On top of sleep deprivation and chapped nipples, hair loss is another unpleasant reality that comes along with new motherhood for up to 50% of women, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Unfortunately, it's unavoidable: It's all part of your body — and hair — returning to its pre-baby state, so even celebs aren't immune. (Meghan Markle reportedly dealt with it after her first pregnancy.)
As a reminder that even models deal with the telltale side effects of pregnancy, Ashley Graham recently shared on Instagram that she too is dealing with postpartum hair loss — officially known as telogen effluvium — by poking fun at the baby hairs that have begun growing in and comparing her look to a Bond villain.
Quick refresher: The reason many women notice excessive shedding of hair two to three months after giving birth is due to the rise in hormones that occurs during pregnancy, explains Debra Jaliman, M.D., assistant professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Basically, pregnancy causes a pause in the shedding process that otherwise naturally occurs on a daily basis, which is why many women actually experience thicker, fuller hair during pregnancy.
However, once you've had your baby and hormone levels return to normal, the hair you never lost while pregnant will fall out. This usually leads to widespread hair loss that affects the entire scalp. (FWIW, Graham has shared in the past that Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp & Hair Serum is the only thing that helped when her hair was falling out in heaps.)
So, while postpartum hair loss — and the subsequent baby hair phase — may not be the cutest look, know that it's simply your hair working through its natural regrowth cycles post-baby. Good news: Experts say your hair should typically return to its normal pre-baby condition six to 12 months after childbirth. In the meantime, you can use gel to keep your baby hairs in place — or take a page out of Graham's book and lean on humor. We could all use a good laugh these days, right?
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