Even if you regard the arrival of a new baby in the family as a great gift, you may discover that the months before and right after that arrival include some less desirable changes, including changes in the fullness and health of your hair. Many women experience some degree of hair loss either during pregnancy or in the months that follow it.
You’ll feel less disturbed or alarmed by these changes once you understand why they happen, how they resolve themselves, and what you can to minimize their effects. Consider the following four key points about the relationship between pregnancy and hair loss.
1. Prenatal Hormonal Changes Can Promote Hair Loss
Normal hair growth hinges in part on a normal, healthy balance among the various hormones that keep your body working properly. Any upset of this balance can interrupt the normal cycle of hair growth, shedding, and regrowth. Even before pregnancy, you may experience hair loss when you stop taking your birth control pills.
Pregnancy can also cause or aggravate various health conditions that may influence hair loss. Examples include high blood pressure, thyroid imbalances, gestational diabetes, and vitamin deficiencies. A severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum can deplete your body of nutrients, leading to hair loss.
2. New Moms May Lose Hair After Delivery, Not Before
Sometimes pregnancy causes a kind of delayed hair loss. You may go through your entire pregnancy without hair loss issues only to experience them during the first few months of your new baby’s life. This odd situation stems from a common postnatal condition known as telogen effluvium.
Humans typically shed 50 to 100 hairs per day. After hair finishes growing, it assumes a resting state before eventually falling out. However, when you become pregnant, the resulting hormonal changes interrupt your hair’s normal schedule. Your scalp retains hair that it would normally shed for the duration of your pregnancy.
After you give birth and your hormonal balance returns to normal, your hair resumes its usual cycle. All the additional hair that you should have shed during pregnancy starts to fall out. The resulting thinness in your hair may peak three to four months after delivery before your follicles become active again.
3. Hair Lost Due to Pregnancy Usually Grows Back
While expectant or new mothers might feel alarmed by pregnancy-related hair loss, most of them can rest assured that their hair will grow back to its previous fullness within 12 months. Any changes induced by hormonal imbalances should sort themselves out once your hormone levels have returned to their former balance.
Occasionally, hair lost during pregnancy doesn’t completely grow back during the expected 12-month window. This problem may occur if you already have a predisposition to female pattern baldness or some other hair loss condition. The additional changes enforced by pregnancy may speed up the progress of these conditions.
4. You Can Take Steps to Reduce Prenatal and Postnatal Hair Loss
Fortunately, you can employ several strategies to help reduce the amount of hair you lose due to pregnancy and promote normal hair regrowth. Take extra care not to harm your hair with heat, fine-tooth combs, or harsh cleansers during and right after pregnancy. Don’t wear hairstyles that strain the hair follicles such as cornrows or hair weaves.
Nutritional support can make a huge difference in your overall health, which in turn directly affects the health of your hair. Do your best to consume a balanced diet. Ask your doctor whether you can safely enhance your nutritional intake with biotin, zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B complex in particular.
If you want some extra help in supporting your hair’s natural processes and growth cycles, try Phyllotex. Our hair product contains vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients that give your hair and scalp what they need to thrive. Contact us today for more information.