Pregnancy and Hair Loss - Advice & What to Expect

Hair Loss and Pregnancy

I remember the burst of love on my mom’s face when she held my newborn son for the first time. As we chatted about his perfect toes, perfect eyebrows, I recalled saying how I was “just so glad that my body can get back to normal.”  And with an all too sly smile, she said “Oh, you just wait.”

I knew all about the process to get my pre-pregnancy body back.  But I was NOT ready for the gobs of hair that I would see clogging my drain and my hair brush!  “Something is wrong!” I explained to my husband Wil. And quickly went down the Google rabbit hole on the subject.

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Turns out, it was normal and can affect 50% of women.  Hair loss post pregnancy is known as “telogen effluvium” which is a fancy term for the excessive shedding of hair that occurs around the third month after giving birth.  I also learned that, thankfully, it’s temporary and end 3-4 months after delivery.

An elevated estrogen level prolongs the growing stage during pregnancy.  I had luxurious, thick hair while I was pregnant because there are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day.  After I gave birth to my son, my estrogen level plummeted and a lot more of my hair follicles entered the resting stage, thus more hair falling out.

Being the A-Type person that I am, I would not tolerate this hair loss and quickly sought the help of some of my colleagues in the beauty and wellness biz.

First, I consulted with my doctor to ensure there wasn’t an underlying issue.  There wasn’t, thankfully. He did suggest a diet high in fruits and vegetables, which contain flavonoids and

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antioxidants that may provide protection for the hair follicles and encourage hair growth.  It's worth talking with your healthcare provider about your hair loss if you think it's excessive. Hair loss can be a symptom of anemia or postpartum thyroiditis which are treatable conditions.

Next, I visited my hairstylist Chelsea who gave me a quick trim and some great advice:

  • Avoid ponytails, braids and tight hair rollers which can pull and stress your hair

  • Use a gentle, natural styling spray that would give volume at the roots where the loss was most visible.  THIQUE Volumizing Mist has thickening tapioca starch in the formula which creates thicker looking hair without weighing it down.

  • Hair is fragile when it is wet, so be gentle and avoid fine tooth combs

  • If you need to use blow dryers and other heat styling tools, use the cool setting or the coolest temperature.

Lastly, I gave it time to grow back.  Hair only grows a half an inch on average per month but eventually, my hair regained what it had lost.  I still use the same products and maintain a great diet as maintenance, but my ponytail is back!

 

Written by:  Carole Cablk is a mom of two and an LA-based freelance Creative Director for the beauty industry and founder of “Pamper and Play” day camp for kids (and a break for their parents!). http://www.pamperplay.com