Post-Baby Hair Loss
Q: I’m 8-months pregnant and I’m afraid of losing my already fine hair after I give birth. What are my treatment options if it does happen? – Jeri, Toronto, ON.
Dr. Martie Gidon: During pregnancy, hormones cause an increased number of hairs to go into a resting phase. Normal hair loss is minimized and hair is fuller. After delivery, about 50% of women experience a telogen effluvium, loss of this resting hair. It occurs three to six months after delivery, lasts a few months, and in about six to twelve months, the hair returns to its normal growth cycle. Although it can be quite alarming for the individual, less than 50% of the hair is lost, which is not enough for others to notice.
Treat your hair gently to avoid breakage which will make your hair appear thinner. Use a mild shampoo and conditioner. Hair is more fragile when wet so use a wide-toothed comb carefully. Avoid over-drying with blow dryers or straightening devices. A natural-bristled brush should be used when the hair is dry.
Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables which contain flavonoids and antioxidants. Salmon contains omega-3’s, which are important for hair growth. Ask your family doctor if supplements, which help maintain healthy hair, would be appropriate for you. B complex vitamins, biotin, omega-3, selenium and zinc can all encourage healthy hair growth.
Remember, this type of hair loss is temporary, so don’t panic since stress can make it worse. If the hair loss continues, see your family doctor to rule out other causes such as thyroid disease or iron deficiency.
About the Expert Martie Gidon, MD., FRCPC is one of Toronto’s leading dermatologists. Dr. Gidon focuses on non-surgical cosmetic facial and body enhancements in addition to her general dermatology practice, www.GidonAesthetics.com.