Hair Loss During Pregnancy: How to Take Care of Hair Loss in Pregnancy

Hair Loss During Pregnancy: How to Take Care of Hair Loss in Pregnancy



If you're pregnant and experiencing hair loss, you might be wondering if there's a link. Though being pregnant does not guarantee that you will lose your hair (in fact, you may find that it grows more easily), hair loss early in pregnancy can be caused by hormones, stress, or underlying health issues. Continue reading to learn more about hair loss and how to treat and prevent it during pregnancy.


Do you lose hair during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, women's hair undergoes a number of changes. Some people experience hair loss, while others notice their hair becoming shinier and stronger. This is due to increased estrogen levels, which can stimulate hair follicles. Others may notice that their normally curly hair straightens or vice versa.


Some women experience hair loss during pregnancy, noticing their hair thinning or falling out more frequently. This can start during pregnancy and continue after the baby is born. Hair loss in pregnancy can be concerning, and while it is usually the result of shifting hormones or the normal stresses of pregnancy, it can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition.


Is hair loss a sign of pregnancy?

Because hair loss is more common after pregnancy than during, it should not be interpreted as a sign that you are pregnant. Hair loss during early pregnancy may be caused by stress or hormones in some women.


It's critical to understand how hair growth works at any given time. Every type of hair has a lifecycle. While 90 percent of your hair is growing, the remaining 10 percent is resting. Every two to three months, the resting hair falls out, making room for new hair to grow. As a result, everyone experiences some degree of hair loss on a regular, ongoing basis.


For some women, hair loss during early pregnancy may be stress- or hormone-related.

However, if you're in the early stages of pregnancy and experiencing excessive hair loss, stress and hormones may be to blame. As hormones change to accommodate the developing baby, the first trimester can be a stressful time for the body. This stress, in turn, can cause up to 30% more hair on your head to enter the resting phase. This could result in more hair falling out than usual. This condition, known as telogen effluvium, can appear early in pregnancy, in the early second trimester, or after childbirth.


Hormone-related hair loss is not a cause for concern because it usually resolves in less than six months. As a result, you will not experience permanent hair loss.


What hair loss during pregnancy is considered normal?

In addition to hormone-related hair loss during pregnancy, there are some other perfectly normal causes of hair loss during pregnancy.


Hair loss from trauma to the hair follicles is possible during pregnancy or at any other time. Hair loss can be caused by wearing your hair in tight ponytails or buns all the time. Certain beauty treatments can also cause hair loss.


When your hair is treated harshly, it can cause traction alopecia, which is hair loss caused by excessive pulling on your hair. If this is the case, try wearing your hair down more often or switching styles every few days to avoid repeatedly putting your hair in the same tight style. Because traction alopecia can result in permanent hair loss, it's critical to recognize the symptoms and discontinue the practice before any long-term damage is done.


The months following childbirth are the most common time for women to experience hair loss. This type of hair loss is distinct from other types of hair loss. It's caused by a sudden drop in estrogen after giving birth. Although it may be upsetting to see hundreds of hairs fall out every time you wash your hair, this is a very common occurrence that usually resolves itself within six months or so.


Causes of hair loss during pregnancy

Hair loss during pregnancy can also be caused by unresolved chronic or underlying health issues. Thyroid disorders and low iron levels are two of the most common causes of hair loss associated with chronic health issues.


If your thyroid is overactive, you may develop hyperthyroidism, a condition that causes a variety of symptoms, including hair loss. The same is true for hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid produces insufficient hormones. These conditions can affect women both during and after pregnancy. The more common condition, hypothyroidism, affects up to 3 percent of pregnant women. Symptoms include cold sensitivity, weight gain, constipation, and extreme fatigue. Postpartum thyroiditis affects about 5% of women after giving birth. Consult your doctor if you suspect you have an underlying thyroid condition, and he or she will order the necessary blood tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.


Low iron levels are another common cause of hair loss, especially during pregnancy. Although your body requires iron at all times, it is especially important during pregnancy, when your blood supply increases to deliver blood and oxygen to the baby.


Most experts agree that depending on your age and gender, you need 8 milligrams of iron per day for girls 9–13 years old, 15 milligrams for girls 14–18 years old, 18 milligrams for women 18–50 years old, and 8 milligrams for women 51 and older. Anemia can occur during pregnancy for these reasons, as well as because iron is primarily found in specific food groups. In addition to hair loss, those with low iron may experience headaches, fatigue, chest pain, or a rapid heartbeat.


An underlying autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, polycystic ovary syndrome, or an inherited hair loss pattern, can also cause hair loss during pregnancy.


Low iron levels are another common cause of hair loss, especially during pregnancy. Although your body requires iron at all times, it is especially important during pregnancy, when your blood supply increases to deliver blood and oxygen to the baby.


Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, occurs when the growth phase of the lifecycle is slow, resulting in a longer period of time before new hair is produced. Androgenic alopecia is typically treated with hair-regrowth medication.


Alopecia areata is another condition that causes hair loss. This type of hair loss, which usually appears as part of an autoimmune condition, can be permanent because your immune system attacks the hair follicles, mistaking them for unhealthy cells. Alopecia areata causes hair loss in patches, usually on the scalp, but they can appear anywhere there is hair on the body. Although there is no cure for the condition, treating and improving the autoimmune condition can help with hair loss in many cases.


Treating hair loss during pregnancy

If you're pregnant and experiencing hair loss due to stress or hormones, or if you're in the postpartum period, you may not need to do anything special. In these situations, time is often all that is required.


If you believe you have an underlying condition, a professional can help you sort through the options to find the best and safest treatment for you. Some hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil, are not considered safe during pregnancy. On the other hand, medications like levothyroxine, which is used to treat hypothyroidism, can be taken safely because the FDA has determined that it has been no proven increase in the frequency of malformations or harmful effects on the fetus. Given the variety of treatments available, consulting with your doctor is the first step in developing a workable and safe plan for treating hair loss while pregnant.


Preventing hair loss during pregnancy

It may not always be possible to prevent hair loss, but there are some behaviors that may help. Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices, as well as keeping an eye out for any potential underlying health conditions, are two of the most effective methods. A whole foods diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and eggs, and low in processed and sugary foods is a great place to start. This diet will provide you with more energy and keep anemia at bay. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes fun and relaxing activities on a daily basis can also help you manage stress, which can aggravate autoimmune conditions and thyroid disorders.


Furthermore, you should be on the lookout for signs that you may be dealing with something more serious than normal pregnancy or post-pregnancy hair loss. Although you may feel tired and unwell at times during your pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, feelings of extreme exhaustion, combined with symptoms such as intense mood swings and hair loss, may indicate an underlying condition. Detecting such symptoms early will allow you to manage and treat thyroid or autoimmune conditions more effectively.


The takeaway

Hair loss is a normal part of pregnancy for many women, especially during the postpartum period. It usually resolves itself over time, usually between six months and a year. Even if there is an underlying condition, a doctor can help you find and treat the source of the problem, and hair loss is unlikely to be permanent. However, if you believe your hair loss is excessive or is accompanied by other persistent symptoms, consult your doctor to determine the cause.

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