How Can I Care for My Hair During Pregnancy
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

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Avoid tight hairstyles: Tight hairstyles that pull your hair can weaken your hair and accelerate hair loss. Avoid tight braids or tight buns.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/16/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

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/