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Hair and Nails During Pregnancy

Many women will experience changes in their hair growth and texture. In fact, during pregnancy, higher levels of estrogen prolong the growth phase, resulting in less shedding of your hair and thicker tresses. Some women also notice that their hair becomes shinier during pregnancy or that it changes in texture from curly hair to straighter one for example.

Sometimes you might notice that your hair has become oilier or drier during pregnancy. However, these changes usually aren’t permanent, and most women lose a significant amount of hair in the postpartum period or after they stop breastfeeding and have the usual texture of their hair back.

Moreover, you will unfortunately notice that hair in some unwanted places such as on the face or belly or around the nipples will grow faster when you’re pregnant, and this is caused by an increase of hormones called androgens. To get rid of this unwanted hair you can safely tweeze, wax or shave, but avoid chemicals such as bleaches or depilatories, which could be absorbed into the bloodstream. The electrical epilators are also to be avoided especially when it comes to removing hair from your belly because of their vibrations that might cause contractions. As for the permanent hair-removal techniques such as laser and electrolysis, these are thought to be safe, but because of the excess of pigmentation during pregnancy, darkening of the skin might occur after these cosmetic procedures. Moreover, these procedures can be painful and you already have enough of discomfort during pregnancy. In all cases, there is no need to worry much about this unwanted hair, because most of it should be gone three to four months after you deliver your baby.

As for your nails, these will also see some changes during your pregnancy. Usually, you will experience your nails growing faster and becoming stronger when you’re pregnant, and this is also caused by hormones. However, some women find that their nails tend to split and break more easily during pregnancy. Like the changes in hair, nail changes aren't permanent and your nails should return to normal sometime after you give birth. If you get all the nutrients your body needs, your fingernails should be in good shape three to six months after your baby arrives while your toenails could take nine months to a year.

The most important thing is never being upset about your hair and nails changes during pregnancy! And here are some important tips to follow in order to decrease the bad effects of these changes as much as possible:

  • Keep taking your vitamins regularly during and after pregnancy.

  • Treat your hair with moisturizing shampoo and protein conditioners.

  • Ask your hairdresser for a carefree cut and minimize iron curls and blow dryers.

  • Protect your fingernails by wearing rubber gloves when you're doing the dishes or cleaning, and use moisturizers on your hands, especially on the skin that surrounds the nail and on the nail itself, particularly if they're brittle.

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