Your body goes through a lot during pregnancy, with a lot of expected and unexpected changes taking place during the 9 months. While some mothers-to-be experience high levels of the hormone oestrogen, which can slow hair shedding and lead to thick, lustrous hair, others may lose more hair than usual during their pregnancy and in the months following birth due to the additional hormones.
Understandably, this can cause a lot of emotional stress as the condition of your hair directly affects how you can feel about yourself. For first time mothers, this can be extremely challenging as they have never experienced anything like this before.
Why do pregnant women lose their hair?
Hair loss during pregnancy is totally normal and can be caused by the stress placed on the body, changing hormones or medical conditions that come with being pregnant. For example, thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can cause hair loss in some pregnant women. Iron deficiency is another common issue faced during pregnancy, which can also lead to hair thinning and hair loss. It is also true that many women also experience hair loss in the first few months following delivery, which tends to peak at around four months postpartum. However, there is no need to worry that you are losing hair for the long term, as this excessive shedding is caused by the reduction in oestrogen levels in the body after giving birth. In most cases this will resolve itself without any treatment being needed within 18 to 24 months.
What can pregnant women do about losing their hair?
If you feel like your hair is shedding during or after pregnancy, the million-dollar question is: what can you do to fix it?
In terms of medication, experts say that the issue should fix itself, so there is no need to buy suppliments or “miracle cures” to stop hair loss.
Rest and relaxation are important at every stage of the pregnancy, as excessive stress and strain can also lead to hair loss. In many Asian countries, including my home country Malaysia, pregnant women are encouraged to rest as much as possible, as it is widely acknowledged that their body is being put under a tremendous strain carrying a baby. However, there some things you can do to help prevent hair loss or shedding during pregnancy, such as
● Eating a well-balanced diet that includes essential vitamins, minerals and biotin (Vitamin B7). Avocado, egg yolks, mushrooms, bananas, nuts and seeds can support overall hair and skin health. In addition, including foods high in Vitamin D and iron, such as fatty fish and leafy
greens, can help keep hair strong and healthy.
● Wash your hair with greater care using a sulphate-free shampoo to avoid stripping hair of its natural oils, which can cause dryness. Use a wide-toothed comb so your hair is not pulled too hard while detangling.
● Massaging the scalp can improve blood circulation and encourage healthy hair growth.
● Let your hair rest from heat styling tools, such as flat irons and curling tongs, which can damage hair and lead to breakage.
● Try not to use hairstyles that may pull at your hair, such as buns, ponytails or tight braids. Pulling, twisting or rubbing your hair can also lead to breakage.
If you have already lost hair, think about trying volumising shampoos, conditioners and natural leave in treatment. When you are conditioning your hair, focus on the hair ends instead of the scalp as this can give you more lift.
There are some hairstyles that can help your hair look fuller while it grows back, which we’d be more than happy to discuss with you when you pop into our salon.
You can visit us at 37 High Street, Colliers Wood, London SW19 2JE and we are open Tuesday to Friday, 10-7.30pm and Saturday 9-6pm. Give us a call on 020 8540 4664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be more than happy to arrange a free hair consultation.