Pregnancy is a time of great change throughout your body and, naturally, some of this change will be unwanted, especially when you’re already feeling a little bit vulnerable and self conscious about your appearance. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to prevent these changes, but if you’re aware of them before they happen you can prepare yourself and act reactivity to reduce the impact they have on your appearance.
One of the most common complaints from pregnant women is that their hair grows faster and becomes much thicker, especially during the last five months of the pregnancy. You will certainly find that your hair feels much fuller and has more volume while you’re carrying your child, but the rate of growth has not changed. Instead, you’re actually losing less hair than normal.
In any normal stage of your life, you lose on average 100 hairs a day, often while you’re having a shower or brushing your hair. This is perfectly natural and this loss is replaced by new growth reasonably quickly. During pregnancy, however, you have much higher levels of estrogen in your body, which lengthen the growth phase of your hair, meaning you shed less. Never fear though, because once you give birth your hair cycle will return to normal and you may notice more hair falling out than normal as you revert back to your standard hair growth.
It’s Not Just The Hair On Your Head That May Change
It’s an effect of pregnancy that all women hate, but unfortunately carrying your child may result in your facial and body hair growing faster than normal, and this is thought to be linked to an increase in the level of the hormone known as androgen. Avoid bleaching or using any chemicals that could be absorbed into your blood stream to remove this hair; simply stick to tweezing, waxing or shaving to keep yourself under control.
Your nails will also be affected by your pregnancy, although the way in which they will alter changes from woman to woman. Your nails are likely to grow faster, although you might not notice the difference. What women tend to notice is a hardening or softening of the nails, with them often becoming much more brittle. Thankfully, these alterations are all temporary and your nails will return to normal after you give birth, allowing you to reapply your favourite nail art or polish.
While there are many changes that your body must endure during pregnancy, almost all of them relating to your hair and nails will revert to their normal routines after giving birth, although it the case of your toe nails it could take up to a year for them to return to normal.
Being prepared for these changes and not worrying too much about them will allow you to have a much happier pregnancy, which can only be beneficial for your baby in the long term. There are so many ways to care for your hair and nails during pregnancy that are kind to both your body and your unborn child, so make sure you do your research thoroughly if you feel like you’re going to be worried about your appearance while you’re carrying your baby.
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Laura Watson is keen to help women who are concerned about the changes to their hair and nails during pregnancy.