Oily Hair during Pregnancy - Causes and Treatment

How to Deal With Oily Hair During Pregnancy?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in one’s life. Women enjoy the love and attention they get during this time as they can also indulge in some me-time and pampering. But this beautiful phase has its share of pros and cons. Most women come across various skin and hair woes during pregnancy, and it may result in oily and greasy hair, which nobody likes, of course. Are you also dealing with this problem of oily and greasy hair in early pregnancy? If yes, then we recommend that you browse through the following article to find out what causes hair to get oily and how you can effectively deal with oily hair during pregnancy.

What Causes Oily Hair While Pregnant?

The sudden outburst of oil on a woman’s scalp during pregnancy is extremely common, and it is most likely a result of the changing hormones during pregnancy. The surge in various hormones may lead to increased sebum production in the hair follicles, which may lead to greasy hair during pregnancy. Apart from many other changes that happen inside your body due to hormonal upheaval, an overdrive of your sebaceous glands may be just one of them. Although there is nothing much that can be done to combat the consequences of changing hormones, there are some tips that may help you take care of your oily scalp.

How to Treat Oily Hair During Pregnancy?

Mentioned below are some effective ways that will assist you in treating the issue of oily hair during pregnancy:

1. Follow a Healthy Diet

A balanced and nutritious diet is of utmost importance for the overall well-being of the mother and her unborn baby. The same holds true for taking care of your oily tresses. Make sure you eat healthy foods; include fruits and vegetables in your diet and refrain from having refined, oily, fried, and sugary foods. Eating unhealthy foods may lead to more oil production and thus oily scalp and hair. So, control your urge to eat all these inviting unhealthy foods.

A pregnant woman eating healthy fruits

2. Keep Stress at Bay

Stress is not good for you or your unborn baby, and it may lead to various health hazards during pregnancy. Stress along with changing hormones may also lead to oily hair during pregnancy. Hence, it is important that you avoid stressing about little things. Practise yogameditation etc., as it will help you deal with stress effectively and keep you calm and relaxed.

3. Do Not Condition Your Hair

Almost all women like to shampoo and condition their hair to get shiny hair. However, during pregnancy, it is suggested that you skip conditioning your hair if you are suffering from an oily hair problem. This is because conditioning moisturises your hair and if you already have oily hair, it may further make your scalp oily and greasy. Therefore, we recommend that you stop conditioning your hair for some time.

4. Do Not Shampoo Your Hair Excessively

Yes, it may sound strange and weird to you, but it is wise to not over-wash or over-shampoo your hair if you want to get rid of the excessive oil. This is because if you shampoo your hair often, then it may make your sebaceous glands produce more oil. This condition may further increase oil in your scalp and make your hair greasy and oily. The best you can do is wash your hair moderately that is 2 to 3 times a week.

5. Use a Gentle, Sulfate-free Shampoo

Opt for a sulfate-free and mild shampoo designed for oily hair. Sulfates can strip your hair of natural oils, causing your scalp to produce even more oil to compensate. A gentle shampoo will clean your hair without over-drying.

6. Rinse Thoroughly

Ensure you rinse your hair properly post shampooing. Residue from shampoos or conditioners can contribute to oiliness. Ensure that no product is left behind on your scalp and hair.

7. Avoid Hot Water

Washing your hair with hot water can stimulate oil production. Use lukewarm or cool water instead. Cooler water helps to constrict the oil glands and can prevent excessive oil secretion.

FAQs

1. Is Greasy or Oily Hair Common During Pregnancy?

Yes, greasy or oily hair can be common during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations, specifically an increase in androgen hormones, can stimulate the sebaceous glands in the scalp to produce more oil. This often leads to an oily scalp and hair. However, the extent of this change varies from person to person.

2. What Are Some Common Pregnancy Hair Changes?

Pregnancy can bring about various changes in hair texture and condition. Some common pregnancy hair changes include:

  • Increased hair thickness and fullness
  • Changes in hair texture
  • Increased oiliness of the scalp
  • Temporary reduction in hair loss
  • Thicker hair during pregnancy
  • Postpartum hair loss

There is nothing much that can be done to control the changing hormones (which is one of the possible causes of oily hair) during pregnancy. However, with proper care and hygiene, you can efficiently manage your oily hair issues during pregnancy. But if you are finding it hard to manage your oily hair in pregnancy on your own or if it is leading to other conditions such as acne, it is suggested that you consult your doctor for the same.

References/Resources:

1. Tips for healthy hair; American Academy of Dermatology Association; https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/hair/healthy-hair-tips

2. FAQs: Skin Conditions During Pregnancy; The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/skin-conditions-during-pregnancy?

3. Chua-Gocheco. A, Bozzo. P, Einarson. A; Safety of hair products during pregnancy; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2567273/; October 2008

4. 10 hair care habits that can damage your hair; American Academy of Dermatology Association; https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/hair/habits-that-damage-hair

5. Marceau. K, Wang. W, Robertson. O, Shirtcliff. E; A Systematic Review of Hair Cortisol during Pregnancy: Reference Ranges and Methodological Considerations; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8634732/; October 2020

6. Ebrahimzadeh-Ardakani. M, Ansari. K, Pourgholamali. H, Sadri. Z; Investigating the prevalence of postpartum hair loss and its associated risk factors: a cross-sectional study; Iranian Journal of Dermatology; https://www.iranjd.ir/article_143893_beeb7638ca983f9cefd0ca77897758bf.pdf; December 2021

7. Meštrović. T; Hair Growth in Pregnancy; News Medical Life Sciences; https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hair-Growth-in-Pregnancy.aspx

8. Delplancke. T, Seymour. J, Tong. C, et al.; Analysis of sequential hair segments reflects changes in the metabolome across the trimesters of pregnancy; Nature Journal Scientific Reports; https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18317-7; January 2018

Also Read:

Dandruff while Pregnant
Hair Growth during Pregnancy
Getting a Haircut in Pregnancy
Tips for Hair Care in Pregnancy

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