Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pregnancy Hair, Skin, & the Aftermath

In case you have never had a baby before, let me enlighten you on the delightful hormonal changes that continue to affect you well after baby is born - specifically on your hair and skin.

Before I get into that - more commonly known, are the changes that happen while you are pregnant. Being in my mid 20s, I have known many a preggo throughout the last several years. I have seen some acne-prone friends completely clear up thanks to pregnancy. . . and I have seen some with perfect complexions break out like teenagers thanks to the little beans in their bellies. Just like teenagers going through puberty, pregnant women have crazy fluctuations of hormones that can cause acne.

I have been fortunate my whole life to not have those issues, but I had several zits while pregnant. I went from never having to wash my face (other than regular showers), to having to wash twice a day with acne wash; even then, I still broke out on occasion. After my 1st birth, that remedied itself pretty quickly. With my 2nd, I wasn't so lucky. I haven't had any actual pimples in a while, but my skin type and skin regimen is totally different.

The same can be said for my hair. Before having kids I would use those deep conditioning treatments 2-3 times per week in order to keep it moisturized. After having 1 kid, it didn't change much, but after my 2nd pregnancy, it was totally different. After #2 was born, I continued using my same 'ol hair products that I had used for years. Within a couple of weeks, I realized that they simply weren't right for me anymore. I would come out of the shower with greasy hair and dandruff ((shudder)). I immediately kicked the deep conditioners to the curb and found a new lineup for my new hair type. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because now my hair is shinier than before, but it took some trial and error to get to that point. Ten months later, I am still using the new hair regimen. I have heard stories of women who's hair went from curly to straight, or vice versa. I have even seen some one's hair color change. Seriously . . . men have no idea how all encompassing this pregnancy thing can be - lucky them!

Another phenomenon of pregnancy is the lack of hair loss, followed by huge amounts of hair loss. While pregnant, the growth phase of hairs lengthens and therefore, you barely lose any hair. This is great for most women since it makes for a beautiful full head of hair. After baby comes out though, all the extra hair starts to fall out. This can happen a few weeks to several months post-partum. I personally have always had rather thick hair so it doesn't bother me so much, but I know women who were very distressed by this when they started getting giant clumps whenever they brushed.

Luckily this too passes with time. I have a final, not-so-fun phase of the whole pregnancy hair saga - awkward regrowth. It is a phase that I am in currently and it is my least favorite part. Since an excess of hair fell out over the last few months, I get more than normal regrowth; not as much as one would have while pregnant, but definitely enough to be noticeable. For a while I get to deal with funny little baby hairs that are growing. They are particularly obvious around my hairline. I wear my hair up more often than down. Particularly in the summer, I like being able to pull it back and throw on a cute headband, or do a small bump when I want to dress it up a bit. These options all look terrible right now because I have tiny little baby hairs that stick out all funny thanks to being too thin and too short to do anything with.

This was me last Christmas before I got the awkward regrowth:

This is what I have now:
Hairspray/gel doesn't do much for these hairs and bobby pins look funny so close to my hairline.

I should probably just do bangs to hide them for a while, but I'm not sure how well I pull them off. My hair will go back to normal eventually. In the meantime, I get to be stuck in hair limbo while I wait for the baby hairs to grow back out to normal.

So there you have it - More info than you probably ever cared to know about what pregnancy can do to your skin and hair. Now you can't say you weren't warned! 


  1. Pregnancy helped out my skin (except for the very beginning when I have massive breakouts, usually a tip-off that I am pg) but I DESPISE the hair issues. Postpartum, my hair is all over everything from falling out in insane amounts and the baby hairs are the worst! I read in books about the not falling out and then the mass falling out, but no book warned me about the baby hairs.

  2. I know! I remember being confused by them when I first noticed them after having Kaelan. I hope they grow in fast. . . and then we can repeat the cycle ;).

  3. AH! At 8 months preggo, I have the baby hairs now! I never really had them during or after having Danielle. I wonder, though, since they're so close in age (they'll only be 15 months apart), if the baby hairs growing in are because of Danni's pregnancy... Hmm. Oh well!

  4. Interesting thought. . . could be. From my experience and a few others, breastfeeding prolongs this which is why I'm getting it rather late - but more than anything, everyone is different. It will be interesting to see what happens this time around for you.


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