Intense Hair Loss During Pregnancy and Postpartum
In healthy people, at least 85% of the hair on the head is in the growth phase. The remaining 15% is in the resting and shedding phase. There are many types of hair loss due to very different physiological and pathological causes. The medical name for hair loss is “alopecia”. Dermatologically, hair loss that occurs after pregnancy and childbirth (post-partum alopecia) is a kind of telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium may occur due to many different causes, but pregnancy and postpartum hair loss are also in this group. If at least 60 strands of hair are gently pulled between two fingers and 6 or more strands remain in your hand, it indicates this type of hair loss. In this case, the hair may fall out in a lot and cause a panic in the person. It affects approximately 30% of women who give birth after pregnancy, and in fact, the normal hair growth cycle continues after the hair loss stops within 3-6 months. During pregnancy, the hormonal balance in the body changes completely, and under the influence of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, the hair strands on the head start to have a thicker and non-shedding structure. The growth phase (anagen) of the hair occurs almost 100% during pregnancy and; the resting and shedding phase (catagen, telogen) is not observed. With the birth and end of pregnancy, the normal hormone cycle will begin in women, and the hair that has never had the chance to fall out for nine months will suddenly enter the shedding phase, and this process may take up to three months, and everything is expected to return to normal after six months. However, it would be beneficial to consult a physician and to check the parameters such as thyroid hormones, iron, vitamin B12 in the blood. In this process, taking vitamin and mineral supplements, eating a protein-rich diet, washing the hair gently and preferably with a specially formulated herbal-based shampoo for hair loss are among the things that can be done. During this process, it is necessary to stay away from oily products such as conditioners and creams.
Prof. Dr. Murat Türkoğlu