Just when you thought your post-pregnancy body was finished transforming, you notice it: Clumps of hair circling the bathtub drain when you shower. And while postpartum hair loss is hormonal and doesn't happen to every new mom, it's daunting—not to mention frustrating and emotional when you're in the thick of navigating life with a newborn. (Can't your body finally cut you some slack?)
Well, after checking in with Stephen Pullaniat at the Philip Kingsley Salon in New York, we have good news and bad. The bad news first: Postpartum hair loss is largely unavoidable (although factors like poor nutrition, lack of sleep and stress can exacerbate it, FYI).
The good news? It usually resolves itself by the one-year mark postpartum.
Here’s why: When you were pregnant, your estrogen levels were at an all-time high, something that causes hair follicles to grow faster and freeze in the "resting" stage of the hair growth cycle, too. (No wonder your third trimester was marked by such a lustrous mane.) But post-baby—or post-breastfeeding, if you decide to nurse—estrogen levels return to normal...and so does your hair. This means that all that hair that was in the "resting" phase for weeks starts to fall out at an accelerated pace.
But eventually all that resolves, which is why most moms report that their hair is back to normal by the 12-month mark.
We're not saying that's not a long time, but it's nice to have an ETA on an end date, right?