Whether it’s your first child or your fifth, each pregnancy is a beautiful event that brings a cycle of constant change to your body, including hair loss after pregnancy. This is one area that perhaps is an unexpected experience; the changes related to your hair. While the addition of vitamins and hormonal fluctuations leads to an incredibly full and healthy head of hair during pregnancy, once pregnancy has ended that may become a different story. The good news is that post-partum hair loss is temporary, but it is still important to understand it in order to handle it effectively.
Hair Loss During Pregnancy is Rare But Does Occur
In a typical hair growth cycle, hair is consistently in a ninety percent growth phase and a ten percent resting phase. In that pattern, resting hair falls out every two to three months and new hair grows in to replace it. During pregnancy, hair tends to appear healthier and more voluminous because hair in the resting phase can increase by up to fifty percent. As a result, excessive hair loss during pregnancy is rare and typically indicative of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Following pregnancy, though, the negative change in the estrogen hormone balance can result in Telogen Effluvium – a temporary condition that causes hair loss following a stressful event. In the case of women experiencing the problem post-partum, the condition is more commonly referred to as pregnancy hair loss. Pregnancy hair should not be confused with female Alopecia which is caused by other factors.
Other Factors Can Cause What’s Known As Pregnancy Hair Loss and How Long Does It Last?
Due to the fact that pregnancy hair loss is primarily caused by the drop in estrogen, there are other life events that can also lead to the condition, including: discontinuation of birth control or hormonal pills; abortion; miscarriage or stillbirth; or a general hormonal imbalance. Whatever the cause, though, about one to five months following the drop in estrogen (or delivery in cases of pregnancy), excessive shedding of hair can occur. Essentially, the normal hair cycle resumes and the enhanced amount of hair that has been in the resting phase may all fall out at once. The peak timeframe for hair loss is in the three-to-four month window.
Can You Prevent Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
The good news is that there are a few tips and tricks to avoid extreme pregnancy hair loss altogether or at least lessen the effects. Remember, hair loss after pregnancy really can’t be prevented, but one step you take is to consult with your doctor regarding your hormonal levels. Changes during pregnancy will occur, but there are ways to minimize drastic increases and create a better balance. Additionally, avoiding hairstyles or products that place a lot of strain or stress on the hair can help reduce later fallout. This includes everything from pigtails to tight foam rollers. Also, shampoos and conditioners with biotin and silica are most helpful and avoiding the high heat settings on blow dryers and hair tools is preferred. Finally, increased supplements can be helpful in safe quantities for pregnant women. After consulting with your healthcare provider, these could include vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, biotin, and zinc.
Post Pregnancy Hair Loss Isn’t Permanent
While Telogen Effluvium can be scary and is certainly inconvenient for anyone going through it, post pregnancy hair loss is a temporary condition that affects forty to fifty percent of women following pregnancy. Also, unlike other hair loss maladies, pregnancy hair loss does not result in bald spots so no hair replacement systems or hair treatment remedies are necessary. Instead, the hair loss diminishes within three to four months and the hair cycle will return to normal about six to twelve months following delivery. If you still have concerns, you can always meet with a hair loss specialist.