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How fast does your hair grow when pregnant
Pregnancy and What it Means for Your Hair, Skin & Nails
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 8/01/2020
From the moment you notice your missed period, things are going to be different. Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be scary and, at times, confusing.
Not only will you find yourself making preparations to bring new life into the world, but you’ll be dealing with some unexpected changes in your body as well.
Over the coming weeks, your belly will start to grow, and other body parts may swell along with it. Your hormones will be in a tizzy, and you’ll find that certain foods and smells either send you into ravenous hunger or running for the bathroom.
The hormonal fluctuations that come with pregnancy affect more than just your taste buds — they also affect your hair, skin and nails. Keep reading to learn what changes you can expect during pregnancy.
Changes to Hair During Pregnancy
Your hair grows in a predictable cycle, but pregnancy hormones can interrupt that cycle and cause some unexpected changes.
Healthy hair grows at a rate of about a half inch per month, growing for a period of three to five years before going into a resting phase for two to three months. After the resting phase, the hair falls out and the entire cycle repeats.
During pregnancy, your hair may remain in the growth cycle longer than usual, due to an increase in estrogen hormone, making your hair appear thicker.
Unfortunately, some women experience the opposite during pregnancy — increased estrogen levels cause hair to move prematurely from the growing into the resting phase. During this time, you may experience reduced growth and increased hair shedding.
After delivery, estrogen levels return to normal and hairs in the resting phase may fall out. This results in a condition called telogen effluvium, and it usually happens between one and five months following delivery.
Most women find that this increase in hair loss is temporary and hair resumes its normal growth pattern by the time the baby reaches 12 months old.
To keep your hair healthy during pregnancy, here are some simple things you can do:
Don’t wear your hair in tight styles such as cornrows, weaves and braids to avoid putting excess strain on the hair, increasing hair loss.
Use shampoos and conditioners that contain hair-supporting nutrients like biotin, silica and vitamin E.
Eat a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables because they contain flavonoids and antioxidants that protect the hair follicles.
Be careful with your hair when it is wet because it can be fragile. Use a wide-toothed comb when brushing wet hair and use the cool setting on your hairdryer.
Massage warm coconut or sesame oil into your scalp two to three times a week to stimulate growth and reduce hair fall.
In addition to following the tips above, you may also want to avoid dyeing your hair while pregnant. There is no conclusive evidence to show that hair dye is dangerous for babies and your hair is unlikely to absorb enough chemicals to affect you or your baby. Even so, you may want to avoid chemical hair products for at least the first trimester.
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Skin Changes to Expect During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are often said to have a glow about them, but where does it come from?
When you become pregnant, your blood volume increases to provide extra blood flow to the uterus and to the developing fetus. Increased blood flow brings more blood to the vessels in your skin and increases secretions in the oil glands. These things, combined with slight fluid retention, stretching skin and hot flashes, create that pregnancy glow.
While many women experience improvements in their skin during pregnancy, some women are not so lucky. Some women find that their skin becomes drier and more prone to breakouts.
Many women even find that their skin darkens overall, possibly due to an increase in estrogen and melanocyte-stimulating hormone levels.
Some other skin changes you may experience during pregnancy include the following:
Stretch Marks — These appear as pink or purple lines that develop on the belly, breasts, hips and legs. The exact cause for stretch marks is unknown but has something to do with pregnancy hormones and skin stretching. Some studies
have shown that skin creams containing vitamin E, menthol and collagen-elastin hydrolysates may help reduce the development of stretch marks.
Chloasma — Between 50 percent and 70 percent
of pregnant women experience increased pigmentation on the cheeks, nose and chin in the form of brown or yellow patches. To reduce the risk of chloasma, avoid photosensitizing skincare products and use sunscreen at least SPF 50.
— While some women develop chloasma on the face, others experience hyperpigmentation on the nipples, external genitalia and anal region caused by an increase in melanocytes related to pregnancy hormones.
— During pregnancy, the sebaceous glands in the skin produce more oil, increasing the risk for acne. Try using topical skin care products made with glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acid.
Heat Rash — Changing hormones and an increase in body weight can lead to an increase in body temperature. Many women experience hot flashes or heat rashes during pregnancy as a result.
Because your skin will be changing throughout the course of your pregnancy, you may need to make changes to your skincare routine.
Start each day with a gentle cleanser to remove excess oils. Next, apply a daily moisturizer that includes a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15. If you’re experiencing breakouts, try using topical products that contain glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid or witch hazel to calm things down.
Important Note: Retinoids are a common ingredient in anti-aging skin care products because they boost collagen production and speed cell turnover.
Dermatologists do not recommend retinoids for pregnant women, however, because they have the potential to harm an unborn child. This is confirmed by a 2018 report filed by the European Medicines Agency.
aging is inevitable. let’s do it right, ladies.
How Do Your Nails Change During Pregnancy?
If you struggle with brittle nails, you may be in for a pleasant surprise. Pregnancy hormones cause many women to develop stronger, faster-growing nails. Unfortunately, some women experience the opposite — brittle nails prone to splitting and breaking.
The sudden influx of pregnancy hormones often causes increased nail growth but, for some women, that growth is accompanied by groove formation, brittleness and onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed). Fortunately, these changes are usually temporary, and your nails should go back to normal after you’ve given birth. But what can you do in the meantime?
Here are some simple tips for healthy nails during pregnancy:
Eat a balanced diet to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to grow strong nails.
Keep taking your pregnancy vitamins, being sure to include nail-supporting nutrients like biotin
Include natural sources of biotin in your diet such as eggs, nuts, mushrooms, peas, avocado, milk, bananas and whole grains.
Avoid using solvent-based nail products (such as nail polish removers) because they can dry your nails out even more.
Keep your nails short, so they’re less likely to snag on something and break.
Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or cleaning around the house to protect your skin and nails from harsh chemicals.
Push back your cuticles when painting or buffing your nails instead of cutting them.
Pregnancy can be a stressful time when you feel like you’re not in control of your own body. Taking a day to pamper yourself at the spa is a great way to relax and unwind. Avoid poorly ventilated nail salons and make sure the salon follows standard sanitization practices to reduce the risk for bacterial infection.
Other Surprising Changes You Can Expect
Being prepared for changes to your hair, skin and nails during pregnancy can make those changes a little easier to deal with. But keep in mind that 40 weeks is a long time, and you’re bound to experience some other changes, as well.
Here are some other surprising changes you can expect during pregnancy:
You’ll develop a nesting instinct
. As your due date draws near, you’ll find yourself cleaning the house from top to bottom, paying attention to details you never noticed before.
You may notice changes in your memory and concentration. During the first trimester, fatigue and morning sickness can really wear you out, but you may still have trouble with concentration and forgetfulness even if you are well-rested — a term affectionately known to some researchers as “Baby Brain.”
You’ll experience symptoms similar to PMS
. If you experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome normally, you’re more likely to experience symptoms like breast tenderness and mood swings during pregnancy.
You may need to buy new bras
. Increased breast size is one of the first physical signs of pregnancy, and your bra size is likely to change several times throughout your pregnancy due to higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, as well as increased lung capacity.
You’ll find that your joints are a little laxer
. As your body prepares to give birth, it produces the hormone relaxin, which loosens the ligaments in your body. This makes your joints a little less stable, so you may be more prone to injury.
You may develop varicose veins
Your veins may become enlarged by pregnancy hormones, and varicose veins can form when blood pools in those veins. Varicose veins usually go away after birth, but you can prevent them by wearing loose-fitting clothing, wearing support hose and avoiding standing or sitting for long periods of time.
You’ll experience heartburn like never before. During pregnancy, the muscles that break down food become more relaxed, and food stays in your stomach longer so you can absorb all of the nutrients. This can worsen existing heartburn or cause it to develop.
Becoming pregnant brings on a whirlwind of change. Though some of those changes can be unpleasant or downright uncomfortable, it is all worth it for the privilege of bringing new life into the world.
Parenthood is a noble calling, and it comes with growing pains, but you don’t have to just sit back and watch your body change without your permission.
Taking what you’ve learned here, you can prepare yourself for the inevitable changes to your hair, skin and nails, so you can sail through pregnancy looking and feeling your best.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.
How Pregnancy Affects Your Hair, Nails & Skin – feedmomandme
Written by: Co-Founder Maria Davi
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Palmer, DO
In this article:
While pregnant your body goes through a lot of changes, including your hair. Who would’ve known their best hair days of their life were going to be while they were pregnant? You may start experiencing hair growing as fast as a “ch-ch-ch-chia pet”, and growth in new spots of your Body.
We will discuss everything you need to know about hair growth during pregnancy and tips on how to deal with it!
★ WHAT CAUSES HAIR GROWTH DURING PREGNANCY?
Hair follicles go through two stages simultaneously: active growth stage and resting stage. On average, 90% of a healthy woman’s hair follicles are in the active growth stage, while the other 10% are in the resting stage, causing around 50-100 hair strands to naturally shed throughout the day. However, a pregnant mama’s increased estrogen level temporarily changes the normal hair growth cycle, preventing hair follicles from entering the resting stage (and shedding). Hair appears thicker and fuller due to less shedding.
Unfortunately, higher levels of estrogen also stimulate excessive hair growth all over your body. Many pregnant women report hair growth on their stomachs and other areas where they generally didn’t have hair. This simply means your hormones are working hard, aiding the growth and development of your healthy baby. The extra hair can be cosmetically annoying but is harmless and will likely go away after childbirth.
★ IS IT COMMON FOR YOUR NAILS TO GROW FASTER?
Some pregnant women might not notice a difference in their nails. Some may experience faster nail growth and may develop harder nails. This is also caused by the increase of hormones in your body and the extra intake of folate and biotin from your prenatal vitamins.
These changes in your nails are temporary and should return to normal sometime after childbirth. Getting all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs aid your fingernails to be in good shape three to six months after birth, your toenails could take up to nine to a year.
★ HOW EARLY IN PREGNANCY DOES YOUR HAIR CHANGE AND IS IT PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY?
Many women experience their hair feeling luscious around 15 weeks of pregnancy. Your hair might appear healthier, shinier, and feel thicker, but each hair strand doesn’t become thicker itself. Now that all your hair follicles are in the active growth stage, you aren’t shedding much hair. Leaving you with more hair on your head and actively growing.
Embrace and enjoy your new hair during pregnancy. The extra thickness and fullness is a temporary perk of pregnancy that will not last far beyond delivery.
★ HOW MUCH DOES YOUR HAIR GROW DURING PREGNANCY?
On average, a normal healthy person’s hair grows around half an inch a month. During pregnancy, some women report their hair growing upwards of an inch a month! Maintaining your new hair growth during pregnancy will help with postpartum hair loss.
★ IS IT NORMAL TO HAVE MORE FACIALOR BODY HAIR?
It is totally normal to grow facial hair and/or body hair (like belly hair) while pregnant. This possibly happens for two reasons, first because of the increased androgens, estrogen, human chorionic gonadotropin, progesterone, prolactin, numerous growth factors, and cytokines your body produces during pregnancy. Secondly because of the extra intake of folate from your prenatal vitamins prenatal vitamins.
Unfortunately, these hormonal changes due to pregnancy may cause new hair growth on your belly, legs, face, pretty much everywhere on your body. This may cause you to wonder which different methods of hair removal options are best to help remove unwanted hair. No worries, you can still remove unwanted hair safely during pregnancy.
★ WHAT HELPS WITH PREGNANCY HAIR GROWTH?
Here are some tips for dealing with pregnancy hair growth:
We advise visiting your hairdresser before giving birth to get rid of all split and damaged ends, helping your hair looking and feeling healthier during postpartum.
Waxing and sugaring are both considered safe for pregnant women. Warning, it may be more painful due to estrogen increasing blood flow causing your skin to become more sensitive.
Shaving is the safest and least painful way to remove hair during pregnancy. As you and your baby grow, it may become difficult to shave. Always take precautions while shaving, either by sitting in the bath or on the edge of the tub.
★ IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL SAFE DURING PREGNANCY?
While many pregnant women experience excess hair growth, some may also experience new hair growth in areas of their body that never had hair (like their chin!). Our OBGYN, Dr. Nicole Palmer, recommends avoiding laser hair removal during pregnancy, as do many health care providers. This is due to the lack of information about the effect on developing baby.
Laser hair removal uses light energy, causing thermal damage to the hair follicles that inhibits or delaying hair growth. There isn’t enough research to know if this method of hair removal is safe for your unborn baby.
Nicole Tuccillo, a laser hair removal technician at the body bar mentions, “You should never receive laser hair removal during pregnancy. This kind of hair growth is due to your body’s hormonal changes during pregnancy and is temporary. You can easily manage hormonal hair growth in other ways like waxing or shaving.”
★ HAIR AFTER PREGNANCY
Shortly after pregnancy, your hormones will return back to their normal levels causing your hair, nail, and skin to also return back to normal. Many women during their fourth trimester (postpartum stage) experience hair loss. Don’t worry this is also just temporary! Postpartum hair loss is a normal process our bodies go through to return back their pre-pregnancy body. Check out our blog on Natural Postpartum Hair Loss Remedies to help assist you with hair loss after childbirth.
HAIR AND PREGNANCY, hair loss during pregnancy, hair care
We tell you what changes occur with hair during pregnancy and after childbirth, about coloring and care procedures.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding women notice that their hair becomes more weak and brittle .
In the article we will tell you how to restore health and maintain a beautiful appearance kind of hair in this period. Let's touch on the topic of staining and answer other questions that are of interest to fans of our brand.
Is hair coloring safe during pregnancy ?
There are two opposite opinions about this. Some say that staining should be avoided, since this is a chemical effect of on the body, which is a priori harmful, and doubly so during pregnancy.
Others claim that coloring with modern compounds is absolutely safe and cannot harm either mother or baby.
Let's see how the staining is carried out and whether it can harm.
Hair coloring - is a chemical process involving ammonia.
To create a color composition, the stylist mixes the color containing ammonia with an oxidizing agent. As a result, a chemical reaction takes place,0004 which is called oxidation of .
When coloring, ammonia lifts the hair scales , allowing coloring pigments and nutrients to penetrate into the hair. The oxidation reaction continues on the hair for no more than 10 minutes , after which the ammonia evaporates and other substances come into play.
However, the active mixture is in contact with the scalp for some time. And it is hygroscopic , the stratum corneum has high metabolic activity - everything that we put on the skin affects our body. Therefore frequent staining during pregnancy is not recommended .
With standard staining intervals of 9 months, there will be no more than 3-4 treatments. The total time ammonia is in contact with skin and hair is very small. If the coloring composition is applied to intact skin, as required by the instructions, systemic absorption will be so small that that will not harm the expectant mother and baby.
During pregnancy, becomes more sensitive to cosmetic products. There may be intolerance to some odors, including ammonia. In this case, it is better to try a more gentle temporary staining with ammonia-free formulations.
Entrusting hair care during pregnancy is important to an experienced stylist. He will be able to select the most suitable product according to your position and hair condition.
We do not recommend coloring your hair during the first trimester of pregnancy as these are the most important months of embryo formation. In the future, the procedure can be carried out, observing an interval of 2–3 months .
How hormones affect hair ?
Usually during pregnancy, the hair looks more shiny and lively due to increased levels of estrogen in the body. This hormone has a positive effect on for the hair growth cycle: lengthens the anagen (growth) phase and reduces hair loss.
The placenta produces prostacyclin, which dilates blood vessels and promotes good hydration of the scalp, thereby stimulating hair growth. The combined action of estrogen and prostacyclin makes hair stronger and more resistant.
At the end of pregnancy and after childbirth the situation changes.
The level of "caring" hormones drops sharply, and the action of prolactin and androgen is enhanced. This "hormonal storm" greatly affects the hair life cycle. They pass into the catagen phase (rest), and some into the telogen phase (ready to fall out).
This explains why hair loss occurs during breastfeeding. The process was named "postpartum outflow" . Status unpleasant but temporary : in most cases everything returns to normal within 6-12 months .
Lactation hair loss is a natural process to be experienced.
Salon treatments aimed at reducing hair loss
It is advisable to start them in the last month of pregnancy, to strengthen the hair by the time the baby is born and the start of breastfeeding. It is recommended to continue within a year after delivery.
Hair and scalp require hydration and nourishment. During pregnancy, hormones help us, but after childbirth, we need to be especially vigilant. With dehydration, hair is the first to suffer, so it is important to use moisturizing and nourishing products. For example, combine anti-fallout program Lotion Concentree with reconstruction B-Refibre .
Hair loss during lactation is a natural process, but with a neat and easy to style haircut and proper care, it will become completely invisible. It is recommended to “lighten” the head by the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy. A fashionable hairstyle will cheer you up and relieve stress.
There are three easy steps to help improve your hair during lactation:
Pregnancy Hair Loss - Dr. Levent Acar
Hair loss during pregnancy. In most women during pregnancy, the hair becomes more thick and shiny . However, the opposite may also be the case. Severe hair loss during pregnancy is also quite common and usually nothing to worry about .
Pregnancy entails great changes in a woman's body. More than hormones are secreted, especially estrogen, the "female hormone".
The usual result of increasing the amount of estrogen is that the hair grows fuller and looks more beautiful and healthy in general. This is because fewer hair follicles than usual enter the telogen phase, or resting phase.
Hair loss after pregnancy
After the birth of a child in a young mother , the level of estrogen in the body returns to normal , and many excess hair falls out at the same time. Many women experience hair loss after childbirth, known as postpartum hair loss.
However, the reverse can also happen to hair during pregnancy. Some women experience hair loss. Too many hair follicles go into the resting phase at the same time - this condition is known as telogen effluvium.
Hormones are not always to blame. There may be other factors that lead to hair loss.
Causes of hair loss during pregnancy
Severe hair loss during pregnancy is rare, but in itself is not a serious cause for concern.
The hormone progesterone produced by the luteal body is believed to be a factor in increased hair loss. This hormone works alongside estrogen to regulate pregnancy.
This interaction can affect hair growth and quality both positively and negatively. For example, dry hair can become even drier and break more easily .
In addition, under the influence of hormones, hair synchronizes the phases of its growth. Thus, too many hairs enter the resting phase together and therefore fall out at the same time.
The second factor that can lead to hair loss during early pregnancy is stop taking birth control pills . Women who stop taking birth control pills and then get pregnant relatively quickly often experience hair loss.
One of the reasons for this is that tablets artificially maintain high levels of estrogen . If pregnancy occurs, then the level of estrogen in the blood is usually not as high as it was when the pills were still taken.
Therefore, hair can fall out, because, as we have already said, this hormone has a positive effect on the growth cycle.
Another cause of hair loss during pregnancy can be iron deficiency . During pregnancy, the body needs 60 percent more iron than because the growing baby consumes so much of it. But if these vitamins and minerals are not enough, then the body stops all the functions that need iron, but are not necessary for survival.
This includes hair growth. Other symptoms that may indicate a deficiency of iron in the blood are pale skin, constant fatigue and - under certain circumstances - increased nervousness .
If iron deficiency is suspected, seek immediate medical attention. Most often, women experience iron deficiency in the second trimester of pregnancy .
Another thing that can cause hair loss during pregnancy is stress . Many expectant mothers put themselves under stress during pregnancy, especially if this is their first child.
This may affect hair growth. Prolonged stress can cause diffuse hair loss even in the absence of pregnancy.
Hair care during pregnancy
Finally, daily hair care also affects hair growth. Usually, pregnant women don't need to change their daily hair care routine much, such as which shampoos and conditioners they use.
However, this does not apply to hair coloring. To this day, this topic is hotly debated. Even today, there is no scientific evidence that coloring hair during pregnancy has a harmful effect on the fetus. However, in general, doctors do not advise doing this.
However, if you do not want to give it up, then at least use natural hair dyes in early pregnancy.
Vitamins for hair loss during pregnancy.
Any remedies for hair loss during pregnancy, including vitamins for hair, are prescribed exclusively by your doctor , who accompanies your pregnancy. Taking any hair loss medication during pregnancy on your own can adversely affect your health and the health of your baby .
Never take drugs, pills, vitamins on the advice of the Internet or on the advice of your surroundings.