Post-Baby Hair Loss 101: Everything You Need to Know (and Don't Worry -- You're Not Going Bald!)

As if sleep deprivation and postpartum hormones aren't enough, now your hair is falling out in clumps! Don't worry, Mama, it's normal. Here's how to handle it (17 Photos)

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow on Feb 14, 2012 at 5:15PM

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: What You Need to Know About Postpartum Hair Loss

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a Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow on Feb 14, 2012 at 4:59PM

You know that gorgeous head of hair you rocked while you were pregnant? The mane so glossy and full it would make a Kardashian sister look like she hasn’t seen a deep conditioning in years? Well, many of those strands will jump ship right around the time you're beginning to settle into mommyhood. And no one warns you about just how much hair can fall out or that it can stress out even the most even-keeled mama. To help, we talked to the experts to find out what exactly is going on up top and how you can make the most with what you've got in the meantime.

What's Happening Up There?
Like other unsavory things that happen to your body before and after pregnancy, you can chalk up hair loss to hormones. Normally, you lose strands as new locks grow in, but during pregnany, estrogen prevents your hair's natural shedding cycle -- resulting in that extra-full shampoo-commercial look. When hormone levels plummet postpartum, you finally lose all that extra hair. "When the hormone environment changes after your baby is born, you experience telogen effluvium, which is a medical term for shedding," says Dr. Angela Kyei, a dermatologist and head of the Multicultural Skin Center at the Cleveland Clinic. "So when estrogen levels fall, you lose your hair."

Next Up: After Delivery: A Freakout-Free Guide to What Happens After Childbirth-- and How to Prepare!
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