For some women, their hair becomes thick and shiny during pregnancy, thanks to the increased production of estrogen, due to which the hair stays in the dormant phase for longer and slows down the fall. However, other expectant mothers experience thinning hair or hair loss during pregnancy or in the months immediately following childbirth. Although worrying, hair loss is normal and can be caused by hormones, stress, or medical conditions that accompany pregnancy.
What causes hair loss during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, hormones affect the entire body of a pregnant woman. Hormonal imbalance can be most noticeable on the skin, but also on the hair. The hair of some pregnant women becomes dry, brittle and prone to loss.
Some women may experience thinning and hair loss due to stress or shock. This condition is called telogen effluvium and affects a small number of women during pregnancy. The first trimester can be especially stressful for your body because the balance of hormones changes drastically. And it is stress that can bring your hair into the telogen or "rest" phase of the life cycle by 30 or more estimates. So instead of losing an average of 100 hairs a day, you can also lose 300 hairs a day.
Hair loss due to hormonal changes may not happen right away. Instead, it can take two to four months to notice a thinning. This condition usually does not last longer than six months and does not result in permanent hair loss.
Also, health problems can occur during pregnancy, which leads to telogen effluvium. The loss can be quite dramatic, especially if it is associated with a constant imbalance in hormones or essential vitamins.
Thyroid disorders, such as hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) or hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone), may be difficult to spot during pregnancy. Of these two conditions, hypothyroidism is more common and affects 2 or 3 out of 100 pregnant women. Hair loss is one of the symptoms, along with muscle cramps, constipation and exhaustion. Approximately 1 in 20 women may also have thyroid problems (postpartum thyroiditis) after the baby is born. In all cases, thyroid disease is usually diagnosed by a blood test.
Iron deficiency can cause thinning hair along with other symptoms such as fatigue, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing on exertion and headaches. Although hair loss with these conditions is not permanent, hair may not return to normal thickness until hormone or vitamin levels return. does not return to normal values.
Postpartum hair loss
Many women notice hair loss within a few months of giving birth, usually peaking around four months after giving birth. This is not true hair loss, but "excessive hair loss" because your hormones return to normal and then, in addition to regular hair loss, hair begins to fall out that would otherwise fall out during pregnancy if it were not for the effects of hormones. Again this type of hair loss is considered telogen effluvium. Although it can be quite annoying to see 300 or more hairs shed every day, it usually resolves on its own without treatment.