Of all the joys of pregnancy – weight gain, increased foot size, lack of sleep, and internal body organs getting pushed around – at least you get one true benefit…shinier, thicker hair. So with about 2 weeks until my due date, I took advantage of my husband’s offer to watch the kids on Saturday and headed out to a final, before the baby arrives, hair appointment. I even splurged a little with highlights; something about being almost 9 months pregnant and feeling frumpy prompted me to go for it.
I knew based on my previous pregnancies this abundance of good hair was fleeting, and that that inevitable postpartum changes were ahead. If history repeats itself, I can expect hair loss, the hair that remains will become a little less manageable, and the color (or application of) will not be the same. So with that to look forward to, I thought I could share a couple tactics to help manage the hair changes after pregnancy…(note: some lucky ones don’t experience any postpartum side effects)
- Handle with care. The extra hair that pregnancy gives, it takes away in the postpartum period. Camouflage the wispy new growth with bangs or trim your hair to make it look thicker. Similar to when you give your baby his/her first haircut, trimming the wispy new growth will reveal it is actually thicker than it looks. Don’t pull hair back too tight, as it may be more delicate and you want to avoid breakage. Take advantage of products that help promote healthy hair growth, such as thickening shampoos, conditioning treatments, and essential oils.
- Try different products. Are you used to straight, thick hair? Well prepare yourself for a new challenge in life. You could come out of this whole experience with a new texture or thickness. You may need to experiment with products for the new texture. Rest assured though, even frizzy hair can be controlled with the use of smoothing products and a good Denman brush. Finer or thicker hair can also be treated with a myriad of products specific to your hair’s needs. When you are picking up diapers, cruise on by the hair care aisle and do a little beauty product investigation.
- Think nutrition. Your diet during pregnancy was probably very healthy (aside from the major sweet tooth you developed). Don’t give that up just because you delivered your baby. A healthy diet goes a long way with the condition of your skin and the promotion of healthy hair growth. Also, nutritional supplements such as Biotin, Vitamin B, C, and E (probably similar to those in your prenatal vitamin) are great sources of nutrients for your hair.
- Choose a new hairstyle. It took me a couple of months of sporting a “mushroom” hairdo before I realized layering my hair would help with the flyaway dryness and new growth. Stylists usually have great advice for new Mom’s on how to choose a style that will complement your hair and face postpartum. You will probably have a few relatives or friends asking to spend some time with your baby; take advantage of their offers and schedule an hour or two at your salon. My stylist even told me she didn’t mind me bringing the new baby to my appointment.
- When all else fails. I am pretty sure the summer after I had my baby I wore a baseball cap for every “casual” occasion (I may have stretched “casual” a bit, but remember the mushroom hair?). Use this technique when you can to give you a little time to decide how to manage your hair or if your hair appointment is a week or two away.
So while you can’t prevent the changes that happen to your hair after pregnancy, there are definitely things you can do to help. I know you will be busy and overwhelmed with your newborn, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Or at least keep these tips in mind until you get the hang of things and feel a little more confident about being a new mom. I know it can be hard to change your style or routine when it comes to your hair, but my experience has been to embrace the changes and have fun with it!
Readers, do you have any helpful tips when it comes to managing your hair post pregnancy?