what is lost through environmental toxins and ageing.
However, it’s important to note that collagen supplements like Collagen Beauty® aren’t suitable for breastfeeding. On the other hand, i     f you’re not nursing your little one, you might want to consider incorporating them into your routine. 

Find out more

While postpartum hair loss can be emotionally challenging, try to remember it’s a part of the natural recovery process after pregnancy. If concerns persist or worsen, consulting a healthcare professional or dermatologist is advisable to rule out any underlying issues.
If you found this article on postpartum hair loss insightful, you can find similar guidance on Nutrition Buzz. Alternatively, please get in touch with our team of expert Nutrition Advisors, who are on hand to provide free, confidential advice.


  1. . Iron plays a certain role in patterned hair loss. J Korean Med Sci. ; 28(6):934-8.

  2. . Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept. ; 7(1):1-10.

  3. . The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. ; 54(5):824–844.

  4. . The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). ; 9(1):51-70.

  5. . The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). ; 9(1):51-70.

  6. . Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept. ; 7(1):1-10.

  7. . Serum ferritin and vitamin D levels should be evaluated in patients with diffuse hair loss prior to treatment. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. ; 37(3):407-411.

    . Serum Vitamin D3 Level in Patients with Female Pattern Hair Loss. Int J Trichology. ; 8(3):116-20.

  8. . A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. ; 5(11):28-34.

  9. Oesser . The oral intake of specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides has a positive effect on hair thickness. Nutrafoods. ; 1:134-138.


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Our Author - Olivia Salter


Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.

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