Information and Solutions for Men and Women

Does Pregnancy Cause Hair Loss?

Does pregnancy affect your hair?

It's a common idea people have about pregnancy—women will have thick, full, shiny hair during its course. But is that really the case?

The Effects of Pregnancy on Hair Loss

Estrogen, a hormone that's higher in women's bodies during pregnancy, causes hair loss to slow down. That's why so many women experience fuller heads of hair while they're expecting.

However, some women will experience the opposite during pregnancy—increased hair loss. In those cases, the stress the pregnancy is putting on the body, combined with hormone changes, puts more hairs into the resting phase, which leads to their loss.

Other health conditions that come up during an individual pregnancy can also result in more hairs being forced into the resting phase. That's because the woman's body is putting nutrients and energy into dealing with the issues instead of keeping the hair from falling out.

Iron deficiency, which can occur during pregnancy, also results in increased hair loss. This is something that is monitored for during pre-natal care.

It's important to note that the thinning hair experienced during pregnancy is not permanent.

Hair Regrowth is Possible

Post-Partum Hair Loss in Women

Just as the rising estrogen levels of pregnancy can lead to a slower hair loss that results in a thicker head of hair for some pregnant women, the decline in that hormone that occurs after the baby is born can lead to the shedding of all those hairs that were retained. That means that, usually a few months after pregnancy, a woman may notice what seems like increased hair loss. This is not true hair thinning. It's simply the loss of all the hairs that were gifted with a longer life span during the high estrogen phase.

Other Hair Loss Causes

Of course, it's possible to experience thinning hair from some other condition while you are pregnant, and that can sometimes be difficult to diagnose concurrently. For example, hypothyroidism and androgenic alopecia may cause hair loss during pregnancy that isn't related to the pregnancy itself. If you experience patchy hair loss or other skin abnormalities during pregnancy, consult with your doctor.

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