H is for Hair Care

Today we’ll be focusing on what changes to expect from your hair during pregnancy and the postpartum period. We also have some tips for your hair care routine.

You may already be shifting your view of yourself, preparing for how your new little one is going to transform you and your family. Add physical changes on top of that, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming keeping up with the constant changes in your body.. Sometimes we just want to yell at the hormonal fluctuations and  tell them to slow down! Learning how these hormones affect you may help you navigate and be better prepared for what’s to come.

What happens?

Normally, hair grows in three phases: active growth, resting, and shedding. During this time we can expect to shed around 100 strands of hair during a single day (so that explains all the hair in my shower!). However, extra levels of estrogen during pregnancy disrupt this cycle by prolonging the growth stage and minimizing the amount being shed. Increased levels of estrogen and androgen can promote a shinier, more luxurious head of hair. Other expectant mothers find that their once-manageable mane is suddenly out of control! Dry hair may become more oily, while straight hair may present as curlier or more wavy.

What to do?

We know you probably have your daily hair routine down to a tee. This shift in your hair (and the extra care it takes) can be a chance to pamper yourself. Sometimes all your new pregnancy hair needs is a pick-me-up. If you need ideas, you can consult with a hair stylist about how to best care for your hair. Sometimes switching to a new shampoo or conditioner can help manage your luscious locks. You may be happy to know that most hair treatments are considered safe during pregnancy and the postpartum period. 

It’s growing where?

Surprise! Your head is not the only place you may notice more hair during pregnancy. Many women report increased hair growth on their arms, upper lips, eyebrows, belly or nipples. If your body hair is starting to seem thicker or darker, this is completely normal. But if you’re not loving these new hairs, simple methods like tweezing or a razor can help keep the fuzz in check.

What’s next?

These changes don’t last forever. Once your little one is in your arms, it’s time for your hormones, and your hair, to play catch-up. As hormone levels drop in the postpartum period, the body sheds its excess hair all at once. Your body is returning to its pre-pregnancy cycle, so you may notice your hair begin to lighten and thin out. Remember, the extra hair in pregnancy is temporary and incredibly common, but if you have further concerns, reach out to your providers. About six months after your baby is born, your hair should return to normal.

By: Hancie Stokes

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