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A separate article here has been dedicated to post pregnancy hair loss as it seems to be so common.
Hair loss after pregnancy seems to be the type of hair loss most women are aware of and in many cases even expected by pregnant women. So why does this happen? Not every pregnant woman will experience hair loss after pregnancy. It seems that women who have experienced hair loss previously may well have it, but it could be as many as 1in 5 pregnant women will suffer some hair loss. The main cause of hair loss after pregnancy is due to Hormones. During pregnancy hormones such as Oestrogen increase. Oestrogen can extend the growth phase of the hair cycle. What often occurs is that very little if any hairs are shed during the pregnancy. Normally you would expect to shed hairs daily and they are replaced, generally 85-90% of the hairs are growing and the rest are in the shedding and replacement phase. Many women comment on how good there hair is during pregnancy thick and glossy! This is due to very little of the hair shedding in its usual way and a change in sebum (oil) secretions. However, this inevitably will be short lived. Once the pregnancy is over the hormones will return to normal and the hair will need to return to its usual pattern of shedding and replacement. Unfortunately this often means the hair that should have been shed gradually, will start to shed more rapidly, this is common when the baby is around 4 months old.
Although this can seem alarming and that the hair is falling out, it is only a proportion of the hair and normally lasting for around 6 months and then slows down. For some women however, the hair loss can be more problematic. In these situations if the hair continues to shed chronically after 6 months there could be an underlying problem which is exacerbating the hair loss, or a pre existing hair loss problem such as Alopecia Areata. In these cases it is advisable to appoint some blood tests to asses in particular Iron and thyroid hormone levels.
There is little that can be done to prevent this type of hair loss but what can help with the problem is good nutrition. In particular paying attention to Iron levels. Supplements other that pregnancy and breast feeding types are not suitable until after pregnancy / breast feeding is ended.