It’s news to precisely no one that being pregnant completely changes a woman’s body. After all, we’re only bring new life into the world.
But did you know those changes also extend to your hair?
It’s not all bad news when it comes to pregnancy hair changes. In fact, some pregnant women say their hair has never been better.
To get to the facts, we asked Specialist Integrative Medicine Trichologist Anthony Pearce from Anthony Pearce Trichology to explain exactly what happens to your hair during and after pregnancy, plus which hair changes are normal and which ones aren’t.
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How does hair change during pregnancy?
1. Pregnancy hair growth.
According to Pearce, pregnant women can expect to have the very best hair of their lives thanks to their good friends, hormones.
“A woman’s oestrogen and progesterone levels are much higher during pregnancy to help support the growth and development of the unborn child and that affects the hair follicle cycle in a positive way. The hair growth phase (anagen phase) gets longer and the falling phase (telogen phase) gets shorter, which means thicker, fuller and better textured hair,” Pearce told Mamamia.
“This is a normal hormonal change and the rate your hair will grow during pregnancy is very individual, but generally speaking, a woman’s hair should be as good as it ever was while she’s pregnant.”
Not only can pregnancy hormones give you more hair, but it can also tinker with the texture. That’s why some women report their usually curly hair growing straighter during pregnancy or vice versa.
“Hormones determine the wave movement of the hair – if there’s more influence of the male hormones in the body, hair will tend to get frizzier and finer, and if there’s more oestrogen, hair shafts become thicker, softer and a curl or wave can form. Again, this is all individual for each person.”
2. Hair loss during pregnancy.
While hair growth is completely normal during pregnancy, hair loss isn’t and shouldn’t be ignored.
Pearce explained sometimes a woman may experience hair loss during the initial stages of pregnancy when the body sees the developing zygote as an inflammatory process (i.e. that’s your body body figuring out what’s going on), but hair loss or thinning into the second or third trimester could indicate a deficiency.
“Hair loss in pregnancy is a contradiction. It shouldn’t happen, especially in the second and third trimester. Hair loss after the early weeks of pregnancy always throws up a red flag because it means the body is struggling to support two human beings,” he said.
If you’re finding more hair than usual on your brush or hair coming out when you touch it while pregnant, see your obstetrician and/or GP to get a blood test to check your levels of iron, vitamin D, iodine and zinc. Your medical professional will also want to look at your thyroid gland, blood sugar and insulin.