Hair Loss in Pregnancy: Why It Happens & What to Do About It

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Childbirth is one of life’s blessings. But pregnancy comes with many daunting challenges. One of the things that many pregnant women worry about is hair loss in pregnancy.

Being pregnant may impact the normal cycle of your hair growth and throw off the proper balance of hormones in your body. All the while, you want to keep yourself and your developing baby safe.

Hair and Skin Science is a network of Australian medical clinics that can provide practical solutions for your postpartum hair loss. Our services include PRP hair loss treatments, PRP Skin, micro-needling, laser skin resurfacing, and more.

If you experience hair loss during pregnancy, do not hesitate to contact us to enquire about our services.

What Causes Hair Loss During Pregnancy? 

Hair loss in pregnancy

To best tackle your hair loss problems, it’s important to learn why hair loss during pregnancy is so common. There are several reasons why you may lose hair while you are carrying a baby.

Hormonal Changes

First and foremost, the hormonal changes your body undergoes during pregnancy affect many things, including the hair. These hormonal shifts begin quickly and can spur telogen effluvium (TE).

Telogen effluvium affects many women during pregnancy, causing hair shedding due to hormonal imbalance and increased stress. If you experience telogen effluvium, expect to shed up to 30% of your hair.

However, this should not worry pregnant women, as hair follicles will grow hair as before within three months.

Health Issues

Alternatively, your hair loss could be the result of underlying health conditions.

Some reproductive health issues that could arise include high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and more. Any of these medical conditions can create a suitable environment for increased stress. Thus, your risk of developing TE will increase.

Thyroid Problems

If you experience early pregnancy hair loss, thyroid problems could be the culprit. One of the most common causes of thyroid issues is a hormonal level change.

Whether you have too much or too few thyroid hormones, abnormal hair loss is possible.

If you deal with constipation, cramping, or exhaustion during your early pregnancy, any one of these could be a sign of thyroid issues.

Low Iron Levels

Iron is essential for your body to create red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. Low iron levels may result in unusual hair loss and other reproductive health issues.

While most issues go away once your hormones return to normal levels after giving birth, a vitamin or mineral deficiency is something you must work on yourself. A health care provider can prescribe you iron supplements to restore your body’s proper iron levels.

Postpartum Hair Loss

If you notice bald spots in your hair following your pregnancy, do not worry. Postpartum hair loss is common, and excessive shedding is within the scope of normal.

This shedding is at its worst around four months following childbirth. But new hair will begin to grow shortly afterwards, and in no time, you will have a luxurious head of hair.

Bad Beauty Treatments

While you want your hair to look its best during your pregnancy, it is wise to avoid excessive styling treatments.

Blow dryers and chemical treatments may cause traction alopecia. This medical condition can have critical consequences such as permanent hair loss. If you insist on using a blow dryer, always opt for the cool setting.

Do not risk your locks for something superficial.

Other Hair Loss Causes

It could also be a coincidence that you are experiencing unusual hair loss during your pregnancy. Hair loss can be due to a genetic or autoimmune condition regardless of your pregnancy status. If you are experiencing hair loss, consult a doctor to see what your options are.

A couple of other conditions may be the reason for your hair loss, including alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia. These medical conditions tend to shorten your growth phase and affect the normal hair loss cycle. While there is no cure for alopecia areata, some treatment plans may be of benefit.

Treatment for Pregnancy-related Hair Loss 

Pregnancy Hair Loss Treatments

While most women who experience hair loss do not require treatment plans, many home remedies can provide hair loss returns.

Scalp Massage

One of the best things you can do to help encourage hair growth is to get a scalp massage. Scalp massages facilitate blood circulation, which helps regrow hair faster.

For the best results, use nutritious oils during your massage. These oils will stimulate your hair follicles for maximum growth.

Use Specialised Shampoo

For better hair growth, use shampoos that block DHT. DHT is a hormone that promotes hair loss. We recommend a shampoo that contains a vitamin B complex, biotin, or vitamin B12.

If you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, consult with your doctor about which shampoos you should be using.

Use Special Hair Masks

If you use hair masks, most women report that fenugreek is the best option for pregnancy. It promotes healthier hair and skin no matter your hormonal type.

That being said, you should not take fenugreek supplements while you are pregnant. Once you have the baby, however, these supplements can help tremendously.

Watch Your Diet

During all stages of your pregnancy, you will need to watch what you’re eating. Not only is this beneficial to your baby’s health, but yours as well. You want to be on a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in foods such as walnuts and tuna.

Also, you must get a healthy amount of vitamin D, including egg yolks.

Use Amla Oil When Resting Hair Falls

A home remedy that has been around for centuries is amla oil.

Studies are limited, but there does seem to be a correlation between amla oil use and 5-alpha reductase. Reductase is an enzyme that has links to hair loss. You can find amla oil available in many pharmacies and supermarkets.

Your doctor will inform you of any treatments that will benefit you and answer all your questions.

Prevention of Pregnancy-related Hair Loss

Pregnancy healthy eating

Is there a way to prevent this hair loss during pregnancy? The answer to this question is: Every case is different. Just remember that you are not the only one to experience hair loss during pregnancy. For pregnant women, hair loss occurs approximately 40% to 50% of the time.

Here are some of the methods that can help you prevent early pregnancy hair loss.

Take Care of Your Hair Follicles

One preventative measure you can take to avoid normal hair loss is eliminating any bad maintenance habits. Examples of such habits include biting, pulling, and twisting your hair. These actions promote hair loss during pregnancy.

Also, do not use tight hair rollers. They create tension between your hair follicles and your head, thus hindering the growing phase. You want your hair to remain in a telogen resting state.

Use a Wide-Toothed Comb

One adjustment you can make to fight hair loss during pregnancy is to avoid fine-toothed combs. These combs are rough on the skin and can pull hair from your head.

This tip is especially vital when your hair is wet. You are practically asking to lose hair when you use a fine-toothed comb to detangle it.

Choose Safe Hair Styles

Many pregnant women decide to cut their hair during their first trimester.

To prepare for your hair falling out, choose a conservative hairstyle that will make it hard for people to recognise your hair loss. Also, invest in hair weaves until your new hair enters its growth state.

Cleanse Your Diet

As we mentioned above, a healthy diet is paramount to your hair growth. Make it a habit of taking high doses of nutrient-rich vitamins and fatty acids. Your diet should consist of hair-friendly foods such as chia seeds, nuts, and yogurt.

To protect your hair, eat healthily and practise daily hygiene habits.

Consult with a Hair Loss Expert

Of course, the best thing you can do is seek advice from a medical professional on how to get your hair back in the resting phase. The resting phase refers to when a hair follicle is at its peak length. During your pregnancy, the more questions you ask a medical expert, the more confident you will feel.

Additionally, your doctor may recommend a biotin and silica hair treatment or prescribe a supplement to support hair growth.

Think About Your Hair Products

Lastly, put some thought into what hair products you use during your pregnancy. You should not consistently use heated hair instruments as they make hair loss more prevalent.

Go for a natural look as often as possible during your pregnancy. Many mothers agree it looks best.

Prevent Permanent Hair Loss

A common period of recovery from postpartum hair loss takes anywhere from six to twelve months. With our top-notch hair loss treatments, we can help you recover your luscious locks and regain your confidence. You will be back to your best self in no time and taking pictures with your precious newborn!

If you are experiencing hair loss during pregnancy in Melbourne or Sydney, call Hair and Skin Science at 0472 647 011. Our doctors and cosmetic nurses can help your hair follicles rejuvenate to restore your natural hair. Plus, we offer free consultations for all our potential clients.

About the Author:
Jenna Chan
Jenna Chan is the founder and director of Hair and Skin Science and has worked in the hair loss industry for over 20 years.
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