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Pregnancy is a time of transformation in a woman’s life. During pregnancy, a woman experiences several hormonal changes in her body that affect the quality and texture of her skin and hair. This article tells you how to care for your hair during pregnancy so that your hair looks shiny and healthy.
Why Do You See Changes in Hair During Pregnancy?
A surge of pregnancy hormones is the primary cause of changes in the hair quality of moms-to-be. During pregnancy, some women may have thicker, shinier hair while others may experience hair fall and hair thinning. During pregnancy, there is a rise in the levels of the oestrogen hormone, too, which stimulates hair growth and makes the hair remain in a growing phase. As a result, most women feel like they have thicker, more lustrous hair. After delivery, however, the oestrogen levels drop, and the hair that was in the growing phase moves into the resting phase, causing it to shed. Hence, most women experience increased hair fall post-delivery.
Although the hair growth and texture seems healthy during the pregnancy, it is after childbirth that the hair loss and damage will be apparent. Therefore, it is important to care for your tresses during pregnancy. Read on to know how you can do that.
How to Take Care of Your Hair During Pregnancy?
There are several things that you can do to ensure your hair remains healthy and lustrous during and immediately after pregnancy. You can also minimise hair fall post-delivery using some of these tips.
1. Oil Massage
Gentle head massages with some warm oil two to three times a week as highly recommended to pregnant women. It not only boosts hair growth but also calms the scalp and helps them sleep better. You can use coconut, sesame, almond or olive oil directly to massage your scalp with your fingertips. Mixing these oils either with each other or with essential oils like lavender, rosemary, chamomile, cedarwood, lemongrass etc. is also a good idea to make the most of the head massages. When using essential oils, always use a carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, sesame or olive oil) and mix only 1 to 2 drops of essential oil in about 2 tbsp of carrier oil. Lavender oil has hair-growth stimulating properties, while rosemary oil helps in increasing the thickness of hair. Chamomile oil makes your hair soft and shiny, while cedarwood oil slows down hair fall.
2. Choose a Good Shampoo and Conditioner
A good starting point in hair care for pregnant women is to pick a good shampoo and conditioner. Shampoos keep hair clean and smelling fresh. A good shampoo with the right ingredients can also improve hair growth and control conditions such as dandruff that cause hair fall. Pick a shampoo depending on your hair type and with natural ingredients such as argan oil, aloe vera, avocado oil or jojoba that can boost hair growth and add lustre. Conditioners moisturise and detangle your hair. A good conditioner also contains nutrients that soften and nourish the hair. It helps regulate the pH value of hair and smoothens the hair cuticle, which is an outer protective layer covering each individual hair.
3. Avoid Chemical Treatments and Colouring
During pregnancy, it is safer to avoid chemical treatments and colouring. The chemicals could be absorbed by your scalp and get passed on to the developing baby. They could also cause allergic reactions. So, avoid treatments like bleaching, perming, colouring, etc.
4. Trim the Ends Regularly
Trimming the ends of your hair regularly will help prevent split ends and rough edges. Getting a new hairstyle will also make you feel good about yourself.
5. Do Not Comb When Wet
Hair is weakest when it is wet. If you comb wet hair, you risk breaking off the strands of hair when they get caught in the comb.
6. Know Your Hair and Scalp Type
Before deciding on which shampoo, conditioner or massage oil to use, it is important to figure out what your hair type and scalp type is. You have to understand whether your hair is thick or thin, straight or curly, dull or shiny. You also need to figure out if your scalp is dry, oily, or normal. In case you have any problems like dandruff, brittle hair or thinning and limp hair, you need to pick a shampoo and conditioner suitable for that specific condition.
7. Avoid Hairstyles That Are Too Tight
Tight hairstyles that pull and stress your hair can aggravate hair fall. Avoid tight braids, cornrows, ponytails, or tight buns.
8. Eat Healthily
The key to having voluminous, lustrous hair is a balanced diet. Include fresh fruits and vegetables along with seeds, nuts, and foods rich in protein in your diet. Also, drink enough water and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Stress is a major cause of hair loss during pregnancy and after delivery. Stress triggers hair fall and also causes the body’s white blood cells to attack its own hair follicles, in a condition called ‘alopecia areata’. Go for a walk in a garden or try breathing exercises and yoga to de-stress and relax.
10. Fenugreek Seeds
Soak a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds overnight in a cup of water. Next morning, grind this into a smooth paste and apply it on your hair. Leave for an hour and then wash it off. Fenugreek is excellent for hair growth. It also strengthens hair and gives it a beautiful sheen.
The increased post-partum hair fall can be alarming for most women. However, the increased hair loss is only because all the hair that was in the growing phase during pregnancy moves into the resting phase and tends to shed. Once the hormone levels are back to normal in the body, the hair growth and fall cycle will also return to normal. This could take several months to a year. During this time, it is important for women to maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated in order to have healthy hair. Try the tips suggested in this article during pregnancy and after delivery for voluminous, shiny, and healthy hair.