During pregnancy, your hair may be the best it has ever been—lush and full. As your hair changes during pregnancy, taking care of it may involve avoiding harsh chemicals and eating a balanced diet. Here are 7 pregnancy hair care tips.
How does hair change during pregnancy?
Hair typically grows in phases—active growth, resting, and shedding—during which 100 hairs may be shed on a daily basis. During pregnancy, however, surges in hormones can change this cycle and make your hair stay on your head without shedding. This makes your hair appear longer or thicker.
Although it is a matter of speculation whether pregnancy hormones can thicken hair follicles, studies have shown that hair diameter is larger during the third trimester of pregnancy. For some women, hair may also seem more curly or less curly during pregnancy.
7 tips for hair care during pregnancy
- Avoid synthetic hair chemicals: If you tend to dye your hair or use other chemicals for perming and relaxing, your doctor may recommend stopping during your pregnancy or at least take a break during your first trimester. Few studies have been conducted on the effects of hair chemicals in pregnant women, but there is a good chance that these chemicals can penetrate through your scalp and enter your bloodstream, which could potentially reach your growing baby. You may want to look for natural options, such as henna and other natural dyes.
- Avoid hair straightening treatments: Most doctors will recommend avoiding keratin hair-straightening treatments during pregnancy. This is because many of these treatments contain formaldehyde, which is considered harmful to a growing baby.
- Avoid medicated hair care products: Over-the-counter hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil, should be avoided both during and after pregnancy. If you use prescription dandruff or cortisone shampoos you may want to talk to your doctor before continuing using them during your pregnancy.
- Avoid strongly scented products: Some pregnant women are sensitive to strong fragrances. If the smell of your shampoo or other hair products are too strong to tolerate, switch to a fragrance-free option.
- Avoid tight hairstyles: Tight hairstyles that pull your hair can weaken your hair and accelerate hair loss. Avoid tight braids or tight buns.
- Eat a balanced diet: The secret to having long, strong, and lustrous hair is a balanced diet. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables along with nuts and protein-rich foods should be included in your diet. It is also important to stay sufficiently hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids.
- Avoid stress: Pregnancy can be a stressful experience, and stress is a major cause of hair loss. Breathing exercises and yoga can help you de-stress and relax your mind and body.
Will I lose my hair after pregnancy?
Estrogen levels drop after pregnancy, and hair that was in the growing phase shifts to the resting phase, causing it to shed. Most women experience increased hair loss 3-6 months after childbirth and delivery, and hair loss ranges from mild to severe.
Shedding hair postpartum is normal, and it does not mean you are going bald. After 6 months, your hair should start to grow normally. Make sure to eat plenty of protein and vitamins, such as biotin. If your thyroid levels are abnormal, talk to your doctor about thyroid supplementation.
Fields L. Hair Care During Pregnancy. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/pregnancy-hair-care
Cleveland Clinic. How to Deal With Hair Loss After Pregnancy. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-deal-with-hair-loss-after-pregnancy/
Top How Can I Care for My Hair During Pregnancy Related Articles
What Is the Best Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss?The best treatments for female pattern hair loss include minoxidil, iron supplements, and anti-androgens.
Do Hair Transplants Really Work?A hair transplant is a procedure in which there is the removal of small pieces (punch grafts) of tissue from the hair-bearing scalp. This is called a donor area, and it is cut into smaller pieces to place these on a bald or thinning area of the scalp.
Women’s Hair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and SolutionsHair loss in women has many causes. Menopause is one cause of hair loss in women over 50. Hormones, medications, and stress are other potential causes. Hair loss treatments may include minoxidil (Rogaine), low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and steroids or anti-inflammatory medications.
finasterideFinasteride tablets is a drug used to treat male pattern baldness. The most common side effects associated with finasteride are breast enlargement, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation disorders. Serious side effects include increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer, and increased risk for male breast cancer. Finasteride should not be used or handled by pregnant females.
Hair Care SlideshowLooking for the best kept hair secrets? See this hair care guide and get tips about hair that is thin, gray, curly, colored, overprocessed, dandruff-prone, and much more.
Hair Loss: Alopecia, Thinning Hair in Men and WomenLearn about hair loss (alopecia) in women and men. Discover hair loss causes and treatments like shampoos and drugs, as well as how to prevent hair loss.
Hair Loss QuizTrue or false: Genetic hair loss comes from the mother's side of the family. Take the Hair Loss Quiz to learn about your hair. Learn what damages hair and what doesn't. Take the quiz!
How Can I Make My Hair Soft and Silky?The signs of healthy hair include thick, soft, and shiny hair. Having silky hair is something not every person is born with. Your hair may become dry and brittle if your diet is not healthy or if you use hair products that are not meant for your hair type.
How Can I Stop My Hair Loss?While treating hair loss depends on what is causing it, there are things you can do to stop more hair loss and protect the hair you do have. Here are 12 tips to stop hair loss.
How Can I Treat My Hair Fall at Home?Treating hair loss at home involves understanding the potential reason for the hair fall or hair thinning.
How Should I Take Care of My Hair As I Age?Aging is unavoidable, and it affects every part of your body, including your hair. Take care of your hair as you age by washing it less frequently, towel drying instead of blow drying it, wearing heatless hairstyles and wearing your hair down.
minoxidil topicalMinoxidil topical is an over-the-counter medication locally applied on the scalp to treat male or female pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). Use with caution in patients with heart disease. Common side effects of minoxidil topical include excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis), exacerbation of hair loss, redness (erythema) at the application site, local erythema, burning, irritation, allergic contact dermatitis, eczema, swelling (edema), tendon inflammation (tendinitis), back pain, fractures, systemic effect of low blood pressure (hypotension), dizziness, lightheadedness, feeling faint, anxiety, sinus inflammation (sinusitis), and respiratory infections. Avoid use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
ondansetronOndansetron is an antiemetic medication prescribed to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiation, and anesthetic medications used during surgeries). It is also used to treat extreme and persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and itching caused by opioid medications and certain specific conditions. Common side effects of ondansetron include headache, feeling unwell (malaise), fatigue, constipation, low tissue oxygen levels (hypoxia), drowsiness, dizziness, and gynecological disorder. Consult your doctor before taking ondansetron if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Prenatal VitaminsPrenatal vitamins are recommended by most doctors prior to getting pregnant, throughout your pregnancy, and after you have your baby. The developing embryo and fetus need extra vitamins for healthy development. Prenatal vitamins contain iron, calcium and vitamin D, folic acid (to prevent birth defects), zinc, iodine, and vitamin A. Some prenatal multivitamins also contain other minerals and supplements like vitamin B 12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
siliconSilicon is taken as a dietary supplement to strengthen bones and improve hair, skin, and nail health. There are no known side effects from oral ingestion of silicon supplements. Inhaled silicon can cause: liver disease, kidney injury, increased risk for tuberculosis, and autoimmune disease. Consult with your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by WeekSee pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of how her baby grows during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
Pregnancy: 7 Common Third Trimester TestsTesting is often recommended during the third trimester of pregnancy. These tests are designed to ensure the health and safety of both the child and mother. Common tests during the third trimester of a woman's pregnancy include:
- group B streptococcus screening,
- electronic fetal heart monitoring,
- nonstress test,
- contraction stress test, and
- a biophysical profile.
What Vitamins and Supplements Should I Take During Pregnancy?Even if you eat a variety of nutritious foods, you may need to take pregnancy vitamins and supplements. This is especially true if you have a restricted diet, are pregnant with twins or multiples, have food allergies, or nutrient deficiencies. Talk to your doctor about your needs.
What Are the 3 Prenatal Tests?Prenatal tests are medical procedures performed during pregnancy to assess the health and development of the fetus and to help identify any potential problems or abnormalities. The three most common prenatal tests include ultrasound, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Other prenatal tests include pregnancy test, first trimester screening, second trimester screening, noninvasive prenatal testing, fetal ultrasound, genetic counseling, biophysical profile, Group B streptococcus (GBS) test, glucose tolerance test, anomaly scan, and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test.