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The Perils of Pregnancy-Induced Hair Loss
by April Maguire
For men, hair loss is expected and rarely the topic of conversation. For women, on the other hand, the situation is decidedly different. Female hair loss is incredibly traumatic for sufferers, and it's not discussed nearly enough even though roughly 50% of women will experience it at some point on their lives. One of the most common causes for hair loss in women is pregnancy, and thanks to some much-publicized videos making their way around the Internet, people may finally be waking up to the fact that having a baby can be bad news for your hair.
No matter how full and luxurious your hair is, the underlying process that causes your hair to grow is probably more fragile than you realize. In fact, simple changes to the hormones in your body can cause a condition known as telogen effluvium, wherein your scalp begins to shed hairs without producing new ones. This condition results in thinning and eventually baldness, and it can happen for a variety of reasons.
For example, have you ever heard that stress can cause your hair to fall out? While day-to-day stress isn't likely to have any adverse effects on your lovely locks, severe stress events, such as the loss of a loved one, can upset your hormonal balance enough to cause hair loss. Similarly, certain medications or birth control options can also have a detrimental impact on your body's ability to produce new hairs.
Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising then that pregnancy can have a huge impact on your hair. While they're pregnant, many women actually experience excessive growth and thickness. That's because the hormones in their bodies is effectively on overdrive, allowing the scalp to produce new hairs faster than usual. Unfortunately, the opposite tends to happen after the baby is born, and postpartum hair loss is an incredibly common occurrence. According to some estimates, upwards of 40% to 50% of women can experience a noticeable amount of hair loss within months of giving birth.
But don't let the doom and gloom get you down, because there is good news. For most women, telogen effluvium – and postpartum hair loss specifically – isn't permanent. Once your hormones have a chance to recalibrate and stabilize, hair growth tends to return to normal. And for expectant or recent mothers that are worried about hair loss, your doctor can typically provide you with tips for how to regulate your hormones and keep hair shedding to a minimum.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!