A video of a hairdresser pulling out hair is captivating the internet.
It shows the reality of postpartum hair loss – a condition that affects women around four months after giving birth.
And it is oh, so satisfying to watch.
“Nothing like that post-pregnancy shed,” hairdresser Christina Kreitel in Utah posted to Instagram, alongside a video of her pulling out chunks and chunks and chunks of hair.
“You know the time, four months postpartum and you FILL that drain! I’m going through this myself and like to collect it on the wall of my shower. So grossly satisfying.”
Please don’t panic. Hair loss after pregnancy is normal.
Each strand of hair goes through a cycle. It grows in the anagen phase, which lasts between two and six years. It rests in the catagen phase, which lasts several weeks. And it falls out in the telogen phase, as the follicle remains dormant for one to four months.
During pregnancy, this changes. And a greater number of hairs remain in the catagen phase for longer before falling out. It helps provide the ‘luscious’, ‘radiant’ pregnancy look.
“When you’re pregnant, oestrogen extends the hair growth cycle – hair stays in its resting phase longer and therefore remains in your head beyond its ‘use-by date’,” director of dermatology at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Rodney Sinclair wrote for the ABC.
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This doesn’t happen without a catch – it doesn’t last forever. Once the body’s oestrogen levels return to normal after childbirth, the hair that’s been held to the head for so long finally falls out. This is what’s called postpartum hair loss.
“About three months after the baby is born, a woman starts to lose her extra hair (something new mums often put down to stress of life with a baby),” Sinclair said. “Hair loss can vary from person to person but all new mums can expect to lose some hair.”
Thankfully, the hair loss doesn’t last forever and growth will return to normal.
Simply put? We can watch videos like this with extreme satisfaction and without feeling guilty.