Female Hair Loss: Losing Your Hair During Pregnancy

Most women are thrilled to find out they are pregnant, but being thrilled doesn’t mean you’ll love every aspect of pregnancy. One of those ‘aspects’ may be one or more of the rather not so pleasant body changes that happen during pregnancy particularly, hair loss. When you’re pregnant friends, family, and total strangers have no qualms about giving you advice. Some information may be helpful, while other comments may be just plain silly or misinformed. To help you, we’ve put together a few facts about pregnancy and hair changes.

Wives Tale or Scientific Fact

Heartburn is a sign your baby will be born with a full head of hair. Folklore or fact? If you guessed folklore, you may be surprised to know there is some truth to this wives' tale. As it turns out a research study done at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in 2006, concluded there was an association between heartburn severity during pregnancy and newborn hair. Pregnant women who reported moderate heartburn, had hairy newborns 82 percent of the time; the majority of heartburn-free women gave birth to bald babies.

Pregnancy Hair Loss

Losing hair only after giving birth is normal. Folklore or fact? If you guessed fact, you’re partially correct. Most pregnant women will find their hair becomes shinier, grows faster, and in general is shampoo-commercial gorgeous. For these women, hair loss may be something they experience only after the baby is born, usually around the third to fourth month post-delivery. However, roughly 40% to 50% of pregnant women will experience a type of hair loss that can occur during their first and second trimester. This temporary type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. It is a type of reactive hair shedding usually brought about by stress such as during pregnancy and delivery, surgery, illness and/or taking medication. Women will typically notice the increased hair loss while shampooing, styling, or brushing their hair.

The Science of Hair Growth

To understand female (and male) hair loss it can be helpful to understand how hair grows (this information can be especially beneficial if you ever want to explore hair regrowth treatment options). A developing fetus will have all of its hair follicles formed by 22 weeks. This means you can expect to have on average of 100,000 - 150,000 hair follicles on your scalp by the time you are born. Every hair follicle produces one strand of hair and has its own life cycle. Typically your hair will grow for two to six years before entering the resting phase and then falling out. In its place a new hair begins to grow, and the cycle starts over. On average 90% of your hair is in the growing phase, while 10% is in the resting phase.

Finding Answers

Hair loss during or after pregnancy is often related to changes in the estrogen hormone balance and like many pregnancy changes, it is often temporary. If you are concerned the amount of hair loss you’re experiencing is not related to your pregnancy, talking to a hair loss specialist or your medical provider is recommended. To learn more about treating hair loss and regrowth treatment options or to consult with a Capillus specialist in your area click here or call Capillus for more information at (786) 888-6249 or Toll-Free at 1 (888) 272-9599.

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