Pregnancy is one of the most stressful things that the human body can endure. During this time, it’s not uncommon for expecting mothers to encounter a range of issues relating to their health. One of the most often overlooked, though, is the effect that pregnancy can have on a woman’s hair. It is not uncommon for moms-to-be to suffer from thinning hair—or even hair loss—both during and immediately following pregnancy.
Can Hair Loss Occur After Pregnancy?
Yes, hair loss can occur both during and after pregnancy. Hair loss related to pregnancy usually presents itself in the first 3-4 months following delivery.
What Causes Hair Loss After Pregnancy?
Hair loss can be caused by several factors including hormones, diet, stress, or illness.
Changes in hormones
During pregnancy, some women can suffer from hair thinning and shedding. This can be due to stress or shock. This is known as telogen effluvium and has been known to affect a minority of women during pregnancy.
During the first trimester, it is not uncommon for the stress of pregnancy to alter the balance of hormones in the body. Stress can cause 30 per cent or more of the hairs on your head to enter the telogen, or “resting”, phase of its life cycle. This can lead to an increase from 100 hairs lost a day up to 300.
Hair loss from hormonal changes might not happen immediately. In fact, it can take up to four months before becoming noticeable. This condition doesn’t often persist for longer than six months and does not result in permanent hair loss.
There are several underlying health issues that can arise during pregnancy and may lead to telogen effluvium.
Thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can be tough to detect during pregnancy.
Of these, hypothyroidism is more common and affects 2-3 percent of pregnant women. Symptoms may include hair loss as well as muscle cramps, constipation, and exhaustion. Additionally, approximately 5 percent of women may also experience thyroid issues following delivery. No matter the cause, any thyroid issue can be detected by a simple blood test.
Iron deficiency can cause thinning hair along with other symptoms like fatigue, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, and headache.
Pregnant women have an increased risk of iron deficiency anaemia. This is especially true if their pregnancies are close together, they are carrying multiple children, or they have severe morning sickness. This can also be diagnosed with a blood test.
While these conditions do not lead to permanent hair loss, your hair may not return to its normal thickness until the underlying causes have been treated.
What Can Be Done Against This Hair Loss?
For most women who experience hair loss during or after pregnancy, the trend will reverse itself and their hair will begin growing back within three to four months after delivery. However, if hair loss persists for more than six months, it may be time to consult a dermatologist. If it turns out that your hair loss is due to a genetic factor such as alopecia areata (pattern baldness) then no changes in diet or medication will help.
In this case, the only permanent solution for hair loss is a hair transplant in Turkey. Dr Serkan Aygin is one of the world’s leading experts in hair transplants, having assisted more than 15,000 men and women from around the world over his 25-year career. His record speaks for itself with a 98% hair regrowth rate. Contact us today for a full free consultation.