Hair Loss During Pregnancy: What To Do?November 23, 2020
Almost 40-50% of women suffer from excessive loss of hair during pregnancy. The condition of excessive loss of hair between the first to the fifth month after pregnancy is known as Telogen Effluvium. Most women tend to shed hair approximately three-four months after the delivery. When it comes to changes during pregnancy, hair is the one that is greatly affected. Take this article as a guide to know the primary causes of hair loss during pregnancy and what to do about them.
5 Causes of Hair Loss During and After Pregnancy
There is not only one but several reasons that can contribute to the loss of hair during pregnancy. Some of the common reasons are explained below-
- Hormonal changes- This is the primary reason for hair fall during pregnancy. The fluctuation in hormonal levels interferes with the hair growth cycle. Eventually, this results in excessive loss of hair than normal. Fortunately, as the hormonal level normalizes, so does the loss of hair.
- Suffering from some medical conditions- As pregnancy progresses, there can be a number of illnesses that the mother can develop. Some of the common medical conditions include gestational diabetes or ringworm.
- Inadequate nutrition- Ensuring proper nutrition both for the mother and growing baby is essential during the entire pregnancy. But in the initial stages of pregnancy, women feel nauseated that can lead to frequent episodes of vomiting that can eventually lead to loss of nutrients. Therefore, due to a lack of proper nutrients including protein, minerals, iron, the hair follicles can weaken and lead to excessive hair fall.
- Stress- The stress of delivering the baby properly safely and taking care of the baby can take a toll on the mind. Pregnant women are susceptible to sudden mood swings making them extremely emotional at times. Hence, this takes an effect on the scalp and causes hair loss.
- Medicines and pills- Taking particular medicines or supplements for hormone control during pregnancy can also cause loss of hair as a side effect.
Home Remedies To Treat Hair Loss During Pregnancy
It is better that pregnant women try natural remedies first in case they want to encourage hair growth or curb the pace of hair loss. Here are some common remedies that can be tried at home-
- Massaging with warm oil- Massaging the scalp with some warm oil of your choice such as coconut, almond, mustard oil is one of the most effective tips that can stimulate hair growth. The scalp gets nourished and the hair follicles get stimulated promoting hair growth.
- Applying aloe vera gel- Aloe vera gel is rich in anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce inflammation. Hence, it can treat a wide range of skin ailments including scalp inflammation as well as dryness.
- Using neem- In case there is an infection on the scalp that is leading to hair loss, applying neem paste can be very beneficial. Neem is rich in antibacterial properties that kill the bacteria and cures the infection.
- Applying amla- Amla or Indian gooseberry is one of the go-to Indian home remedies for stimulating hair growth. To apply it on the hair, prepare a hair mask of aloe vera gel, olive oil and few drops of amla juice.
- Meditating for a while- As stress is one of the major contributing factors for hair loss, pregnant women should indulge in meditation for a couple of minutes on a regular basis. Meditation helps the mind to calm down which encourages proper blood flow to the root of hair follicles.
Treatment of Hair Loss Due To Pregnancy
The hormonal level returns to normal in women post-delivery. Hence, the hair falls out so that it can go back to the normal hair growth cycle. Around 60% of hair that is in growth states enters the telogen resting estate. Therefore, this indicates that hair fall during pregnancy is temporary in nature and hair grows back within 6-12 months after delivery.
However, if the hair loss persists even after a year, then it calls for a consultation with a doctor. It indicates that there is a far more serious reason for hair loss which is not associated with pregnancy. Some of these could be due to androgenic alopecia (female pattern baldness) and alopecia areata.
Both these conditions are treatable. There are several treatment options available for treating female pattern baldness but the most effective option is hair transplantation. Hair transplantation is the removal of hair follicles from one part of the scalp (known as the donor site) to the bald part of the head surgically. Get in touch with a hair transplant surgeon to know more about the types of hair transplantation.
Prevention of Hair Loss During Pregnancy
Not all is negative when it comes to hair growth and pregnancy. Due to the excess production of estrogen in the body, most pregnant women tend to grow voluminous, lustrous hair during pregnancy. Moreover, there are some preventive measures that can be taken before the delivery that can help the new mother prepare themselves for hair loss. Some of these are discussed below-
- Avoid hairstyles such as buns, ponytails, tight braids as these tend to pull the hair from the scalp and eventually, lead to hair loss. Also, don’t twist, pull, or rub the hair.
- Be gentle while washing your hair as well as don’t use chemical-based shampoos or conditioners.
- Pay attention to the diet. During pregnancy, it is imperative that the would-be mother eats a healthy, balanced diet. Include a sufficient amount of iron, protein and important nutrients.
- For detangling, use wide-toothed combs that pass through the hair gently.
- At the doctor’s clinic, ask them about the particular vitamins and supplements that can cause hair loss as a side effect.
Hair loss during pregnancy is a common problem that women come across. The major reason for hair loss during pregnancy is due to changes in the hormonal levels in the body and lifestyle changes they have to make. Although this is a natural phenomenon, women who continue to face the signs and symptoms of hair loss even after 6-9 months after delivery should consult with an expert without any further delay.