It is known, and also feared, that during pregnancy and after childbirth there may be hair loss in women. It usually happens after giving birth, but there are girls who suffer it before . However, we should not worry, it is something normal caused by the alteration of hormone levels. It does not happen to all women, but its appearance is not abnormal or cause for alarm. We explain why this effect occurs in pregnant women and what we can do.
THE PHASES OF HAIR GROWTH
In all people, hair growth is cyclical, and goes through a series of repeating phases: active growth (Anagen), transition (Catagen) and rest / fall (Telogen) . The growth can last between 2 and 6 years, and in it the cells of the root are constantly forming hair. The speed with which it grows is usually just under 1 centimeter per month, approximately. The transition phase lasts between 1 and 3 weeks, and in it the hair stops growing, the changes are at the bulb level. In the third phase, that of rest and fall, the hair remains without growing, lasting about 3 months. It is at the end of this when the old hair falls out and a new cycle of new hair formation begins.
What happens during pregnancy is that the duration of these phases is altered due to hormonal changes, specifically by increasing the concentration of hormones , such as estrogens and progesterone.
The hormonal alteration during pregnancy causes hair loss to stop and the period of rest in which part of the hair is found to extend over time. Thus, hair that was in the resting phase at the beginning of pregnancy will last longer without falling. To this is added the fact that the hair that is in the first phase, the growth phase, does maintain its activity, so we have, on the one hand, hair that grows and, on the other hand, hair that does not fall . The result? Hair with greater volume, and also greater thickness, during pregnancy. For this reason, it is very likely that women are delighted with that beautiful hair that they wear, but unfortunately it will not last forever.
In the last phase of pregnancy we can notice that the hair becomes thinner, and even that it begins to fall in areas where it is common for it to fall in men, such as the front area of the head. However, we should not worry, after delivery we will recover that hair. Even during the second trimester of pregnancy we may notice that alopecia , but the reason is still the alteration of the growth and fall phases due to hormones, which does not occur in the same way in all women.
HAIR LOSS AFTER CHILDBIRTH
Until now, we have commented that hormonal changes during pregnancy, such as increased secretion of estrogens and progesterone, generally cause the hair to remain without falling, although there are women who do have hair loss or areas with alopecia . What will happen after childbirth, approximately two or three months later, is that the hormones will return to their normal levels, so all those hair that remained in a state of rest and did not fall, will begin to do so. But since there were many, we will notice that the fall is very abundant and occurs suddenly, which can be scary. But it is nothing more than compensation to return to normal, that hair could not last a lifetime! However, if 6 months have passed since delivery and the hair continues to fall alarmingly, it is advisable to go to the doctor.
Classically it was mistakenly believed that postpartum hair loss was due to breastfeeding , because they coincide in time. But it is not like that, the hair simply returns to its previous state, with the same thickness and volume that we always had.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN HAIR AFTER PREGNANCY
If despite everything we are afraid that our hair will look weaker after pregnancy, we can strengthen it with our diet. It is the vitamins and minerals that we obtain from food that help our hair to be strong and nourished, so experts recommend consuming a lot of fruits, vegetables, vegetables and dairy products . The vitamins of group A and B also, in addition to iron , iodine and calcium , are beneficial for our hair, which we will obtain by eating a balanced diet rich in the foods that we have just mentioned.
Other measures to take care of our hair consist of treating it with care: use shampoos that are not very aggressive, do not rub it with the towel to dry it, use the dryer and irons as little as possible, or apply a heat protector in those cases, use more the Comb the brush, with the large bristles , and do not brush or comb it excessively .