HORMONAL IMBALANCES / PREGNANCY
HORMONAL IMBALANCES / PREGNANCY
As you probably already know, your body goes through a huge number of changes when you’re pregnant. And while we’re almost all aware of lots of them – swollen ankles and boobs, an increased need to pee, and even food cravings – there’s one thing we never talk about. Hair. All those hormones flying around your body must have an impact on your hair, right? In short, yes. And for lots of women, that isn’t a bad thing.
In essence, a pregnancy is pretty much characterized by high levels of hormones. And those hormones include Estrogen and Progesterone. Yes, the same hormones that play such a huge role in your menstrual cycle play an even bigger role during pregnancy.
For instance, rising Progesterone helps prepare and maintain the lining of your uterus to home a fertilized egg in the early weeks of pregnancy. But it’s also partly why you’re more likely to live with bloating, digestive issues and cravings.
Increasing levels of Estrogen, meanwhile, are actually produced by your placenta. They trigger organ growth, keep your uterus healthy and even get your boobs ready for potential breastfeeding. But they can also increase allergic reactions and cause dry, itchy patches of skin.
In addition to their various reproductive functions, some of those hormones are also involved in the health and growth of your hair. If your hair insists on playing by its own rules once a month, you’ve got a good idea of what we’re talking about.
Both Estrogen and Progesterone, along with Testosterone, influence how well your hair grows and how healthy your hair follicles are, as well as the overall health of your hair. When your hair is growing well and looking healthy, that’s down in large part to the balance of all three hormones.
During your menstrual cycle, you’ll see both higher and lower levels of all three, but it’s the relative level of fluctuation that can determine how healthy your hair growth is.
For instance, lower levels of Estrogen in the run up to your period can mean your levels of DHT suddenly become relatively high. And that’s an issue because DHT, a potent form of Testosterone, actually restricts the blood flow to your hair follicles, resulting is hair loss and poor regrowth.
During your cycle, though, that shift is temporary. So there’s a good chance your hair growth and health reverts to normal once your Estrogen levels climb again.
For a lot of women, that huge and prolonged hormone spike has an incredible effect on their hair. It’s thicker, healthier and grows like never before. Not only does that increase keep DHT levels in check, but it also improves blood flow to your follicles, and the result can be the healthiest hair you’ve ever had!
That doesn’t mean that hair loss is impossible during pregnancy, however. During those early weeks, when Progesterone is increasing faster that Estrogen, you could see some hair loss. And that’s because those relatively high levels can stop your follicles working as well. Pregnancy-related hair loss isn’t massively common, though, so please do talk to a healthcare professional if you’re seeing it.
You won’t be surprised to learn that following labor, hormone levels can fall dramatically. Although they should land at your regular levels, the relative change can be enormous. And that can lead to hair loss as you body readjusts to non-pregnancy hormone levels.
In addition, labor can highlight underlying hormone issues that result in hair loss, including an underactive Thyroid gland. So, if you’re three to six months postpartum and losing more hair than usual, please talk to a doctor to rule out underlying causes.
After pregnancy, there are several things you can do to address hair loss. Technically, we all lose hair every day of our lives, but if you’re losing more than 125 hairs a day, you might need some help. Depending on the cause of your hair loss, treatments can include hormonal birth control and topical therapies in the form of gels or cream containing Minoxidil. Both can be effective at stopping hair loss and encouraging growth.
There’s also a trailblazing new treatment that involves improving follicle health and hair growth using your own platelets. Absolutely no chemicals or hormones involved. Known as PRP, it’s effective in improving hair regrowth and health.
But we can’t stress enough that all hair loss treatments should be avoided during pregnancy.
If, however, you’re more than six months postpartum, and aren’t breastfeeding, all treatments are completely safe. So if you’re concerned that your hair loss has become worse than usual, don’t just live with it. Talk to us.
At Hormona, we understand the emotional challenges that come with hair loss, and we are here to support you every step of the way.
Our advanced hormone tracking features allow you to monitor hormonal fluctuations throughout your menstrual cycle or different life stages. By understanding these patterns, you gain valuable insights into how hormones may be affecting your hair health.
Partnering for change
We are proud to be partnering up with Nordic Hair Clinic –Leading hair clinic in the Nordics. Together we want to change how women perceive their hormonal health and hair growth, and help them feel confident and empowered in their bodies.