If you’re an expecting mother, chances are, your body will undergo a significant number of changes in a short period of time. Not only should you be prepared for body and skin changes during pregnancy, you should also be prepared for hair changes as well.
That’s right! Pregnancy is an unpredictable time in the hair department. Some women will notice during pregnancy that their hair will begin to get thicker and shinier. It may even change from straight to curly or vice versa. Others, on the other hand, may start complaining that their hair is thinning, or worse, falling out completely. Though dramatic changes in hair are common for pregnant women, these changes tend to be more obvious for women with longer hair.
Not only does the hair on your head tend to grow thicker, you can also sprout strands in embarrassing places you'd rather not talk about, including your face, nipples, arms, and stomach. Don't worry, though. Like the hair on your head, most of your excess body hair should fall out within six months of giving birth.
So, without further ado, here are twelve helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to caring for your pregnancy hair.
Wait Out the First Trimester
Because your pregnancy hormones will likely change the overall texture of your hair, it's best to know exactly what type of hair you'll be dealing with before making any significant transformations.
If you're thinking about coloring or cutting your hair, wait until the second trimester, as most of your hair changes will appear within the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy.
Know Your Natural Hair Type
Hormonal Changes can alter your natural hair type. This is why it is best to understand what your natural hair type is before it begins to change. As mentioned, your hair may begin to get thicker and shinier, or it may even change from straight to curly or vice versa, so it is best to understand your hair, both before and after these changes occurs.
You should be using products that are specifically created for your particular hair type. So, if your hair type changes temporarily, use products that will accommodate your hair during these changes. Investing in products that cater to your specific hair type will help add nourishment to your hair, making it less susceptible to dryness and damage.
Maintain Regular Hair Trims
Don’t let hair changes during pregnancy control the way you want to look. If you let your hair act the way it wants, you’ll become more agitated, especially if you’re not used to these new changes.
Instead, get a nice trim that will not only help style your changing hair type but also will give you a mood lift. Additionally, a regular hair trim will help to avoid split or rough ends, as well as keep that quickly growing mane in line.
Never Over-Wash Your Hair
Pregnant or not, you should never over-wash your hair. Over-washing your hair, for instance, washing your hair every day—will only strip the essential oils from your hair. In fact, day-old hair usually styles much better and generally looks better than freshly washed hair. So, take a break from that shampoo.
If your pregnancy hair is drier than usual, wash it less frequently because natural oils are good for your hair and scalp. Washing it more than three times a week will cause even more dryness. For those with oilier pregnancy hair, you will be able to get away with an extra wash, however, don’t wash it every day, as your hair too, will become drier than usual.
Maintain A Balanced Diet
Everything you eat during pregnancy will not only help to nurture your baby, but it will also give your hair the strength it needs to combat these hormonal changes, especially if these changes are having a negative effect on your hair. That is why a balanced diet is important, as it helps to provide nourishment to your hair.
Include foods to your diet foods that are not only good for your growing baby but for your hair as well. Some great hair-nourishing foods are listed below:
Yogurt, Fresh fruit, Eggs, Fresh vegetables, Cold pressed oils, Pumpkin, Sunflower, Flax seeds, Sesame seeds, Whole grains, Almonds, Avocado, Fresh meats, Fresh fish, Lean poultry
With that, always remember to check with your medical practitioner to find out if there are certain foods that you should stay away from during pregnancy.
Believe it or not, stress can play a big role in hair changes and more specifically, hair loss. Though it’s more common for a pregnant woman to experience good hair changes, some can actually experience the opposite. Why? Changing hormones can lead to more mood swings, which then leads to greater stress and the thinning of hair.
What to do?
To help yourself relax, indulge in activities that you enjoy. Some great activities for de-stressing are:
Taking a long bath, Mediating, Yoga, Exercising, Reading, Shopping, spending time alone, Napping or sleeping in a few extra hours, Visiting the spa. Listening to soothing music
By taking some special time for yourself, you will have a more peaceful state of mind.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
It is important to note that pregnant women should stay away from harsh chemicals such as bleaches and depilatories as they could become absorbed into the bloodstream potentially causing harm to your baby.
You could turn to vegetable dyes as an alternative during pregnancy. Some vegetable dyes have more natural ingredients and could be better suited for both you and your baby. As mentioned, it’s important to read every hair care label because even vegetable dyes can contain some chemicals.
Never Over-Brush Your Hair
Avoid over-brushing your hair, as it can cause consistent friction that the hair cannot fully handle. This will result in more split ends and breakage.
What to do?
Brush your hair no more than twice a day (in the morning and at night). You also should invest in a good hairbrush as cheap brushes can cause snags and split ends. It is also important never to comb through your hair when it is wet, as it can result in damage and hair loss.
Massage Your Scalp
Use a natural hair oil to massage into your scalp at least 3-4 times per week. Opt for oils like olive, coconut, almond, jojoba or castor. These types of oils have healthy ingredients and will nourish your hair from the follicles to the ends.
Hair is part of the skin system, and like the skin, your pregnancy hormones will affect its structure. As mentioned, differences in hair texture will vary from woman to woman, but you can be assured that in the postpartum period, your hair will likely change back to its regular state.
With that being said, these hair care steps can play a big role in easing your pregnancy months and helping you better cope with the changes you are going through. Pregnancy is a special time, so enjoy it to the fullest and don’t let your hormones, and in this case, hair changes get the best of you.
Thank you for reading!
For further consultation, kindly visit our members only salon at Shop G11, Landmark Boulevard, Victoria Island, Lagos.