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Looking after your hair after pregnancy.

Byline: Cathryn Scott

Hair often thins after giving birth - even if you have not experienced this with previous babies. Every pregnancy is different and a woman's body chemistry can change and may not respond the same way each time.

The term is post-partum hair loss. There are three stages in the life cycle of the hair. And these can be on different timelines for each individual hair. Roughly 85-95% of your hair is in the growth phase at any given time. The remaining hairs are in either the resting phase or shedding phase. When a woman is pregnant and for a period afterwards, oestrogen levels are elevated. This causes the growth phase to be prolonged. When the oestrogen in the body returns to its pre-pregnancy levels, the hairs that should have shifted into a resting or shedding phase will make their transitions. This results in an increased number of hairs being shed at once.

Such hormonal changes can also cause hair to change from its growth phase before its normal time, increasing the loss.

Breast feeding can be a factor, because it causes a reduction in the level of oestrogen in the mother. While studies have shown that breast feeding is extremely beneficial for babies, and also for nursing mothers (reducing the risks of cancers, preventing the likelihood of post-partum depression, and so on) it can inadvertently lead to increased amounts of hair loss.

Once you've stopped breast feeding and your hormones return to their normal levels, you should see a gradual return to your hair's normal density.
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 3, 2007
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