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Why does having a baby cause hair loss?

Sudden stress-related hair loss characterized by a general thinning throughout the entire scalp is called telogen effluvium. Stress can literally shock hair follicles into an inactive state, after which it will likely fall out. This is seen more in women because pregnancy is one such event that can trigger this kind of hair loss. It’s not so much that pregnancy itself is überstressful on the body (although the physical stress on the stretched-out skin is what causes those lovely stretch marks!), but the hormonal changes can affect a head of hair. Pregnant women may notice thicker and healthier hair during their pregnancy, attributed to the increased levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone. But after the baby is born, those hormone levels drop rapidly, triggering a shift from active to resting phases in the follicles. Then out comes the hair about three months later. Coupled with the drop in hormone levels at the birth of a child is, of course, the general stress that a newmother experiences, all of which bodes poorly on those precious hair follicles.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.