I hope you found the first part of the Preggy Beauty series (on Skin During Pregnancy) useful.
Today I’d love to chat about hair & pregnancy. There still seems to be many old wives’ tales out there – especially when it comes to hair. Well the guessing is over. I prompted some experts for the facts. Here they are:
“What your hair will look like in pregnancy is unique to every women,” explains Jana Aspeling, Wella Colour Master, owner & stylist at Sculpt Hair (in Parkhurst, Jozi) she also happens to be pregnant with baba nr 2 at the moment. “Some people believe that when you’re expecting a girl your hair & nails look a certain way & that a boy will have a different effect. But it has nothing to do with the gender of the child. It’s all about how your body reacts to the hormones. A big influencing factor on your hair during pregnancy is the supplements that you take. Remember that at no other time in your life will you take as many supplements as during pregnancy.”
WHY DO PREGNANT WOMEN HAVE SUCH THICK BEAUTIFUL HAIR?
About 90% of women will experience thicker hair during pregnancy. Your hair has three growth stages & during pregnancy the hair shedding phase is delayed. When you’re not pregnant, you will lose about 100 hair per day. During pregnancy, though, you might only lose 30 hairs per day, hence the shiny, think, beautiful mane. Then, after the pregnancy, your body is no longer in the ideal hormonal state, so your hair starts to fall out. “Often, hair will come out in bunches, which will totally frazzle some women. Be assured though, you will not be bold for the rest of your life. You will usually start seeing new growth about three months after the birth,” says Jana.
As with most things in pregnancy, post-pregnancy hair loss & the subsequent regrowth is also unique to each woman. Some will feel that their hair is just thinner (in general), while others will notice patches falling out. (Eek!) Jana says that breastfeeding women tend to experience hair loss a bit slower because more hormones rush through their bodies. “Remember that the higher your oestrogen levels, the thicker your hair will be. Higher testosterone levels means more hair loss.”
So, what can you do? “Continue to take your preggy vitamins after the birth. Also make sure that you continue to eat balanced meals.
WHAT ABOUT HAIR COLOUR?
David Gillson, master stylist and partner at Carlton Hair, says: “I would be cautious to say that women should not colour their hair. However, it is important to choose a colour that is free of ammonia, parabens, sulphates and ideally even fragrance free. Fragrance is not necessarily bad, but it could be masking something that is.”
“You can still continue to colour your hair,” agrees Jana. “When it’s a first pregnancy & the client is nervous, I recommend a colour shampoo to get them through the first 12 weeks. But unless you have open wounds on your head, the hair colour will not affect the baby. Regular hair colour is 100% safe.”
Highlights are also safe, as the dye will barely touch your scalp. “There are certain salon hair colours that don’t even contain ammonia these days, which is what you want to stay away from during pregnancy,” says David.
Jana advises clients to stay away from henna. Even though it is a natural product, it is very unpredictable & very bad for your hair in the long run.
“Black women have been chemically treating their hair for hundreds of years, as it is the best option for ease of combing and styling,” explains Mimmi Biggar, head of education at AMKA, holding company of products like Black Like Me, Sheen & EasyWave.
“Like all chemicals, if abused it will definitely lead to a chemical burn, over processing or degrees of breakage. However, if used correctly all relaxers are perfectly safe to use during pregnancy. The actives in the chemical are definitely not potent to the point of being able to be absorbed into the bloodstream and hurt the unborn foetus.” Biggar compares relaxers to household cleaners, soaps, shampoos and even hairsprays which can and will not cross the placenta. “If done once six weekly and instructions are adhered to, then all is safe with your chosen relaxer service.”
AND BRAZILIAN BLOWOUTS?
David & Jana are both clear on the subject of Brazilians during pregnancy: stay away.
Remember: like with all beauty treatments during pregnancy: it’s YOUR body & YOUR baby, so if you’re not comfortable with hair colour (& can bear the sight of grey hair) or any other hair treatment, then don’t do it.
My personal best hair tip for new mommies: get yourself some dry shampoo. It does wonders for your self-esteem on those I-haven’t-even-had-a-chance-to-go-to-the-loo-days!
There you have it. Now you can have beautiful hair during & after pregnancy!