How does your hair change during pregnancy?

Pregnant woman looking in mirror
Credit: iStock

What happens to your hair during pregnancy? We asked the team at for their expert advice on your hair when pregnant…

Will my hair get thicker when I get pregnant?

Many women notice that their hair becomes much thicker and fuller at around 15 weeks of pregnancy. This is because you’re losing it more slowly than usual, rather than growing more hair or thicker strands of hair.

The average woman loses around 100 hairs per day. During pregnancy, however, higher levels of oestrogen prolong the growth phase, which means fewer hairs fall out.

READ MORE: 10 questions to ask your midwife during pregnancy

In rare cases, some women who had straight hair before getting pregnant might even find themselves with frizzy or curly locks, while others may lose their natural waves altogether.

Will my hair grow faster when I’m pregnant?

Because your levels of oestrogen and progesterone increase during pregnancy, you might notice your hair is growing faster than usual.

During a normal hair cycle, each individual hair tends to grow and rest for around two to three months, before being pushed out by a new hair growing within that follicle.

When you’re pregnant, however, your hair stays in that growing phase for longer, which means less hair falls out than normal.

I’m experiencing hair loss during pregnancy. Should I be worried?

While most women experience increased hair growth during pregnancy, some may suffer from hair loss instead.

If you are losing hair, speak to your midwife or doctor, and in the meantime, try not to over-brush your hair as this can lead to further damage.

Try also using a mild shampoo and conditioner, and use a detangling brush or comb when hair is wet.

Does pregnancy make your hair change colour?

You may see your hair change colour during pregnancy, as the hormones and chemicals in your body can lead to an increase in melanin. For some women, this change can even be permanent.

Can I dye my hair when I’m pregnant?

It’s best to avoid hair dye during pregnancy, as the chemicals can be absorbed through your scalp, which can be harmful to your baby.

Instead, a lot of women choose to go for foils or balayage, as this process doesn’t involve any hair dye coming into direct contact with the scalp.

Why am I more hairy during pregnancy?

Some women also notice new hair growing in slightly more unusual places, including their face, belly, around the nipples, forearms and upper lip. The safest way to remove these hairs is plucking them out with tweezers if they’re on your face, and shaving for larger areas.

Is it safe to wax while pregnant?

Waxing is safe, but it’s recommended that you see an aesthetician instead of doing it yourself. This is because your skin is more sensitive to pain when you’re pregnant, and as the months go on, you’ll have trouble seeing and reaching delicate areas below the waist.

Will my hair go back to normal after birth?

Three to six months after you give birth, your hair should go back to normal. As the hair growing phase ends and the telogen phase (when your hair falls out) begins, this can affect as much as 60 per cent of your hair.

This may sound alarming, but it’s completely normal. Once your hormones stabilise and your normal hair cycle returns, you can go back to having the same lovely locks you had before.

READ MORE: Why ‘eating for two’ during pregnancy could actually harm your baby

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