What Everyone Needs To Know About Pregnancy Hair Loss
Anxiety, love, planning, happiness, healthy eating, keeping fit, and having preparations in full gear for the coming baby are what characterize most pregnancies. Besides these, your body would also undergo a host of changes just to remind you of what you are going through.
The pregnancy period is always a bag of surprises to most women. But of all the tricks up its sleeves, hair loss is not one that most of you prepare for. You would expect stretch marks, acne, swollen feet, Linea Nigra and the usual pregnancy symptoms but not hair loss.
That is why pregnancy hair loss is such a weird occurrence in women. It is like turning into the family husky as winter comes to an end. If this has occurred to you or is taking place right now, then you could be wondering why it is happening and how to prevent/stop it. I hope this article will be of help in solving your dilemma.
Causes of Pregnancy Hair Loss
During pregnancy, it is expected that your hair would be fuller and much thicker. Another occurrence that is well known is the hair loss after the pregnancy, but not during the pregnancy period itself.
So, what could be causing you to “shed” your beautiful, full and thick hair? Let us explore some of these reasons.
1. Hair Growth Cycle
The normal human hair normally goes through a growth cycle in which some of the hair is growing; some experience a retarded growth stage while the rest fall off. The process then occurs all over again.
It is approximated that at any given time, you have 90% of the hair (anagen) growing, while the remaining 10% is in the resting phase (telogen hair). A hair follicle stays in the anagen phase for about four years and then becomes dormant for about four months.
After every two or three months, the telogen hair falls out to allow for the growth of new hair. The emerging anagen makes room by pushing out the telogen. Sometimes, this cycle coincides with the pregnancy stage hence contributing to the hair loss.
But generally, most women experience fuller hair because the hair is in a resting phase most of the time. The hair loss still occurs but at a reduced rate.
2. Poor Nutrition
The nutritional needs of every woman normally change drastically during pregnancy as a way of accommodating the growing fetus. At this stage, you would be eating for two people, and therefore have to be mindful of your nutritional needs.
One such nutrient that contributes to hair loss is the deficiency of iron. This makes some of the women to experience anemia. The skyrocketing need for iron outpaces its ingestion, and this causes its shortage. A hair loses then results in the process.
Additionally, insufficient proteins, certain vitamins, and minerals lead to hair loss. Surprisingly, too much intake of vitamin A in its retinol form also leads to hair loss.
3. Thyroid Hormone Deficiency and Hormonal Changes
The decline in the production of thyroid hormone, a condition called hypothyroidism is a common occurrence in some women. This hormone is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining an array of the bodily functions.
These include metabolic rates, mental health, digestive system, hair, and nails. Any such deficiency of this hormone, therefore, results in a hair loss.
On the other hand, frequent hormonal surges and declinations mark the pregnancy stage. A fluctuation in hormones disrupts the hair growth cycle which in turn leads to hair shedding. This condition is called telogen effluvium. Ordinarily, this condition disappears after a couple of months.
There are certain diseases that cause hair loss in women. Diabetes, gestational diabetes and ringworm are some of the illnesses that are responsible for the occasional hair loss during pregnancy.
Besides these illnesses, there are certain medications that have hair loss as side effects. High blood pressure, depression, and anxiety drugs are some of the common suspects in these cases. In case you suspect either of these, then consult an obstetrician as these drugs could also harm your baby.
Controlling Pregnancy Hair Loss
Hair loss can be really annoying when compounded with the stress that comes with the pregnancy. A bad hair day is, fortunately, something that you can control so that you can only worry about keeping you and the growing fetus healthy.
Listed below are some of the measures you can take to control it.
Use Organic Skin Products
If skin infections or allergic reactions cause the hair loss, then the best line of action is using organic products. This hair fall might result from your skin being hyper-sensitive. Natural products would reverse these effects and make your hair fuller again.
Massaging your scalp with pure coconut milk is a known relief for hair loss. Use your fingertips to massage the coconut milk into your scalp gently then let it set in for about 30 minutes. After that, you can then rinse it off by using any herbal shampoo.
For this purpose, only use pure coconut milk and not the mostly tinned options.
Some experts advise those experiencing pregnancy hair losses to eat vegetables or fruits containing antioxidants and flavonoids. These nutrients are thought to encourage the growth of hair follicles and protect them in the process.
However, this might be just a meager suggestion as there is no tangible evidence to support the same. Either way, even if these foods do not succeed in reducing your hair loss, they are still good for your health as well as the baby.
Hair Care Measures
Besides the ointments, shampoos, and fruits, basic hair care tips also do reduce the amount of hair loss you experience. First of all, you need to reduce the intensity with which you brush your hair. Overbrushing the hair pulls out the hair that is at the resting stage, thereby increasing the damage.
For wet hair (it is most fragile when wet), use a comb or a detangling brush to untangle it and not a finely toothed comb. On the other hand, you could reduce the number of occasions when you have your hair tied up in a bun or a ponytail.
Additionally, avoid tight braids and weaves. These positions increase the likelihood of your hair breaking as it is pulled up. Last but not least, you also need to keep you hair clean to avoid conditions like dandruff that might lead to unnecessary hair loss.
Supplementing Your Diets with Nutrients
There are certain nutrients that you could as well add to your daily dose of healthy eating to prevent or reduce hair loss. These are Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Biotin (you have to take it in its appropriate form). Others are Vitamin E and Zinc.
These should be taken in the right doses for them to be effective. Before you start taking any supplement, you need to consult your doctor to ensure that it will be safe for the growing fetus.
Use Mild Conditioners and Shampoos with Moisturizers
During pregnancy, it is usual for the hair to become dry. To eliminate the dryness, use a conditioner with more moisturizing properties than your current one. Basically, it should contain shea butter, coconut oil, aloe vera, jojoba oil and avocado oil. All these have properties that increase hair strength as well as adding adequate amounts of moisture.
Pregnancy hair loss is not a common pregnancy sign and only occurs in about 35% women. If you happen to experience it, do not be worried as it is part of what you have to go through to bring forth a new life.
By taking into consideration the tips mentioned above, you can minimize and prevent the hair loss altogether. Besides having to deal with too much hair as you brush, there should be nothing to be concerned about if the cause is not another illness.