Why have I lost my hair after pregnancy?

November 12, 2012

Why have I lost my hair after pregnancy?

Women undergo massive changes to their bodies during and after pregnancy that can be very stressful – losing your hair is one of them.

At any one time around 90% of hair will be in a growing phase, the other 10% is resting; this resting hair naturally falls out every 2 or 3 months to be replaced by new hair growth. During pregnancy increased numbers of hairs go into this resting phase – resulting in the much thicker more luxurious hair often seen in pregnant women. Generally around 3 months after delivery, although it can be as much as 5 months, the hair will begin its’ normal dropout rate – because there has been little or no hair loss during pregnancy it will suddenly appear as if the woman is experiencing massive hair loss after pregnancy when in fact this is not the case. This hair loss after pregnancy is quite common – affecting around 40-50% of women but it is a temporary condition which will right itself once hormone levels have returned to normal.

What about during pregnancy?

Whilst a large number of women experience some hair loss after pregnancy very few should experience it during pregnancy – if you are experiencing hair loss during pregnancy see your medical practitioner.

Hot topic

It does seem that hair loss and pregnancy is a hot topic – something that many people talk about a lot of the time. Many people do not realize that the hair loss after pregnancy experienced by so many women is perfectly normal. When we are pregnant the rise in our hormone levels prevents hair from falling out after its normal resting phase, once we have delivered our baby so our hormone slowly return to normal – which in turn allows the hair to return to its’ normal cycle – because the normal dropout rate was delayed during pregnancy there may well appear to be a large amount of hair loss after pregnancy however this is only because all the hair is falling out together. This post pregnancy hair loss should reach its’ peak around 4 months after delivery and the hairs resting and rejuvenating cycle should be back to normal within 12 months.

Other factors for hair loss

Any changes in the level of the hormone estrogen may result in hair loss, these changes may occur as the result of abortion, miscarriage, hormone imbalance or stopping the use of certain types of contraception.

Care for your hair

Whilst the hair loss after pregnancy is a natural process there are some things which you can do which may help reduce the effect -

  • Avoid over styling – particular the use of tight rollers etc which can cause stress on the hair.

  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables

  • Choose hair care products containing biotin and silica

  • Be gentle when combing or brushing

  • Try to avoid using heat when styling.

  • Ask your medical practitioner about your hormone levels and vitamin or mineral supplements.

Healthy hair starts on the inside – eating a well balanced diet is the starting point for great hair.

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