Pregnancy is a wild ride that is full of unforeseeable things. Women's bodies go through an array of unpredictable (and predictable) changes and thicker hair is one that most women relish.
The primary reason women experience thicker hair (and nails) is because of the excess hormones in their bodies. On average, women lose approximately 100 hairs per day but during pregnancy, hair sheds less and begins to feel thicker and fuller because of it.
However, after pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to experience hair loss.
Hair Changes During Pregnancy
Every hair on our body - from scalp to tiny hairs in our ears and noses - goes through four phases of growth:
- Anagen - The growth phase.
- Catagen - When the hair detaches from the blood vessels beneath the skin and stops growing.
- Telogen - When hair is resting.
- Exogen - When the hair falls out and a new one begins to form in its place.
During pregnancy, women's hair stays predominantly in the Anagen phase resulting in the hair not falling out as usual. This makes hair feel thicker and fuller. Some women will even experience changes in texture - curly hair becoming straighter - and excess oils can also make it appear shinier.
Hair Loss After Pregnancy
One cause of hair loss among individuals is Telogen Effluvium which is hair loss as the result of something traumatic and it's difficult to beat the stresses the body experiences during and after childbirth.
After giving birth, a woman's hormone levels begin to go back to normal and those hairs that were actively growing, begin to enter the Telogen (resting) phase before falling out.
Although it can be alarming, this process is perfectly normal. It usually begins around three months after childbirth and can last as long as a year (although most often, it will stop by seven months).
What To Do About Postpartum Hair Loss
Since postpartum hair loss is a natural occurrence, there is not much you can do to stop it. However, there are some steps you can take to promote healthy hair growth as your body returns to its normal self.
Watch Your Diet
Try to eat foods rich in iron, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and biotin. Some suggestions include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Leafy Greens
Avoid foods that can inhibit hair growth such as:
- Diet soda
- White starches
Take Vitamin Supplements
Your doctor can tell you what vitamins and supplements would best suit you and it's important to consult with them - especially if you are breastfeeding. Vitamins that provide B complex, iron, Zinc, Vitamin A, Biotin, and Vitamin E are helpful with hair growth and health.
Straight, flat hair can make thinning hair more obvious. Try adding curls or waves to your hair and using a moisturizing mousse to give it some body.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Treatments
Try to go natural for a few months; avoid dyes, perms and hair dryers that can cause stress to your hair.
Stress can cause hair loss in any scenario and since your body is recovering from the stress of childbirth, it's important to try to reduce additional stress. Ask for help with the new baby and give yourself some peace and quiet. Avoid stressful situations and environments as much as possible.
Change Your Style
If you have long hair, consider getting it cut and sporting a short new hairdo.
Check With A Specialist
While hair loss is a natural occurrence after childbirth, excessive hair loss can indicate a different issue. There are many different causes for hair loss in women and if you are concerned about the amount of shedding you are experiencing, we invite you to contact us today for a free consultation.
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