A woman’s body undergoes a vast range of changes during pregnancy and hair loss is not uncommon during this period. The normal hair growth/loss cycle is affected by the increased estrogen production.
The 3 stages of normal hair growth are:
- Anagen (growth)
- Catagen (shedding)
- Telogen (resting)
The increased estrogen disrupts this cycle causing an increase of follicles to become active during the growth cycle.
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Hair Loss After Childbirth
After birth estrogen levels drop again and as a result, some hair follicles will enter the shedding (Catagen) stage, while others will enter a resting (Telogen) period. This hair loss is not matched by the normal growth of the hair therefore leading to a noticeable thinning of the hair.
Hair loss during pregnancy and after childbirth is a very common problem for many women but thankfully not something to become overly concerned about as it will resolve itself in a few short months. Once the body returns to its pre-pregnancy state, the hair growth cycle will also return to normal. Allow approximately 6 months for the hair growth pattern to return to normal.
Hair Care During and After Pregnancy
There are several steps you can take to reduce hair loss during your pregnancy and after delivery.
- discuss with your doctor the importance of maintaining a proper balance of hormones.
- use a shampoo/conditioner that contains biotin and silica.
- eating a diet packed with fresh fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants can help protect the hair follicles and also encourage hair growth.
- try to use the cool setting on hair dryers, heated rollers, and other appliances.
- supplementing your diet with biotin, zinc and vitamins C and E can also help maintain healthy hair.
Permanent hair loss can be quite rare and is usually the result of an underlying medical condition and it is best to consult your medical practitioner if you have any concerns.
Pregnancy and Hair Loss