Pregnancy is your body’s express train to several changes – some pleasant and some, well, not so much. We’re not huge fans of these changes. We find that morning sickness isn’t the most beautiful way to start your day. However, just like other side-effects of being pregnant, we know that there are ways for us to cope with it.
Among these not-so-pleasant changes is hair loss. If you’re one of the fortunate ones and haven’t heard of this – let alone experienced it – then we salute you. We also envy you, to be honest. Not everyone has been so lucky.
Hair loss can be terrifying, especially for first-time mothers. On top of hormones going haywire, the cravings, swollen feet, and many others, sometimes you just feel like you can’t handle it anymore. Worry not, because we at ParentsNeed HQ are here to help. We will provide you with everything you need to know about hair loss in pregnancy and how to cope with it.
Hair Loss Explained
It’s important to know that about 90% of our hair grows at any given time. Also, everytime your hair grows back after falling out naturally, it will be thinner than the previous set of hair. Without the aid of products, hair loss can happen at an accelerating rate for some people. There are other causes of hair loss aside from pregnancy, such as old age, genes, diseases, and many more. However, normally a person typically loses around 100 hairs per day. This is why we don’t have to worry if we see a few strands of hair on our hairbrush.
Male pattern baldness is not related to what you may experience during your pregnancy. First of all, one of the biggest contributors to male hair loss is genes. In pregnancy, this isn’t always the case. Hair loss in pregnancy can be caused by hormonal imbalance which is a constant thing in pregnancies. This is because your body is experiencing many changes. The pills and medication that you may be taking and the physical and emotional stress that’s been weighing on you all affect and are affected by your hormones. You can also add changes in your diet to the list of things that could cause hair loss in pregnancy. You might be unaware that your new diet is rich in some vitamins and minerals but lacking in others. Missing vitamins that your hair needs in order to grow might be the key and taking supplements usually does the trick. However, in most cases, you’re gonna be needing more than dietary supplements to make up for lost hair.
Hair Loss in Pregnancy
Given that during pregnancy, you get a high dose of female hormones, hair loss should have been out of the question. Normally, pregnant women should be enjoying a thick head of hair as part of the perks of hormone overdrive. The typical growth cycle of your hair is on hiatus, so more of your hair is retained. Hair loss happens most likely a few months after delivery. This means experiencing hair loss in the first trimester of your pregnancy – or any point during your pregnancy – is a rare occurrence. Hair loss typically peaks 3-4 months following delivery. At this point, your hair that was on hiatus, catches up and the hair that you should have naturally lost during pregnancy, falls off all at once.
What you’re experiencing is called telogen effluvium. It’s your more-than-the-usual shedding of hair months following delivery. While it is not really a cause for concern, there are other factors that contribute to hair loss that you should look out for:
- Stress – Your body has gone through some major changes during pregnancy. It’s only natural that it will need to adjust back into its original state after childbirth. These changes can cause both physical and emotional stress, which is a huge factor to hair loss in pregnancy. The drastic changes inside and outside of your body, changes in sleep schedule, and other things that you could be experiencing have a direct effect on different parts of your body – in this case, your hair.
- Diseases and other medical conditions – Since you’ve gone through some dramatic changes in your diet, it is no surprise at all that you would acquire some medical conditions in the process. Illnesses like gestational diabetes and the intake of certain medication to cure other conditions will most definitely have an effect on how rapidly your hair falls. This also includes depression and anxiety medication. Make sure you talk to your doctor before taking any medicine.
- Poor diet – In order to accommodate the growing baby inside your body, you need to also adjust the amount of food that you eat. This could, of course, cause weight changes. Sans pregnancy, a woman generally consumes just the sufficient amount of nutrients for herself but you know what they say – pregnant women eat for two. This could cause some irregularities to the amount of vitamins that you receive; hence, it will also affect some aspects of your body such as – you’ve guessed it – your hair.
- Genes – Women who have experienced hair loss in pregnancy are more likely to pass that down to their daughters.
Treatments for Hair Loss in Pregnancy
Now that you know more about what hair loss in pregnancy is and why it happens, it’s time to get down to business. We’re here to give you various methods that you can try to solve your hair loss problem. We’ve included methods that are organic and otherwise to give you a variety of options because not all of them will work on you and it all depends on different factors such as your hair type, and styling preferences. It’s important to note as well that you need to consult your doctor before trying out any of the heavier methods to cure and prevent hair loss.
- Aloe vera – We just love the smell of aloe vera. It’s very refreshing and invigorating. It is also a great natural moisturizer for your scalp. Keeping your scalp moisturized ensures that you don’t have to suffer from dandruff or itchy scalp. A healthier scalp means better hair growth. What aloe vera does is unclogs pores that can sometimes be blocked, hindering the natural growth of your hair.
- Fresh coconut milk – When used as a paste together with gram flour, coconut milk can do wonders for your hair. It not only contains niacin and folate, it also has Vitamin E. These substances keep your hair healthy and they also make sure there’s proper blood circulation.
- Yogurt-Olive Oil-Egg mixture – We’re not cooking something, but we are making what you might call a deep conditioner for your hair. Yogurt keeps your hair silky and shiny and this mixture nourishes your hair in ways even an expensive salon-grade conditioner can sometimes fail to do.
- Lemon juice – Lemon has a great deal of health benefits and it’s also a great anti-fungal solution. It keeps your scalp healthy, making way for natural and healthy hair growth. This magic fruit is a great treatment for hair loss in pregnancy as it stimulates your hair follicles.
- Hair loss serum – Hair growth serums are packed with a bunch of substances that contribute to promoting healthy hair growth. They’re basically a cocktail of all the good herbal remedies that you can find. They work together to fight off dirt buildup in your follicles and make sure the pores on your scalp are healthy. This in turn keeps your blood flowing, which is essential in making sure nothing is in the way of your hair growing out.
- Low dose laser treatment – Laser treatment or red light therapy is also another option to treat hair loss. It basically emits light that penetrates your hair follicles and restore the cells within. This method may be more of a last-resort option for people who are suffering from hair loss but it’s completely safe and has proven to be effective.
Some Additional Tips to Help with Hair Loss in Pregnancy
There are a lot of ways to treat hair loss during pregnancy – and after. It doesn’t matter which primary option you choose, but be sure to follow up with some extra care as well. As an added measure, you can also do some things to help with the treatments for hair loss in pregnancy.
- Always be in contact with your doctor. Whether you’re changing your diet or taking a new medication, or even changing your sleeping pattern, make sure to always communicate any and all changes with your physician. This will ensure that your health is always being monitored and that you are keeping track of what goes in and out of your body. These things can cause changes, and some of those you may not be familiar with yet. If you follow this step, you can be sure that you are aware of what to expect – especially when it comes to changes in your body.
- Treat your hair with care. We’re not just talking about shampoos or serums here. When we say treat your hair with care, we mean comb it gently. Don’t tug on it too harshly. That means fine-tooth combs are a huge no-no. You should especially not comb or brush your hair just after stepping out of the shower because your hair is more vulnerable to breakage when it’s wet. Use a softer brush and start by brushing the tangles off on the tips and then work on the rest of your hair. If you need to use a hair dryer or a straightening iron, do so with care. Make sure you protect your hair from too much heat by spraying on some heat protectant.
- Speaking of treating your hair gently, you should also know that some hairstyles can cause harm and might affect hair loss adversely. Hairstyles such as tight braids, pigtails, and weaves can put stress on your hair and they will definitely make hair loss in pregnancy much worse.
- Up your intake of leafy greens and fruits. They contain substances that take care of your hair follicles, making sure that your hair grows out healthy. You need your Biotin, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, zinc, and iron, which are key vitamins and minerals responsible for healthy locks. If you want to know how to avoid hair loss after pregnancy, this here is your ticket. Make sure you don’t lack these nutrients early on. You should also watch out for food that you should avoid. This extra precaution guarantees you’re only getting the best for you and your baby.
- Don’t hate, meditate. Okay, that was a bit cheesy, but it’s true. Meditation can relieve stress and pregnancy is no walk in the park. Not just that, but the first few months of parenthood can be quite the challenge, especially for first-time mothers.
If you’re ever trying to get pregnant, it’s certainly not appealing to know that you’ll be sacrificing more than just suffering sleepless nights and acquiring some bizarre cravings at the craziest time of the day. It’s a difficult task and you have to be prepared. It doesn’t just mean buying all the necessary things to prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy, but it also means you have to be ready to experience changes that will test your patience and resourcefulness. It doesn’t matter how you decide to deal with these changes, as long as you make sure that the methods you try are safe for you and your baby.
Hair loss in pregnancy can be quite tasking. After childbirth, you will have a lot on your plate. That is exactly why we want you to know that you can be prepared to for it and it pays to start early on.