Pregnant women experience an abundance of new and exciting things while the baby is in their womb, as well as after giving birth. Going further, most women consider their experience as a pregnant woman to be exciting, beautiful and life-changing. But what they don’t mention are the negative side effects of pregnancy that not only affect their body, but their hair and nails as well. Postnatal hair loss is unfortunately very common, which means you can’t scoff at the possibility that it could happen to you.
However, the cause for concern is limited as long as you’re prepared for this situation. Also, hair loss after pregnancy is like most of the other side effects in that they are temporary, and can make a new mom feel alone in the situation.
This being said, here are some of the things you should keep in mind with regards to postnatal hair loss.
Natural Hair Cycle
Your hair has 3 stages of growth:
- In the first stage, a.k.a. the terminal growth stage, it’s actively growing for a number of years.
- The second stage involves the hair staying in place without growth for approximately 1-3 months. While the hair is resting in this stage, there are chemical changes happening in the hair follicles.
- At the end of the rest phase, the third phase happens, which is when your hair falls out. You can see 100 strands of hair shed from your head each day without cause for concern; once a strand falls out, a new hair grows in to replace it. Unfortunately though, the replacements don’t always come, which is when hair loss happens.
The main cause of hair loss after pregnancy is due to the hormonal changes that a woman’s body goes through. During pregnancy, women are taking prenatal vitamins that enable strands of hair which would normally shed or fall out to remain intact and continue growing; this causes your hair to become fuller and thicker during pregnancy. However, hormones create hair loss problems after you’ve delivered the baby, and it could be a while before you see the hair again. In fact, the amount of time it takes for women to notice a difference in hair growth is 1-3 months after labor.
In addition to the hormone problem, it’s completely normal to see hair fall out after discontinued use of any prenatal vitamins or change in diet following birth. Another reason why you could experience hair loss during pregnancy is due to a deficiency of minerals and vitamins. To help fix both of these problems, incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Your hair’s natural terminal length is 5-7 years, depending on the individual. This enables hair that is in a resting phase to fall out so that new hair can grow in. But pregnancy causes the resting phase to pause, which lets current hairs keep growing. When the hormones reach a normal state again after pregnancy, the hair that was being held intact during the extended resting phase will fall out rapidly. Hair loss can take up to 6 months to get back to normal, but there are steps that you can take to keep the loss at a comfortable pace. Here is a list of things to consider trying to keep hair on your head.