About 3 months after delivering my daughter, I started to notice some hair loss. I remember having a lot of hair on my hands just by running my fingers through it. There was hair on my clothes, on my pillows and on the carpet. It was scary! But nothing was scarier than getting handfuls of hair falling out when I was showering. I really thought I was going bald. Actually, I started noticing some small bald spots on my head! I was very self-conscious about it and I used to cry some days while showering ( after deliver I used to cry a lot about little things and this was not little).
As a first time mom I had no idea that this was one of those temporary pregnancy side effects. Only after talking to other mothers through a web forum (ivillage) that I started to realize that I was not the only one experiencing hair loss.
Later I came to understand that it was all related to the hormonal changes. During pregnancy, estrogen levels are high causing hair to remain in the growing phase which keeps it from falling out (that is the reason I had such a nice hair during pregnancy!). Some women may even grow hair in unexpected areas, such as chest, face and arms.
After deliver or weaning from breastfeeding (while breastfeeding estrogen levels are high) there is a drop in the estrogen levels causing the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle. The hair may fall out all at once (my case).
As I mentioned before, this side effect is only temporary and hair loss returns to normal within six to twelve months.
There is no medication that can prevent this hair loss, but here are some helpful tips:
- Shampoo only when necessary and when you do it, use a thickening shampoo and conditioner.
- Use a wide tooth comb and avoid combing wet hair
- Avoid ponytails or any other style that pulls your hair
- Avoid blow dryers and curling/flat irons
Even though pregnancy side effects can be hard to go through, it is all worth it. At the end, everything goes back to normal and we have a beautiful baby to love!