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Pregnancy Hair: Everything You Need to Know

There are a number of changes your body experiences when you’re pregnant. Nearly every part of your body adapts in various ways to the life that’s growing inside of you. This includes your hair. Your hair will go through a number of changes throughout your pregnancy and even after you’ve given birth.

Since there are often a lot of misconceptions about what you should expect to happen to your mane while you’re carrying a child, we talked to Dove Hair Expert Dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco about what to expect during and after your pregnancy so that you can prepare to keep your hair as healthy as possible.

Keep reading for the six most important things you need to know about pregnancy hair!

1. Your hair is thicker during your pregnancy.

The rumors are true, your hair is thicker during your pregnancy, but it’s actually due to the fact that you’re shedding fewer strands. According to Dr. Fusco, during your pregnancy, your hormones are at an all-time high, so in turn, your oil glands are pumping at just the right rate to keep your scalp healthy which translates to healthier hair follicles and less hair loss than when you’re not pregnant.

2. Your hair and scalp are at their healthiest during pregnancy.

Thanks to an influx of hormones, prenatal vitamins, and diets that are high in protein, our scalps tend to flourish during pregnancies resulting in locks that are even more luscious. We’re big fans of this pregnancy hair change. If only our hair was like this 24/7.

3. It’s best to save any chemical treatments for the second trimester.

This isn’t so much a hair change, but something to note. “There’s nothing published, but don’t do anything unnecessary, don’t do anything that feels like it’s hurting or burning your scalp,” says Dr. Fusco. While she notes that there’s no confirmed medical research that says to wait until the second trimester to do chemical treatments like coloring, bleaching, or perms, she would advise you to wait until later on in your pregnancy.

4. If you are using a prescription shampoo, check with your doctor before continuing usage during your pregnancy.

“If you’re using any prescription product, you have to check with your physician. There are not a lot of prescription products that are approved. If for any reason you’re using a strong topical steroid on your scalp or prescription shampoo, if you have dandruff or psoriasis, they’ll probably tell you to stop using it,” explains Dr. Fusco. “What is available are over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione. The ingredient is both hydrating and anti-flake. A product like Dove Dermacare Anti-Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner contains that and a really great botanical oil so your hair and scalp are pretty while using it.”

5. You’re going to lose some hair post-pregnancy.

According to Dr. Fusco, for the four to six months postpartum, you should expect to shed some hairs. The reason? Those hormones that were pumping so hard during your pregnancy come to an abrupt halt after you give birth so your scalp is shedding a lot of discontinued oils that cause you to lose some strands. Dr. Fusco notes that the hair loss isn’t totally crazy for the duration of the six months but the shedding typically peaks around the four-month mark. Not a fun pregnancy hair change, but something to be aware of nonetheless.

6. Treat your post-pregnancy hair the same way you treat your pregnancy hair.

While hair loss post-pregnancy is inevitable, Dr. Fusco explains that she tells her patients to take care of their hair the best they can. “Make your hair and scalp healthy during that time. Choose not to do a chemical treatment, whether it’s a straightening treatment or a perm or a really potent keratin treatment, so you don’t stress yourself out more than you have to. Give your hair a holiday,” she notes. “If you’re someone that blowdries your hair every day, curls it, and straightens it a lot, don’t do it on a daily basis. Really pamper your hair. Another thing is to continue to maintain good nutrition.” Dr. Fusco advises you to maintain a diet high in protein but to also take a multi-botanical hair vitamin to keep up with all these pregnancy hair changes.

Wondering which ingredients to avoid while you’re pregnant? Take a look at our list HERE!

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