Many women have questions about their natural hair during pregnancy. If it is your first pregnancy you may not know what effects pregnancy will have, or maybe it’s your first pregnancy with natural hair and your clueless about the styles you should consider.
No matter the case, here’s a great starting place regarding many of the questions you may have about natural hair during pregnancy.
Hair Growth During Pregnancy
It is no myth that hair grows more during pregnancy. This is due to all the changes in hormone levels.
These changes cause hair to stay in the growth phase longer than it typically would and it also causes less shedding than normal. This usually lasts the duration of the pregnancy, however, about 3-6 months after the baby is born our hormone levels drop drastically and that’s why some women experience postpartum hair loss.
Not only do women experience growth due to hormonal changes, some also experience hair texture change during pregnancy. This change could be thicker and denser or thinner, it is a situational experience.
It is important to note these changes to your hair and to change your regimen accordingly. If you want to retain the gains that you’ve made during pregnancy it is essential that you are caring for your hair.
This will help reduce postpartum hair loss.
Postpartum Hair Loss
This is the part of becoming a mommy that no one really likes. Shedding and breakage are serious issues postpartum.
While not all shedding can be avoided, there is a certain amount that is normal and then there is a point where it becomes excessive. To avoid postpartum hair loss, it is a good idea to keep the circulation flowing to your head.
A great, relaxing way to achieve this is with scalp massages. Tea rinses are also good for circulation, or adding a few drops of peppermint oil into your deep conditioner and can also add nourishment if dryness becomes a problem postpartum.
To further combat dryness, and thus breakage, increase moisture. This can be done in many ways.
If you deep condition every week kick it up to twice a week with a moisture treatment mask. Be sure to also add moisture to your hair daily, twice a day would be ideal.
The L.O.C method would really play a big role during this time.
Protective Styles While Pregnant
There are several protective and low-manipulation styles to consider during pregnancy. Many of the braided options can be especially good for ladies with relaxed hair that do not want to get a relaxer for the duration of their pregnancy.
It is important that women, both natural and relaxed, do not put too much tension or braid too tightly. Many women experience alopecia during and after pregnancy.
So, is it safe to braid hair during pregnancy? Braids are a great style to consider if installed properly as I mentioned.
They are a protective style that, if worn for the recommended amount of time, do not require much maintenance therefore causing you to experience less breakage. If you’re wondering ‘can I braid my own hair while pregnant,’ that decision will be up to you.
If you are planning to do this still early or mid-pregnancy, then you should be fine to still install your own braids. However, if you are further along, you just may not be up to the challenge.
Some braid styles include (but are not limited to):
- Crochet Braids
- Box Braids Extensions
- Senegalese Twist Extensions
- Kinky Twists Extensions
- Two Strand Twists
- Cornrow Styles with Extensions
Other pregnancy hairstyles for natural hair include:
There are mixed criticisms about the age-old question: can you put a relaxer in your hair while pregnant? Because most people believe you should not be putting chemicals on your body at all, many women choose transitioning to natural hair while pregnant.
Even if you do not plan on going natural, it is safer to remain on the side of caution by refraining from getting relaxers until the baby is born. Choosing styles that blend the textures or protective styles is advised.
Labor and Delivery Hairstyles
Going into labor and delivery does not mean you cannot look great! There are many styles that you can wear that will ensure you are comfortable and cute.
To achieve this, you will likely want to keep your hair up off your neck and out of your face. Stray away from styles that maintain your natural curl pattern on the back of your head.
These will end up looking matted and misshapen should you turn to the side.
Hair Changes After Pregnancy
You may experience more coarse hair after pregnancy. However, it may not be that your hair is coarser after all, you may just be suffering from dry hair.
If you have a looser texture, then thinning is a common issue with curly hair after pregnancy. With a coarser texture than you are accustomed to you must get used to the fact that your hair will no longer dry at the same rate.
If you do not have adequate time for drying, you will likely deal with frizzy hair after pregnancy. Some women experience hair color changes after pregnancy such as lightening.
Some ladies with dark brown, nearly black hair will be left with light brown hair. Even crazier, some say their curly hair went straight after pregnancy.
This, however, is usually just for a period of time. It could be short term or longer term, it all depends.
But I don’t think it’s cause to freak out because women say it also varies as they have more children.
Postpartum Hair Regrowth
After you have delivered your bundle of joy it’s important to continue taking your prenatal vitamins. This will insure that your body is receiving the correct amount of nutrients and as a by product your hair can thrive during this time.
Equally important during this time is to eat a healthy diet for your recovery and overall health, you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to insure your body and hair is in a healthy state. Delivering a baby puts a lot of stress on the body even though a women’s body is made to do that exact thing.
During this time it’s important to re-learn your hair; what it likes and dislikes in this state. Even though you have a small baby to take care of it may be best to have low manipulation styles for the first few weeks after delivery, and to keep your hair well moisturized so your hair will continue growing during this time.
A very easy fix is to have a spray bottle on hand with water, oil, and conditioner and spritz your hair at least once a day. However, some practices will help with regrowth are standard such as regular trims when your ends are damaged, moisture and protein balance are all practices you should incorporate.
It may be difficult as your first priority is to attend to your little one, but a little attention to your hair will make all the difference in your postpartum hair regrowth.