Temporary Hair Loss After Childbirth by Trichologist
by Dr. Kari Williams
Women experience beautiful, thick, shiny luxurious hair while they are pregnant. Everything seems to glow and grow while supporting another life. Once the baby is born the joy continues, but three to six months later, most mothers experience a devastating form of hair loss around the hairline and temples. Panic sets in as most women feel like they are now going bald. The hair comes out in large amounts, shedding excessively. The thinning is very noticeable. Fortunately I have good news. This hair loss is not permanent and the hair will grow back. This form of hair loss is called Telogen Effluvium.
Telogen Effluvium is linked to the hair cycle and is triggered by metabolic or hormonal stress and medications. Therefore, new mothers are not the only one who suffers from this condition. People who have had surgical operations, high fevers, stopping the use of birth control pill, severe illnesses, crash diets and other forms of stress on the body can experience this form of hair loss.
In the hair cycle, the active growing phase is called anagen and can last up to three years. The resting/shedding phase of the hair cycle is telogen and this phase lasts about three months. Telogen hairs rest in the hair follicle until they are pushed out by the growth of a new anagen hair. About 10% of hair follicles are in the telogen phase at one time. During pregnancy, more hair follicles enter into anagen simultaneously. The abundance of nutrients in the body and the increase in hormonal activity can be held responsible for the growth of long, luscious hair. Typically, three to six months after delivering the baby, the body experiences a form stress that cause a large number of hair follicles to enter into the telogen phase at once. This creates diffuse hair loss throughout the scalp and apparent thinning around the hairline for most women.
Anytime there is sudden hair loss, I recommend examining what happened three to six months prior to the experience. Did you start a new medication? Did you have an illness? Did you stop taking your birth control? Did you try a crash diet to lose weight before vacation? Any one of these scenarios could be the culprit to your sudden hair woes.
The good news is, once the body is back in balance the hair will begin to grow back and your hair cycle will regulate. This takes about six months. A lot of women get anxious and ask if there is anything that can be done to speed up the process of regrowth and the answer is, no. The best thing that can be done is to continue to take care of the body. Experimenting with too many products and hairstyles can create bigger hair and scalp problems. Therefore, be patient, eat healthy, take vitamins and nurture the scalp with massages, essential oils and tension free styles. Your hair will begin to flourish again in no time.
If you have any questions feel free to contact Dr. Kari at www.drkariwilliams.com