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Hair Changes in Pregnancy

hair and pregnancy

More Volume and Fuller Tresses, More Facial and Body Hair

One of the strangest, unusual pregnancy symptoms that you may notice when you’re pregnant is that your hair changes. Some pregnant women experience a fuller, thicker head of hair. And it’s not just the hair on your head that undergoes change; you may even grow more facial and body hair. (More volume with the hair on your head is probably a cool pregnancy symptom; more hair on your face is not so much fun.)

Hair and Pregnancy: What’s to Blame?

During pregnancy, you may have a fuller head of hair, but you actually aren’t sprouting new hair. And the stands of your hair aren’t getting more volume. It just appears that you have more hair. Your body deceives you! In reality, you are shedding less hair than you normally do.

To break it all down in simple terms, you must understand the cycle of your hair. In a normal, non-pregnant female, up to 95 percent of the hair on her head is constantly growing longer, while the other 5 to 15 percent is in the resting stage of the hair cycle. After the resting stage, this 5 to 15 percent of hair will naturally fall out or be shed. For this reason, you may notice that you lose several strands of hair in the shower, or when you’re brushing your hair. The hair that you shed is constantly being replaced by new hair. The normal woman sheds about 100 hairs a day.

When you’re pregnant, you have elevated levels of the female hormone estrogen, which lengthens the growth phase of your hair. So you have fewer hairs that are falling out. As a result, you have a fuller head of hair. Pretty cool, huh?

Hair Texture also Changes

Another hair change in pregnancy that you may notice that the texture of your hair is different. If you have naturally curly hair, you may find that it becomes straighter. You might also be surprised to notice that your hair becomes shinier when you’re pregnant. (Some women love this change; others hate it.)

Hair Loss after Pregnancy

Unfortunately, after you give birth, this pregnancy symptom will go away. Having postpartum hair isn’t as fun as pregnancy hair. After you deliver your baby, the growth and rest cycle of your hair will go back to normal. During the interim, you may experience a temporary hair loss. You may find that more hair is falling out after you give birth.

More Facial and Body Hair

An unwanted hair change that you may notice in pregnancy is the emergence of more facial and body hair. Some women find that their facial and body hair tends to grow faster during pregnancy. This is often attributed to the increase of the typically “male” hormone androgens.

To cope with more facial and body hair in unwanted places, you can always safely wax, shave, or tweeze the hairs that you don’t like. You should probably avoid using any chemical products, since they can easily be absorbed into your skin and affect your developing baby.

In most cases, your hair will return to normal in three to six months after you have a baby. Until then, just chalk it all up to the physical sacrifice you must make to have a beautiful baby in your arms.

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