Postpartum hair loss occurs in many women after they give birth, most commonly 3 to 4 months after the delivery. During the pregnancy, the increased levels of estrogen in a woman’s body stimulate the growing phase of the cycle, so hair that would normally fall out stays there resulting in denser and thicker hair which make all these women look good about their hair. Right after the delivery, estrogen levels decline so all that hair that hasn’t been falling out for 9 months starts to shed. This shedding is considered normal and expected, but it does stress out a lot of women. In most cases, this hair will regrow naturally 6 to 12 months after.
A similar hormonal imbalance causes hair loss in post-menopausal women, affecting around 40 % of women. Along with hormonal changes (decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone), factors such as iron deficiency, sudden weight loss, medication side effects and different illnesses contribute to this condition. Hair density and hair growth rate decrease with age, as does hair diameter, as the anagen (growth) phase of hair growth shortens, creating an appearance of poor scalp coverage in postmenopausal women.
Did you know?
Hair loss in many postmenopausal women is caused by rheumatoid arthritis and more likely medications used to treat the disease e.g. methotrexate.