Katherine Ryan shares postpartum hair regrowth: What to do about pregnancy hair loss

Katherine Ryan, pictured, has shared an image of her postpartum hair regrowth. (Getty Images)
Katherine Ryan has shared an image of her postpartum hair regrowth. (Getty Images)

Katherine Ryan has shared an image of the postpartum regrowth she has on the top of her head, after experiencing changes in her hair following the birth of her children.

The comedian, 40, welcomed son Fred, two, and baby daughter Fenna Grace, who was born last December, with her husband, Bobby Kootstra, while she is also mum to Violet, 13, from a previous relationship.

In a recent Instagram story, Ryan shared a close-up image of the tufty, regrowth of the hair she lost during the pregnancies of her children, captioning the clip: "Tell me you had two babies in two years."

Ryan isn't the only one to share hair issues relating to pregnancy and birth recently. Early this year Molly-Mae Hague has revealed her fears about suffering from hair loss following her pregnancy.

Meanwhile Abbey Clancy previously revealed she was suffering from hair loss during and after her third pregnancy.

“My hair was falling out throughout my whole pregnancy with baby Johnny – and still is now, so it’s fallen out loads," she told Closer Magazine.

“I didn’t dye my hair during pregnancy and it went quite dark but, as soon as I had the baby, I wanted to go blonder and feel more like me and get back my confidence.”

While Giovanna Fletcher also shared an honest post to social media about postpartum hair loss and regrowth.

Ashley Graham was also recently praised by fans for opening up about postnatal hair loss following the birth of her twins.

Read more: Love Island’s Montana Brown joins the post-pregnancy body reveal club with bikini photo (Yahoo Life UK, 5-min read)

Some women have reportd sufering from hair loss after contracting COVID. (Getty Images)
Some women have reportd sufering from hair loss after contracting COVID. (Getty Images)

Why do women experience hair loss during and after pregnancy?

Hair loss and then regrowth during pregnancy and after giving birth is something that many women experience, but what causes it and what can you do about it?

"During pregnancy, raised oestrogen levels keep hairs in their anagen (growth) phase for longer than usual," Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley previously told Yahoo Life UK.

"After giving birth, or stopping breastfeeding, these levels drop, returning to normal. This can cause hairs retained during pregnancy to shed in a short period of time, resulting in a type hair shedding called postpartum hair fall.

"Due to the nature of the hair growth cycle, postpartum hair fall usually occurs 6-12 weeks after giving birth or stopping breastfeeding," she adds.

Read more: What Postpartum Life Looks Like In 7 Brilliantly Honest Photos (Huffpost UK, 2-min read)

How common is it?

Pretty common. "In a study we conducted, we found that approximately 50% of women experience postpartum hair fall," Kingsley says.

"We do not know why some women experience it and others do not. It is impossible to predict and it can also occur after one pregnancy, but not another.”

Watch: Almost one-third of women have never told anyone about their physical issues

Can it be prevented?

Sadly not. "If postpartum hair fall is going to occur, it must be left to run its course," Kingsley advises. "But try not to worry, the loss is only temporary and all hairs lost should grow back as usual.

"However, it can be made worse by certain factors or continue for longer than it should – and these can often be avoided."

Treatments for postpartum hair loss

Diet and supplements

It may be difficult to take care of your own wellbeing when you are looking after a newborn, but it’s very important in terms of hair growth. "As your system re-balances, your hair is going to be last on your body’s list of priorities to nourish and it often needs some extra internal support," Kingsley advises.

She recommends trying to eat nutrient rich meals that contain plenty of protein and iron. "A palm-sized portion of a 'perfect protein' (i.e. one that contains all essential amino acids) at breakfast and lunch is a good starting point. Examples are eggs, fish, lean meat, poultry and low-fat cottage cheese."

"Foods highest in iron are red meats," Kingsley continues. "Energy to form hair cells drops 4 hours after eating, so follow the ‘4 hour nutrition rule’ and snack on a complex carbohydrate if more than this amount of time is left between meals."

Taking a daily protein supplement and a multi-vitamin containing iron, Vitamin C, Biotin, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D can also be of great help in boosting growth.

Many women experience hair loss and regrowth after pregnancy and birth. (Getty Images)
Many women experience hair loss and regrowth after pregnancy and birth. (Getty Images)

Read more: My postpartum psychosis left me so unwell I forgot I’d had a baby (Yahoo Life UK, 7-min read)

Useful products

Kingsley recommends applying stimulating anti-androgenic scalp drops daily and using a stimulating scalp mask once a week. “Stimulating ingredients include menthol and methyl nicotinate. These will help to optimize the scalp environment and create a good foundation for healthy hair growth."

“Breakage can also thin the appearance of the hair. To strengthen and add elasticity to strands, use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment once a week. This can be applied to your hair at the same time your scalp mask is applied to your scalp," Kingsley adds.