Hair loss during pregnancy is usually temporary. But the appearance of such a symptom still requires attention because it can indicate serious pathological processes in the body. And there can be a lot of reasons for hair loss during this period – from malnutrition to gynecological diseases.
To stop hair loss, it is important to correctly identify the cause of this disorder. It is often associated with malnutrition and a lack of substances important for the mother’s body. The doctor will tell you how to balance your diet and prescribe additional nutritional supplements. But in addition to nutrition, it is important to properly care for your hair during pregnancy and regularly take the necessary tests.
And to figure out why hair can fall out during this period, you need to start with what generally happens to them while waiting for the baby.
What happens to hair during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the hormone estrogen increases in the mother’s body. Due to this, the content of thyroxine, copper and iron increases in the blood, making the hair stronger, thicker and healthier. But in some cases, the condition of the hair, on the contrary, can only worsen. This is due to the strong hormonal changes in the mother’s body.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, hair can become oilier due to increased sebum production. And if early toxicosis is added to this, the body will suffer from a lack of nutrients, negatively affecting the skin, hair and nails.
In the second and third trimesters, progesterone begins to be intensively produced. This hormone also greatly influences the hair’s condition. It increases the hair’s recovery period, allowing bulbs that should fall out to stay on the head longer. But when the hormone’s action ends, such hair begins to fall out intensively, compensating for the unfinished stage of its development cycle.
Excessive shedding is the loss of more than 100 hairs per day. And not only hormones can cause it.
Causes of hair loss during pregnancy
While waiting for a baby, a woman’s body experiences a great load: the hormonal background changes and physiological and psychological changes occur. Against this background, the expectant mother may notice that her hair has become brittle or falls out more than usual. Many reasons can cause this:
- Deficiency of vitamins and nutrients. The body spends all the useful substances obtained from food to form a healthy fetus. Therefore, the mother often suffers from a lack of certain trace elements.
- Toxicosis in the first months of pregnancy can also cause beriberi.
- Fatigue, stress and nervous tension.
- Taking certain medications.
- Disorders in the work of the thyroid gland.
- Gynecological diseases.
- Stop taking hormonal contraceptives.
In addition, during pregnancy, the process of hair renewal is suspended. Usually, the fallen hairs are replaced by new ones, but this does not happen during the waiting period for the baby. Therefore, it seems that the curls have become less thick. But you should not worry about this – hair growth and renewal will be restored a few months after the birth.
Hair care during pregnancy
To prevent hair loss and improve hair condition, it is important to take care of them in several directions.
The diet of a pregnant woman should be varied and nutritious. The baby’s health and the mother’s well-being depend on it. It is advisable to minimize the amount of spicy, fatty and fried foods. Do not add health to the hair and sweet soda with industrial sweets.
The daily menu of the expectant mother should include meat, vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread, dairy products and vegetable oils. It is also important to observe the drinking regimen – drink enough clean water every day. And remember about moderation in food and eat in small portions about 5-6 times a day.
Proper shampooing and drying of hair
During pregnancy, the scalp may become too dry or unusually oily. The hair washing schedule also depends on this – you need to clean them only as they get dirty. The water temperature should not exceed 38 degrees. But too cold water will harm the hair. It can cause vasospasm, reducing blood circulation and promoting hair loss.
Drying curls is best in a natural way. It is not recommended to frequently use a hair dryer, iron or other aggressive styling products. They will additionally injure the hair, and overdry the scalp.
In the store you can find a lot of masks, sprays and other remedies for hair loss. You can use home care products if the expectant mother is afraid of many chemicals in their composition.
For example, masks based on cream, kefir, egg yolk and black bread will be useful. In addition, you can additionally rinse your hair with decoctions of herbs: burdock, nettle, chamomile and others. Natural oils will also help strengthen curls. They can be applied to the scalp and hair 30-40 minutes before washing 1-2 times a week. The most effective are burdock, coconut, olive and almond.
It is not recommended to use products based on aggressive components during pregnancy: red pepper or mustard. They can damage the scalp, which is especially sensitive during this period, and cause itching and irritation.
Every night before going to bed, massage your scalp for a few minutes. You can do this with your fingers or special massagers. Movement should be smooth and soft, clockwise.
In addition, you can use a special massage comb. At one time, you need to comb your hair about a hundred times. This procedure normalizes the blood supply to the scalp and helps to activate dormant hair follicles.
Many are afraid to carry out such manipulations, believing that they can further increase the loss. But it is not. The hair that has “lived” its cycle will still fall out, and massage or combing will not be able to provoke additional hair loss in any way.
Hairstyles and styling
Tight hairstyles, elastic bands and barrettes further damage the hair, making it more brittle. The best option is loose or collected hair in a simple braid. In addition, metal hairpins and headbands irritate and injure the scalp, causing additional discomfort.
Stress can trigger hair loss not only during pregnancy. And it is doubly important for the expectant mother to be calm and relaxed. In addition, it is imperative to observe the sleep regimen – at least 8 hours a day.
If hair loss while expecting a baby becomes a cause for concern, the doctor may advise the mother to take extra vitamins.
Vitamins for pregnant women from hair loss
Several vitamins are responsible for the health and beauty of hair at once: A, C, E, and B vitamins. Before taking them as part of supplements, you should always consult your doctor about the safety of such drugs.
Much more useful during pregnancy will be natural foods rich in these vitamins:
- Vitamin A: fish oil, beef and chicken liver, butter, carrots, cabbage, and cream.
- Vitamin C: berries, citrus fruits, spinach, parsley, tomatoes, kiwi, apples.
- Vitamin E: nuts, avocados, vegetable oils, sunflower seeds, broccoli.
- B vitamins: whole grain cereals, legumes, dairy products, mushrooms, vegetables, meat, and potatoes.
In addition to vitamins, there must be other valuable compounds in the diet that is responsible for the growth and health of hair:
- Proteins (meat, poultry, dairy products) are hair follicles’ main component.
- Fatty acids (fish, nuts, vegetable oils, seeds) – responsible for the absorption of vitamins.
- Silicon (vegetables, cereals, legumes) is an essential building material for all hard tissues of the body.
- Phosphorus (potatoes, fish, cheese, legumes) – the basis of keratin, which makes up curls.
- Iron (apples, liver, dried fruits) – delivers oxygen through the capillaries that nourish the hair roots.
All these useful trace elements are especially necessary during pregnancy. If a mother-to-be’s daily diet lacks nutrients, a doctor may recommend suitable vitamin supplements. But you can’t pick them up on your own – you can harm your health and the baby’s health.
What to do if nothing helps?
If dietary adjustments and your doctor’s advice do not help stop hair loss, you must find its main cause. To do this, the doctor may prescribe several tests:
- Consultation with an endocrinologist and examination of the thyroid gland.
- Exclusion of iron deficiency anemia.
- The study of the composition and characteristics of hair.
- Examination of the head for the presence of fungal infections.
- Laboratory blood tests.
Based on the results of all examinations, the doctor will decide on the appointment for a safe and effective treatment.
The expectant mother should remember that hair loss during pregnancy is just a temporary period that needs to be experienced. Without serious causes, such a violation is easily corrected by changing the diet, taking additional vitamins and proper care.
A mother should be guided by one main principle during this period: “do no harm”. This means taking a responsible approach when choosing not just any medicines but also cosmetics. It is best to consult a doctor before buying them.