Pregnancy is a complicated condition in and of itself. Between the hormone changes, the weight gain, and having a new life growing inside you, your body doesn’t know what’s going on or how to deal with it. All of this is made even more difficult when you have an existing condition, especially one that is as hormone-dependent as alopecia. The range of changes your body and your alopecia can experience can be staggering.
To help you understand how pregnancy may affect your alopecia, we’ve compiled a helpful guide of five things you should know. If we missed anything, please let us know in the comments or on Facebook
1. You May Regrow Hair – It is not uncommon for women to have some regrowth of hair during pregnancy. In fact, some even report having a full or almost full head of hair by months 8 and 9, even if they began with near-total hair loss. Some theories as to why this happens focus on the immunosuppressive nature of pregnancy – since some alopecia is caused by autoimmune disorders, the immunosuppressed state of pregnancy can pause or reverse the condition.
2. You Will Lose Hair After Pregnancy – The condition, called postpartum alopecia, is caused by a pause in the hair’s natural growth cycle during pregnancy. Hormone imbalances cause the hair to stay in the “growth” phase for the entire nine months, and once the baby is born, all of that hair goes back to its normal phase, leading to a lot of it falling out within 2-3 months.
3. Most Of The Hair You Lose Will Grow Back – For most people, thinning and falling out hair immediately after pregnancy will regrow back to normal within a few months. Unfortunately, for a few women, this hair regrowth never happens. If you don’t notice your hair returning to its original condition within the first six months after delivery, consult your physician as this may be a sign of more long-term alopecia setting in.
4. Postpartum Depression Can Make Hair Loss Worse – Stress is a prime cause of hair loss, and postpartum depression can be incredibly stressful. If you experience PPD, and the hair loss resulting from it, you should focus on treating the PPD before anything else. Often, controlling the depression will lead to a slow-down or stop of hair loss.
5. Prenatal Vitamins Make A Big Difference – Most physicians recommend prenatal vitamins to all pregnant women, but they can be even more beneficial to women with alopecia. The higher-than-normal vitamin dose found in prenatals can help slow down or sometimes even stop the accelerated hair-loss that accompanies pregnancy.