There are numerous claims about hair during pregnancy. More lustrous for some, less dense for others... We shed light on four myths surrounding pregnant women's hair and separate fact from fiction.
Misconceptions about hair during pregnancy.
- Misconception No.1: Hair becomes more beautiful and thicker during pregnancy
- Misconception No. 2: It is necessary to avoid visiting the hairdresser during pregnancy
- Misconception No. 3: You should not colour your hair when you're pregnant
- Misconception No. 4: Hair falls out after childbirth
- Misconception No.5: The nature of hair changes after childbirth
Misconception No.1: Hair becomes more beautiful and thicker during pregnancy.
Indeed, it 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 ofoestrogen in the body. This steroid hormone acts on the anagen phase of follicular growth, that is, on the hair growth phase. During this phase, cells divide rapidly. By attaching to a specific receptor, oestrogens stimulate this growth. However, this change is not observed by all women, as each individual's sensitivity to hormones varies.
Misconception No. 2: It is necessary to avoid visiting the hairdresser during pregnancy.
This is indeed a common misconception, as it is not necessary to change your hair care routine during pregnancy. Even if hair appears shiny and dense 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 the hairdresser to facilitate hair maintenance.
Misconception No. 3: You should not colour your hair when you're pregnant.
It's true, one should avoid colouring their hair during pregnancy. Indeed, hair dye products often contain ammonia, a compound that allows the hair cuticles to open and the pigment to penetrate the fibre. Ammonia has a detrimental effect on the development of the foetus. It is sometimes stated that certain plant-based hair dyes do not pose a risk during pregnancy.
However, one must 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 have your hair coloured. 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.
Regrettably, this is not a misconception. After childbirth, a majority of women face a significant loss of hair. This can last between one to two months after delivery and is caused by the sudden drop in the body's production of oestrogen.
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 finer. This is why it is often recommended for women to visit the hairdresser after giving birth and apply specific hair products for 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).