Hair and Pregnancy, What to Expect

You’re pregnant! Congratulations! Whether you are elated or scared, we’re here to make your entire transition into motherhood as smooth as possible. You’ve probably seen or have been warned about your hairline receding during this period. Now before you end up settling for any major decisions, remember that not everyone experiences hair loss during pregnancy. There are those whose hair grows thicker and stronger, but you can only wait to find out.

Possible Hair Changes During Pregnancy

Below are some of the hairline changes that women experience during pregnancy. Take a look:

  • Change in hair texture (more or less natural curls or sudden sprouting of oilier strands of hair).
  • Increased thickness and volume due to increased levels of estrogen.
  • Thinning hairline or general hair loss.
  • Shinier, healthy looking hair.

What Causes These Hairline and Hair Changes?

During pregnancy, your body tends to experience heightened levels of hormones estrogen and androgen. These hormones promote shinier, voluminous and healthy looking hair in pregnant women. However, due to hormonal fluctuations which are expected during this period, some women tend to experience lots of hair and hairline loss. Hair and hairline loss is mostly brought about by decrease in estrogen.

Before any strand of hair falls out, it goes through a 3 stage cycle:

  • Growth
  • Transition
  • Rest

However, a little bit more than normal estrogen produced at this stage prolongs your hair’s growth stage, which results in less shedding.

Are These Changes Permanent?

The above-mentioned changes are not permanent. The good thing is, pregnancy experiences vary. You may experience hair loss during one pregnancy and none during the other. In the event that you experience hair loss, as distressing as it might be, rest assured that it is temporary and affects other expectant women too.

Can I Dye or Chemical Treat My Hair During Pregnancy?

Most Kenyan mothers have got kinky hair and have to relax or texturize it so as to make it more manageable. They also fancy dyeing hair in different shades for various reasons. This brings out major concern as to whether it is safe to dye or relax hair during this period.

  • Hair dyes and relaxers are safe as long as you use them with caution. This is because hair absorbs negligible amounts of the chemicals found in relaxers and dyes, which can’t harm you or your baby.
  • During your second trimester, however, it is highly recommended that you avoid chemically treating your hair. If not, settle for bleaches and relaxers free from ammonia and vegetable based dyes.
  • Ensure that you do not chemically treat your hair if your scalp is irritated.

What Can I Do to Protect My Hair and Hairline During Pregnancy?

While pregnant, the good news is, you need not change your hair care routine. The shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, hair spray, gel, blow-dry and other routines that you engage in need not change either. In the event that prescription anti-dandruff or cortisone shampoo is part of your list, inform your gynecologist about it. This is because some medicated shampoos are not safe to use during this period.

However, consider adding this to your hair maintenance list:

  • Ensure that you eat a balanced diet throughout your pregnancy. (Read more on eating right here)
  • Avoid causing trauma to your hairline by having tight hairdos such as braids and ponytails.
  • Always comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb
  • After washing your hair, let it dry on its own rather than using harsh hair drying instruments such as curling irons and rollers.
  • Wear satin bonnets to bed. If not sleep on silk or satin pillowcases to avoid friction that cause hair breakage.

Note that, some expectant women are usually overwhelmed by fragrances or aromas in their hair products. If this happens, switch to fragrance free options if available.

See more changes to expect when pregnant here.


#Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: todaysparent, pregnancybirthbaby, webmd, heathline, americanpregnancy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *