Approximately 40 to 50% of all women are affected by an excessive amount of hair loss anywhere between a month and five months after their pregnancy. This is called telogen effluvium and while it is not uncommon it does not typically cause any long term problems. Just as other hormonal changes that occur during and just after pregnancies usually iron themselves out, so does this one in most cases. However, there are some women that seem to have a worse time with hair loss after pregnancy.
Why Do Women Sometimes Lose Hair After Pregnancy?
There is a scientific explanation for the hair loss that occurs in women after they have had their babies but we will attempt to simplify the explanation. About 90% of your hair grows continuously while the other 10% sits at a resting stage. Once about every 60 to 90 days the hair that has been resting falls out in order to make room for new hair to grow in. During pregnancy hormonal changes occur that prohibit the resting hair from falling out. Once the pregnancy is over and the hormone levels begin to even out, all of the hair that was delayed from falling out during pregnancy comes out all at once. Sometimes this change is subtle and goes unnoticed but in other cases it is extreme and can be quite frightening.
Do Women Lose an Abnormal Amount of Hair During Pregnancy?
Usually any hair loss that is associated with pregnancy occurs sometime after the baby has been born. While the pregnancy is active more hairs will go into the resting stage. This is typical and quite normal during pregnancy. This hair is what comes out after pregnancy. In most cases this hair loss is not significant enough to cause patches or bald spots and most of the time it does grow back in within about three months. However, a vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss and it is very easy to develop a vitamin deficiency while you are pregnant if you are not getting the proper amount of nutrients.
Are There Other Times That Hormones Could Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss in women could occur at any time estrogen levels are low. This could happen for many reasons. Anytime a woman stops taking birth control pills that she has been taking for a significant amount of time, her estrogen levels could decline quite a bit. Other situations that may lead to lowered estrogen levels are miscarriages, still births, abortions and hormonal imbalances. A hormonal imbalance could occur due to menopause or even specific illnesses of the female reproductive system.
Are There Any Positive Effects on Hair Because of Pregnancy?
Have you ever noticed how full and beautiful most pregnant women’s hair looks? This is because the heightened levels of estrogen in their bodies cause their hair to stay in the growing phase throughout the pregnancy. This is one of the many perks of pregnancy. In addition, some women even report developing curls that they never had before they became pregnant. Estrogen has a major effect on the way a woman’s hair grows as well as how it appears.
Is There Anything That Can Be Done to Help Prevent Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
Overall nutrition plays a major role in the condition your hair will be in after pregnancy. Be sure to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables that are full of antioxidants and flavanoids to help promote hair growth and protect the hair follicles. Take proper care of your hair and avoid anything that may do damage. For example, wearing your hair in hairstyles that cause tension to your hair is a bad idea. Having your hair pulled back in a tight ponytail is an example of a hairstyle to avoid. You will also want to be careful about things like excessive heat styling. Use hair care products that contain silica and biotin. When you hair is wet remember that it can easily break and become damaged. Never brush your hair while it is wet, instead opt to use a wide toothed comb such as a detangling comb.
Take Prenatal Vitamins
Not only is it important to eat a wholesome and healthy diet when you are pregnant but you will also want to be sure and take a good prenatal vitamin supplement. By using preventative measures and making sure that you take very good care of your body, you may help to eliminate or at least decrease your chances of losing a lot of hair after your pregnancy. Pregnant women also report that taking prenatal vitamins do wonders for their fingernails as well so they are definitely good for your hair. It may also be a good idea to continue taking your prenatal vitamins for about three months after you give birth, especially if you are breast feeding.
Consult a Physician
If you have should begin to lose a good deal of hair you may want to consult with your doctor to see that your hormones are at the right levels or at least well on their way. Your doctor may begin some kind of hormone therapy if your problem is severe enough. No matter how bad you may think things are right now try not to become too discouraged. A lot of women go through changes after pregnancy and you are definitely not alone. Whatever it is you are going through now as a result of post pregnancy hormone changes will almost always correct itself.
Post pregnancy hair loss is a common enough occurrence and there are so many women who deal with it everyday. Try going online to search for discussion forums for new moms and you are bound to find a lot of places to talk to other moms who are dealing with whatever it is you are dealing with currently.