Pregnancy can be an exciting and overwhelming time for many women. There are several changes in their bodies and minds. With hormonal changes, women can experience all sorts of physical changes, including hair loss. Women experience hair fall during pregnancy, but this change is not problematic as long as they take care of their hair. Hair loss during pregnancy is common and can be treated. It’s more likely to happen during the first trimester.
Causes of hair loss during pregnancy
The causes of hair loss during pregnancy can be divided into two categories: temporary and permanent.
Temporary hair loss during pregnancy is often due to hormonal changes. When a woman is pregnant, her hair grows faster than usual. This is because pregnancy causes the body to produce hormones called estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause hair to grow and strengthen hair bonds. In addition, blood flow increases to the scalp, contributing to increased hair growth. Women also experience a change in their hair's texture as their hair grows thicker. This contributes to increased hair growth and length during pregnancy.
As pointed out earlier, a woman’s body produces more estrogen during pregnancy, which can cause the hair follicles to remain in the resting phase for longer than usual. This extended resting phase can result in thinner, weaker hair more prone to falling out. In addition, some women find that their hair texture changes during pregnancy, becoming dryer or oilier than usual. These changes can also contribute to increased hair shedding.
Pregnancy also causes a change in the cells that make hair strands stick together. Pregnancy hormones can cause hair loss in women of all ages. Still, they are especially harmful to hair follicles during the early stages of pregnancy. These hormones cause the skin to become thinner and more elastic, which can lead to hair loss.
Hormones in the blood contribute to this change; the resulting protein makes strands more elastic and less prone to breaking. Women also experience a change in their skin, which can contribute to skin conditions that make them more susceptible to sun exposure and damage to strands. However, exposure to the sun can contribute to excessive hair loss in women during pregnancy.
Hair loss can also be hereditary, so one may be predisposed to it. A poor diet can also contribute to hair loss. Eating a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet can lead to a high blood sugar level, which can damage hair follicles. Stress can cause hair loss in several ways, including damaging hair follicles.
Permanent hair loss during pregnancy is much less common, but it can occur if the hair follicles are damaged by certain medical conditions or treatments. For example, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy can damage the hair follicles and lead to permanent hair loss.
Treatment for hair loss during pregnancy
Hair loss during pregnancy can be a difficult and emotionally challenging experience. While it is not harmful to the mother or the child, it can be distressing.
There are several treatments for hair fall during pregnancy. Still, it is essential to speak to a doctor before trying any of them. They will be able to advise on the best course of action.
Possible treatments include:
- Drugs like Minoxidil, Finasteride, Triamterene, and Dutasteride: Minoxidil is a topical solution applied to the scalp. It is thought to help with hair growth, but limited evidence supports this. It is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for hair loss treatment, and it is also available over the counter. Finasteride is a class of drugs used to treat male pattern baldness and is also available over the counter. Triamterene is a drug that is used to treat high blood pressure, and it is also a treatment for hair loss. Dutasteride is a drug that is used to treat prostate cancer, and it is also a treatment for hair loss.
- Hair transplants: This invasive option can be effective in some cases.
- Platelet-rich plasma therapy: This involves taking platelets from one's blood and injecting them into one's scalp. This is thought to stimulate hair growth.
- Hormone therapy: This involves taking medication to correct hormone imbalances that may be causing hair loss.
Medical treatments help some women stop hair fall during pregnancy. The most common treatment involves taking contraceptive pills during the first three months of pregnancy. Some women also use injectable contraceptives or have surgical abortions during this time. Women who choose not to use medical treatments may find that their hair returns after the pregnancy are over.
However, some women experience excessive hair loss during pregnancy that extends into the following stages of their life and after they stop being pregnant. Researchers do not know why some women are more susceptible to pregnancy-induced hair loss than others- but they are actively investigating the subject.
Women who experience excessive hair fall during pregnancy may wear special hats to cover their hair. These hats are made out of fabric and are shaped like a hat without any openings for the head. Doctors also sometimes recommend turbans for pregnant women who experience excessive hair loss. Women who wear turbans may find that their hair loss stops while pregnant- but returns after the pregnancy are over.
Hairstylists also offer services for pregnant women who want to cover up thinning.
Prevention of hair loss during pregnancy
One of the common concerns that pregnant women have is hair loss. While it is normal to lose some hair during pregnancy, excessive hair loss can be troubling. There are several things that one can do to prevent hair loss during pregnancy:
- Avoid crash diets or extreme weight loss. Rapid weight loss can lead to temporary hair loss.
- Be gentle with the hair. Avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, and bleaching.
- Do not use the same shampoo regularly. This will cause the hair to get conditioned to one shampoo. Instead, change the shampoo every time. Of course, one can use the same shampoo after a few cycles.
- Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in protein and iron will help to keep the hair healthy.
- Take a prenatal vitamin supplement. This will help to ensure that one gets all the nutrients one needs for healthy hair growth. Some supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to help improve hair health and reduce hair loss.
- Having regular pregnancy massages can help reduce stress and help improve blood circulation, which can help reduce hair loss.
When to see a doctor
If one is concerned about hair loss during pregnancy, one should speak to a doctor. While hair loss is a common and usually temporary side effect of pregnancy, it can be a sign of a more serious condition. The doctor will be able to rule out any underlying causes and provide advice on how to manage your hair loss.
Hair loss during pregnancy can be a normal part of the changes that occur in the body. While it is not uncommon, it can be disheartening to have thinning strands or bald patches on one's head. Suppose one is experiencing hair loss or any other issue related to pregnancy. In that case, one must always contact a doctor for further advice and treatment options. And one must keep the mind and heart stress-free always and in all ways. With proper care and guidance, one will soon get back that beautiful crowning glory one had before getting pregnant!
So, why wait any further? Get in touch with us today. And get treated for your hair loss during pregnancy.