There are numerous claims about hair during pregnancy. More lustrous for some, less dense for others... We are examining four myths surrounding pregnant women's hair and separating fact from fiction.
Common misconceptions about hair during pregnancy.
- Misconception #1: Hair becomes thicker and more beautiful during pregnancy
- Misconception #2: You should avoid going to the hairdresser during pregnancy
- Misconception #3: You should not color your hair when you are pregnant
- Misconception No. 4: Hair falls out after childbirth
- Misconception No.5: The nature of hair changes after childbirth
Misconception #1: Hair becomes thicker and more beautiful during pregnancy.
Indeed, this is true for a majority of women who notice that their hair seems healthier. The thickening of the hair during pregnancy is a result of the increase in the level of estrogen in the body. This steroid hormone acts on the anagen phase of follicular growth, that is, the hair growth phase. During this phase, cells divide rapidly. By attaching to a specific receptor, estrogens stimulate this growth. However, this change is not observed by all women, as each individual's sensitivity to hormones varies.
Misconception #2: You should avoid going to the hairdresser during pregnancy.
This is a common misconception, as it is not necessary to change your hair care routine during pregnancy. Even if hair appears shiny and thick when pregnant, it is important to continue taking care of it. Moreover, since certain movements are not recommended during pregnancy, it may even be wise to visit a hairdresser to facilitate hair maintenance.
Misconception #3: You should not color your hair when you are pregnant.
It's true, one should avoid coloring their hair during pregnancy. Indeed, hair dye products often contain ammonia, a compound that helps to lift the hair cuticle, allowing the pigment to penetrate the fiber. Ammonia has a detrimental effect on fetal development. It is sometimes stated that certain plant-based hair dyes pose no risk during pregnancy.
However, it is necessary to exercise caution as some of these products also contain chemical substances that are not recommended for pregnant women. Therefore, it is best to seek advice from your hairdresser if you wish to color your hair. The use of essential oils on the scalp or hair length should also be avoided, as some are neurotoxic and can cause nausea or spasms.
Misconception No. 4: Hair falls out after childbirth.
Unfortunately, it is not a misconception. After childbirth, a majority of women face significant hair loss. This can last between one to two months after delivery and is caused by the body's sudden decrease in estrogen production.
While it can sometimes be alarming, it's important to clarify that hair loss is often a normal phenomenon and there's no need for concern. To reassure you, it's possible to have a blood test to ensure that you're not suffering from an iron deficiency.
Hair loss following childbirth can be mitigated by the intake of certain dietary supplements, often rich in biotin. This molecule strengthens hair follicles, thereby reducing the risk of hair loss.
Misconception No.5: The nature of hair changes after childbirth.
True, some women notice that their hair changes in nature after childbirth. However, this is a small proportion and the changes are not always obvious. For instance, curly hair may slightly lose its curls or thick hair may become somewhat thinner. This is why it is often recommended for women to visit the hairdresser after giving birth and apply hair care products specific to their hair type in order to take care of it.
KIESS W. & al. Evaluation of hair cortisol and cortisone change during pregnancy and the association with self-reported depression, somatization, and stress symptoms. Stress (2018).
MECZEKALSKI B. & al. Hormonal effects on hair follicles. International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2020).