Hair and Pregnancy

Pregnant woman ith long hair
Cope with Hormonal Hair
Pregnancy changes peoples' lives in so many ways. It brings people together, it turns couples into families, and in some cases it saves lives. Pregnancy also changes a woman's body in many ways. Don't forget to look past the obvious belly bulge and bulges in other areas. Pregnancy also changes one's skin and joints and may make or break her crowning glory ... her hair.
The hormones associated with pregnancy may cause strange things to happen to your once normal body. Beginning even before that second line or positive sign appears on the pregnancy test, your body is changing.
It takes a huge influx of hormones from the moment the sperm enters the egg for that fertilized egg to survive its journey to the uterus. Once there it implants itself into the thick cushiony lining. If the proper hormones are not present, the once protective lining will be excreted from the body, along with the fertilized egg.
Anyone who has been pregnant and had morning sickness knows that there is a definite and unmistakable feeling of early pregnancy. The extreme fatigue, the nausea and vomiting, the sensitivity to temperatures and smells and the zits are all due to the increase in certain hormones.
People familiar with pregnancy also know about those wonderful prenatal vitamins. Before prenatals became so common, there was an increase in birth defects due to dietary deficiencies. Little did the doctors know that these vitamins would not only increase the health of newborns but also increase the health of the mom's hair and nails.
Many women experience increased hair and nail growth as well as thicker and shinier hair. However, some women experience the flip side of that coin. Dryness, breakage and loss of hair are common complaints from pregnant women. The good news though, you don't have to wait for the birth of that bundle of joy to get your "normal" hair back.
To combat dryness be sure to use a good conditioner and deep condition more often. To prevent breakage, there is not a lot that you can do, but you can use styling products to hide the evidence. Hair generally breaks off about an inch or two from the root and can be very conspicuous at the part.
The last major complaint is hair loss. This doesn't exactly happen when you are pregnant but after. With my first child, my already thick hair got even thicker and grew incredibly fast. About three months after I gave birth I noticed that my baby's hair was starting to fall out all over her head, not just in the cradle cap area. Then I noticed that not only was her hair falling out, so was mine, at a rate that would make a grown man cry.
All of that extra hair that grew during pregnancy was now abandoning ship, it felt as though my hair was thinner than before only because I remembered the extra thick version. About the time that my daughter's hair was growing in nicely my hair had also decided to behave. So if this happens to you, have no fear, it will eventually straighten itself out. And just because this happens once does not mean that all bundles will bring baldness. Each pregnancy is different.
Just as all pregnancies are different, so are all opinions surrounding perming and coloring hair during pregnancy. There is no direct evidence that these treatments cause any harm to a developing fetus, however many physicians suggest not doing these during the first trimester. After those initial 3 months, be sure to follow your physician's orders. Remember that it is only 9 months if doc says no. It is vanity to you but life to your fetus.
Don't let those pregnancy hormones make your hair crazy while they are making your life crazy. There may not be much you can do about the tears that spring up at facial tissue commercials or country songs, but there is a lot you can do about changes in your hair. Don't freak out if it changes. Stop and think about what needs to be done to live with the situation until your hormones are back to normal. Your hair will come back, but don't count on those tears changing any time soon!
Gretchen LeAnne     ©
Photo: Melnikof/Shutterstock
See also:
More Hair Care Advice
Maternity hairstyles