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Hair Loss During Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Jul 25, 2023 | By Maria

Hair Loss During Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Pregnancy is a fascinating and wondrous time in a woman's life. The body goes through so many changes and adapts in miraculous ways to create a new human life. While it can be wonderful to feel life grow inside you, there are many symptoms and changes the body goes through when you're pregnant, and some are not that great to deal with.

Hair loss during pregnancy is a common concern that many expectant and new mothers experience. Pregnancy is a period of significant hormonal fluctuations, which can have various effects on the body, including changes in hair growth and abnormal hair loss. While losing hair during pregnancy can be distressing, it is usually a temporary condition that resolves over time. Understanding the causes, timeline, and potential treatments for hair loss during pregnancy can help alleviate concerns and provide reassurance to women going through this natural process.

Changes In Hair During Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes a lot of hormonal fluctuations, stress, and nutritional changes in the body. This can cause a number of side effects on the health, including changing the growth rate of your hair. For some, hair can grow more while pregnant, while others may experience extreme hair fall and slow hair growth during pregnancy. Pregnancy may also cause dryness and brittleness in the hair due to the nutritional changes, making it common for many women to lose hair during this period.

Hair Loss in Early Pregnancy

Hormones change during early pregnancy to support the development of your baby. The body needs to produce more hormones like estrogen and progesterone to line your uterus, help with vascularization, and help the body become more lax to make room for your baby's growth.

Nutritional changes will also occur because you are eating for two! Your baby will be absorbing the nutrients you consume, making less available for your own body and development. That is why it's important to have a healthy diet and consult your doctor about supplements and prenatal vitamins.

During the first trimester, you might experience more hair shedding because this is when your body is just starting to change. The body only starts to produce extra hormones during the first trimester. This is quite a shock and can be very stressful on the body. You also may not be getting enough nutrients in your hair follicles. In turn, it could produce side effects like excessive hair fall, among other symptoms.

Is Losing Hair During Pregnancy Normal?

Hair loss is a common symptom of pregnancy. However, it is different for everyone. Everyone experiences various symptoms, and while one person may not be experiencing hair loss in their pregnancy doesn't mean that it's abnormal or odd for others to experience hair loss during their pregnancy. Of course, while it is common, it's always best to consult your doctor about everything to ensure that all is good and no underlying health issue is causing your hair loss.

How long does pregnancy hair loss last?

Everybody is different, and hair loss can last shorter or longer for others. For some pregnant women, hair loss can start during the first trimester and gradually get better throughout the pregnancy. For others, it can last throughout the second and third trimester of pregnancy. And finally, some experience hair fall or excessive hair shedding after giving birth, which can last up to months, this is called postpartum hair loss.

What Causes Hair Loss During Pregnancy?

What Causes Hair Loss During Pregnancy?

Different factors can cause hair loss or hair thinning in pregnant women. The one general reason for hair falling out is that your body is accommodating your baby's needs, which is why your body is going through major changes that affect hair growth.

Here are a few different reasons why you are experiencing hair loss during pregnancy:

Hormonal fluctuations

As mentioned earlier, hormonal fluctuations are pretty major during pregnancy and are often the cause of hair loss. The rapid changes in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, can affect the hair growth cycle, leading to increased hair fall or shedding. Thyroid hormone imbalances such as hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) can also occur, contributing to hair loss during pregnancy.

For healthy hair growth, hormones need to be balanced and normal. That is just not possible with pregnancy. The changes in hormones can cause a lot of hair fall and thinning. For some, this thinning hair may stop in the later stages of pregnancy as the body gets used to the changes. However, it can last even after pregnancy for many women (postpartum hair loss).

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a condition that causes extreme hair fall and slow hair growth that's brought about by stressful events on the body. This isn't just a pregnancy symptom. It can also be caused by major illnesses like COVID, autoimmune diseases, infections, etc. Other causes include drug use, poor stress management, and pregnancy.

Pregnancy causes a lot of stress on the body and could easily trigger a bout of telogen effluvium. For telogen effluvium, when hair falls, there is a certain expiration date which is something to be glad about. It's not permanent hair loss. It will go away on its own after 3-6 months, and hair will grow normally.

Nutritional deficiencies

There's a reason why "eating for two" is often a phrase used for pregnant women. The little human you are growing is now getting a share of the nutrition you consume, if not more. And that's okay! Amazing, even. This means all that good stuff is going to your baby. However, it does mean that you'll have to increase your intake of nutrients to accommodate this change.

Nutritional deficiencies can cause hair shedding because your baby may be absorbing most of it. Your hair follicles aren't getting enough fuel, making them weak and sluggish. This will slow down hair growth and cause hair shedding or hair thinning because the hair is falling out but not getting replaced by new growth.

Stress and emotional factors

We've already talked about how stressful events can cause telogen effluvium. But mental and emotional stress can also cause hair loss during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations cause women to become more emotional and vulnerable to stress. This is completely normal but can affect the hair growth process.

How To Prevent Hair Loss During Pregnancy

There are ways that you can reduce and prevent hair loss during pregnancy. While it's a common symptom, excessive hair fall can be avoided by making a few lifestyle changes and incorporating some things into your everyday routine.

Maintain a balanced diet

You will need a lot more nutrient intake when you are pregnant. This means you should be eating super nutritious foods. Of course, listening to your cravings is important, but for your everyday diet, stick to whole, nutritious, and vitamin-rich foods. Keep it balanced by having whole grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and dairy in your diet.

Take prenatal vitamins

Eating nutritious food is great but often not enough to nourish you and your baby. Many women experience hair loss due to deficiencies such as iron deficiency. Consult your doctor about prenatal vitamins and other supplements you can take. This will help avoid nutritional deficiencies that cause increased hair shedding.

Avoid harsh hair treatments

Hair Mayraki Organic Hair Growth Shampoo

Harsh treatments are a big no-no when you are pregnant. That means no more salon visits (to avoid toxic chemicals and fumes). Opt instead for natural, pregnant-safe hair treatments and hair growth products. You can use an organic hair growth shampoo that is 100% vegan to prevent hair fall and help stimulate hair growth, giving you healthier and thicker hair. Consult your doctor before using or continuing to use any such hair treatment or products to ensure your and your baby's health and safety.

Handle your hair gently

Your hair will already be in a fragile state during pregnancy, so handling it with care is a must. Avoid tight hairstyles, switch to a microfiber towel and silk pillowcase, and always brush and detangle gently.

Manage stress

Stress is a huge factor during pregnancy, and it's important for both your hair, your body, and your baby that you manage your stress and ensure your well-being. You can do this by taking time to relax, do something that makes you happy, meditate, and spend time with people you cherish. This will help avoid any negative effects that stress can bring about.

Consult a healthcare professional

Always consult regularly with your obstetrician and doctors when you are pregnant. If you have any concerns at all, including hair loss, your doctor can help you determine if it is caused by an underlying health issue and find the right solution to make you more comfortable and keep you and your baby safe.

Hang in there!

While it may be alarming to experience it, always remember that hair loss during pregnancy is not permanent and will go away eventually. And there are easy steps you can incorporate to avoid this symptom. Always consult with your doctor before proceeding with anything to ensure your safety. Hang in there! It will all be worth it once you have your bundle of joy.