Table Of Content:
- Is Hair Loss Normal During Pregnancy
- Causes Of Hair Loss During Pregnancy
- Tips To Control Hair Fall
- Home Remedies For Hair Fall During Pregnancy
- Self-Help Measures That Help To Manage Hair loss
- Treatment For Hair Loss During Pregnancy
Did you know that the hair grows in a cycle? At any given time, 90% of the hair grows while the remaining 10% is in the resting (telogen) phase. After two to three months of resting, the hair falls, and new hair replaces it. During pregnancy, this growth cycle pauses at the resting phase, and you have thicker hair as it doesn’t shed (1). But you cannot always expect your hair to grow thicker during pregnancy as you can also lose hair due to various reasons.
Is Hair Loss Normal During Pregnancy?
Small patches of hair loss are quite normal during pregnancy (2). Research studies state that nearly 40 to 50% of pregnant women suffer from hair loss, and the good thing is this is just a temporary phenomena.
Hair may become drier because of the progesterone hormone that is released in high amounts during pregnancy. This can make the hair break and crack near the roots, mostly in the late pregnancy.
You may lose hair during pregnancy due to various reasons. But if the loss is unusual, you should check with your doctor to know the exact cause behind that.
[ Read: How To Prevent Hair Loss Post Delivery ]
What Causes Hair Loss During Pregnancy?
Don’t worry if your hair fall during pregnancy is more than what it was during normal times. Hormonal fluctuations and physical changes could be responsible for this and is usually a temporary phenomenon until the baby is born.
There could be other reasons for hair fall during pregnancy, such as:
1. Poor nutrition:
Your body needs more nutrition during pregnancy. The iron requirement is high. Insufficient intake could lead to hair loss (3). Also, shortage of protein, vitamins and minerals in the body can be the contributing factors. Nausea and vomiting in the first trimester may result in poor nutrition. Moreover, intake of excess vitamins such as retinol form of vitamin A can also cause hair loss (4).
Some illnesses such as gestational diabetes and ringworm (a fungal infection) can cause hair loss. Also certain medications such as drugs to treat high blood pressure, depression and anxiety, increase the risk of hair fall. If you observe increased hair fall while on medication, update your doctor about it.
3. Usual hormonal changes:
Hair changes during pregnancy can also result from the changes in hormones that are normal in this phase. The fluctuation of hormones halts or interrupts the usual hair growth cycle, leading to excessive hair shedding or telogen effluvium (5). This condition will disappear in a few months.
[ Read: Hormones During Pregnancy ]
4. Genetics too play a role:
Hair loss has a genetic background too- which means if your parents had the same problem, you too are likely to be affected. Medication and treatment could be helpful in tackling hair fall that has a genetic origin (6).
5. Deficiency in thyroid hormone:
Hypothyroidism is characterized by a decline in the production of thyroid hormone in the body and is common among women today. The thyroid hormone is responsible for maintaining the basal metabolic rate, digestive system, mental health and even the nails and hair. The deficiency of this hormone could cause hair fall (7).
6. Polycystic ovarian syndrome:
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that causes the ovaries to produce male hormones in excessive quantities. While most women affected by this condition experience increased hair growth, hair loss may also be noted around the scalp region (8).
7. Skin diseases of the scalp:
Skin allergies and conditions affecting the scalp could also contribute to thinning of hair and hair loss (9).
8. Reproductive causes:
Terminating the usage of birth control medications or any other birth control method can cause hair loss. You may also experience hair loss as a result of miscarriage, abortion, and stillbirth.
Hair loss is not a medical emergency. But the underlying cause, such as nutritional deficiency or illness can be harmful. You should consult an obstetrician if you find excessive hair shedding during pregnancy. But if it is not alarming, make a few changes to your routine and see.
[ Read: Aloe Vera During Pregnancy ]
How To Control Hair Fall During Pregnancy?
There are some things you can do to reduce the hair loss or have a healthier hair during pregnancy.
- Do not over-brush your hair as it can cause further damage.
- Do not go for tight hairstyles such as a ponytail, cornrows, braids, hair weaves and hair rollers as they can pull and stress your hair, causing breakage.
- Do not use straightening treatments or chemical dyes as they make the hair brittle and dry.
- Use milder shampoo and conditioner.
- Use a detangling comb to brush your wet hair.
- Massage the scalp to stimulate blood circulation.
- Avoid using hair colors as harmful chemicals present in them can lead to excessive hair fall.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables containing flavonoids and antioxidants which help in protecting the hair follicles from damage and stimulate hair growth.
These above tips can help to reduce hair loss to a great extent. You may follow them, along with a few harmless home remedies.
Home Remedies For Hair Fall During Pregnancy:
Try out these simple solutions at home and see the difference.
1. Go organic:
Using natural and organic products is one of the best steps to reduce hair fall occurring due to skin infections and allergic reactions of the scalp. Natural products are perfectly safe for those having sensitive skin.
2. Warm oil massage:
Massaging the scalp with lukewarm oil is thought to help control hair fall naturally. Coconut, jojoba, almond, olive oil and mustard oils are believed to be the best for nourishing the scalp with a massage.
3. Aloe vera gel:
Aloe vera extracts help in dealing with most skin disorders. Its gel, when applied to the scalp, could treat hair loss occurring due to dryness and infection of the scalp.
4. Amla to the aid:
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is one of the best natural remedies for hair fall. Amla powder, when taken orally or massaged as oil into the scalp, strengthens hair and prevents hair fall.
5. Antibacterial neem:
Neem is yet another effective herbal remedy for tackling hair fall due to skin infections. Neem is a natural antibacterial agent that prevents the growth of bacteria. You can make a paste of fresh neem leaves and apply on your scalp.
6. Fresh coconut milk:
Massage half a cup of fresh coconut milk onto the scalp with your fingertip. Leave it for 20 to 30 minutes, and rinse using a good herbal shampoo. Consider using fresh milk, not the tinned variety.
Some more great combinations of home ingredients that can work:
7. A mixture of oils:
Mix six tablespoons of castor oil and one-fourth teaspoon of lavender essential oil. Apply the mixture on the scalp and wash it off after an hour. However, get clearance from your doctor on using essential oils as a few are not recommended during pregnancy.
8. Citric lemon juice:
Beat one egg and mix it with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply it on the scalp and leave for about 30 minutes. Rinse it. This not only helps prevent hair fall but also makes the hair thicker and silkier.
9. Soaked fenugreek seeds:
Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Prepare a fine paste out of them in the morning. Apply the paste on your hair and massage the entire hair. Wash it off after three to four hours. It not only stimulates hair development but also gives radiance.
10. Egg, yogurt, and olive oil:
Prepare a paste of the above ingredients and apply once a week. This works as a great deep-conditioning treatment for your locks.
Self-Help Measures To Manage Hair Loss:
Supplements and hair products will also play a key role in controlling hair fall. You may try them apart from home remedies. They can work wonders, but you should check them with your doctor before using.
You can add the following to your diet to reduce or control hair thinning.
- Biotin (10)
- Vitamin B complex
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
2. Shampoos and conditioners:
It is usual for the hair to turn dry during pregnancy. To fight the dryness, you can change to a shampoo or conditioner that is more moisturizing than the current one. Choose hair products containing:
Shea butter – adds moisture and prevents hair breakage.
Coconut oil – seals in the moisture of the hair follicle.
Aloe vera – deals with hair loss.
Jojoba oil – natural humectants.
Avocado oil – contains vitamins E, D, and potassium essential for the health of the hair.
[ Read: Hair And Foot Spa During Pregnancy ]
Here are some recommendations:
- John Masters Organics Bare Shampoo: This is fragrance-free and contains jojoba and chamomile.
- Nine Naturals Oh Baby Shampoo: It has soothing ingredients such as olive oil and aloe vera.
- Molton Brown Cassia Energy Hair and Body Wash: Contains cassia (cinnamon fragrance), calcium oxide, lemon and rosemary oil.
- Nine Naturals conditioners: Its variants contain citrus and mint, and mandarin and ginger.
- John Masters Conditioner/Detangler: The fragrance-free shampoo contains white tea and calendula.
- Elasticizer: The pre-shampoo conditioning treatment helps combat dryness.
Treatment For Hair Loss During Pregnancy:
If there is extreme hair loss during pregnancy in spite of your efforts to address it at home, then see a doctor. He would suggest Trichotherapy regime or any other treatment that suits your condition.
Trichotherapy regime: It is a three-step regime which targets hair loss in a holistic way. The regime contains three products, scalp drops, protein spray, and nutritional supplements, which encourage healthy hair growth. It helps normalize the hair cycle and reduces shedding.
Remember that you cannot control hair loss overnight. It takes some time for your hair to return to normal, post delivery. Remain patient as your complete body, including your hair, can get back to the pre-pregnancy state with some effort.
Had hair woes during pregnancy? What are your stories? Do share your experiences in the comments section below.