by Dana B Bryant
Have you heard a friend say, "I need to take longer showers now so I can collect the hair that falls out and throw it away. Otherwise, the drain clogs."
Ask this same friend how old her baby is now. The odds are that her wee babe arrived somewhere between one and five months ago.
Hair loss during pregnancy, beyond the normal 100 or so hairs a day, is relatively uncommon. If you're like most women during pregnancy, your hair looks vibrant and bouncy thanks to the extra estrogen. During those first few months after your baby arrives, it's a whole different story!
Hair Growth and Pregnancy
Pregnancy affects your entire body, including hair, skin and nails. Usually your hair loves pregnancy! Your estrogen levels increase. Your diet improves. Hair responds by staying in the growth phase. It looks healthier and fuller.
Most hair loss associated with pregnancy occurs during the postpartum period.
If you notice hunks of hair falling out now or have brittle, dull looking hair now, bring it up at your next appointment.
Hair Loss During Pregnancy
Experiencing unusual hair loss while you're pregnant can indicate a deficiency or a hormonal imbalance. While you might not have lovely, happy hair for the entire nine months, losing lots isn't common...yet.
These two conditions can cause severe shedding during pregnancy.
- A less-than-optimally functioning thyroid gland can contribute to dull hair or loss
- A vitamin or mineral deficiency
Since these conditions affect more than just your hair, give your midwife or doctor a heads-up. They can work with you to test, diagnosis and treat any problems.
Postpartum: Am I Going Bald?
Losing a substantial amount of hair during pregnancy can signal a problem. It commonly falls out during the postpartum period, not while you're sporting a baby bump.
Once your baby arrives and your estrogen levels drop, you might experience clumps of hair decorating your hairbrush or clogging the drain.
You are not going bald! Remember those hormones that sent your hair follicles into grow mode and turned off shed mode just at the beginning of your pregnancy? During the months following birth, your hormones return to normal and your hair reverts to its regular growth pattern. That means some, even a bunch, falls out.
Are you feeling frumpy? Some moms swear that these grooming tricks and tips make them look and feel better. Give one or more a try!
• Get a new hair cut, perhaps a baby-friendly do.
• Try different styles.
• Use a good quality shampoo and conditioner.
• Try different styling products like biotin and silica that bulk up hair.
• Avoid combs or brushes that pull or stress hair.
• Skip the cornrows, hair weaves and tight braids for now.
• Eat healthy foods and take a vitamin supplement.
Losing hair? You're in good company. Even celebrities are talking about postpartum hair loss. What's been your experience?