Ashley Graham on Her Postpartum Hair Journey: ‘At Least It’s Growing’

The model shared some all-too-relatable photos on Instagram.

By Maggie O’Neill, MFA

Supermodel and mom of three Ashley Graham shared a series of photos of her postpartum hair loss on Instagram this week. In the caption, the 35-year-old joked, “I mean at least it’s growing #postpartumhairloss.”

This isn’t the first time Graham has been open about the effects of pregnancy on her body. She’s been vocal about how being a mom has changed her since her first child was born in 2020. In January 2022, she gave birth to twins, and she’s documented her postpartum experience on Instagram throughout this year.

In June, Graham shared a video of herself modeling underwear and wrote in the caption, “Posting this video for all the mamas who haven’t and may never ‘bounce back’ and for anyone who needs to be reminded that your body is beautiful in its realest form. This is my strong, five-month-postpartum-been-pregnant-for-two-years body. As it is. In hopes to further normalize ALL bodies in every and any stage of life.” 

Graham has also talked about relying on disposable underwear after giving birth the first time: In a February 2020 post, she shared a photo of herself wearing them with the caption, “Raise your hand if you didn’t know you’d be changing your own diapers too…No one talks about the recovery and healing (yes even the messy parts) new moms go through. I wanted to show you guys that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies!”

Now, Graham is keeping it real about yet another unexpected change that can happen to the body after giving birth. Postpartum hair loss is completely normal after having a baby, per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). This happens as a result of falling estrogen levels. Unfortunately, it can be more intense than a few fallen strands here and there. Per the Cleveland Clinic, it’s not unusual to notice “handfuls” of hair coming out in the shower. It usually starts one to six months after giving birth, and it can last for 18 months, but it can come back sooner. Per the AAD, most people see their hair return to “normal” during their first year postpartum. The good news is, we’re not talking about permanent hair loss. It’s only temporary, which is why dermatologists actually refer to postpartum hair loss as “excessive hair shedding.” Furthermore, you don’t need to do anything to stimulate hair growth—it’ll come back on its own, per the AAD. 

Though there’s no need to “treat” postpartum hair loss, people experiencing it may be a little freaked out by the change, and some might want to take action. As always, if you feel something’s off, don’t hesitate to talk to a dermatologist about what’s going on with your hair; they can assess your individual situation and recommend over-the-counter or prescription products to keep your hair as healthy as possible as it regrows. Remember: You don’t have to go through the postpartum experience alone, and doctors are there to help.

Graham also experienced postpartum hair loss after her first child was born. In a 2021 interview with Parents, she said, “It was like around four months [postpartum when] my whole hairline fell out. And that was more traumatic than even birth.” She added she felt relieved to learn that it’s very normal to go through this, and that she’s thankful for others who have shared their postpartum experiences, saying, “I just have found it incredibly important for everybody to talk about their journey and what they’ve been doing because it helps people who are struggling.” 

New parents have more than enough to worry about, so the more we can speak honestly about what the postpartum phase looks like, the better.