Pregnancy is a time of immense change for a woman – both physically and mentally. Throughout pregnancy, there are many different changes that occur in a woman’s appearance, and some mental changes can happen as well. One of the most common physical changes that can occur is hair loss. Dealing with hair loss is a common issue women face post-pregnancy. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to try and manage hair loss on top of caring for a new baby. Many women end up cutting their hair short in frustration.
There are three typically hair growth phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase is the active growth phase of hair follicles and can last anywhere from 2-8 years. The catagen phase is a shorter transition stage between the anagen and telogen phases that lasts around 2-3 weeks. The telogen phase is the resting phase of the hair follicle before it sheds and usually lasts around 3 months. A person may suffer from hair loss when hairs are forced prematurely into the telogen phase and pregnancy is one thing that can cause this to happen. There are many reasons why pregnancy can lead to hair loss. Hormones, for example, can play a role in both causing and exacerbating hair loss during pregnancy. Additionally, the physical stress that pregnancy puts on the body can lead to hair loss.
One of the main reasons for hair loss during pregnancy is not only due to physical changes in the female body, but also severe hormonal changes (estrogen and progesterone) which causes less hair to shed each day. This means that a woman’s hair will get very dense during pregnancy, causing the strands to become brittle and easy to break. After a woman gives birth, her body starts to regain its hormonal balance slowly. However, the hair on her head will go into the telogen phase prematurely and start shedding. Although this hair loss might seem excessive, most of the time the hair will grow back to its normal level. In some cases, though, the hair loss might be permanent. Another reason for hair loss is due to the nutrients your body loses when you are breastfeeding your child.