Women are warriors. It is unbelievable that little human beings can pop out from female bodies. Being pregnant and giving birth means becoming physically, mentally, and emotionally ready. No matter how many children a woman has, it is no piece of cake to undergo such life-changing moments. Women go through a myriad of bodily transformations before, during, and after childbirth, including your hair growth.
Hop on and discover the hair growth changes that a woman experiences during and after pregnancy.
Motherhood Diaries: The Journey of Your Hair During Pregnancy
When a woman becomes pregnant, she undergoes physical changes, especially in her figure, skin, nails, and even hair. Guess what? Hormones are to be blamed for these alterations. Thanks to these chemical messengers, hair growth hastens, and strands become sturdier than before. Do you wonder how does it happen? Learn more about your hair’s journey during pregnancy.
As mentioned earlier, hormones, specifically those produced by the ovaries, are responsible for hair growth changes. During pregnancy, the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone quickly escalate. This hormonal surge can benefit your hair since estrogens can prolong the follicles in the anagen or growth phase, which means lesser strands fall out. In turn, your hair grows thicker and stronger during pregnancy.
Aside from estrogens, androgens, which are hair growth regulators, also double when you’re pregnant. Therefore, pregnant women experience having healthy-looking, lustrous and frizz-free hair.
However, there are some cases wherein hair inadvertently becomes thinner when you are pregnant. This thinning problem can be due to the following: hormonal imbalance, miscarriage, or abortion.
The most common cause of thinning locks is your hormones’ irregularity. Hormonal imbalance can happen if a pregnant woman suddenly stops using oral contraceptives, thereby affecting your body’s normal hormonal levels. Miscarriages and abortions that signify the end of pregnancy can adversely thin your strands because of the sudden decrease of estrogen. If left untreated, you may experience premature shedding as a result of hormonal imbalance.
Being pregnant can also mean being more self-conscious. Therefore, women during pregnancy also spend more time and effort on beautifying themselves. However, a lot of expecting mommies are hesitant to color their hair as part of their makeover. Don’t worry, for most chemicals in hair dyes won’t reach the growing fetus.
Unfortunately, hair strands can become more sensitive to some substances if you’ve been experiencing hormonal problems during pregnancy. Therefore, it is a must to keep your hormones in check. The best way to avoid any hair fiasco is to wait after pregnancy. If you want to pursue hair dyeing, you can also opt to use plant-based hair dyes for your hair’s safety.
A woman’s prenatal journey has many ups and downs. Luckily, for your hair, it grows thicker, longer, and healthier during pregnancy. But, what happens to your mane after childbirth? Is your hair still in its best condition? Get to know more about your hair’s life after pregnancy.
Postpartum Recovery and Hair Loss: What Happens to Your Hair after Childbirth
Life after pregnancy can be quite challenging. Besides spending sleepless nights while caring for your newborn baby, you may begin noticing another set of physical changes, especially hair growth. Check out some of the postpartum effects on your locks.
1. When female sex hormones drastically decrease after childbirth, your hair may undergo telogen effluvium.
After nine glorious months of having the best locks in town, you may begin experiencing significant hair growth changes. Here’s the bad news: estrogen and progesterone levels drastically decrease after bearing a child. This hormonal decline can adversely affect your hair growth cycle, which can cause telogen effluvium. This type of alopecia happens once your hair follicles in the anagen phase shift to the telogen or resting phase. As a result, your strands prematurely fall out after pregnancy.
2. Stress and anxiety can trigger hair loss problems.
Studies show that oxytocin levels rapidly increase after childbirth, causing anxiety. Usually, your body can fight off stress and anxiety with the help of your progesterones. However, since progesterone levels are also low after giving birth, you begin to develop postpartum anxiety, which affects both your psychological state and your hair growth.
Being a mom with a newborn baby means more sleepless nights. Experiencing this after-pregnancy anxiety can disrupt your sleep cycle, thereby instigating insomnia and increasing stress levels. Once a new mother becomes stressed, her body produces too much cortisol, affecting the hair growth cycle. Thus, it would be best to avoid stress at all costs because high cortisol levels can push your follicles to the telogen phase, causing premature hair shedding.
3. A depletion of thyroid hormones after pregnancy can slow down hair growth.
Your thyroid gland is liable for secreting hormones that regulate your body’s metabolic processes. Unfortunately, these thyroid hormones also decline in number after pregnancy. So what it has to do with your hair? Sadly, you will experience slower hair growth without enough thyroid hormones, since they are in charge of providing energy for your follicles. Thus, your hair becomes sparser and fewer in the long run.
4. Iron deficiency is also a culprit of alopecia.
When a woman delivers a child, she loses too much blood. Therefore, her iron levels also abruptly drop because of heavy blood loss. As a result, a woman suffers from iron deficiency, which can trigger hair loss.
How does iron deficiency affect hair growth? Your blood is mostly made up of red blood cells containing the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin. If there is no iron, your RBC’s hemoglobin won’t bind and carry oxygen throughout the system. Hence, iron deficiency hampers your blood’s oxygen delivery towards your follicles, causing malnutrition and miniaturization.
5. Breastfeeding women may suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which can affect your hair’s quality.
Studies show the adverse effects of vitamin D deficiency on your growing locks. Vitamin D is said to be a vital nutrient in the creation of new follicles. Having insufficient vitamin D in the body is also negatively linked to alopecia areata, an autoimmune hair loss disorder. Therefore, it is essential to keep your vitamin D levels in check to prevent unwanted hair loss.
How does breastfeeding affect hair growth? According to the International Breastfeeding Journal, many breastfeeding mothers are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially during winter and spring. Thus, a lack of vitamin D can slow down the hair growth process, which isn’t good news for new mommies.
How to Prevent Losing Your Locks after Pregnancy
To all expecting and new mothers out there, here’s your chance to prevent losing your locks after pregnancy. Check out several ways to stop postpartum hair loss.
1. It all starts from within. Supply your body with enough nutrients.
After childbirth, you may experience a decline in your energy levels due to stress and fatigue. Therefore, you need to revive your strength by having nutritious meals every day. You need to supply your body with enough vitamins, proteins, and minerals for the sake of your hair. In doing so, you can avoid your endocrine glands from being out of whack, thereby preventing hormonal fluctuations from triggering hair loss.
2. Become gentler with your locks.
Your postpartum hair becomes overly sensitive. Therefore, you must be careful not to cause premature shedding with your bad hair care habits. Be gentler when brushing and washing your hair to avoid tugging and breaking your strands. If possible, also avoid sporting tight hairdos, such as buns, ponytails, and braids.
3. Boost the quantity and the quality of your locks with anti-hair loss products.
Being gentle with your hair is not enough. You have to enhance its quality to prevent hair damage. Thus, apply hair products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and serums, to win against hair loss problems.
After pregnancy, a decline in estrogens is an opportunity for dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to take over your system and cause hair growth problems. Hence, make sure that your anti-hair loss products are made with DHT-blocking ingredients, such as saw palmetto, green tea, and ginseng. Don’t forget to moisturize your hair to keep your locks hydrated, lustrous, and healthy-looking.
4. Consult your dermatologist for more information.
Last but not least, it is a must to consult your dermatologist for an in-depth explanation of postpartum alopecia. Not only will your doctor educate you about this hair loss problem, but you can also prevent self-medication, which can be risky for your mane.
Let Your Hair be Reborn After Giving Birth.
Nothing feels more fulfilling than holding your precious baby after giving birth. However, bearing a child also means sacrificing so much, including your health. Therefore, take care of your body during pregnancy and after childbirth to avoid harming both you and your baby.
Revive Your Hair.
Have you been growing tired of your dull-looking locks? Worry no more, for you can give your hair its daily dose of hair vitamins from ThickTails Hair Growth products. With these products, you can give your locks a total hair restoration. Make your hair shinier, fuller, and healthier by using the best shampoo for hair growth.