If you are pregnant, you know that nothing is more important than the health of your baby. Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it does come with a lot of physical changes, one of which can be hair loss after the baby is born. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian have been pictured with signs of post-partum hair loss, so why is it that pregnancy can have an effect on women’s hair?
Natural changes to hair growth cycle
Did you know that, at any one time, only 90% of your hair follicles are actively growing? The rest are in what’s known as the ‘Telogen’ or ‘resting’ phase, so no hair will grow from these follicles. However, during pregnancy, the hormones in your body cause changes to your hair growth cycle and all of your hair follicles are activated at once. This is why most pregnant women have thick, lustrous hair during pregnancy as part of that pregnancy ‘glow.’
After childbirth, your hair growth returns to normal, with 10% of the follicles re-entering the Telogen phase. This can cause the additional hair grown during pregnancy to fall out, giving the appearance of sudden shedding – but it is perfectly normal, and nothing to worry about. The hair is simply returning to its natural growth cycle.
Other causes of postpartum hair loss
In some cases, a condition known as Telogen Effluvium can occur. This condition causes temporary hair loss and is usually brought on by extreme stress. It can occur after a breakup, bereavement or other stressful life event, but is also common after pregnancy. It’s estimated that between 20 – 45% of women will experience Telogen Effluvium after giving birth, and it can take anywhere from 9 to 12 months after the birth for hair growth to return to normal.
If you are concerned, it is worth seeing a hair loss specialist, who can rule out other causes and ensure that you are in good health. Telogen Effluvium is a temporary condition, and the hair will grow back on its own, but a treatment plan can help it to do so as quickly as possible and in the best possible condition.
It is very important not to use hair loss treatments such as Minoxdil while you are pregnant, even if you have been taking it prior to conception. Whilst there have been no studies carried out on the results of using Minoxidil during pregnancy, animal studies have suggested there could be a risk of birth defects due to the way Minoxidil is absorbed through the skin.
So, what’s the good news? Your hair will usually look thicker, fuller and more lustrous during pregnancy, so you’re unlikely to notice much hair loss from pausing Minoxidil. Once you have finished breastfeeding, you can resume hair loss treatment if you need it, and it is a good idea to see a specialist who can create a holistic female hair loss treatment plan with on-going monitoring. This will boost hair health and ensure it stays in great condition.
Having a baby is one of the most important moments in your life, and the last thing you want is to be worrying about hair loss – there’s no need; hair loss after pregnancy affects many women and is a natural part of being a new mother!
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our online diagnostic form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.