Suffering Postpartum Hair Loss? Don’t Panic: Learn More About Your Causes and Treatment Options Instead


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Things to love about having a baby: lots of cuddles, the cutest teeny clothes and so much love your heart could burst. Things you probably don’t love? Sleep deprivation, baby barf and postpartum hair loss.

Yep, a few months after giving birth, that “pregnancy glow” and all the thick hair that came with it make a harrowing exit. 

But if having a kid does anything, it gives you some perspective about everyday problems — everything is relative. Spitup on your blouse and baby poop under your fingernail? No biggie. Even a mounting stack of bills means less when there’s a baby in the picture.

Sure, losing some hair is troubling, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.

In this article, we’ll cover how long postpartum hair loss lasts, what causes postpartum hair loss and what you can do about it. Because nobody wants to be bald at baby’s first birthday (except baby — maybe).

Why Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen?

While data on postpartum hair loss is limited, there’s lots of research on the substantial hormone changes you go through during each trimester and after pregnancy. And to be accurate, the American Academy of Dermatology says it’s not technically hair loss but actually excessive hair shedding due to diminishing estrogen levels.

At the two-month mark of pregnancy, there’s a surge in human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), while progesterone and estrogens gradually increase by ninefold and eightfold, respectively.

Specifically, in postpartum hair loss, there’s a delayed anagen release. Also known as telogen gravidarum, this type of telogen effluvium is commonly associated with postpartum hair loss.

During pregnancy, high levels of circulating placental estrogen can prolong the anagen phase (also known as the growing phase of the hair-growth cycle), resulting in that gorgeous full head of hair.

But after delivery, these drastic hormonal changes can cause all the overdue anagen hairs to enter into the catagen phase (aka the resting phase) simultaneously, leading to increased shedding of telogen hair a few months later when you enter the shedding phase.

Combine this with stress and sleep deprivation, and you’ve got a recipe for postpartum hair loss — hence the hairballs circling your shower drain or strands of hair lining your pillow.

Childbirth isn’t the only thing that causes telogen effluvium. Other factors like illness, severe stress, some medications, crash dieting and major surgery can cause it too. Which is to say, no matter where you are in life, hair loss isn’t uncommon.

(RelatedMenopause Hair Loss: Why It Happens & How to Treat It)

When Does Postpartum Hair Loss Start?

For new moms, straggly buns or skimpy ponytails are practically a rite of passage. Hair loss typically peaks around four months postpartum, according to the experts at the American Academy of Dermatology.

In general, telogen effluvium usually takes place three months after a traumatic event. And as you well know, childbirth can be pretty damn traumatic.

It doesn’t happen immediately — your hair won’t come out at the same time your baby exits the womb. Instead, postpartum shedding accelerates several weeks or even months after childbirth as your hormones dramatically shift. 

Right about now, you’re probably wondering, When does postpartum hair loss stop? Usually by the time your kiddo blows out the candles on their first birthday. In other words, most women will have regained their normal hair growth and fullness one year postpartum.

Treating Postpartum Hair Loss

Excessive shedding from telogen effluvium will typically resolve itself with time. Like most phases with a baby (like the awful three-month sleep regression), this too shall pass.

Yes, no one wants to experience hair loss (or any other side effects of pregnancy hormones, for that matter) but you do get a super-cute reward.

A few months after you notice the hair loss, you should start to see your hair shedding resort back to more normal levels. Generally, topical minoxidil can be used while breastfeeding, but your healthcare provider can offer personalized guidance.

Here are a few things you can try to make your hair look a little fuller in the meantime.

  • Get body, ody, ody. Sometimes, ya gotta fake it till ya make it. The right hair care products can make all the difference when you have fine hair. A volumizing shampoo and conditioner will help wash away heavy oils and grease while adding extra body that even Megan Thee Stallion would be proud of. Check out our guide on how to get volume in your hair for tips to make hair look more like it did pre-pregnancy.

  • Up your vitamins. Normal hair growth and function rely on essential vitamins and minerals — and a lack of these nutrients can potentially lead to hair loss. If you have a nutritional deficiency (which, let’s be real, is very possible if you’re missing meals while taking care of a tiny human), work with your healthcare provider to determine which vitamins or minerals you need. For example, biotin deficiency is often linked to hair loss, so these biotin gummies can help prevent sparse strands. Some women continue to take prenatal vitamins with folate, iron and vitamin D to help with regrowth. We don’t expect you to be making gourmet meals with a new baby, but try to eat a healthy diet so you can be your healthiest from hair to toe.

  • Address the baby blues. Postpartum depression (aka the baby blues) is very real. Even the happy-go-lucky types can find themselves reeling from an emotional storm, especially in the months after childbirth. From hormonal shifts to navigating an entirely new world, it’s understandable to struggle with postpartum anxiety or depression. If you can’t get childcare or take much time away from your baby, online therapy might help you deal with your postpartum emotions.

(RelatedHow to Prevent Hair Loss in Women)

Severe Postpartum Hair Loss: When to See a Healthcare Provider

While hair loss in new moms is common, there are solutions to help get your hairline to a better place. If your child’s first birthday has come and gone and your scalp still looks like a ghost town, it might be time to see a healthcare provider.

What’s the best treatment for postpartum hair loss? A dermatologist, trichologist or other healthcare professional can help you figure out the right hair loss treatments for you and see if there’s something bigger going on, like female pattern hair loss or a thyroid issue.

Below, we rounded up effective, science-backed treatments with street cred (real research cred, that is). That said, if you are breastfeeding, it’s always best to check with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

  • Minoxidil. Ah, minoxidil — how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Minoxidil is easy to use, backed up by lots of research and FDA-approved for female pattern hair loss. Though its use for telogen effluvium is an off-label indication, it’s a common line of defense for various forms of hair loss. These 2% minoxidil drops make it easy to target thinning areas or a wide part. A lightweight 5% minoxidil foam version, this higher-strength formula may be a better choice if you have more aggressive signs of hair loss.

  • Oral minoxidil. If you’re looking for a way to boost hair growth without changing your styling routine, this once-a-day pill might be just the thing. It works by increasing blood flow to your hair follicles, which can help kickstart growth. While oral minoxidil isn’t actually FDA-approved for hair loss, some clinical trials have shown it can be effective at different doses ranging from 0.25 to 2.5 milligrams per day.

  • Spironolactone. This prescription medication helps block androgen production. Spironolactone decreases the amount of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in your hair follicles, the hormone that causes thinning hair. Typically, spironolactone is used to treat androgenetic alopecia, so it may not be helpful for telogen effluvium.

Postpartum Hair Loss Is Normal

For most new mothers, hair thinning is par for the course and just another thing to cope with that first year. Often, the hair loss isn’t dramatic enough to even cause panic. But because you’re already adjusting to so much, losing your hair — even just a little bit, temporarily — can be scary.

Telogen effluvium is the most common form of postpartum hair loss — and one that can completely resolve itself in under a year. From the moment you notice you’re shedding more than usual, your scalp is working to replace those hairs.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • It’s totally normal. No, you’re not the only one going bald after childbirth. TBH, most new moms experience some hair loss.

  • Give it time. Hair loss from telogen effluvium usually resolves within a year.

  • Try a treatment. If it’s already been over a year or your hair loss feels severe, talk to a healthcare provider or dermatologist about hair loss treatments like minoxidil to help kickstart hair growth.

Hair can totally impact the way we feel about ourselves, but remember, there are things you can do to get it under control.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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Weight Loss Medications: Are They Actually Effective?

Weight Loss Medications: Are They Actually Effective?

It’s common knowledge that managing your weight keeps you healthy now and as you get older. In fact, obesity contributes to several health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Not only was the prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults nearly 42 percent in 2017, but the estimated medical costs for adults with obesity were almost $2,000 more each year than for adults who do not have obesity .

Those who have a body mass index (BMI, or the measurement of fat based on height and weight) between 25 and 30 are considered overweight, while those with a BMI over 30 are considered to have obesity.

You’ve probably heard of a few weight loss medications, or at least their brand names, like Ozempic® and Wegovy®. However, there are several other prescription drugs available that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and frequently prescribed off-label for weight loss.

Healthcare providers may prescribe these medications to someone who has obesity or is overweight with a weight-related health problem like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.


You’re probably familiar with one of semaglutide’s brand names, Ozempic — other brand names for this drug include Wegovy and Rybelsus®.

Ozempic is approved by the FDA to treat type 2 diabetes and may be prescribed off-label for weight loss, in combination with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise or with other diabetes medications like insulin or metformin.

Wegovy, meanwhile, is a prescription medication approved for use for weight loss in people who have obesity or who are overweight.

Ozempic and Wegovy are in a class of medication called GLP-1 receptor agonists, which mimic the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 and target areas of the brain that regulate appetite.

Ozempic was approved by the FDA in 2017, while Wegovy was granted approval to pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk more recently, in 2021.


Although only approved by the FDA to treat diabetes, metformin is often used off-label for weight loss, as well as gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

It isn’t exactly clear how metformin helps people lose weight, but researchers think the drug works as an appetite suppressant. Similarly to Ozempic, metformin may increase how much GLP-1 hormone your body makes. This can send a signal to your brain that you’re full, which means you eat fewer calories.

Read our blog to learn about Ozempic vs. Metformin for weight loss.

(Related: Metformin For Weight Loss: Does It Work?)

Tatsiana Niamera/istockphoto

If you’ve dealt with depression or looked into medication to quit smoking, bupropion may sound familiar to you.

For weight loss, it can be combined with the drug naltrexone, which is used to treat alcohol and drug dependence, to curb your hunger or make you feel fuller sooner. Together, these medications work on two areas of the brain, the hunger center and the reward system, to reduce appetite and help control cravings.

Along with a reduced calorie diet and exercise plan, naltrexone-bupropion can also help keep excess weight off.


Phentermine-topiramate is actually two separate medications that are combined in Qsymia, but are offered separately in other applications. 

While phentermine is considered an anorectic and topiramate is an anticonvulsant, both help with appetite suppression.

Topiramate offers the added benefit of helping you feel fuller longer after you eat.

When used specifically with a healthy exercise regimen and a reduced calorie diet, these medications — either together or separately — have been shown to help people lose weight and keep it off.


Orlistat, which belongs to a class of medications known as lipase inhibitors, reduces the amount of fat your body absorbs from the food you eat.

Orlistat is used for weight loss in conjunction with exercise and a reduced-calorie diet, as well as after weight loss to help people keep from gaining back that weight.

While the brand name Xenical requires a prescription, another brand called Alli is available in a lower dosage without one.


Like Ozempic and Wegovy, liraglutide is an injected weight loss medication. It works as a GLP-1 receptor agonist to suppress appetite, similarly to semaglutide.

Also available under the brand name Victoza at a lower dose, this drug is FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes.

(Related: Weight Loss Injections: Are They Safe?)


These weight loss drugs are all available with a prescription from a healthcare professional, but how effective are they really?

  • One study found that when people without diabetes took a weekly semaglutide injection they had a higher average weight loss — almost a 15 percent average decrease in weight — than people who took a placebo.

  • Metformin has also demonstrated clinically significant weight loss. A 2020 meta-analysis of 21 trials testing metformin found the drug had a modest impact on lowering BMI, especially for those who are considered to have obesity.

  • smaller study on metformin also found that the average amount of weight lost in 154 patients was between 5.6 and 7 kgs (that’s roughly between 13 and 15 pounds).

It’s also worth mentioning cost here — if you can’t afford the drug you need to take, it’s effectiveness essentially drops to zero percent. That said, there’s some wide price disparity between weight loss drugs. 

For instance, injectibals like Ozempic and Wegovy are generally more expensive than orals like metformin — namely because metformin is a generic medication that’s been around for decades, and Ozempic and Wegovy are newer. 

Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto

Because everyone’s weight loss journey is different, weight loss medications may work slowly for some people and faster for others.

How long you need to take a weight loss prescription drug depends on various factors such as what side effects you experience, how much weight you need to lose, whether the drug helps keep the weight off and more.

Generally, as found in the studies noted above and clinical trials, weight loss will occur within the first few months of using the medication.

Sometimes your health care professional may recommend long-term use of the medication, while other people may be advised to stop the drug if they don’t lose a certain amount of weight after 12 weeks.

If you’re taking a weight loss medication, your healthcare provider will likely suggest that you also increase your physical activity and make healthy lifestyle changes like eating lots of protein and fiber and getting enough sleep. These medications are the most effective when combined with healthy habits.

Jorge Elizaquibel/istockphoto

Just like any medication, weight loss drugs also come with the possibility of side effects.

When it comes to injectibal drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, there are some broad side effects that apply to all injectibals — like swelling, redness or other discomfort at the injection site — but generally, the side effects profiles of these drugs are similar regardless of delivery method.

The most common side effects of many of these weight loss medications include:

  • Stomach pain or constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

Some, like liraglutide and naltrexone-bupropion, may cause an increased heart rate or headaches.

Liraglutide and semaglutide may also increase the risk of pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas). You may also have a higher risk of developing tumors or thyroid cancer when using liraglutide or semaglutide, although these serious side effects are very rare.


There’s a good chance you’ve heard of weight loss medications like Ozempic or even Wegovy, but there’s also a good chance that the headlines and celebrity-focused articles didn’t answer all your questions. Here’s what you need to know about whether they’re effective.

  • There are several FDA-approved weight loss drugs, including semaglutide, orlistat, phentermine-topiramate, naltrexone-bupropion and liraglutide. Metformin is another common medication used off-label for weight management.

  • These drugs all work slightly differently, but many decrease your appetite and help you stick to a lower-calorie diet. Healthcare providers often recommend they be used alongside regular exercise and healthy habits to maximize sustained weight loss.

  • However, there are side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation and, for the injectibals, injection-side irritation, injury or discomfort. Often, these are mild and serious side effects rarely happen.

  • Cost is also worth considering. Injectibals like Ozempic and Wegovy can generally cost anywhere from $800 to $1,000 per prescription, where a generic like metformin can be had for a fraction of that — usually for under $100 a month.

There’s no one “best weight loss medication” — there’s only what’s best for your particular needs. If you’re curious about medication for weight loss, you can talk to your healthcare provider for medical advice and to explore your options. And if you’re interested in other weight loss treatments online, we can help. 

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by



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