Hair loss during pregnancy: What’s causing it?

Women can lose hair due to a number of reasons. Most commonly, it’s their genetics and/or hormones that are creating this problem. During pregnancy, the latter is to blame. 

As your body is trying to sustain the pregnancy (of course, until the birth of the baby), the hormone levels fluctuate rather drastically.

But is that all that causes hair loss in women during pregnancy? Turns out, there’s actually more to it. Here are three things that could be the cause.

1) Stress 

It’s not just the mental stress of pregnancy itself. Your body is physically stressed as well. Additionally, it’s in shock from the changing hormone levels in the body all through the different trimesters. This kind of stress can result in what’s known as telogen effluvium. 

Essentially, your hair leaves the active growth – anagen – phase and goes into the resting/telogen phase. And you won’t lose hair immediately. This kind of shedding starts 3 months after the stressful event. In this case, it can take about 6 months for your hair to start growing back. But fortunately, this kind of hair loss is not permanent.  

2) Anaemia

Many women suffer from different types of anaemia during pregnancy. It happens when your body doesn’t have an adequate blood supply for you and your baby. 

Women whose pregnancies aren’t spaced apart or who’re pregnant with more than one baby are at a greater risk of developing this kind of anaemia. It also happens if the woman has severe morning sickness and is simply not getting enough iron through food. 

This iron deficiency can be another reason for hair loss during pregnancy. Without iron, there won’t be enough red blood cells, and they are the ones that carry oxygen to different parts of the body. And when there’s a low supply of iron, your body will prioritise sending oxygen to the more vital organs. As a result, you’ll end up losing hair. 

3) Thyroid issue

Another underlying health problem that can cause hair loss during pregnancy is thyroid disorder. There may be hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, when thyroid hormones are produced in excess or insufficiently. 

The problem is that it can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms of these thyroid problems can be similar to the symptoms of the pregnancy itself. That is why a blood test is needed to confirm the diagnosis. However, keep in mind that it can be another reason why you’re losing hair during pregnancy. 

What can you do about hair loss during pregnancy? 

If the hair loss is only occurring due to pregnancy-related hormonal changes, you only have to wait for your hair to start growing normally again. 

But keep in mind that it will take some time because even postpartum hair loss can occur (including when you’re breastfeeding). However, it is a part of the process. To deal with it, you may be prescribed medicines by your doctor. 

In the case of hair loss caused by an underlying condition, you’d need medications to treat the condition, which would also help with the hair fall. And lastly, if your hair loss is genetic, you can get a hair transplant, but might have to wait until after you’re done breastfeeding. 

Get help if you are suffering from hair loss in pregnancy

No matter what stage of life you’re in, hair loss can be very distressing. If you’re losing your hair, it’s always a good idea to consult a medical professional. Other than doing a scalp exam, they might also end up doing a blood test and biopsy. 

So, it’s not possible to resolve the problem of hair loss with just any product that’s available on the market. Keep in mind that there are many causes of hair loss, some of which are quite serious. Therefore, you should not delay treatment.