Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, a fascinating mystery in the history of mankind.

Although pregnancy can be such a fulfilling experience, it however comes with its own baggages. Pregnancy can affect hair in many different ways. It will shock you to know that this is often the case during pregnancy  and this can be largely owing to increased stress, hormonal changes and changes in lifestyle when expecting a baby.

In a study conducted with women, 40% of women reported that their hair looks better than ever during pregnancy. In fact they claimed it felt thicker and fuller by their 2nd trimester. Another 30% claimed their hair became more problematic than usual, it became drier and needed extra moisture especially in their 2nd trimester. Others barely noticed any difference.

So this begs the question, could it all be in the mind?

The conclusion is this, Hair changes will be as a result of hormonal changes which varies in each individual and during different pregnancies. Also, the sensitivity of hair follicles to these changes is different. It’s impossible to estimate in advance what these effects will be. Your hair can be great during a first pregnancy and be quite the reverse in the second – or vice versa.

Rest assured though, if you do experience hair issues, it’s very rare for a woman to have problems with her hair all through the 9 months. The last 3 months would normally become better.

FIRST TRIMESTER

Perceived thickness happens because pregnancy immediately increases oestrogen levels and reduces the circulation of androgens (male hormones). This causes your follicles to produce less sebum – oil – and so you get bouncier roots and more body. However, less sebum can also make your hair feel drier, so make sure to moisturize and hydrate your hair.

HAIR BREAKAGE DURING PREGNANCY

In general, very few hairs are shed during pregnancy, so your hair will often be much thicker and fuller towards the middle and end of your pregnancy. This is because raised oestrogen levels keep your hair in the growing (anagen) phase for longer than usual.

However, post-partum hair loss can occur a few months after giving birth due to oestrogen levels dropping back to normal.

HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR HAIR DURING PREGNANCY

A foetus requires a huge amount of energy to grow, and so do your hair cells. However, your body will quite rightly prioritize your baby’s needs over that of your hair. To help keep your hair healthy, make sure you follow a healthy hair regimen. Who says you can’t be fabulous whilst pregnant.

Your hair may appear drier than usual during pregnancy. To combat dryness, treat your hair to a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment such as the 3 step solution, which consists of shampoo, cholesterol, leave-in conditioner and castor oil. This will help regularize your hair and scalp whilst boosting volume and body leaving your hair fabulous during your pregnancy.

For hair breakage not related to pregnancy click here for detailed information.

Establishing a good hair care routine early on will help your child form healthy hair habits. Once children start school, and other siblings potentially arrive, time may become too short for you, but ideally your children’s hair should be washed at least once a week and always after sport – especially swimming.

Children often hate having their hair washed because water and shampoo get into their eyes. However, we’ve found that if you make it into a game, hair washing can be a fun activity. One tried and tested method is to give your child a face cloth to hold over her eyes and ask them to guess where you’re going to touch their head first. Or where the water will be felt – a bit like blind man’s bluff. Use of bath-time toys and stories can also be helpful.

Detangle
Detangle long hair with a wide-tooth comb prior to washing. If you start off with tangles, you’re likely to end up with more. Start near the bottom of your child’s hair and work up to the roots. Do this until the hair can be combed/brushed from root to tip without hitting any tangles. If your child’s hair is exceptionally knotty, you can comb through first with a bit of conditioner or a detangling spray.

Shampooing
Children up to 3 years old should have their hair washed with a baby shampoo or a diluted version of your own shampoo. Thoroughly wet your child’s hair before applying shampoo. This creates good lather and also means less shampoo is needed.
Lather using both hands in a gentle kneading motion, working from forehead to nape. Don’t pile long hair up on top of your child’s head. This can lead to knots and time-consuming and uncomfortable de-tangling later on. Simply allow the lather to run down and rinse thoroughly.

Conditioning
Apply conditioner to the mid-lengths and ends of your child’s hair. A little is all that’s needed. Conditioner should be rinsed out, but your child’s hair should still feel a little slippery afterwards.

Towel Dry
Gently squeeze excess moisture out with a towel – never rub. Rubbing can cause hair breakage and tangles. We suggest you gently comb through with a comb rather than a brush, starting at the tips and working up towards the roots. Wet hair is more vulnerable to damage and combs are gentler on your child’s hair and won’t pull as much.

Dry
Ideally your child’s hair should be left to dry naturally. If you do blow-dry, use a low heat setting and hold the dryer at least 15cm away from their hair. A child’s skin and scalp are very sensitive to heat.

Plait

Plait hair to the desired style. Remember, no tight braids and no forceful pulling of hair.

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