Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life. And despite all the issues that tend to occur during that time; e.g. nausea, heartburn, drowsiness and swelling of the legs – most women actually regard this period as maverick, and evolving, and in future years remember this time with a lot of nostaligia and affection. But unfortunately, a woman will also remember the compliments and the insults that she has heard regarding her appearance during that time. Such memories tend to stick around for a while. And even though the pregnancy can be a beautiful experience, the stage which immediately follows a pregnancy can be rough and displeasing. Young mothers, despite being happy and satisfied, often complain about fatigue, sallow skin, gaining extra kilograms, and even hair loss. Yes the last one is surprising, but hair loss after pregnancy is actually a common problem. So where does it come from and how should you deal with it?
For nine months of pregnancy, you can certainly get used to the attractive appearance of your hair, and you definitely noticed that they’ve become healthy, thick and shiny – and stayed like this persistently. It’s all down to hormones!
The hair life cycle consists of three phases. The growth phase is first, and the longest stage. Surprisingly, as much as 90% of our hair is simultaneously in that phase at one time. But sooner or later the hair is ready to fall out – it is a natural process. This occurs during the second phase, whereby the hair stops growing, and prepares itself to fall out – this is called the catagen phase. The third phase, or telogen, represents the time when the hair falls out from a follicle. Then the follicle shrinks and takes time to relax, regain its strength, and only then the growth stage begins again, and new hair strands are pushed out into the surface.
So because of hormones, the life during pregnancy looks a whole lot different. There is no ‘catagen’ phase two of the hair life cycle – and your hair does not fall out, so your head appears to be thick with healthy hair. Unfortunately, however, this state does not last forever.
Levels of oestrogen return to normal usually two or three months after child-delivery. The hair’s life cycle also returns to it’s standard phase process. And during this transition process, the hair naturally falls out, but so do the follicles that should have entered the third phase much later. In effect, the mother will notice an increased amount of hair falling out. So, it will be difficult for her to go from perfect beauty to gradual disappointment. Of course, this process isn’t always so sudden, but in most cases, women lose about 20% of their hair, and sometimes much more after pregnancy.
Hair loss after pregnancy is a natural process, and almost every mom will face it, either in a large or small extent. And the problem is that even if we’re aware of it, it can’t be prevented. This is mainly the reason why a mother can develop anxious and depressive characteristics – there’s simply a lot to take in at once. However, you can try to ease the persisting problems, for example by reducing the amount of your hair falling out after pregnancy. As was already mentioned, the excessive hair-fall-out can’t be stopped, but it can be lessened, especially if your hair will tend to fall out because of lack of nourishment and lack of vitamin intake, rather than hormonal disturbances. The period after pregnancy can be a demanding time for the body. Many women suffer nourishment shortages, and in worst case scenarios even become anaemic. If such weakened, young mother is breastfeeding on top of it all, the demand for macro and microelements is even higher. So, it’s vital that mothers take care for themselves, and keep to a proper, strict diet – this means remembering about regular food intake (one that does not harm the baby who consumes your breast milk). All information regarding nourishment should be found online, and various blogs and personal advice journals!
And bear in mind that hair should also be strengthened from the outside. Hair loss after pregnancy should be reduced with consistent use of special masks and scrubs that are applied to the scalp. In addition, it is advisable to use conditioners, and rinsing products, which aim to strengthen the hair from the follicles, all the way till the ends. Oh, and avoid excessive use of heat; strengthening, hair drying and curling!