Pregnancy is such a glorious moment in a woman’s life. On the other side of the road, it’s also one of the most sensitive periods. From morning sickness to mood swings and unusual cravings, various changes occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy. While some pregnant women might notice their hair appearing thicker thanks to the higher levels of estrogen, most, unfortunately, experience hair loss or thinning.
With hair being the crowning glory, hair loss during pregnancy can be a scratch to a woman’s confidence. So to understand why hair shedding happens during pregnancy and to make sure it’s managed accordingly, let’s look at its potential causes and treatment options.
What causes hair thinning during pregnancy?
1. Hormonal changes
During pregnancy, there are hormonal shifts that happen to a woman’s body. For instance, a woman’s body produces more estrogen when pregnant than any other period of her life, and her progesterone levels also increase. This rise in hormone levels helps in supporting the baby and transferring nutrients. However, it may also impede hair growth as the body experiences stress when adapting to these changes in the first trimester.
2. Health issues
If hair thinning during pregnancy isn’t caused by hormonal changes, it may be traced back to an underlying health condition. Pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of developing certain ailments. An example is hypothyroidism in which your thyroid glands do not produce enough hormones. It occurs in 2 to 3 pregnancies out of 100. This condition results in hair loss in addition to muscle cramps, exhaustion, and constipation. Similarly, having an overactive thyroid also causes hair to fall out more.
Another condition is iron deficiency. This happens as the blood supply surges to provide blood and oxygen to the baby. Again, one of its symptoms is hair loss.
3. Poor nutrition
A woman’s body needs to be healthy during pregnancy as it no longer supports herself only, but also the developing fetus. Hence, a balanced intake of nutrients is crucial for the mother and her child. Insufficient intake of protein, vitamins, minerals can be harmful. The same is true for excessive intake of certain vitamins such as the retinol form of vitamin A, which can lead to hair loss.
4. Cessation of birth control methods
It takes time for the body to adjust to the sudden need to produce hormones that birth control pills impede. When a woman stops using birth control medications and the body starts to adjust to it, she might experience hair loss.
Do’s and don’ts of hair care during pregnancy
Now for the best part, let’s look at remedies and treatment options to bring life back to your hair as you prepare to bring another life into this world.
1. Don’t brush excessively nor wear your hair tightly
Styling plays a big role in the condition of your hair. If you’re already experiencing hair thinning, brushing excessively may cause more hair to fall out. Similarly, wearing tight hairstyles such as ponytails, cornrows, weaves, and braids puts excess strain and tension on the hair and scalp. They look gorgeous but they hurt your hair’s health as these hairstyles can lead to breakage or shedding.
2. Don’t dye your hair
Hair color is thought to be harmless to a developing baby as the body does not absorb enough chemicals from it. However, there is still a lack of evidence into the correlation between hair dye and pregnancy, making the information inconclusive. Thus, you might want to delay going platinum blonde until you have delivered your baby just to be safe. Besides, there’s no harm in being cautious, right?
3. Don’t use hair products that contain these chemicals
If you’re following a religious hair care routine, you might want to tweak it and bid goodbye to certain ingredients like the following:
- Diethanolamine (DEA): can alter a baby’s brain development
- Formaldehyde: has been linked to spontaneous abortions, congenital malformations, and premature birth
- Parabens and rosemary: proven to negatively impact an infant’s growth
- Synthetic fragrances: may contain phthalates, a chemical that may alter hormone levels
- Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): may damage a baby’s developing nervous system
- Sodium lauryl sulfate: has been linked to birth defects in animal studies
- Minoxidil: might cause hypertrichosis or excessive hair growth in an infant in the uterus
4. Eat a healthy diet
Expecting women are particularly advised to eat a balanced diet high in fruits and greens, as these are packed with flavonoids and antioxidants that protect hair follicles.
5. Consult your doctor
Regular consultations are vital, not only to monitor the development of the baby but the woman’s own health as well. If you notice you’re shedding more strands than usual, it wouldn’t hurt to pay your doctor a visit. This is to find out if it’s simply due to hormonal changes or if an underlying condition is causing it. Tackling the root cause of hair thinning during pregnancy is key in treating and preventing hair loss.
6. Use the right hair treatment products
While certain chemicals and products should be avoided, you don’t need to completely give up at-home hair treatments. It’s recommended to switch to organic hair products that stimulate hair growth and don’t hurt your beautiful baby.
Our Hair Growth Routine for Women contains three products that are proven to boost hair growth. The Hair Strength Shampoo has caffeine and eucalyptus essential oil that help rebuild damaged, thin hair. It has micro proteins that penetrate deep into your scalp to give new life and more volume to your hair. Step 2 is the Hair Recovery Conditioner which contains moisturizing agents that keep your hair smooth and silky as they grow. The final and most powerful step, the Hair Growth Serum, has a combination of hair conditioning agents and amino acids that contribute to the development of hair follicles. It’s the perfect wrap-up for the 3-step hair care routine!
While the products do not contain any ingredients that are particularly harmful to pregnant women, we suggest that you consult your doctor before using them.
Hair loss during pregnancy is a normal occurrence caused by a number of external factors. The good news is, you can do something about it! Don’t let thinning hair keep you from enjoying this magical moment of your life. With our suggested steps, you’re sure to get your crowning glory back to its best and healthiest condition and be the glowing mom-to-be that you are!
Try our 3-Step Hair Growth Routine here.