What Should You Know About Hair Loss During Pregnancy?
What was the worst body changes you have experienced during pregnancy? Aside from the massive weight gain ( yes, massive indeed!), there were other disturbing changes that likewise left me anxious at some point. I am certain that you did experience some of these too.
The bad lower back pain, the dark patches on my skin, and urinary incontinence were among my biggest issues then. However, what left me disturbed every morning is the excessive hair loss during pregnancy. I was so worried that I was afraid to brush my hair in the morning thinking that I would eventually go bald.
Thankfully, I encountered some people who had experienced the same. But, sharing of experiences was not enough for me. I went the extra mile to research about the condition to truly understand the causes and how to deal with it more effectively. Check out what I have discovered about hair loss while being pregnant.
A Quick Look At Hair Growth And Pregnancy
One of the first observations that some people have with their hair is that it has seemingly stopped from growing during pregnancy. While this is not utterly true, the natural growth of hair could be contributing to this. About 85% of the hair continuously grow and these are referred to as the anagen hair. The remaining hair called telogen hair are those at rest.
The anagen hair typically grows for four years straight then it becomes telogen for about four months. The resting hair falls out which would then give way to the growth of new hair. During pregnancy, the hair tends to stick longer to the retentive stage which then makes the hair fuller.
However, it should be noted also that we generally experience hair loss at a continual and steady hair. Most of the hair tends to get pulled out when we brush or comb our hair. On average, about 100 strands of hair is lost on a daily basis, particularly during a hair wash.
Hair Loss Post-Gestation
- While some women tend to get their hair thicker during pregnancy, this abruptly changes post pregnancy. According to the study on hair cycle changes during gestation and during the postpartum period, hormonal changes cause the hair follicles to stay in the anagen phase for a long period of time.
- On the other hand, the sudden drop in the hormonal levels that surged during gestation causes the hair to switch back to the telogen phase. This typically happens around 3-6 months after the delivery. This now leads to a condition characterized by excessive shedding of hair called postpartum telogen effluvium.
- The condition itself affects almost 50% of the pregnant women. It is also crucial to note that such excessive shedding is temporary though it could last for months. However, for most women, the excessive shedding could start diminishing at the one of the 3rd or 4th month after the delivery. If you feel that your condition has been in existence for far too long, it is best to seek medical help for it.
- When chronic Telogen Effluvium is diagnosed, then it is imperative to seek professional assessment by a certified dermatologist. This is crucial as the treatment for the condition should only be given by a dermatologist.
What You Can Do About Pregnancy-Related Hair Loss
While we cannot truly control how our body would respond to pregnancy, there are certainly certain steps we can take better care of ourselves. If you are currently pregnant and worried about the possibility of experiencing excessive shedding after you give birth, then know that it is the best time to exert extra effort to take care of your mane.
From a practical viewpoint, it is essential to take care of the hair while pregnant to retain or put your hair ‘on hold’. See to it also that you take prenatal vitamins you need to prevent excessive hair loss later on. An underactive thyroid may also cause this disheartening condition, so make sure that you do follow your doctor’s advice on thyroid screening.
There are also other simple ways to avoid hair loss. For instance, avoid using hairstyles that could cause traction on your scalp. These includes frequent ponytails, weaves, braids, or using hair rollers. These can all cause stress on your hair shaft that instantly breaks them.
Do not over brush your hair. Wait until your hair dries up before combing. In addition, you can for wide-toothed comb or brush with softer bristles. Blow-drying or using hair straighteners that make use of heat should be avoided as well.
Whether you are pregnant or not, your diet also affects your hair’s overall health. Taking food that has the high level of flavonoids or antioxidants. These are helpful in maintaining stronger hair follicles and they promote healthy growth as well.
You may also seek advice from your hairdresser when it comes to suitable but not the scalp-distressing hairstyle. They can give you insight on how you could better take care of your hair too, especially when you are pregnant.
Another option is to use hair strengthening products such as shampoo or conditioner. These are generally safe for your use even when there’s a bun in your oven. A deep conditioning treatment can also be done at least once a week instead of your usual frequent conditioning.
Once you have had your baby, then you should also work twice as hard in taking care of your hair. You could start by supplementing your diet with nutrients such as Biotin, Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin E, and Zinc. You could also continue checking with your dermatologist after pregnancy to better assess your scalp.
What To Do If You Experience Hair Loss During Pregnancy
It is safe to say that hair loss during gestation is not exactly a medical emergency. However, this could add to the issues that you may already be dealing with as a pregnant woman. If you feel anxious about seeing chunks of hair on your brush while you are pregnant, you may do the following:
- Changing the products you use could to something that could strengthen your hair could be your first step;
- Alternating some personal hair care habits such as your hairstyles and frequent use of hair straightening or curling tools
- Seeing your dermatologist and your doctor could give you better understanding of the condition
- Never attempt to use any hair strengthening pills without checking with your doctor first
So, there – these are no need to panic. It is good to know that the condition is normal during and even after pregnancy. Keeping yourself informed on the issue would enable you to take better care of your mane. Resorting to safer and more natural methods is always the best option when you are pregnant.