Like many women, I lost a great deal of hair starting about three months after pregnancy.
I’ve always had long hair. But when I got pregnant in mid-2017, my hair suddenly became the hair of shampoo models: Long, thick, lustrous. It wasn’t just that my hair texture changed, though — by the time I gave birth in February 2018, I had about twice as much hair as I did pre-pregnancy. (Picture below).
Unfortunately, as with up to 90% of women, I started to lose most of my new hair around three months postpartum. My hair started to come out in clumps. It was everywhere.
Hair Loss Update At 4 Months Postpartum
As I reported on the blog earlier, the good news is, I found I was losing a lot less hair than before when I started using the iRestore at 3 months postpartum. Whereas I was losing giant clumps of hair each and every time I brushed my hair, the clumps of hair have gotten substantially smaller (see below). At 4 months postpartum (within 30 days of using the iRestore), I would say that I am losing about 33% of the hair I was losing before.
If I were to do it again, I would start to use the iRestore as soon as I gave birth, so my hair follicles were being stimulated while in the “latent” or resting phase, rather than waiting until they made it all the way to the “falling out” phase in month 3. That said, I do think that it is easing up on the proverbial bleeding that is my hair loss.
Hair Loss Update At 7 Months Postpartum
Now that I’m seven months postpartum and have been using the iRestore regularly, I would say that I am losing very little hair. I also have a lot of new ‘baby hairs’ coming in, which are a few inches long at this point, and mainly at the crown of my head.
Is my hair as thick as it was while I was pregnant? No, sadly, it isn’t.
But is my hair as thick as it was before I was pregnant? I would say yes. Which I think was the purpose of the iRestore, anyway, so I consider this to be a success.
Why Postpartum Hair Loss Occurs
During pregnancy, your body produces a ton of estrogen and progesterone. In fact, you produce more estrogen and progesterone during one pregnancy than you will during the rest of your life combined (source).
These hormones don’t just help your hair to grow — they prevent it from falling out. While normal hairs go through a growth phase, a latent phase, and a falling-out phase, the plethora of estrogen and progesterone keep hair only in the growth phase during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, immediately after birth, hormones start to return to their normal state. For about three months, hair enters the latent, or “resting”, phase.
And then, at about three months postpartum, hair starts to fall out. While most women lose about 80 hairs a day normally, new moms shed about 400 hairs a day (source). And this process continues until about six months postpartum.
How the iRestore System Works
iRestore utilizes low-level light therapy (or LLLT), which is clinically proven to treat hair loss and grow thicker, fuller hair fast for both men and women. The system uses medical-grade lasers and LEDs to deliver light energy directly to hair follicles. It is a convenient, hands-free device that provides full scalp coverage.
Although this is a bit oversimplistic, here are the five steps in which red LED lasers can help hair to regrow:
- LED lasers are absorbed into the outer layer of the skin, and in the hair follicles in particular.
- The lasers stimulate the cells to produce ATP (cellular energy).
- The follicles are energized, and start to expand open.
- Hair begins to grow from newly-expanded follicles (new locations).
- Hair grows more from newly-energized follicles (more rapid growth).
FDA-cleared red LED-light emitting diodes (a combination of LED and laser) for full-scalp coverage at the wavelength of 650-670 nanometers have been clinically proven to stimulate hair growth. The recommended treatment protocol for men and women is 20-25 minutes every other day for the first four to six months, after which point the device can be used once or twice a week for maintenance.
I’m a big fan of the iRestore system, and I would recommend it to anyone who is concerned about excessive hair loss during pregnancy.