Pregnancy and Hair Loss

Hair Loss During Pregnancy: Telogen Effluvium

Approximately 90% of your hair is growing at any one time, while the other 10% enter a resting phase. Every two to three months the resting hair falls out and allows new hair to grow in its place. Telogen effluvium is the excessive shedding of hair that occurs one to five months following pregnancy. Hair loss during pregnancy is not uncommon, as it affects somewhere between 40 to 50% of women; but like most changes during pregnancy, it is temporary.

Does pregnancy cause abnormal hair loss?

Hair loss that is connected to pregnancy usually occurs after delivery. During pregnancy, an increased number of hairs go into the resting phase, which is part of the normal hair loss cycle.
This condition is not serious enough to cause bald spots or permanent hair loss, and it should begin to diminish within 3-4 months after delivery. If you feel that you are experiencing unusual hair loss while you are pregnant, this may be due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

After pregnancy

The most common period of hair loss occurs approximately three months after delivery. The rise in hormones during pregnancy keeps you from losing your hair. After delivery, the hormones return to normal levels, which allows the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle. The normal hair loss that was delayed during pregnancy may fall out all at once.
Up to 60% of your hair that is in the growth state may enter into the telogen resting state. The hair loss usually peaks 3-4 months after delivery as your hair follicles rejuvenate themselves. As noted above, this hair loss is temporary, and hair loss returns to normal within six to twelve months.

Can hair loss be related to other reproductive health issues?

Hair loss can be triggered by anything that involves a change in the estrogen hormone balance in your system.
Hair loss may result from any one or more of the following:

  • Discontinuation of birth control pills or any other hormonal type of birth control method
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Abortion
  • A hormonal imbalance

The Positive Side of Pregnancy and Your Hair:

During pregnancy, there is an increase in the level of estrogen hormones. Estrogen causes hair to remain in a growing phase and stimulates the growth of your hair. While you are pregnant, you should expect a full, luxurious head of hair.