Hair loss after giving birth, known as Postpartum Effluvium, is a well-known condition, however, besides some research carried out in the 1960s, little have been done to account for the mechanisms responsible for the condition.
A new study has revealed that the Anagen (growth) phase increases during pregnancy and the Telogen (resting) phase increases after birth, giving rise to postpartum hair loss. Due to naturally occurring hormonal changes in the body associated with pregnancy, more hair remains in the growth phase for longer, however, within 3-6 months after giving birth as hormone level drop, the hair enters in Telogen phase and is shed. Postpartum Effluvium results in excessive and sometimes quite sudden shedding.
The Hair Growth Cycle is regulated by a number of factors, including different hormones and environmental factors as well as local growth factors around the hair bulb and the dermal papilla. A number of studies have examined the role of specific proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans in relation to the normal function of the Hair Growth Cycle, including versican and decorin. Versican specifically is involved in the induction of hair morphogenesis, the initiation of hair regeneration and maintenance of hair growth, while decorin influence hair biology, cycling and Anagen induction.
Postpartum hair loss is a fairly common phenomenon, but it can be a quite stressful experience. The hair loss can range from 6 weeks to 6 months and occasionally up to 15 months. The hair loss is usually diffuse and similar to Telogen Effluvium. Cortisol levels have also been shown to rise during the third trimester and remain elevated after birth, and cortisol is known to have a degrading effect of proteoglycans and influence hair growth.
The combination of reduced proteoglycans and the increased level of cortisol together have a damaging effect on hair growth as well as hair follicle cycling and may even result in Anagen suppression. However, Anagen induction could effectively shorten the time that it takes to normalise the Hair Growth Cycle. Therefore, it is hypothesised that using a Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy for Anagen induction can prevent postpartum hair loss and could help the long-term preservation of hair.
Conclusion: A clinically proven Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy for Anagen induction, Nourkrin® with Marilex®, is an effective treatment option for Postpartum Effluvium.