Telogen effluvium is common among women who have recently given birth.

Bella Gerard
December 07, 2017

They say everything changes once you have kids—and that might mean your hair, too.

The internet is losing its mind after watching a now-viral video that was first shared on Instagram by Christina Kreitel, a hairstylist at Intrepid Studio Salon in Orem, Utah. In the must-see clip (watch it below), Kreitel is working with a client suffering from postpartum hair loss. As Kreitel gently tugs on her client's strands, clumps of hair easily fall away from the woman's scalp.

"Nothing like that Post Pregnancy Shed," Kreitel writes in the post. "You know the time, 4 months postpartum and you FILL that drain!"

In an interview with Yahoo Style, Kreitel explains that she could relate to her client because she, too, has been experiencing hair loss after recently giving birth. "I'm going through this myself and like to collect it on the wall of my shower," the hairstylist says, adding that she's become well-known at her salon for helping postpartum clients shed their hair loose.

But just how common is this so-called "post-pregnancy shed"? According to Joshua U. Klein, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and Chief Clinical Officer at Extend Fertility in New York City, NY, many new moms do experience hair loss after childbirth, but the amount can vary from woman to woman.

"Telogen effluvium, which is the technical term, is a known direct result of the hormone fluctuations that occur in the postpartum period," says Dr. Klein. "This video is a dramatic example of the phenomenon. For most women, it is not nearly this dramatic."

Telogen effluvium usually occurs when there has been some kind of "shock" to a person's system; in addition to childbirth, women may experience it when they stop taking birth control pills, or after they undergo a chronic illness or major surgery.

According to Dr. Klein, the severity of telogen effluvium often has to do with a woman's hair type. "The thicker a woman's hair in general, the more dramatic hair loss might seem postpartum," he explains.

Little can be done to prevent telogen effluvium before it starts, although Dr. Klein notes that breastfeeding may exacerbate the condition in some women.

There's good news, though: Your scalp should return to normal within a few months. "It's a normal and temporary effect, and will not cause lasting or permanent changes to your hair," says Dr. Klein.