Why Am I Losing Hair
Explaining postpartum hair loss starts with pregnancy. High levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy causes an increase in hair and nail growth. Maybe you noticed that your nails were suddenly on fleek and your hair was doing all the right things. Hey, amidst the hemorrhoids and heart burn, there has to be SOME perks in pregnancy, right?
Well, one study examined the growth phase of hair follicles during pregnancy and found that 85% of non-pregnant womans hair follicles were in the anagen phase , while in the second trimester, the hair growth phase increased to 95%.
Now, its time for the no fun part.
Those nine months of hair goals will likely come to an end as your pregnancy comes to a close as your hormone levels drop significantly and normalize. In the study I just mentioned, they found that three months post-pregnancy, the hair growth phase decreased significantly to 77%. BOO!
To give you a better idea, normal hair loss per day amounts to about 50-100 strands of hair. New mothers can shed up to 400. This is a huge chunk of hair, literally! But its basically your bodys natural attempt to catch up after nine months of very little hair shedding. After 6 months postpartum, most women describe the shedding as slowing down.
Is My Hair Loss Connected To My Birth Control
If youre losing your hair and want to know if its related to your birth control, Blaisure suggests seeking the counsel of a specialist such as a gynecologist to administer a hormone panel test, thyroid test, or a general blood test. She points out that results of your tests may indicate a need for further testing. Once you know your results, your doctor can discuss your options for a low-dose contraceptive.
Would you ditch your birth control to save your tresses? Why or why not?
Share with us in the comments section below. For more on how hormones affect hair loss, check here.
This article has been updated.
Is Hair Loss After Pregnancy Normal
Yes, its very common. During pregnancy women tend to find that their hair stops shedding and as a result becomes thicker. After childbirth, this excess hair tends to shed over a short period this is not hair loss in the traditional sense, simply the loss of the excess hair that built up during pregnancy.
In some cases, postpartum hair loss may be related to the stress of childbirth. Its believed that childbirth can trigger telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss characterised by widespread thinning on the head.
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What Should I Eat For Thick Hair
A healthy and nutritious diet during and after pregnancy can be really beneficial for preventing hair loss and maintaining good health. Drink plenty of fluids and eat a balanced diet to replenish all the lost minerals & nutrients from your body. Ensure you include food items from these groups for a healthy diet:
- Fruits and berries
- Soya rich food products
Foods rich with antioxidants provide excellent protection to hair follicles. Keeping tonnes of vitamins like A, C, D and E as well as essential proteins like biotin in your diet can help you a lot.
Faq: Does Breastfeeding Cause Postpartum Hair Loss
Postpartum hair loss is a normal and temporary postpartum change that is unrelated to breastfeeding. Most women will return to their usual hair growth cycle between 6 and 12 months after birth.
Many new moms notice hair loss sometimes quite dramatic around three months postpartum. This is a normal and temporary postpartum change that is unrelated to breastfeeding.
Following is how the hair growth cycle works:
All hair has a growth phase, termed anagen, and a resting phase, telogen. On the scalp, anagen lasts approximately 3 years, while telogen lasts roughly 3 months, although there can be wide variation in these times between individuals. During telogen, the resting hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by growth of a new anagen hair.
from Telogen Effluvium by Elizabeth CW Hughes, MD
Normally, around 85-95% of your hair is in the growth phase at any point in time, but the hormonal changes during pregnancy stimulate an increase in the percentage of hairs in the growth phase. As a result, many women enjoy thicker hair during pregnancy, as more hairs than normal are growing and fewer than normal are resting/shedding.
With the birth of your baby , a larger number of hairs than normal enter the resting phase. Since the resting phase is followed by hair shedding , new mothers will experience greater than normal hair loss once the resting phase ends.
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How Does The Contraceptive Pill Affect Your Hairs Volume
Reduced hair volume is caused by a genetic condition, inherited from either parent, in which your hair follicles are sensitive to androgens . All women naturally have androgens in their bodies, but only some have hair follicles that react to them. If you have this sensitivity, once it is triggered, your hair follicles will gradually miniaturise and grow back thinner over the years. This reduces the volume and length of your hair, eventually making your scalp more visible.
Some birth control pills can slow or stop this thinning process, because they increase your oestrogen levels and/or diminish your testosterone levels.
Other contraceptive pills can raise your levels of androgens . These pills may trigger or worsen hair thinning.
Whether or not your hair will react to a birth control pill depends on how sensitive your hair follicles are to the hormones that pill contains. It also depends on your individual body chemistry, and on your bodys metabolism of the drug. Some women find that their hair is not affected at all by the pill.
Birth Control & Hair Thinning
How oral contraceptives can contribute to hair loss and what you can do about it..
Birth control pills work by adjusting the balance of hormones in your body.
Because the growth cycle of your hair is influenced by hormones, your hair may be affected if you are taking a contraceptive pill . For some, this manifests as hair loss.
Please note, there are two types of hair loss associated with birth control pills: hair thinning and hair shedding. They have different symptoms, and are caused by different things.
Hair thinning takes place gradually over time and is an inherited condition. This article primarily focuses on the connection between contraceptive birth control pills and exacerbating hair thinning.
Hair shedding is immediately noticeable, and is caused by a disturbance, imbalance or shock within your body. For more information on how birth control methods may affect hair shedding, please visit our page on Hair Shedding and Hormonal Contraceptives.
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Your Libido Might Be Affected
Dr. Agnant tells us that some of her patients complain their sex drives took a hit when they first went on the pill. This is most likely due to changes in hormonal production, she says, adding that these women usually experience an increase in libido when they stop taking birth control.
But again, every woman is differentand for some, sex could be more stressful without the protection from unplanned pregnancy that birth control pills offer.
Decreasing the risk of pregnancy for a woman may allow her to enjoy the experience of sex more, says Dr. Bhardwaj.
How To Stop Postpartum Hair Loss
Because postpartum hair loss is a normal result of your changing hormones, it is not something that you can immediately stop. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects of postpartum hair loss and help promote healthy hair growth.
Here are six things you can try for postpartum hair loss treatment:
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Why Women Experience Hair Loss After Stopping Birth Control
Various medications have varying levels of different hormones, and each can impact hair growth differently. In some women, some hormones in birth control or the bodys response to the additional hormones can cause the hair to move from the growing phase to the resting phase too soon, resulting in a form of hair loss is called telogen effluvium.
In other women, however, the hair loss comes after they stop using birth control pills. For these women, absorbing the additional hormones extends the anagen phase of the hair-growth cycle.
When the supplemental hormones are no longer interfering with the normal process, the hair follicles are able to go into their resting phase, and then their shedding phase.
This can lead to massive shedding of hair that had been held overlong in the anagen phase by the additional hormones.
Postpartum Hair Treatments To Try
Its normal for your hair to thin out after pregnancy. If its not worrying you, you dont need to do anything to treat it. And, unfortunately, there is nothing that has been shown to prevent or slow postpartum hair loss. But if your hair loss is bothering you, there are treatments you can try to make your hair appear fuller and healthier.
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Dermatologists Tips For New Mothers
If the excessive hair shedding bothers you, these tips from dermatologists can help until your hair regains its normal fullness.
Use shampoo and conditioner that add volume. Heres what dermatologists recommend using and avoiding:
Use a volumizing shampoo. These shampoos tend to contain ingredients like protein that coat the hair, making the hair appear fuller.
Avoid any shampoo labeled conditioning shampoo. These contain heavy conditioners that can weigh down the hair and make it look limp.
Use a conditioner formulated for fine hair. These contain lighter formulas that will not weigh down hair.
Use conditioner primarily on the ends of your hair. Applying conditioner to your scalp and all of your hair tends to weigh down hair.
Avoid conditioners labeled intensive conditioners. These are too heavy.
Finding the best shampoo and conditioner for thin hair is really a matter of trial and error. There is no single ingredient that makes a volumizing shampoo or conditioner for fine hair better than the rest.
Try a new hairstyle. Some haircuts make hair look fuller. An experienced stylist can tell you what will work for you.
Many new mothers prefer short hair. A short style can make hair look fuller. Short hair also can be easier to manage, which can save time. With a baby, anything that saves time can be a real boon.
Managing Hair Loss After Pregnancy
As stated above, its common to experience hair shedding after pregnancy, but for most women this will just be temporary. You may be concerned that your hair loss is not stabilising and that you are not experiencing the expected regrowth in the months after you have given birth, however this is not necessarily cause for concern. Womens hormones return to normal at different times after pregnancy, and usually its simply a case of waiting.
If your hair loss persists for many months after pregnancy you should visit your doctor, as theres a chance that it could be a sign of another condition. The most obvious explanation for prolonged hair loss in women is female-pattern baldness, which can affect women as young as their 20s or 30s.
If your doctor suspects that you have genetic, permanent hair loss they may recommend a treatment called minoxidil. This is a foam or lotion rubbed into the scalp once or twice a day. It is a very effective treatment for women with female-pattern baldness, as it has been shown to halt hair loss and promote regrowth in the majority of women who use it.
Minoxidil must be applied every day for three to four months before any improvement will be noticed. It must then be used on an ongoing basis to ensure hair loss remains stalled and new hair growth is possible.
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Will Hair Loss Stop After Stopping Birth Control
There are millions of people who have issues with shedding excessive hair. Actually, most people can lose certain amount of hair every day, and this is normal as a part of life cycle of hair follicles. However when you lose hair in greater amounts and this become frequent, there may be an underlying condition that requires medical intervention. Some birth control pills can cause hair loss. Will the problem stop if you stop taking the pills?
How to distinguish normal and abnormal hair loss?
Normally, on average people can shed about 50 to 100 hairs each day, according to AAD . It may seem like a lot, but remember that each of your hair follicle has its own life cycle.
However, if you dont find any re-growth, there may be an issue with your hair. There are several types of hair loss, but in general it can be categorized into 2 major groups non-scaring and scaring.
Non-scaring means that you lose hair but the prognosis to grow back is high. On the other hand, scaring means that there is follicle damage which can make the prognosis for the hair to grow back is very poor.
However, some cases of follicle damage will not end with permanent hair loss though most cases will. See also about the prognosis of pulled hair follicles to grow back in this previous section!
Why does oral contraception cause hair loss?
As the name implies, the major goal of why you need to use it is to help prevent a pregnancy .
Will the problem stop after stopping birth control pills?
Keep Up A Multivitamin
Its recommended that women take a multivitamin after pregnancy, especially if youre breastfeeding. You can choose to take either a daily multivitamin or continue to take your prenatal vitamin if you have any leftover. According to a 2017 review, taking a prenatal vitamin ensures youre getting enough vitamins and minerals, which are increased when youre lactating. It is also best to consult with a dietitian before choosing an over the counter supplement because over-supplementation of some vitamins may actually contribute to hair loss.
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Beware Of A Hair Tourniquet
New mothers also should watch out for hair tourniquets. A hair tourniquet forms when a strand of hair falls out and wraps around a babys toe, finger, or other body part. A single strand can wrap so tightly that it cuts off circulation or causes an infection.
Dont panic. The likelihood of your baby getting a hair tourniquet is very rare. Knowing what to do, however, can be helpful.
If you see a shed hair wrapped around your baby finger, toe, or other body part, you must remove it. Here what you should do:
Look for a loose end and gently unwind the hair.
Sometimes you will not see a loose end, so youll need something to gently cut the hair, such as a small knife or scissors.
If you cannot remove the hair because it is wound too tightly or enmeshed in your babys skin, you need to get medical help. Call your babys doctor or take your baby to the emergency room. Sometimes a doctor has to remove a hair tourniquet.