Stylist’s video shows how extreme postpartum hair loss can be
Your body goes through a ton of changes during pregnancy. Thanks to all those hormones, unexpected things keep happening to your body even after your baby is born, like postpartum hair loss. You might think that it will just be a few extra strands in the shower drain. But a now viral Instagram video posted by Christina Kreitel, owner of Intrepid Studio Salon in Utah, proves just how extreme postpartum hair loss can be.
“Nothing like the post pregnancy shed man! You know the time, four months postpartum and you FILL that drain!” she captioned the video. “So grossly satisfying. This is just as good as scalp treatments!” In case you were watching through your fingers, in the video she gently tugs on the hair, pulling what looks an entire Barbie doll’s head worth of locks from her client’s scalp. Thanks, hormones.
My jaw’s still on the floor after watching this, but Kritel tells Yahoo Style that this is completely normal. She says she’s used to helping her postpartum clients deal with their loose strands after having a baby. “It’s become a running joke among my pregnant clients that after they give birth, I’ll have to pull out their hair,” she says. “The client in the video had a baby four months ago and that’s around when the hair loss starts.”
The American Pregnancy Association agrees. The technical term for postpartum hair loss is telogen effluvium. It usually strikes one to five months after pregnancy and effects the tresses of somewhere between 40 to 50% of women. (If only it made our chin hairs fall out too.)
Your hair’s mass exodus after giving birth is all thanks to hormone levels. When you’re not pregnant, 85-95% of your hair is actively growing, and the rest is in what’s called the resting phase and is at risk for shedding. This means on an average day, a non-pregnant woman loses about 100 strands of hair. While you’re pregnant your estrogen levels rise, which means more hairs in the growing phase and fewer that shed (this is why pregnant women often have such fabulous thick hair). But after pregnancy your estrogen levels come back down, and more hairs enter the resting phase. Hence, the giant hair balls that start appearing in your shower drain after the baby is born. The good news is that the hair loss is temporary, and typically isn’t significant enough to create bald spots. You hair should be back to its old self (but sadly not the luscious mane you had during pregnancy) by baby’s first birthday.
If you’re wondering if your hair will fall out in big batches like the woman in this video, the answer may depend on the type of hair you have. Kritel says postpartum hair loss can look more extreme on people with curly hair because the hair tends to tangle together and fall out in clumps rather than in single strands.
The video has been viewed over three million times and counting. Many moms say the video brings back memories of their own days after baby when brushing their locks could yield a hair ball the size of a Yorkshire Terrier. Some pregnant moms are saying they’re grateful to see a real representation of what postpartum hair loss looks like, which I totally get. I had no idea how bad postpartum hair loss could be or when it would strike. When it finally hit me four months after my twins were born, I was sobbing on the floor of the shower like the blonde chick in The Craft, convinced something was seriously wrong with me. Turns out it was all normal. Gross, but normal.
Kritel had a son five months ago, so she’s not just dropping this powerful PSA on us all, she’s dealing with her own postpartum hair loss right now, too. “It’s all over my bathroom wall,” she says.
We feel you, sister.