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What Your Hair Does While You’re Pregnant

by Jane Wangersky | February 17th, 2014 | Pregnancy

lotsa hairWhile you’re pregnant, you’re likely to notice some changes in your hair. These are normal, caused by the hormonal changes you’re going through.

On the positive side,  your hair may seem thicker. That’s because you’re losing less of it. It’s usually normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day, but during pregnancy this slows almost to a halt. Androgen, the male hormone that encourages hair to fall out, is less present in your body, so you literally keep your hair on. It’s a  nice consolation for the other not so beautifying changes you’re going through. But try not to get used to having such thick hair. A couple of months after the baby is born, the hair you didn’t lose during pregnancy will start falling out. When it’s done, you may feel your hair is even thinner than it was before pregnancy — I know I did. However, your hair growth cycle should be back to normal in a few months.

It can be disturbing to find your hair thinning, and you may be tempted to get some outside help to stop it. But minoxidil, the only remedy for thinning hair approved by the FDA, isn’t recommended for hair loss due to childbirth. Some products say they stimulate your scalp — but you can do that yourself with your fingers. The best thing to do is to give it time.

If you dye your hair regularly, or if you just want to treat yourself to a new hair color, you may wonder if it’s safe at this time. That’s still an open question; see here. This article makes the point that highlights may be safer than a full dye job, and vegetable dyes such as henna may be safer than chemical dyes.

Then there’s the hair you don’t want — on your face, legs, and other parts of the body. Strangely enough, sometimes androgen in a pregnant woman’s body actually increases, meaning you may find this hair getting heavier in your last three months of pregnancy. Fortunately, most hair removal products act only on the skin and are safe for pregnant women — ask your doctor if you have any doubts. And a razor will do the job without any chemicals, if you can maneuver around your stomach to use it.

Sometimes it seems as if pregnancy is changing everything in your life. It’s probably going to change your hair, but just knowing what to expect is the first step in dealing with it.

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