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Hair Loss During Pregnancy

You might have heard or noticed that hair usually becomes strong and lustrous during pregnancy. This happens all the time to most pregnant women, thanks to the high levels of hormone estrogen that helps in slowing down hair shedding. Many moms-to-be have experienced hair loss or thinning hair either during pregnancy or a few months after childbirth. However, hair loss is very normal and it is usually caused by stress on the body, hormones, or medical conditions which comes with pregnancy.

Both men and women when getting older, lose a total of about 50 to 120 hairs a day. When pregnant, rising estrogen levels slow down the natural cycle of hair follicle shedding. Therefore, some women actually lose fewer hairs during pregnancy. But that is not always the case. Other pregnant women may experience hair loss and shedding due to stock or stress. Hair loss during pregnancy can be caused by the following problems:

THYROID PROBLEMS

Thyroid disorders, like hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone) or hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone), might be hard to spot while pregnant. Of these two conditions, hypothyroidism is very common, affecting few pregnant women. Hair loss is only one symptom, along with constipation, muscle cramps, and tiredness. Around 1 out of 20 women may also go through thyroid issues during pregnancy. In all cases, these thyroid issues are usually diagnosed through a blood test.

IRON DEFICIENCY

Iron deficiency occurs when your red blood cells are not enough to get oxygen to the various tissues in the body. This can cause hair thinning and other bad symptoms such as, fatigue, headache, irregular heartbeat, and  exertional shortness of breath. During Pregnancy, women are at great risk of developing the iron deficiency anemia, particularly if their pregnancies are often spaced close together, they have serious morning sickness, or they are pregnant with multiples. This cause of hair loss during pregnancy can also get diagnosed through a blood test. Although hair loss with this condition isn’t perpetual, your hair may end up not returning to its normal form until vitamin or hormone levels return back to normal ranges.

TRAUMA

Your continues hair loss during pregnancy may have absolutely nothing to do with genetic conditions or pregnancy at all. If you have recently made your hair in very tight hairstyles, had few beauty treatments, or treated your hair wrongly, you may be experiencing what is known as traction alopecia. Inflammation of hair follicles could result to hair loss and shedding. Sometimes, your follicles may scar, resulting to perpetual hair loss. Hair loss during pregnancy may not require any special treatment. It generally grows on its own after a while.

HOW TO PREVENT HAIR LOSS DURING PREGNANCY

  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet. Focus more on eating plenty of iron, protein, and other good nutrients.
  • Ask your physician if any supplements or medications you are taking contributes to hair loss.
  • Avoid buns, tight braids, ponytails, and various other hairstyles which may pull out your hair. While you are at it, resist pulling, twisting, or rubbing the hair.
  • Always wash hair gently using a spaced-tooth comb to avoid pulling the hair too hard while detangling.
  • Allow hair to rest from harsh treatments such as the use of curling irons, hot rollers, or hot oil.
  • Speak with your doctor frequently. Sometimes the cause of your hair loss can’t be easily known through physical examining. Although hair loss during pregnancy in most cases are temporary, there are some situations which requires treatment for either regulating hormone levels or boosting vitamin levels.
  • If you have already lost hair, consider using conditioners and shampoos. And when applying conditions, concentrate on the ends of the hair rather than applying on the scalp for faster growth.
  • Also, there are certain hair styles, that can help your hair to look fuller while allowing it to grow back.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

Hair loss during pregnancy is normal, particularly when it has to do with certain health conditions or hormone changes. Lost hairs should grow back  with treatment or with time. Good news is that you are likely to get back your normal hair growth within five to eight months, or by your new born baby’s first birthday. If you keep noticing hair loss during pregnancy, consider seeing your doctor to find out if there are other possible causes for your hair loss, like androgenic alopecia or alopecia areata.

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