Reviewed by

Morgane Leten - Nutrition & Fertility Coach


How To Deal With Hair Loss

Reviewed by

Morgane Leten - Nutrition & Fertility Coach

We know hair loss can be scary and stressful. For most women, hair is a huge part of our identities and suddenly losing a lot of it can be a major cause for concern, especially if you weren’t expecting it.

But don’t worry. Hair loss, though concerning, is very common and usually short-lived. When you take charge of your hormones and understand why hair loss happens, you can take away some of the anxiety and better support the health of your hair. In this post, we will tell you what to expect and how to handle it (And don’t worry: you are not going bald. We promise.)

What causes hormonal hair loss?

Hormonal hair loss is caused by dramatic hormonal changes in your body. The regular hormone changes during your cycle, though noticeable, are not usually enough to trigger hair loss. For hair loss to happen, something more major is often going on. Here are some common things that might trigger hormonal hair loss:

  • Going off the birth control pill
  • Recovering after you’ve just had a baby
  • The onset of perimenopause or menopause
  • Extreme stress

Going off the Pill and Hair Loss

When you stop taking the birth control pill, it is possible that a lot of hair may start falling out all at once. This is due to something called telogen effluvium, a temporary condition that causes hair to shed and is caused by the hormonal stress of coming off the pill. This is also known as a shedding phase but when your hormones are out of balance, it can last up to six months. Some women experience mild hair loss and others may notice hair thinning where the density of hair is considerably less. This is not a permanent condition and will subside after your body adjusts to not being on birth control. However, it can take up to a year before your hair returns to it’s normal density.

For more information on how to stop taking the pill, check out our guide here.

Going On the Pill and Hair Loss

Some women may also notice some hair loss when starting hormonal birth control. This is because your body thinks you are in the early stages of pregnancy which can sometimes trigger shedding as well. When a sperm fertilizes an egg, a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels change to prevent future ovulation. Birth control pills work in the same way.

Hair loss caused by birth control pills is usually temporary and should stop within a few months.

Menopause and Hair Loss

Because menopause impacts the production of several hormones, it can also trigger hair loss in women. During menopause, you create less estrogen and progesterone which help hair grow faster and stay on your head for longer periods of time. When these hormones drop, hair grows more slowly and starts to become thinner. This hormonal decline can also trigger an increase in the production of androgens, a type of male hormone which can shrink hair follicles. This can cause some hair loss, and annoyingly, it can also cause some peach fuzz-like hair to grow on your face. Lifestyle changes can help your body adjust to these hormonal imbalances.

Guud to know: Read more about perimenopause and the lifestyle changes that can help alleviate symptoms

Postpartum Hair Loss

While there’s many not-so-nice symptoms of being pregnant, one guud one is super thick, shiny hair. The average person loses about 100 hairs per day. This may sound like a lot, but it happens gradually so you don’t even really notice. But, when you’re pregnant, your hormones actually stop these hairs from falling out. That’s what makes it look so lush!

But many new mums often notice significant hair loss a few months after having a baby. This is normal, despite the fact that it can be scary (and disappointing after experiencing lovely pregnancy hair!) It is caused by falling estrogen levels and many doctors or dermatologists may refer to it as excessive hair shedding. You may start to notice this shedding about 6 months after giving birth. But don’t worry, it will subside and your hair should be back to normal by the time your baby celebrates their first birthday!

Extreme Stress and Hair Loss

Similar to what happens when you go off the pill, extreme stress can trigger hair loss as a result of telogen effluvium which causes your hairs to fall out without new hairs growing in to replace them. You’ll usually notice this shedding phase about 2-3 months after the stressful event or lifestyle change. So if you’ve just had a major breakup, moved countries, suffered a tragedy or any other number of major life stresses, be on the lookout for some sudden thinning of your hair across your entire scalp. In most cases, this is temporary and minor and will simply result in more hairs on your pillow, in the drain or in your brush.

Hair loss caused by stress is called telogen effluvium. Unlike hormonal hair loss in women, it usually isn’t permanent. Like other forms of temporary hair loss, telogen effluvium affects your hairline by forcing hairs into the telogen phase, the final phase of your hair’s growth cycle. This can cause your hairs to fall out without replacement hairs growing in to replace them.

You’ll usually notice telogen effluvium hair loss two to three months after the stressful event or lifestyle change that triggered it.

How much hair will I lose?

This varies for everyone. Sometimes it’s just some more hairs on your pillow, in the drain or on your hairbrush. Other times, it’s a more obvious thinning across your entire scalp. Some women notice that the density of their ponytail changes and they need to use a smaller elastic band than they used to. For the most part, symptoms are minor and temporary and hair density will return after a few months. However, if you’re concerned, talk to your doctor. Sometimes, more dramatic hair thinning can be a sign of a thyroid problem.

When will my hair grow back?

Yes! Rest assured, you will not go bald. Most cases of hormonal hair loss last no more than six months and many women return to their regular hair density within one year.

Can I do anything to support the health of my hair?

You can spend as much as you want on fancy shampoo and conditioner but the fact is, the health of your hair is largely dependent on vitamins and minerals. There are a few vitamins and minerals that are especially important for hair health:

  • Zinc and selenium - Both are great minerals to support your skin and hair. Research has shown that zinc and selenium can help speed up the repair of damaged hair follicles.
  • Copper is an important mineral that contributes to normal hair pigmentation.
  • Your best friend Magnesium - contributes to normal psychological function, normal nervous system function, and to the reduction of fatigue and tiredness. These are all things that make you less able to handle stress, and stress is a trigger for hair loss.

Healthy hair starts with a healthy lifestyle and enough nutrients. Eat a balanced diet (all colours of the rainbow). Do you want to supplement, then make sure you choose high-quality supplements with active ingredients.

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Have more questions about how to get your hair looking its best? Talk to us. We can help.