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So, I’m Pregnant. How much Hair Loss Can I Expect?
Hair loss during pregnancy is very uncommon. Women typically notice thicker and fuller hair while pregnant. However, it is common for large chunks of hair to fall out after childbirth. If experiencing hair loss when pregnant, this may be due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, and should be discussed with a doctor.
It is possible that because of the increase of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy, hair may become brittle and appear as though it is falling out. This brittle texture is actually a result of hair breaking off near the roots, and generally happens in later trimesters.
If you find that you are experiencing hair loss when pregnant, you can limit the damage caused by avoiding:
- Over-brushing hair
- Coloring or lightening your hair
- Excess heat used to style your hair
- Over-washing hair
- Infrequent haircuts
Any type of hair loss in early pregnancy should be immediately disclosed to your doctor. This can be a sign of poor nutrition, illness, or disease and can be serious for both you and your infant.
Can Pregnancy Cause Hair Loss?
Most women claim that their hair has never looked as good as while pregnant! During pregnancy, the majority of your hair is in a “growing” phase, and the rest is in a “resting” stage. After the resting period, your hair will naturally shed, and is replaced with growing hair. The hair falling out during pregnancy is actually your growing hairs coming through. Before worrying about minor hair loss, consider that the average person loses 50-100 strands each day. When pregnant, the hair that you used to shed on a daily basis doesn’t fall out, which is why some women find that not a single hair is lost while expecting.
Slow hair growth during pregnancy is also a common myth. Women generally experience an increase in hair growth, and decline in breakage while pregnant, with most experiencing zero hair thinning. It has been suggested that a woman’s hair strands become thicker and more plump while expecting. You can also expect shiner, healthier locks because of the extra hormones in your body. Nails can also grow faster, harder and stronger than ever before!
After giving birth, your fingernails may become softer and more brittle. The human body is an amazing thing and your nails should regenerate themselves, which usually takes about three to six months, or one year for toenails. If your body has all of the nutrients it needs, these changes may take less time.
Unfortunately, you may notice an excess of unwanted hair during pregnancy, as facial and body hair may also grow faster than normal. While it is safe to seek permanent hair removal techniques while pregnant, it is not always the best option. During pregnancy you will likely be uncomfortable, and laser removal procedures can cause more pain than those who are not pregnant.
Will My Hair Fall Out After I Give Birth?
Great hair days often disappear once your baby arrives. The hair that was supposed to shed during your pregnancy falls out, sometimes all at once. Some women even comment on hair coming out in clumps post pregnancy. It is important not to worry about any postpartum hair loss, as stress can worsen your symptoms. Experiencing hair loss while pregnant is not normal; hair loss after giving birth is totally typical! Shedding is natural and is something that most women deal with once they have a baby.
While not all women notice dramatic postpartum changes, it is more visible in women with long hair, and usually subsides within three to six months. Breastfeeding can occasionally delay hair loss, so you may experience symptoms afterwards.
What To Do About Postpartum Hair Loss
While you cannot stop hair loss, it is the perfect opportunity to experiment with an edgy new hairstyle, or try new products to spice up your locks. Talk to your practitioner if your hair loss is excessive. When accompanied with other symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, and insomnia, hair loss after pregnancy could be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis. Here are some tips to help prevent further damage:
- Continue to take prenatal vitamins
- Do not use any chemical treatments
- Do not wear your hair up
- Limit heat in styling and drying hair
So, can hair loss cause pregnancy? No. Having your hair change after pregnancy is quite common. Many women notice texture and color changes after giving birth. Sometimes hair changes from straight to curly, or can be very uncontrollable once you have children. Any new hair discoveries after pregnancy are generally permanent. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can alter your hair’s texture by changing the shape of the hair follicle. Oval shaped follicles produce curly hair and circular shaped follicles yield pin straight hair. Once you have a baby, your body goes into a frenzy with extra hormones running through your body.
Having a baby is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. When suffering hair loss during pregnancy, or after giving birth, it is important not to stress about it. After all, it is not uncommon for your hair to grow differently once you are a mom! Try to enjoy your time as a new mother. Many women suffer from hair loss after pregnancy, and you are not alone. If your hair loss seems extreme or excessive it is important to seek the help of a physician. You can also reach out to one of the many online support groups for new mothers, who are also experiencing hair loss after pregnancy.