Hair Loss in Pregnancy: Causes and What to Expect
Soon-to-be moms often complain about hair loss. Why does it happen? Is it normal? Can we prevent it? Can it be treated? Here, we are breaking down everything related to hair loss during pregnancy. Keep reading to learn the answers!
Are you expecting your little bundle of joy? Congratulations! It’s such a happiness to carry a baby inside your body! However, you may experience pregnancy-related issues like morning sickness, weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings, and some changes in appearance, e.g., hair loss.
Today, we’ll talk about hair thinning and falling out during and after pregnancy. This, alas, is an unpleasant but common condition for future and new mothers. Hair loss can be caused by various reasons, e.g., stress, changing hormones, or more serious medical problems.
Here, we’ll share some insight on hair loss during pregnancy and find out whether you can prevent or treat it.
What Can Cause Hair Loss In Pregnancy?
Many expecting mothers are wondering whether hair loss is normal during pregnancy. However, there is no short answer. On the one hand, small patches of hair falling out are completely normal while pregnant. On the other hand, there can be medical problems that can cause excessive shedding. So, let’s discuss possible reasons for hair loss during pregnancy.
The first trimester of pregnancy can greatly stress the body since the balance of hormones dramatically changes to help you develop your little one. It may lead to Telogen Effluvium – stress-induced hair falling out – it puts up to 30% of hair into the resting phase, that’s why you lose about 300 hairs per day instead of the normal amount – 50-100 hairs per day. However, hair thinning due to hormonal shifts doesn’t happen right away, it usually takes about 2-4 months to notice this issue.
Good news! Telogen Effluvium doesn’t result in permanent hair loss and should resolve itself within several months. The only thing you can do to support your hair during and after pregnancy is taking good care of it. It would be a good idea to use gentle sodium chloride free shampoo recommended by Evelyn Harper and take pregnancy vitamins recommended by your doctor.
Growing a baby may be quite a challenging task, therefore, some health problems may arise, e.g. gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, vitamin deficiencies, etc. Depending on their severity, these conditions can lead to Telogen Effluvium.
Pregnancy can also increase the risk of the following issues:
Thyroid problems – sometimes pregnancy hormone levels can shift into the danger zone due to thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism). Excessive shedding is one of the symptoms, other symptoms can include constipation, muscle cramps, and constipation.
Iron deficiency – this condition occurs in women who are carrying multiples, experiencing morning sickness, or expecting soon after giving birth. Iron deficiency or anemia means you have a low amount of red blood cells that supply oxygen to different tissues in your body. This condition may cause hair falling out and other symptoms, e.g., fatigue, headaches, irregular heartbeat, exertional shortness of breath, etc.
If you suspect iron deficiency or thyroid issues, you should update your healthcare provider and do necessary blood tests to determine whether you need special treatment. Your hair won’t return to its normal condition unless you address these health problems.
Is There Any Treatment For Hair Loss In Pregnancy?
If your hair loss is caused by hormonal shifts, you don’t need any special treatment – your locks will bounce back over time. On the flip side, if it’s happening due to health problems, work with your healthcare provider to find the safest vitamin supplements or medications. Note that most medications are dangerous for the fetus, so don’t take anything unless your doctor gives you the go-ahead!
Anyway, you shouldn’t sit back with your arms folded! There are several well-tried home remedies that can help return your hair to normal sooner. Here they are:
● Eat a well-balanced diet – nourishing foods and vitamins are a must for you, especially if you are experiencing hair loss during or after pregnancy! Eat more legumes, dairy products, sweet potatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, eggs, berries, meat, fish, seeds, chia, walnuts, and drink orange juice.
● Fenugreek hair mask – it’s an amazing skin and hair booster! Soak seeds for several hours, mash them well, and apply this paste to your scalp. It’ll enhance your hair’s thickness and shine.
● Scalp massage with warm oil – it improves circulation, therefore hair growth. Use peppermint, jojoba, almond, or olive oil for moisturizing, nourishing, and stimulating hair growth.
How To Prevent Hair Loss In Pregnancy?
It depends on what’s causing hair loss – if it’s a medical condition, you’ll be able neither prevent nor cure it without the right treatment. Anyway, the following recommendations will help to avoid more breakage and thinning:
● Use hair loss shampoo for pregnancy, it should be DHT-blocking or mild sodium chloride-free shampoo.
● If you take any supplements or meds, ask your healthcare provider whether they can cause excessive shedding and what you can do about it.
● Opt for comfortable hairstyles, do not use tight braids, buns, or ponytails.
● Comb your hair gently with a wide-toothed brush.
● Avoid using permanent treatment, hot rollers, and curling irons.
● If you are going to use a new solution, do a patch test to be sure you won’t develop an allergic reaction.
Is Hair Loss After Pregnancy Normal?
Lots of women complain of hair loss within several months after birth, typically peaking around 4 months postpartum. It’s caused by the drop in estrogen, and as a result – Telogen Effluvium. Although it may be a bit intimidating to see up to 300 strands or more a day, it must resolve on its own within 6 to 12 months.
If you’re experiencing hair loss during pregnancy, don’t stress out too much unless you suspect any health issues. If so, do contact your healthcare provider to rule out possible problems. And remember, most mommies say that their hair becomes thicker and healthier by the baby’s first birthday.
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Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a copywriter with 7 years of experience. She’s been writing on topics related to parenthood, kids’ development, healthy lifestyles, and fitness. Rachel is a mom to 2 kids, she enjoys spending all her free time with them.