One of the perks of pregnancy , one might expect, is luscious hair. However, if you have been surprised at the hair loss accompanying pregnancy read on to find out why it is not really that uncommon and what you can do about it.
Your hair grows in a cycle. Ninety percent of your hair is growing at any time and about ten percent is in the rest phase. After the resting period is over, the hair usually falls out and is replaced by new strands. Pregnant women enjoy thicker hair because when they are pregnant because this growth cycle pauses at the resting period, resulting in more retained hair.
If there is a hair loss in this period, it could be due to the following reasons:
- Poor Nutrition: During pregnancy, your nutritional needs change to accommodate your growing baby. Many pregnant women experience anemia because their need for iron to help their growing blood supply outpaces their consumption. Inadequate intake of iron can cause hair loss. Insufficient intake of protein, vitamins and minerals also contribute to hair loss. However, ironically taking in too much of some vitamins, like Vitamin A in retinol form can also result in hair loss
- Illness: Illnesses like gestational diabetes during pregnancy can cause hair loss. Other fungal infections like ringworm, that can appear anywhere on the skin, can also cause hair loss. If you are on any medication for depression, blood pressure, anxiety it can lead to hair loss. It is best to consult a doctor in such cases as the medication causing hair loss could also be harmful to the baby.
- Hormonal Changes: You could be facing a condition called Telogen effluvium which is severe hair fall caused by the dramatic emotional changes associated with your pregnancy. This condition usually corrects itself after two to three months without intervention. Even if are not suffering from this condition, it is still possible that hormonal changes have affected you. Any time the body experiences a dramatic hormonal change, your normal hair growth cycle can halt or become disorganized resulting in shedding of hair.
So what can you do to help?
- Consult with your doctor about severe hormonal imbalances.
- Avoid any hair style that can stress your hair like pigtails, cornrows, braids, rollers, hair weaves.
- Use shampoos that contain biotin and silica.
- Hair is more fragile when wet. Do not use a fine toothed comb on wet hair. Use cool settings while using straighteners and blow dryers.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. They contain flavonoids and antioxidants that provide protection for the hair follicles and encourage hair growth
- Supplement your diet with the nutrients like Vitamin B , Vitamin C , Zinc, Iron, Biotin, Vitamin E etc. However do consult your doctor before you take any supplements.
Know that this is a temporary symptom and need not cause distress. Your hair growth will return to its normal cycle six months after delivery.