The most important thing to know is that the condition is common–and temporary. Your hair follicles typically produce new hair for a three to four year period, then rest for three to four months. The growth period is known as the anagen phase and the rest, or "fall out," stage is known as the telogen phase. The average person doesn't notice the telogen phase aside from a few extra hairs in their brush or shower drain (we have about 100,000 individual strands of hair and losing around 100 of them every day is completely normal). When you get pregnant, the telogen phase fails to occur in most hair follicles, giving you lush, full hair–which is the good news. But after your baby arrives, the telogen phase kicks into overdrive and most women experience pronounced hair loss one to six months after giving birth.
For some women, hair loss will simply return to normal after they have their babies (so they lose only five to 10 percent of hairs in telogen phase). Most, however, will have increased hair loss because up to 30 percent of their hair is in the telogen phase at the same time. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop post-pregnancy hair loss. Just remember that the enhanced falling out phase is temporary and will return to normal about a year after giving birth.
Dr. Lisa Kellett, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), D.A.B.D. is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Diplomat of the American Board of Dermatology, a member of the Canadian Dermatology Association, the Canadian Laser Aesthetic Surgery Society, and the Toronto Dermatological Society. For more information, check out Dr. Kellett atwww.dlkonavenue.com and www.skinlibrary.com