Pregnancy Hair

April 12, 2019

Pregnancy Hair

Here at the Michael Van Clarke Salon we've helped generations of clients better understand the changes pregnancy brings to their hair, and to help them look their best through and after childbirth.

During pregnancy most women will notice their hair becoming fuller, shinier and more vibrant. This is thanks to various surges in oestrogen and other pregnancy hormones. Blood volume also rises during pregnancy by as much as 50% which helps keep the scalp nourished.

In the normal hair growth cycle, 50-100 hairs are lost every day. This may seem scary if you are hunting through your brushes and shower tray because you are conscious and worried about it, but it is normal. Generally, around 80-90% of your hair is in the growth phase (Anagen) of its life cycle, but the hormonal changes during pregnancy hold more hairs in the growth or resting phase (Catagen) of the cycle. As a result, most women enjoy thicker hair during pregnancy, because the shedding part of the cycle (Telogen) is delayed.

Post Pregnancy Hair

Immediately after childbirth, several of your hormone levels drop quickly, including oestrogen and progesterone. Those hormones will be almost back to normal levels within 24 hours after birth. Your blood volume also decreases gradually back to normal within a few weeks.

Postpartum hair loss affects most women to some degree but can be quite alarming for some. Following childbirth a larger number of hairs than normal enter the resting phase which is followed by hair shedding (and regrowth), so new mothers will experience greater than normal hair loss once the resting phase ends. It is a temporary phase and isn’t related to breastfeeding.

The hair loss usually starts at around three months after birth. This corresponds to the length of the resting phase of hair growth (between 1 and 5 months). The hair loss can seem more extreme if your hair grew much thicker during pregnancy, or if you have long hair. The normal hair growth cycle usually returns 6 to 12 months after birth.

If you feel that your hair loss is more than normal or if persists beyond 12 months, then see your doctor. Excessive hair loss can be caused by common postpartum conditions such as iron-deficiency anaemia and are easily treated.

Hair will fall out from all areas of your head, but many women may only notice hair loss around their hairline, particularly above the temples, resulting in the appearance of very fine hair in the front. The effects can be lessened by following our tips below.

Hair Growth Cycle

All hair has a life cycle. The 3 distinct phases are:

Anagen: 2-8 years
This is the active growth phase when the root is dividing rapidly to add to the hairshaft and hair grows at approximately a half inch each month. This rate is surprisingly consistent across ages and hair types.

Catagen: 2-3 weeks
This is a short transition stage at the end of the Anagen phase where the hair is signalled to stop growing. In this stage, the hair shaft grows upward, forms a club hair and detaches itself from the bulb. This cuts the hair off from its blood supply and from the cells that produce new hair. Once completely formed the follicle moves into the Telogen phase.

Telogen 1-5 months

This is the resting phase of the hair follicle. During telogen, the resting hair stays in place until pushed out by growth of a new hair. When the body is subjected to extreme stress or shock, up to 70 percent of hair can prematurely enter the telogen phase and begin to fall, causing a noticeable loss of hair.

For eyebrows and lashes the cycle is completed in around 4 months, while it takes the scalp 2-8 years to finish. Eyebrow hairs grow shorter because the cycle repeats more quickly compared to scalp hair.

Tips for Pregnancy Haircare

1. Get a good haircut
This will make styling much easier. Adjusting the shape can make up for less hair. If a lot of hair has been lost around the hairline an A-Line haircut may exaggerate this. Graduation or even a fringe may be a better solution.

2. Go easy on the styling
If your styling routine is a little on the harsh side this may be a good time to go gentle. Speak to your hairdresser about better techniques that use sensitivity with precision. Usually, less is more. Take more care with any heat styling. See our coming blogs on Dryer Danger and Safer Styling.

Aggressive brushing can also accelerate the thinning and breakage. Use our No.1 Brush by 3’’’More Inches as this is the professionals first choice for gentle detangling and styling.

3. Eat well
Include a variety of healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables in your diet to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Foods that also help healthy hair growth include; fish, eggs, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, beans, asparagus, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and blueberries.

4. Use the best products
Our 3’’’More Inches LifeSaver Pre-wash Treatment, is the hero treatment for everyone, at all times. But especially when hair is thinner and more fragile this will plump up the volume and give protection shine and flexibility.

Michael Van Clarke 3’’’More Inches

3’’’More Inches Cashmere Protein Shampoos & Conditioners will all boost hair health. The 3’’’More Inches Volumising range will add body to finer softer hair types and the 3’’’More Inches Moisturising range helps smooth and control thicker, coarser or chemically treated hair.

5. Take your vitamins
Vitamin supplements shouldn’t be a substitute for a varied diet, but can help those with an unbalanced regime. Vitamins and minerals are vital for overall health. Biotin is especially important to keep the hair healthy post pregnancy because it functions in the synthesis of hair proteins like keratin.

Lack of biotin has also been associated with hair breakage, hair loss, and brittle nails. 3’’’More Inches Hair & Nails Nutrients has an award-winning advanced formula of essential vitamins and minerals to support general wellbeing with an emphasis on brighter, stronger, healthy hair and nails. It’s especially suited to vegans as it also provides significant levels of iron and Vitamin B12.

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