Here are some top tips about what to expect from your pregnancy hair!
During pregnancy, there is so much happening in your body that is certainly takes some adjusting to, including hormonal changes that can affect your hair! As a hairdresser, I always find it surprising how many women may not be aware of this before, or even during, pregnancy. Lots of my clients worry about postpartum hair loss, or how the texture of their hair has changed (for example their curls may be looser or they find their roots are greasier). To try to set your mind at rest, I’m going to address some common queries and concerns to help you adjust to your pregnancy hair.
What to expect during pregnancy
One thing women love is how thick and luscious their hair feels during pregnancy. The reason for this is that the normal hair fall you would usually experience on a daily basis stops during this time. Hence your new thicker and usually shinier, healthy hair.
What to expect after pregnancy
The downside to this is that after you give birth, the hair you should have shed over the previous nine months will start to fall out. This can be alarming as it can happen in varying degrees. The reason it feels so drastic for some is that they have got used to their hair feeling thicker, so in comparison, it will now feel much finer and flatter as it returns to its previous pre-pregnancy state.
Many clients come into the salon panicking about shedding handfuls of hair, but DO NOT WORRY – this is totally normal. Some new mums will even experience small bald spots for a few months, but it’s important to remember these bald spots are temporary and common (much easier said than done, I know!).
You will start to see lots of new hair growth or “baby hairs” which, whilst reassuring, can also be problematic (especially around the front hairline) because:
- it can create a fluffy halo
- it may give you some unwanted volume at the roots
- you may find it creates a fuzzy texture on the top of your head
The science part
The growth cycle of hair consists of the following three stages:
- Anagen: this is the growing period of a hair follicle
- Catagen: this is the resting (or intermediate) stage of hair growth
- Telogen: this is the stage at which the hair is at the end of its cycle and sheds from the scalp
Each individual hair will go through all three stages of growth, taking between five to seven years to complete this cycle.
My top tips for pregnancy hair
- If you colour your hair, studies show our bodies absorb very little of the chemicals in hair dyes. The same applies to bleaching, smoothing and perming. So three to four trips to the salon during your pregnancy is deemed safe. To be cautious, you may want to skip these treatments until the second trimester or make sure you opt for ammonia-free colour and bleach.
- Make sure you re-do a patch test on your skin before any salon procedure. This is because your skin can become more sensitive during pregnancy and it’s best to check you haven’t acquired any allergies.
- AVOID straightening and smoothing treatments that contain Formaldehyde, as this chemical is a known carcinogen.
- If your post-pregnancy new hair growth is really bad and bugging you along your front hairline, it’s the perfect time to try out a fringe to blend away those baby hairs.
- If your hair-loss symptoms last for longer than a year, it’s best to seek medical advice in case a thyroid problem or an iron deficiency is an influencing factor.
- To encourage healthy hair growth, make sure you eat a well-balanced diet, take supplements specifically for your hair, be gentle when combing/washing your hair and also use less heated styling tools.
- I also recommend using a densifying volume shampoo. My personal favourite is Kevin Murphy’s Plumping Wash, along with the Plumping Rinse and Body Mass Spray which encourage new growth and density.