Some women may have noticed that during pregnancy they had thicker healthier looking hair, but then shortly (3-4 months) after pregnancy their hair started to shed more than normal.This type of hair loss is called Telogen Effluvium.
(The word Effluvium comes from the Latin effluere which means to flow out and the word Telogen is the word used to describe the stage in the hair growth cycle when hair is naturally shed).

So why does it happen?
During pregnancy the hormone Oestrogen increases in the body and this causes the majority of hair on your scalp to remain in the growing phase (anagen phase) for the whole of your pregnancy. This is why pregnant women appear to have thicker hair because more hair is in the growth phase than normal. After pregnancy the hormones begin to return to normal, and hair that should have been shed during pregnancy (hair that has grown beyond its normal growth span) then enters the telogen phase (sheding phase) and a few months later they are shed. If the mother is breast feeding then hair loss can be delayed because the hormone Prolactin (breasting-feeding hormone) can prolong the hairs in the anagen phase (growing phase) even longer.

The Good News
Hair shed after pregnancy will appear to be a lot but shedding will decrease over the subsequent months and hair growth will return to normal. It’s important to remember that after pregnancy Telogen Effluvium doesn’t decrease scalp hair numbers. As soon as telogen hair is lost it is replaced by anagen hair (growing hair).

If you’re worried and hair loss prolongs.
If hair loss is prolonged (longer than 6 months) blood tests such as a full blood count, thyroid and serum ferritin test can be advisable (contact your GP).

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