Postpartum hair loss is a very common condition after childbirth that many new moms struggle with. The condition usually occurs around three to six months after childbirth and can last for several months. Though temporary, it can be extremely upsetting and stressful.
There’s a lot to understand about postpartum hair loss and hair growth cycles which will help you understand how they’re connected and how collagen can help. Everything you need to know has been covered below!
What Is Postpartum Hair Loss?
Postpartum hair loss refers to when new mothers experience excessive hair shedding around three months after childbirth. It is a temporary condition caused by falling estrogen levels and automatically normalizes once hormone levels balance out.
What Does Telogen Effluvium Mean?
Telogen effluvium is characterized by thinning or shedding of hair. This condition is generally more common in women, especially new mothers. It usually occurs due to unbalanced hormones and is triggered when the hair cycle is disturbed.
The hair cycle consists of three phases:
- Anagen phase, also known as the growth phase, is the period of active growth which lasts between two and six years. 85 to 90 percent of hair follicles are in this stage at any given time.
- Catagen phase, also known as the transitional phase, is the period during which hair follicles shrink.
- Telogen phase, the resting phase, lasts for around three months after which the follicle releases hair and strands fall out. Around five to ten percent of an individual’s hair is in the telogen phase at any given time.
Telogen effluvium is associated with the telogen phase. It refers to when the anagen phase is slowed down. This results in fewer hairs entering the next two stages and causes around 30 percent of hair follicles to reach the telogen stage, causing excessive shedding.
How Does Postpartum Hair Loss Relate to Telogen Effluvium? How Long Does It Last?
Pregnancy hormones can cause hair in the anagen phase to suddenly enter the telogen phase. Hair then sheds within a few months, usually after childbirth.
Postpartum hair loss is a temporary condition and typically resolves within six months once the estrogen levels balance out.
Hair usually grows back within three to six months so baldness is not a concern with postpartum hair loss.
Additionally, vitamins and other supplements can help control and reduce postpartum hair loss. One of the most effective supplements for expecting and post-partum mothers is collagen.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body that creates the foundational structure of the tendons, ligaments, and skin. It is a material for connective tissue and is crucial to the body’s structure as it helps hold the body’s cells together.
Collagen offers several benefits and contributes to healthy joints, skin elasticity, and cardiovascular health. It helps protect the kidneys and other organs too.
A third of the human body’s protein and three-quarters of the skin’s dry weight consists of collagen.
Endogenous collagen refers to a naturally occurring collagen that is produced by the body.
Exogenous collagen, on the other hand, is synthetic collagen that comes from an external source such as supplements.
Hormonal changes or fluctuations due to pregnancy and childbirth can cause collagen loss and postpartum hair fall.
How Does Collagen Reduce Postpartum Hair Fall?
Collagen is known for its cosmetic as well as health benefits. It is often used to promote skin elasticity and health while reducing hair fall and boosting hair growth.
Here are some ways in which collagen benefits hair:
Provides Amino Acids
Hair is primarily made of keratin, a type of protein built by amino acids. These amino acids are largely found in collagen.
Proline is the main component of keratin which is the building block of the hair’s structure.
Collagen is, therefore, essential so that the body can produce amino acids for hair growth.
Reduces Damage to Hair Follicles
Free radicals are chemical compounds that are developed due to stress, air pollutants, and environmental factors. They can harm the cells, protein, and DNA in the body and can also damage hair follicles.
Antioxidants fight free-radicals and promote hair health and collagen can act as an antioxidant. Thus, collagen can fight free-radicals and protect hair from damage while promoting hair health.
Collagen supplements can help reduce hair loss caused by damage and breakage by free-radicals.
Postpartum hair loss is a common condition that many new mothers face. While it can be a major source of stress, it is only a temporary condition and resolves on its own. To encourage better hair health and prevent excessive shedding and hair fall, postpartum mothers can take collagen supplements. They help promote healthy hair even in the face of hormonal changes caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Collagen is important for overall health as well.