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Your Hair in Pregnancy

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So you're pregnant, but you still need to look good as your body changes and your hormones rage feeling good about yourself can be a very important part of this stage of life.

Hair Styles in Pregnancy

As a very general rule for everyone both during and immediately after the birth, avoid going too short with any styles. This is because any weight gain on or around the face can be softened with longer styles whilst shorter hair can often exaggerate and emphasize a rounder face.

Once you begin to lose your added pounds and time becomes a valuable commodity, then maybe a shorter look is for you. Not to mention the fact that you have become fed up with releasing 'little Johnny's' fingers from your hair! Remember the goldern rule that that shorter does not necessarily mean easier and this point should be emphasized in any discussion with your hair stylist. Also pay added attention to how and what is used to style your new look as both will be important when you get home and only have 5 minutes to repeat it all.  

Hair Colour and Pregnancy

There are lots of rumours and myths about the effects of hair colour in pregnancy. One of the reasons is that ammonia, used in many hair colouring porducts, may lead to a higher incidence of Blue Baby Syndrome because the nitrogen in ammonia reduces the oxygen levels in the blood, the strong smell of ammonia can trigger nausea if you are a morning sickness suffer. Also during the first trimester when the baby is being formed, there may be a slight chance that colour applied directly to the skin could pass through the skins surface, enter the blood stream and pass onto the embryo/fetus. There is no definate proof as, like with many drugs that are listed not for use during pregnancy, hair colours have never been tested (would you want to trial something on a pregnant person?) to prove it harms the baby! This does not rule out you being able to have a colour, you could choose an ammonia free colour and/or an application technique that does not come into contact with the scalp like foil high or low lights.

Once the first trimester is over there is less of a chance that colour can cross to the baby and have any effect but if at all concerned stick with your new colouring method. There is another, as yet unconsidered advantage to using the "partial colour method". Because it is not applied to all of your hair, the regrowth is not as noticeable and you can go for longer periods between salon visits. This will become a major advantage once you have the new baby, as time can be very short!

Perming your Hair in Pregnancy

As well as ammonia again being used in perm lotions hormonal changes during the first trimester and immediately after the birth or following the cessation of breast-feeding can cause your hair to react differently to perming. The result is that a perm may 'not take' so you may end up with a looser curl than you wanted or no curl at all after a few shampoos. As the perming chemicals do end up on the scalp and smell strongly there could also be similar concerns to those expressed for hair colouring.

Perming your hair during the second and third trimester should avoid many of these issues, but if you do take the risk of perming at other times, consider a test strand perm on a single section of your hair to see if the result will be what you wanted.  Here is some more information from the experts:

Hair Loss and Pregnancy.

Adapted from an article by Tony Pearce consulting trichologist. For the full article, see our hair loss section.

Along with the other changes that are more obvious during pregnancy, something has also been happening to many women's hair. It is not until after the arrival of your new family member that you may become aware of this change as it can result in your hair thinning and this can seem quite excessive.

What has happened is that during late pregnancy your hair has actually been growing around 10% more than normal. So if you felt like your hair had new life it really did. However, what has not been happening is the normal amount of shedding, this is down to around a third of what it would normally be.  

Following childbirth the imbalance is redressed and the shedding of your hair begins to rise. By nine weeks after the birth shedding, in percentage terms, has gone from an all time low in the late weeks of pregnancy (around 5%) to a high of 30-35%. The hair fall or loss may then be distressingly excessive for about three months, and may continue for as long as a year. I have heard tales of "I woke up one morning and half my hair was on the pillow" or "I was frightened to brush my hair". All this, at a time when you are at your most emotionally fragile, stressed and sleep deprived.

The good new is that typically, the duration of shedding is less than six months and the majority of women return to normal hair density 12 months after the birth. Knowing that this can happen can even help to lessen it's effects, as the shock and stress of sudden hair fall could exacerbate the condition if you didn't expect it.

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