24 May 2022 | 3 min Read
Author | 2578 Articles
Pregnancy is that phase in your life which is full of changes. Changes in your body, appearance, relationships, attitudes, behavior, worldviews, and just about anything else you can think of. These changes affect every aspect of your life, from thoughts in your head and morning sickness to your inter-personal relationships. It leaves no stone unturned and no page unread.
Out of the plethora of changes you undergo, one of the things you’ll notice is differences in your hair. You might find that your hair is growing a lot, or on the flip side, you are losing a lot of hair. What is the reason for this unwarranted hair growth or hair loss?
It’s time to understand a little bit of biology. The way that hair works is this – your hair has three stages or phases. Anagen phase, catagen phase, and the telogen phase. Anagen can also be referred to as the growth phase. It is the stage in which hair cells are constantly dividing and your hair grows at an average of about .3mm per day. Hair stays in this stage for about 2-6 years. Catagen is the transitional stage between telogen, the resting stage, and anagen, the growth stage. About 3% of all your hair is in this stage at any point in time and in this phase, hair stops growing. Finally, telogen is the resting stage and about 5-10 percent of all your hair is in this stage at any point. This is the stage in which most hair fall occurs, at an average of 25-100 strands of hair everyday and it lasts for around 100 days.
Now, getting to the pregnancy part of it, a lot of you may experience shinier, fuller hair. You may feel as though your hair has increased in volume and that’s probably because it’s actually true. What happens during pregnancy is that your body starts manufacturing hormones at a much higher rate. So your body gets flooded with hormones like progesterone and estrogen. What the hormones, estrogen in particular, do is that they prevent the hair that’s in the transitional stage from falling. That is, the hair stays is the catagen stage and doesn’t progress to the telogen stage. Therefore, during pregnancy, your hair tends to fall less and hence the volume of hair on your head is more.
So what’s the catch? The catch is that like all things in life, this needs to be balanced out as well. Around one to five months after you’ve given birth, the hair that was in the catagen phase, moves into the telogen phase. Due to this you may feel like you’re experiencing greater hair loss, which is true because the amount of hair on your head is more, but in effect, your hair volume is actually returning back to your pre-pregnancy phase. Therefore, during pregnancy, as well as for a few months after giving birth, you may feel as though your hair isn’t growing. However, this is temporary and will revert to your normal hair growth cycle soon.
Some ways of minimizing the amount of hair loss you experience includes ensuring that you get all the required nutrition (vitamins and minerals). Also, avoid anything else that normally damages hair, such as braiding, blow drying, using hair irons, wrapping and drying with a towel, and the like.