Hair loss during pregnancy – is this normal?

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hair loss pregnancy
For most women, hair grows thicker and shinier during pregnancy. However, the reverse can also be the case. Severe hair loss during pregnancy is also relatively frequent and usually nothing to worry about.
Pregnancy involves big changes for a woman’s body. More hormones are released, especially oestrogen, the “women’s hormone.”
Usually, the result of more oestrogen is that the hair grows more fully and appears more beautiful and healthier overall. This is because fewer hair follicles than usual enter the telogen phase, or resting phase.
After the birth of the baby, the levels of oestrogen in the body then return to normal and many of the extra hairs fall out at the same time. Many women experience this type of hair shedding, known as postpartum hair loss.
However, the opposite can also occur to the hair during pregnancy. A few women experience hair loss. Too many hair follicles enter the resting phase at once, a condition known as telogen effluvium.
Hormones are not always to blame for this. There can be other factors at play which causes the hair to fall out.

Reasons for hair loss during pregnancy

Severe hair loss during pregnancy is rare but is not in itself a major cause for concern.

Hormones

The hormone progesterone, produced by the corpus luteum, is suspected of being a factor in increased hair shedding. This hormone works together with oestrogen to regulate pregnancy.
This interaction can have an influence on hair growth and quality, both positively and negatively. For example, dry hair can become even drier and break more easily.
In addition, it may be that hair synchronises its growth phases due to the influence of the hormones. In this way, too many hairs enter the resting phase together and therefore fall out at the same time.

Contraceptive pill

A second factor that can lead to hair loss during pregnancy is ceasing to take the contraceptive pill. Women who have stopped taking the pill and then become pregnant relatively quickly often have to deal with hair loss.
One of the reasons for this is that the pill artificially keeps oestrogen levels high. If pregnancy then occurs, the oestrogen level in the blood is then usually not as high as it was when the pill was still being taken.
The hair can therefore fall out because, as we have already discussed, this hormone has a positive effect on the growth cycle.

Iron deficiency

Another cause of hair loss during pregnancy can be iron deficiency. During pregnancy, the body needs up to 60 percent more iron because so much of it is used by the growing child. But if not enough of this mineral is made available, then all the body stops with functions that need iron but are not necessary to survival.
This includes hair growth. Other symptoms that can indicate iron deficiency in the blood are pale skin, constant tiredness and – under certain circumstances – increased nervousness.
If iron deficiency is suspected, a doctor should be consulted immediately. The most common time for women to experience an iron deficiency is in the second trimester of pregnancy.
Another thing that can lead to hair loss during pregnancy is stress. Many expectant mothers put themselves under pressure during their pregnancy, especially when it is their first child.
This can have a negative effect on hair growth. Prolonged stress can cause diffuse hair loss even if there is no pregnancy.

Hair care during pregnancy

Finally, daily hair care also has an influence on hair growth. Normally, pregnant women do not have to change their daily hair care routine much, such as which shampoos and conditioners they use.
However, this does not apply to dyeing the hair. To this day, this topic is hotly debated. Even today, there is no scientific evidence that hair dyeing during pregnancy has a harmful effect on the foetus. In general, however, doctors advise against it.
However, if you do not want to give it up, you should at least use natural hair dyes during early pregnancy.
As a rule, hair growth should return to normal after pregnancy and the hair that has fallen out should grow back.
However, if it does not, this may be because the increased hair loss has revealed an already-existing type of hair loss such as female pattern baldness or alopecia areata. It may also have made other underlying hair health issues more apparent.
In which case, a hair transplant can be the solution to restore the splendour of your old hair. However, no reputable hair doctor will do a hair transplant without first fully exploring the causes of hair loss.
Dr Acar and his team are happy to answer any questions you may have on this topic. Take advantage of a free, no commitment consultation today.

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