We’ve all heard about the mystical "amazing pregnancy hair" that’s so good it makes K Midz’s blow-dry look poor by comparison. But why is being pregnant the secret to epic hair and how can you keep it that way before, during and even after the blessed bundle of joy appears?
We quizzed trichologist and expert on how to be Becky with the good hair even in your third trimester, Dr. Iain Sallis …
The Good News
"When you become pregnant your body starts producing increased amounts of estrogen and progesterone (as well as many others) which spikes at around 70 days into the pregnancy. This increase has a very good effect on hair growth!
Scientific studies have shown that the increase in female hormones leads to a longer growing phase of the hair (anagen phase) and so not as many hairs go into the dying phase when they’re meant to. This is the main reason why women often feel as though their hair is thicker, fuller or even growing longer. A longer growing phase means longer hair and if hair falls out less it’ll soon 'bulk' up and feel thicker."
What to Do … Before You’re Pregnant
"Your general health is key to the quality of your hair before you’re pregnant. Ditch the booze and cigarettes and make sure you’re getting loads of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin D before getting pregnant.
Ensure your GP is monitoring your iron levels specifically and eat lots of protein. Protein is the key to hair growth and repair and makes up the vast majority of what your hair is made from!
This sounds like basic common sense, but you’re essentially putting your body through the most stressful time it will ever have to go through."
What to Do … While You’re Pregnant
"Diet-wise, keep up the good work from before. If your hair starts to shed, go and see your GP. Your hair is a very sensitive barometer of health so can be the first sign of low iron levels or a thyroid issue.
Product-wise, there’s no reason to change what you were using before but if you want to treat yourself with a pamper, go for it! De-stressing and enjoying yourself is key to a healthy pregnancy and in turn key for healthy hair!
I regularly get asked, ’Can I dye my hair when I’m pregnant?’ So far there’s no scientific evidence to say the chemicals in hair dye affect your baby. That said, for the safety conscious moms that still want fabulous hair, avoid applying the dye directly onto your scalp. Chemicals can only transfer through skin, not hair, so applying dye to the lengths and ends is safer—you can still get those highlights!"
What to Do … After You’ve Given Birth
’After childbirth (and everything that goes with it; loss of blood, the sheer physical and mental trauma of it all) comes a drop in hormone levels which usually happens three days after labor.
All of this causes a ’shock’ to the body which stimulates a percentage of growing ’anagen’ hair to go into a ’telogen’ shedding state. This is called acute telogen effluvium or ’post-partum’ hair loss and usually starts between two and four months after giving birth.
Thankfully this usually stops after three months. New moms might feel as though all of their hair will fall out, but it won’t!
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Eat well with lots of protein and iron rich foods to replace what you might have lost in labor and try to get some sleep!
Supplements like Hairjelly are amazing and ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs for growing great hair.’