Some women get beautiful, lustrous hair during pregnancy, but others get hair gone haywire. Why?
Straight hair gone curly! Lustrous hair gone greasy!
As with about everything else that happens during pregnancy, hormones are to blame for strange hair happenings.
What goes on is this: hairs on your head go through a cycle of active growth, resting and being shed. They typically grow for about 2-7 years, then, the hair stops growing and rests for about three months, and eventually falls out. During pregnancy, hormones stimulate hair growth and also make the resting phase get longer so you don’t shed as much hair. The same thing happens with your body hair, too, though these hairs have a shorter cycle.
At the same time, hormones stimulate the production of more scalp oils and perspiration. This can mean you’re making your own humidity zone, which can make normally dry hair more hair shiny and lustrous, or make curly or oily hair more frizzy or limp. For oily hair, wash your hair daily in cool or cold water and only condition your ends. If your hair’s dry or frizzy, hold off on washing it more than a couple of times a week and treat it to rich conditioning.
Pregnancy hormones can also change the protein bonds in hair, causing straight hair to become wavy. Because these hormonal changes can cause unpredictable results, most stylists recommend that you avoid perming your hair during pregnancy. Hair dye is safe, though.
Relaxing your hair is probably safe during pregnancy, but no long-term studies exist to prove it. Chemical relaxers do contain a lot of toxic chemicals which can be absorbed into he bloodstream from the scalp in very small amounts. Pregnancy also makes skin more sensitive, so the chemicals more likely to irritate your scalp and the fumes are more likely to make you feel dizzy and queasy. So a lot of women choose to skip relaxing and go natural, or use a ceramic iron to flatten, or opt for shorter hairstyles that need less tending to.
The good and bad news about pregnancy hair is that it isn’t yours to keep. After pregnancy your hair cycle will return to normal, you’ll shed those extra hairs and your hair will gradually go back to its usual thickness and texture.