Pregnancy is undoubtedly a time of transformation for any woman. As you prepare to nurture the miracle growing inside you, you will be confronting hormonal changes that affect the quality and texture of your natural hair. With the fatigue and exhaustion that women typically experience during this period, it might be tempting to spend less time caring for your hair and just leave it unkempt. However, practicing proper maintenance and care is crucial to the overall health of your hair and scalp. Here are some of the most important things to remember to take care of natural hair during pregnancy.
Main Concerns for Managing Natural Hair
Some of the changes that you might see with your hair during pregnancy are the following:
- Hair becomes thicker – The natural cycle of your hair changes when you are pregnant. Each individual hair strand stays longer during the growing phase of the cycle and there is also less hair falling out. This change is attributed to the increase of estrogen in your body.
- Hair becomes thinner – On the other side of the spectrum, some women may experience thinning hair or hair loss when they are expecting. Some may even see their hair falling out in clumps. This may be caused by a decrease in estrogen brought about by three events:
- You stopped taking oral contraceptive pills
- You are experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion
- You have a hormonal imbalance.
- Changes in texture – During pregnancy, the shape of the hair follicle actually changes, turning your naturally curly mane into a frizzy mess. This is caused by the hormonal changes in your body. In fact, a lot of people also see the same thing happening during puberty.
- Hair becomes limp or lackluster – If you think your hair is becoming lackluster or limp while you are pregnant, it might be an indicator that you are not getting enough nutrients for yourself and your baby. Make sure that you visit your doctor to ensure that you have enough protein in your diet.
Tips to Maintain and Care for Natural Hair
Here are some useful tips to observe when maintaining and caring for natural hair while you are pregnant.
Try a Hair Massage
A hair massage is not just a great way to take care of your hair, it is also an opportunity to pamper yourself and distress. You can get a hair massage at your local salon or spa, but there are also homemade alternatives that you can try out.
Look for hair oils that have natural ingredients such as coconut, olive, or jojoba. Apply this to your hair two to three times a week. Heat up the oil first, but make sure that it is not too hot, and massage it through your hair and scalp.
Use a Mild Shampoo and Conditioner
Depending on the hair changes you are experiencing during this time, your regimen should be as simple as possible. It is best to skip homemade hair treatments that will make your routine feel longer than it needs to be. Instead, simplicity is key.
Stick to an easy and simple routine that involves detangling, gentle cleansing, and deep conditioning. Clean and moisturized hair should always be your goal. For natural hair, experts recommend cutting back the weekly cleanse into a simple wash every two weeks. However, you should also consider your day-to-day activities when deciding how frequently you should shampoo your hair.
Avoid Coloring Your Hair or Getting Chemical Treatments
There is currently no scientific evidence that conclusively proves that coloring your hair can harm an unborn child. However, many physicians still recommend waiting until after delivery to get your hair dyed.
Keep in mind that hair dyes can trigger allergic reactions and skin infections. When you are pregnant, it is best to avoid complications as much as possible.
Eat Healthy Food That Promotes Voluminous, Lustrous Hair
Aside from your prenatal supplements, a full balanced diet is a must when you are expecting. Everything that your body consumes during this time will help nurture your baby. For this reason, it is best to choose healthy food that will provide all the nutrients you and your baby needs.
It can be tough to avoid unhealthy snacks, especially once the cravings kick in. As much as you can, always choose foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. This is beneficial not just for your overall health, but the growth of your hair as well.
Avoid Stressful Situations
One of the top reasons for substantial hair fall during pregnancy is stress. On top of the changing hormones and mood swings, constantly placing yourself in stressful situations can have an adverse effect on your hair and your health.
Find time to indulge in activities that can help you de-stress and relax. There are many possible options that you can try out like listening to soothing music or taking a nice long bath. You can also go to the spa or visit your favorite shops for some retail therapy.
Try Hair Extensions or Protective Hair Styling Techniques
Styling your hair does not have to be complicated or harmful for your baby. To save time and avoid complex styles that cause too much pressure on your scalp, try chunky twists and braids. Large box and crochet braids are also easy to do and safe for your baby.
Although it is advisable to avoid hair coloring during your pregnancy, you can try putting in some hair extensions to give you that subtle highlight effect. Hair extensions also help mask any significant hair loss during this time.
Keep in mind that it is probably best to avoid glued-in hair extensions during this time. Hair glue contains ingredients that are considered unsafe for expecting mothers. Instead, try some clip-in hair extensions to ensure that your hair looks natural and voluminous.
During pregnancy, it is common to experience hair problems brought about by hormonal fluctuations. Proper hair care could help alleviate these problems. The 6 tips above will help ensure that your natural hair stays healthy and radiant during pregnancy and even after delivery.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 500 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
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