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5 min read

Pregnant and losing your hair? Why it happens and what you can do

Pregnant and losing your hair? Why it happens and what you can do

Your friends talked about how thick and lush their hair got during pregnancy, but you just seem to be losing your hair while expecting instead. What’s happening?

The first thing is that it’s totally normal, so there’s nothing wrong with you. Just like pregnancy hormones can make hair lush and full for some women, they can also drain away those aspects from others, leaving dull, lifeless hair.

Even people who noted improvements in their hair during pregnancy may find that they’re losing hair after delivery. This is very common. Let’s take a look at how pregnancy hormones can affect your hair.

Hormones during pregnancy and hair loss

Hormonal changes in pregnancy begin with a surge in estrogen and progesterone. There are other changes in the amount and function of other hormones, but these two undergo radical changes and cause the most noticeable differences.

Women that report fuller hair with pregnancy may also note that they have hair growth and thickening on other, unwanted places. It’s not uncommon to have more facial hair, hair on the extremities, and sometimes even back hair. Typically, these hair changes return to normal after delivery.

Women who note hair loss during pregnancy are not permanently losing that hair, their body is simply responding to the drastic physical shock of a pregnancy. The normal ratio of around 85% of your hair growing while 15% is resting may flip flop and suddenly more hair is ready to be pushed out so a new hair can take its place.

It’s common to notice hair loss about two to three months after a shock because it takes that long for the hair to be pushed out by a new hair coming to take its place.

Hair loss or hair fullness are not the only hair changes that may take place during pregnancy, some women report a change in texture or in color. While hair loss and fullness tend to be temporary, many women report that hair texture and color changes are permanent.

Postpartum hair changes

While there is a drastic rise of hormones during pregnancy, hormones drop back down after delivery to normal levels and that can shock the hair cycle and cause hair loss, or telogen effluvium. So even people who had the best hair of their lives during their pregnancy can suddenly find themselves with thinning hair.

Once again, this is almost always temporary and related to the shock that dropping hormones create in the body. Your body responds to the shock in a number of different ways, one of which is to halt the growth process of the hair, which causes it to fall out before a new hair is ready to take its place.

Hair loss is most common one to five months after delivery.

Tips for healthier hair during and after pregnancy

While hair changes during and after pregnancy are common and totally normal, there might be a few things you can do to help hold onto your hair. They might also help ensure that everything is on track and that you’re as healthy as can be.

♦ Talk to your doctor to make sure you’re getting the right combination of nutrients.

♦ Avoid stressing your hair with tight braids or ponytails, chemicals, styling aids or too much heat.

♦ Eat a well-rounded diet, but be sure to include foods that have flavonoids and antioxidants to protect and nourish your hair follicles.

♦ Use shampoos and conditioners with biotin and silica. You can also get these nutrients from supplements specifically formulated for hair health.

♦ Hair is most fragile when it’s wet, use a wide-toothed comb and extra care.

While changing your hairstyle won’t make your hair healthier, it might be an option that helps you hide thinning spots and makes the most of what’s there. Talk to your favorite stylist to see if they have any recommendations.

Final thoughts

Experiencing some level of hair change during pregnancy and after is not only common, it’s to be expected. But what level of change you’ll have and when you’ll see it is where the mystery lies.

The hormone changes that happen during and after pregnancy affect your body from head to toe, and this includes your hair. Some women report having lush hair during their pregnancy while others report hair loss.

Many women, even those who had fuller hair during pregnancy, find that the hormone drops after delivery lead to hair loss. This pregnancy or hormone-induced telogen effluvium is almost always temporary and your hair will go back to its normal fullness several months after delivery when the lost hairs have a chance to regrow.

At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

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    At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

    Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

    Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

    JOIN THE GROUP