Why is My Hair Falling Out During Pregnancy?
To understand how to prevent hair loss during pregnancy we first have to get to the root of the problem. There are a number of reasons why your hair may thin and fall out while you’re pregnant. Some of the most common causes are nutritional deficiencies, hormonal and health changes and stress levels.
Nutritional deficiencies are no joke - and are quite common during pregnancy. Our hair health is closely linked to the amount of protein our body produces and this is impacted by our diet. A 2019 study into the usual dietary intakes of pregnant women found that, during pregnancy, women are most commonly deficient in iron, magnesium, and calcium as well as vitamins D, C and A. This is partly due to the fact they are sharing their nutrients with their growing baby - but it also indicates that we need to do more to encourage a healthy pregnancy diet.
With hormonal changes, pregnancy can throw your body off balance, which is one of the biggest contributors to hair loss. In some cases, this can result in Telogen Effluvium (TE), which is an excessive hair shedding condition.
It’s also important to remember that growing a baby can put a lot of stress on your body. High-stress levels can cause you to produce more cortisol, which can also affect your hair’s growth.
How to Prevent Hair Loss During Pregnancy?
If you’re worried about hair loss during your pregnancy and want to prevent it, there are a few things you can do. One of the most important things to focus on is your diet - as this will not only help support hair health but your overall health - and the health of your baby - too. Eating a balanced diet rich in protein is essential for healthy hair growth and can help prevent hair loss. There are lots of healthy proteins out there like lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts and lentils, but if you are confused or concerned about what to eat during pregnancy speak with your general practitioner or nutritionist.
In terms of caring for and styling your hair, one of the best products that we would recommend for thinning hair is our Fine and Fragile hairbrush. It’s designed to detangle wet or dry hair softly to prevent hair loss. What’s more, the hairbrush stimulates the hair follicles for growth with its two-tiered soft bristles, killing two birds with one stone!
Another thing you can do to prevent hair loss during pregnancy is to limit your levels of stress. Stress can cause hair loss, so it’s important to try and keep it at bay. You can do this by taking regular breaks from your everyday activities, getting enough sleep and doing light exercise. You could also treat yourself to one of our Scalp Massagers. It removes buildup on your scalp whilst stimulating hair growth. Plus, it will give you a little bit of that calming TLC you deserve!
What About Postpartum Impact Hair Loss?
Postpartum hair loss, or postpartum telogen effluvium, is a condition that causes significant hair loss, usually within the first three months after giving birth. The condition is very common and thought to be caused by hormonal changes and stress after giving birth. Oestrogen levels increase steadily during pregnancy and reach their peak in the third trimester.
After you give birth the oestrogen levels plummet quite rapidly, and as oestrogen is connected to hair growth and loss - this is why you might find some scary-looking clumps of hair on the ground or in the shower.
Whilst this condition is hardly rare (around 1 in five women experience hair loss after giving birth) it can be distressing - especially if the hair loss is extreme. For some people, it can even affect the eyebrows and eyelashes. The good news is that postpartum hair loss is not permanent. The shedding will begin to slow down after the first four months and by the time you are celebrating your little one’s first birthday, your hair should be starting to grow back again.
How to Prevent Hair Loss Postpartum?
Although there’s no guaranteed way of preventing postpartum hair loss, there are some things you can do to help ease the condition. Just like nurturing your hair health during pregnancy, it’s important to try to keep your stress levels low (easier said than done) and eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in protein, iron and vitamin B. If you’re struggling with postpartum hair loss, speak with your general practitioner about ways you can ease the condition and make sure you get the treatment you need.
You can also adapt the way you care for your hair to help minimise the appearance of thinning and reduce the risk of hair loss. A volumising shampoo with protein as part of its ingredients can help to create a thick, full hairstyle and nurture your hair as it grows back. Try to avoid shampoos that are labelled as ‘conditioning,’ as they tend to make your hair greaser and heavier. If you’re searching for new hair products, such as serums or hair masks, always gravitate towards those made for fine and fragile hair, as they’ll be more delicate. It’s also worth trying new hair partings and hairstyles to minimise the appearance of balding spots or receding hairlines. We would recommend booking an appointment with your local hairdresser for more tips and tricks to minimise the appearance of hair thinning or hair loss.
The Bottom Line
Hair loss during or after pregnancy is common but it can be quite hard to deal with when navigating the emotional roller coaster of motherhood. If you’re worried about pregnancy or postpartum hair loss, there are things you can do to ease the condition including using the right products, eating a balanced diet, and keeping your stress levels low, however, if you are concerned at all - always speak to your general practitioner and they will be able to give you even more advice.