View Full Version : Losing my hair - is this normal?

08-13-2002, 07:18 PM
For the past month or so, I have begun to lose enormous amounts of hair. I have always had really thick hair, and would lose a good amount each day. In my last few months of pregnancy, and the first couple postpartum, I noticed that I hadn't been losing as much. Now it's getting embarassing. I spend 5-10 minutes brushing my hair before getting in the shower (collecting a nice nest of hair), I pull out another nest in the shower, and then make a third equally distressing amount drying/brushing my hair. Throughout the day I am forever picking hair off my arms and back, and out of dd's hands. I know it's summer and we all go through "shedding cycles," but is this normal? I used to get irritated with my cat because I had to vacuum a lot due to his shedding. Now I find myself offering a lint brush to guests to clean themselves of my hair. Oh woe.

08-13-2002, 09:34 PM
This didn't happen to me, but I was warned that it could when I was pregnant with my son. I think that it is normal, but I don't know how long you can expect it to last.

08-13-2002, 09:45 PM
It DOES end... I have really long hair, and for a few months postpartum, it festooned the furniture and wound around the baby and clogged the drains and fouled up the vaccuum cleaner brush and generally showed up EVERYWHERE.

This is just your hair catching up on all the shedding it didn't do during your pregnancy/immediate postpartum. It is totally normal. It WILL slow down before you go bald, I promise!



08-14-2002, 01:56 PM
Thank you for the reassurance. My husband thinks I'm trying to catch up with his hair loss (aaaah!) and has also asked if I'm taking anti-rogaine. It's really embarassing, not to mention gross! Thanks, though!

08-17-2002, 07:36 AM
It happened to me, too. I had thin hair to begin with, then it got very thick during my pregnancy. When my son turned about 3 months old, it fell out in huge handfuls. I thought it would never end! It finally stopped when my son was about 6 months old. New hair is growing back, but I have to say I have a lot more bad hair days now than before. Like you say, it's mainly gross and anoying, though.

Funny, no one tells you this stuff when you're trying to get pregnant! :-)

08-19-2002, 10:50 AM
Me too, me too. DS is now 1 year old and it only just stopped falling out in such copious amounts. DH thought we had a Yeti living with us! It seems to have slowed down since I stopped breastfeeding completely, so this may have something to do with it. This is my third child and the only one it happened with, at least to this degree. My doctor did do a thyroid test as this can cause hair loss as well, but mine was normal. It might be a good idea to get your thyroid tested as it can go wonky after the birth of a baby anyways, and then it could be ruled out. I did use Nioxin shampoos and conditioners that seemed to help, but unfortunately I was stuck with a hairy bathroom for a while. Just be assured it should let up after a few months. I think I was the anomaly for going on so long!

08-19-2002, 03:48 PM
Oh thank you for all your comments. I keep reassuring DH that it WILL end (though deep down I'm thinking 'oh please oh please oh please let it end'). We used to be irritated with our 2 cats (when we adopted them from the rescue, they told us the would be small short-haired cats. now at 14 pounds each and hair that is several inches long, we wonder...) and their tumbleweed-esque hairballs that floated through the house, but I can't even place the blame on them, since they are grey and I have long red hair. Perhaps I'll begin collecting my hair and try to sell it to a wig store :D.

You mentioned Nioxin shampoos - is that a brand or an ingredient? If it's an ingredient, what kind of brands carry it? I pick up my brush with dread each morning, thinking "Today is the day I will become bald." I hope this doesn't last until DD is a year, though we're breastfeeding exclusively right now, and will continue to BF after solids are introduced. I wait on pins and needles (and a nest of hair)...

08-19-2002, 11:04 PM
Nioxin is a brand of shampoo, conditioners, etc. etc. and you can pick it up at any hair salon or beauty supply shop, not cheap, but they work a little bit. Don't forget to get a thyroid test from your doctor, too. I hope it doesn't last a year for you, either, I kept waiting to go bald, asking dh if there were any thinning patches as he laughed hysterically (men do have a wierd sense of humour,don't they?) But it really only seemed to let up when I reluctantly finished breastfeeding about a month ago when ds was a year old. I suspect hormones had something to do with it and finishing breastfeeding stopped those hormones or some such thing. I still notice some loss, but nowhere near the amount as before. I think it varies among people and pregnancies, too. Good luck!!

08-20-2002, 12:30 AM
Thank you so much for the info - I will definitely get my thyroid tested. I didn't even THINK about that, but my grandma has had problems with hers, and I've been told before that poor circulation is an indication of some thyroid problem and my hands and feet are always colder (or hotter, as the case was when I was pregnant) than the rest of me. Thanks for the heads-up. Hopefully I'm just de-furring myself from those months of not losing any. Wouldn't it be nice, though, if we lost our leg hair instead? Now THAT would be welcome. But no, nothing ever really goes as we WANT it too!

08-20-2002, 07:43 PM
I have a question...I am dying to get my hair cut. (I am one of those people who think to do it every 12-18 months.) My hair is really thin normally, and while it did get a bit thicker during my pregnancy, I think it was normal given that it was summertime. Should I wait until 3-6 months PP and just slap it into a bun every day, for fear that I'll get a haircut that will just look horrendous (sp?) once my hair starts to fall out?

08-20-2002, 11:46 PM
I hear you on the annual haircut date! If getting a haircut would help you NOW (ie, make your life easier), then I say go for it. My hair loss is actually making my hair easier to manage since there is less of it -- I've cut hairdryer time in half! As long as it is a haircut you've had before, you should be safe. But if you're going to do something drastic, maybe hold off just a little bit so that "cute pixie cut" won't have people whispering, "Did she get gum stuck in her hair at one of those midnight feedings?" Not everyone loses a lot of hair, from what I've read here and talked to others about. Some don't even notice hair loss. But the old ponytail is working wonders for me right now -- slick my hair back with some gel and it looks like I actually WORKED on my hair! ha HA, and the masses will never know...

10-05-2002, 10:44 PM
Hi! How's the hair loss thing going? Has it stopped, yet? Did you get your thyroid checked? I totally agree about having your thyroid checked. Throid problems often go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed, as the symptoms can be confused for other things (ex.: being tired when your thyroid is underactive can be pushed off as the tiredness that comes with being a new Mom!) I have Graves disease, which made my thyroid become hyperactive. As a result, my hairline receded, I lost my eyebrows, my hair got thin and fine, and a bunch fell out all over the place! Treatment meant permanently killing off my thyroid and now I'm on synthetic hormones, to replace the ones my thyroid used to make, forever. But my hairline is moved back to where it was and hair is still growing back, 11mos. later! When I got pregnant, my hair started falling out, again, but not as bad. When I freaked out in the OB's office, he lauged and said that it was a normal response to pregnancy and not to worry! But he's a man - they don't look at things the same! Well, halfway through my second trimester, my hair stopped falling out and is fine now. It really is scary, but try not to stress too much over it! Take care! tmcgee99

10-06-2002, 12:37 AM
Oh wow - what an ordeal you have gone through! My hair continues to fall out and my thyroid is fine. At dd's 6-month check-up I brought it up again to my doctor (she's our family practice doctor, so we all see the same doc) and she had a fabulous answer for why I was losing so much hair.

She said that at any given time, each hair is in one of 4 stages. When something distressing happens (emotional or physical), a lot of hairs will jump straight to stage 4, and the only thing they can do after that is fall out. She said that as long as I wasn't vigorously brushing my hair several times a day (I barely brush it once now, for fear it will be my last...), and that I wasn't losing clumps of hair, I'm fine.

After that discussion, I felt tons better. She assured me that only in extremely rare cases will the woman go completely bald (please oh please don't let me be that rare!). She said she lost tons of hair after both of her children's births and through her residency.

So even though I have half as much hair as before, I feel better. And I can't believe how fast I can get ready in the morning. I suppose I'm also saving on energy costs since I don't run my hairdryer for nearly as long... I'm trying to be a half-full kinda girl.

Sorry so long - it's late, suppose I should go to bed (sleep deprivation surely can't HELP the situtation...)

10-15-2002, 06:32 PM
I am 16 weeks PP and have been losing tons of hair for about a month. I am told this is very normal and happens to lots of women PP. Even so, it is gross!!! I have to clear the drain, sweep the floor, etc. etc. I just wonder why it does not happen to everyone and how I got to be one of the lucky ones!!!

10-16-2002, 11:01 AM
It must be quite a relief for you to finally have an answer! Sounds like you have a really good Dr. that you can trust! Also glad to hear that your thyroid's o.k. Hopefully, your body and your hair will soon readjust itself back to normal! I really feel for you, but try not to stress over it, as this could make it worse! (easier said than done, right?) Best of luck to you! tmcgee99

10-16-2002, 08:56 PM
Just adding another to the chorus of hair loss! I stopped shedding almost completely during pregnancy and ended up with really thick hair! and long, it just grew faster than I could cut it!) then at 3 month PP it began coming out so that I almost had to invest in Drano stock I was using so much of it....(drains were useless...my hair is very fine and blonde so hard to see!) and my hair blanketed the house, my friends houses- it got so bad that my friends would find hairs and put them back on my head...:-) anyhow- just to cheer you up- my dd is now 10 months (!?!?) and my hair is completely back to normal and has been for at least 3 months! So have no fear- it will end!

10-16-2002, 10:21 PM
This is kind of gross, but I just hit the 3 month PP mark and have begun to notice that my white bathroom floor is looking a little black...I usually wear my hair up because I don't like it in my face. It also decreases the likelihood that a certain someone can grab a handful and rip it out. Anyhow, I was a little disgusted this evening to discover that the sponge I was using to wash dishes was holding a few hairs captive! Ugh! How on earth does that happen? So I had to re-wash everything in very hot water. Because I don't have anything else I'd rather be doing... :)

10-24-2002, 11:03 AM
I wanted to add my experience with hair loss, hoping to give you encouragement.
Your doctor is right about hair falling out because of stress, being physical and/or emotional.
I lost my first husband suddenly (literally dropped dead!) 5 years ago. Because of the shock and stress, my hair began falling out like crazy (I had LOTS of thick, waist long, black hair). It got so bad that quarter-size bald spots began to appear on my scalp. I went to see the best dermatologist in CT (he's also one of the best in the country) whose specialty is hair loss. He ran some tests but there was nothing medically wrong with me. We then knew it was emotional stress.
He started a series of shots on my scalp in conjuction with me applying a Monoxodyl lotion at bedtime. That stopped the loss and my hair eventually started growing back.
Last year I got remarried but, when I found out I was pregnant (Sabrina was a surprise!), one of my fears was the effect of the pregnancy on my hair, especially since I had to stop my treatments.
During the pregnancy, my hair got stronger and fuller and now (4 months after delivery), I'm experiencing some loss but not alarming like before.
I went to see my dermatologist just last week to resume my treatments and he told me I don't need them anymore. He explained that hair stops shedding during pregnancy and that the reason why we seem to lose so much hair after delivery is because the hair is catching up to its normal cycle. He also said that in situations like mine (and yours) where we have so much thick hair, we'll see a lot more loss (the more we have, the more we lose). In addition, he said it's temporary and it gets better.
Sorry about the longggggggggggggggggg story but i hope it helps!

Annette :)
SAHM to Sabrina 6/24/02

10-24-2002, 12:39 PM
You sound like such a strong, amazing woman!! What a nightmare to go through. I am so happy that you are happy again and thanks for the info re hair loss. What you said makes a lot of sense!

10-24-2002, 04:38 PM
Thank you for sharing, Annette -- what an amazing woman you are! My hair loss has definitely slowed (it helps that I've begun eating better). I am thankful that I am losing hair due to a pregnancy and wonderful baby. It could easily be over something more traumatic emotionally. Thank you for putting things in perspective. I count myself lucky it isn't something that required medical attention. May you enjoy your adorable Sabrina and enjoy the happiness you deserve.

take care-

10-24-2002, 08:28 PM
Thank you Shira and Sarah.
You know what they say: "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger".
I'm very happy again and I don't take things for granted anymore.
And I'm having such a great time with Sabrina!:)
Annette :)
SAHM to Sabrina 6/24/02