During pregnancy, you may have been thrilled with your thick and lustrous mane of hair. Except for some dryness, you may have thought, wow, pregnancy has finally given my hair some life! But then once you have your baby – poof! You’re alarmed, even shocked, to find that your hair seems to be falling out
It is common for women to notice many different changes to their body during pregnancy. While some may notice that their hair seems to grow better while they are pregnant, others worry that they will lose hair during this time. Is pregnancy the culprit of hair loss? Here are some of the things that you should know about how pregnancy may affect your head of hair.
Does Pregnancy Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss generally does not occur during pregnancy. If you notice yourself losing a lot of hair while you are pregnant, it is likely due to a preexisting condition. Changes in hormones which take place during pregnancy do not cause women to experience hair loss during this time. Some women may actually notice a reduction in hair loss while they are pregnant because taking certain medications, like birth control pills, can cause the problem. It is common for hair loss to occur three to four months after delivery, according to the American Pregnancy Association. The good news is that hair loss related to pregnancy generally does not last long enough to cause baldness or patches.
How Long Does Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
The hair loss that occurs after pregnancy generally starts about three months after delivery and usually stops by the fourth month. Thus, pregnancy-related hair loss may last a total of two months. If hair loss continues after this point or if it seems to be significant, be sure to talk to your doctor and hair loss expert. It is likely that there is another reason you are losing hair, whether it is genetics or a vitamin or nutrient deficiency.
What Causes Pregnancy-Related Hair Loss?
When hair loss occurs shortly after pregnancy, it is due to estrogen hormonal changes. During pregnancy, you experience an increase in estrogen. Shortly after pregnancy, your hormones levels will return to their original state, which is why hair loss is common during this time.
There are a few other circumstances when estrogen levels change and hair loss may occur. This includes when you go off a birth control pill or another form of contraception, when you have an abortion or miscarriage, or if you have a hormonal imbalance, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Overall, it is important to keep in mind that hair loss generally does not occur while you are pregnant.
If you feel that your hair loss is greater than the norm, or if things are not back to normal by the time your baby is 12 months old, then see your doctor. Excessive hair loss can be caused by common and easy-to-remedy postpartum conditions such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) or iron-deficiency anemia.
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Source: American Pregnancy Association, “Pregnancy and Hair Loss”.