Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster for many women. Although swollen ankles, mood swings, and craving certain foods are well-known side effects, some pregnant women also find that they experience another condition – hair loss.
Postpartum hair loss
The most common form of hair loss related to pregnancy is Postpartum Alopecia. This occurs after the birth of the child, and is due to fluctuations in levels of the hormone oestrogen. During pregnancy, the female body produces much higher levels of oestrogen than normal, causing hairs to remain in their anagen (growth) phase for longer than usual. On average, a person will shed somewhere in the region of 100 hairs per day, but in pregnant women this figure can fall to half that, or even less. When a woman gives birth, however, the levels of oestrogen in her bloodstream drop dramatically. As a result of this, all the hairs that experienced a prolonged anagen are shed at once, causing hair loss that can be quite dramatic.
Although this can be quite distressing, postpartum hair loss is almost always temporary. Usually, the normal cycle of periodic growth and shedding of hair reasserts itself within six months of the birth, and hair returns to its usual thickness.
The stresses of pregnancy – or indeed, of developing Postpartum Alopecia – can cause further thinning. This condition, known as Telogen Effluvium, is also the result of a disruption of the hair’s normal growth cycle, but while Postpartum Alopecia is the result of the extended anagen of a large number of hairs coming to an end, Telogen Effluvium is the result of more hairs going into a telogen (resting) phase than normal. A number of factors can cause this happen, but by far away the most common is stress. Therefore, one of the best things you can do to encourage hair affected by Telogen Effluvium to regrow is to try to reduce your stress levels as much as possible. As with postpartum hair loss, Telogen Effluvium is usually temporary, and the hair that has been lost will generally regrow over time.
What we can do
Losing your hair after pregnancy may be upsetting, but it is, in most cases, a temporary condition, and hair will recover on its own. However, if you are experiencing unusually prolonged hair loss or would like your symptoms examined by a professional, then The Belgravia Centre’s experts will be more than happy to help. Our initial consultations are free of charge, and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will answer any questions you might have – simply contact us online or call 0800 077 6666 to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, if travelling to our central London clinic is not a possibility, then why not fill in an online diagnostic form, for a remote diagnosis and a home use hair loss treatment programme to be sent directly to your door?