Although pregnancy is a natural condition, nevertheless, it exposes the organism and its functional systems to considerable stress. As a result, many women complain of hair loss after pregnancy. Why does it happen? What are the causes? How to deal with the problem?
Causes of Hair Loss after Pregnancy
Every day, on average, we lose 50-100 hair, and this is an absolutely normal process. Hair loss can be exacerbated due to certain diseases or side effects of certain medications. In addition, hair loss becomes more active in a woman for a period of one to five months after childbirth. This process is also considered to be normal. The main reason for hair loss after pregnancy is hormonal changes in the body during and after the gestational period.
Physiological Alopecia during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, against the background of hormonal rearrangements the female organism is transformed, including the appearance of hair, its density, etc. What’s more, the growth is accelerated. It practically does not fall out. After childbirth, when the hormonal background of a woman becomes normal again, hair gradually becomes the same as before pregnancy. Hair follicles, which should go into a state of rest, eventually nourish hair bulbs less than before, which ultimately leads to the dying and loss of hair.
The birth of a child is always a huge stress for a woman’s body. Plus, you need to add sleepless nights, the time spent in the maternity hospital, postpartum depression, fatigue, overwork and a lot of other minor household problems that can also cause a strong hair loss.
Reduction of hemoglobin level in the blood during pregnancy
During pregnancy, against a background of a decrease in the viscosity of blood and an increase in its quantity, the level of hemoglobin in the blood of a woman can decrease. The intake of vitamins and optimal nutrition during pregnancy promotes a more rapid normalization of hemoglobin in the blood after delivery. If complications arose during the period of gestation (gestosis, for example) plus significant blood loss during labor, then after birth the hemoglobin level may be low. Deficiency of iron is also a common cause, which leads to intense hair loss after pregnancy. The condition of hair and body as a whole worsens if a woman is forbidden to take iron supplements in the first few months after childbirth (if the child is born with jaundice).
Lack of vitamins and minerals
Deficiency of vitamins and minerals important for hair can also become one of the causes of hair loss after pregnancy. Usually, a lack of substances is observed during the period of breastfeeding of a child who has diathesis. To prevent this unpleasant manifestation, women restrict the diet, excluding products that can cause allergic reactions in the child.
Most often there are diseases of the thyroid gland and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Keep in mind that only specialist gynecologist-endocrinologist can make the correct diagnosis and appoint the optimal treatment.
Symptoms of endocrine diseases:
- hair falls out more than a year after giving birth;
- even with good nutrition after childbirth, the weight of a woman does not return to normal for a long time;
- problems with the conception of the second child.
Androgenetic alopecia after childbirth
Hair loss in this case is due to genetic predisposition. Usually androgenetic alopecia develops in women closer to the menopausal period. But sometimes hormonal changes or disorders (including during pregnancy and after childbirth) can provoke this process much earlier.
Some signs of androgenic alopecia:
- hair fall out over a year;
- new hair doesn’t grow;
- hair becomes thinner, dull, brittle, respectively, with each period shorter;
- the density of hair worsens.
Anesthesia and cesarean section
Any surgical intervention always negatively affects the body. Thus, hair loss after pregnancy is one of the manifestations of the surgery.
What to Do with Hair Loss after Pregnancy?
Hair loss of physiological nature
Hair loss becomes particularly noticeable somewhere at the fourth month after the birth, and ends in 10-12 months after delivery. Since the process is physiological, there is no need to worry about this, and the use of any remedies, home masks will be ineffective. Pretty soon, new hair will appear on the place of the fallen hair.
In this case, it is necessary to treat hair loss after pregnancy in conjunction with other activities. You can carry out various physiotherapeutic procedures and take supplements with a calming effect, but only after consulting a doctor. Various cosmetic and home remedies against hair loss (masks with different supplements) are useful. It is equally important to try to protect yourself from stressful situations, rest more (when the baby sleeps, try to sleep as well), ask for help from relatives (at least for the first months of the baby’s life), spend more time outdoors, play sport games and give more time to yourself (at least two hours a week for a trip to the spa, massage or beauty salon, but just to be alone and restore your mental strength).
Low level of hemoglobin in the blood
In this case, the problem of hair loss can be eliminated only by restoring the level of iron in the body. For this purpose, the doctor will prescribe special iron preparations after a complete examination.
Deficiency of vitamins
Because of the scarcity of the diet with the simultaneous impossibility of taking vitamin complexes to solve the problem of hair loss after pregnancy, it is effective to use masks and physiotherapy that accelerate blood circulation in the skin of the head. Unfortunately, only the normalization of the diet will completely eliminate hair loss.
After a course of treatment of the endocrine system, the condition of the hair is restored by itself.
Hair loss treatment of this type is absolutely useless with home remedies. Only a trichologist can pick up a drug that will slow the process of hair loss down.
Treatment in this case is not required. After the surgery the body will recover itself. In about half a year the density of hair and its condition will be normalized.
What to Do with a Strong Hair Loss after Pregnancy?
Far not every woman can calmly react to the fact that she is losing her hair. What measures need to be taken urgently if the hair falls out after giving birth?
Even if you are already undergoing a check-up or organized an appointment with a trichologist, you do not need to just sit and watch your hair falling out. There is an auxiliary set of actions that will help to cope with the problem faster.
Measures for Hair Loss after Pregnancy:
- Take special vitamins for hair. Complexes for pregnant and lactating women contain all the necessary substances and are safe for the child.
- Supplement the diet with rich in iodine foods. They will support the functioning of the thyroid gland. Thus, the hormonal background will normalize sooner.
- Refuse hair dyeing, waving, using a hair dryer and wearing tight bands. Replace metal combs with plastic and wooden ones with thick teeth.
- Properly wash your hair. Do not use hot water. The temperature should not exceed 40 degrees. Hair care products should be properly washed off.
- Do strengthening and nourishing masks, apply protective balsams. Use available anti-hair loss remedies.
- Make a head massage. This will improve blood circulation and nutrient access to the hair follicles.
- Choose a haircut. Many women cope with hair loss by cutting hair shorter. Thus, hair will get more nutrients.
How to Stop Hair Loss? Useful Tips
It is necessary to stay away for some time from drying hair with a hair dryer and curling your hair. Don’t use metal combs, and don’t dye your hair. Do not comb your hair while it is still wet and do not make tight, pulling hair, hairstyles.
It is recommended to use various hair masks. If there is such an opportunity, it is better to prepare such a restorative or firming mask yourself. The basis of all masks is burdock oil, vitamin A and vitamin E. Their oily solutions can be purchased at the pharmacy and added to any means for hair care products.
You can use the recipes of traditional medicine, which recommends using infusions of herbs (for example, nettles and burdock) for washing and rinsing hair.
To save precious time, masks can also be purchased at the store.
Try to replace all the usual shampoos, balsams, foams and gels with special medical care products in this problematic for the hair period. In every pharmacy today you can find a remedy with a curative effect, recommended by the Ministry of Health. These means can be in the form of shampoos and masks with the effect of strengthening hair bulbs, with a nutritional vitamin composition and other useful properties.
Proper and adequate nutrition is of great importance in solving this problem. The beauty and quality of hair directly depends on the right diet. In the daily menu, women should have meals containing calcium, protein, vegetable oils and vitamins. Try to eat the right amount of fruits, vegetables, cottage cheese and dairy products, fish and meat, etc.
Most mothers who feed their babies with breast milk cannot use many products because of the reaction of the digestive system of the baby. They have to eat fruits or vegetables useful to them (and many other things) in minimum quantities. At this time, drugs that can be taken during pregnancy can help a lot. These are mostly vitamins.
Of course, pills are a temporary way out. For the body, natural products are much more useful, but in this situation, a supporting course is simply necessary.
It is very important for everyone to know that hair loss is a physiological process and it will not stop completely. The hair that must fall out will sure fall out. But nevertheless it is necessary to give your hair increased attention and proper care.
The average duration of hair loss in women after birth is from two to three months. If this period is longer, it is better to consult a specialist who will give his recommendations specifically for your case.
Also, don’t forget about positive emotions and a positive attitude. This is an important condition for solving the problem as well.