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Hair Changes During Pregnancy and Beyond

We all know that pregnancy comes with a whole host of sometimes unexpected symptoms including mood changes, food aversions and even physical changes such as increased breast size, but did you know pregnancy can also have a significant impact on your hair too?

Due to those pesky pregnancy hormones, your hair will go on quite the journey during pregnancy -right from the end of your first trimester, through to the days and months after your baby is born.

Here’s what you need to know about the hair changes during pregnancy and beyond.

During pregnancy

Many women will tell you that during pregnancy their hair has never looked better, embracing the positive changes to hair that can occur during pregnancy. From around 3 months pregnant, you may start to notice considerable changes in your hair and in most cases, your hair will feel thicker, more full or more voluminous than normal.

Outside of pregnancy, our hair goes through a cycle of growth, rest and shed, meaning that you naturally shed your hair in small quantities to make way for new hair growth. During pregnancy, however, hormones cause your hair to stay in the ‘growth phase’ for longer. Whilst your individual hairs don’t get thicker, you shed far less hair than normal and up with a fuller head of hair as a result.

Whilst less common, some women also report changes in hair texture – finding that their hair becomes shinier, straighter or more curly than normal.

Whilst this additional and prolonged hair growth can be beneficial and help create that overall ‘pregnancy glow’, you may also find you experience additional hair growth elsewhere on your body, sometimes finding downy hairs springing up in places you haven’t experienced before. Some women experience increased facial hair, underarm hair or even hair growth on their bump!

Hair Care and Colouring

There are varying opinions on whether you should or shouldn’t dye your hair during pregnancy, but many recommend that you avoid doing so in the first trimester.

Whilst having a new hairstyle can help improve your confidence during pregnancy, you may want to avoid chemicals or opt for highlights where the dye doesn’t make contact with your scalp. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the smell of dyes can be quite strong, which can also trigger pregnancy nausea in a poorly ventilated room.

Postpartum Hair Loss

After your baby is born, many women experience postpartum hair loss – normally around 3 months after the birth of your child.

After pregnancy, the hormones that kept your hair in the ‘growth phase’ wear off, and as such, your hair returns to its normal grow, rest and shed cycle.

Whilst the hair loss can feel significant and at times visually quite unnerving to see hair shedding as you brush, it’s very common and nothing to worry about. The good news is it also doesn’t last long – most new Moms find that after a few months, the shedding starts to slow.

Postpartum hair growth

Last but not least comes the re-growth, or what many new Moms will call the frizzy postpartum hair growth.

After shedding old hair, in comes the new baby hairs, which can result in lots of new hairs much shorter than the rest.

Whilst it can be challenging to style, you can use gel or mousse to tame the tufts, or witch hazel spray to calm the areas that are shorter than the rest of your hair.

By around 12 months postpartum, your hair has usually returned to its pre-pregnancy condition, though this may vary depending on your original hair type.

Lucy Cotterill
Lucy is a UK-based parenting and lifestyle blogger who has also featured in the Huffington Post. A Mom of two daughters, Lucy is passionate about sharing the true reality of parenthood and helping others through their first experiences. In her free time she loves to write, go on day trips with her family and photography.

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