The connection between hair and pregnancy can take on different meanings from woman to woman. In fact, while for some women it is synonymous with greater shine of the foliage, for others it is a concern because a thinning may occur.
This fall can occur, for example, when the nutritional needs of the future mother are not completely satisfied. At other times, the suspension of the contraceptive pill for a future conception increases hair loss.
However, during pregnancy, most women experience the opposite phenomenon, that is characterized by a splendid and thick hair, which takes advantage of the increased rate of estrogen.
Role of Estrogens
As mentioned, the direct culprits of the increased splendor of the hair in pregnancy are estrogens, whose levels increase exponentially during gestation.
These female hormones are in fact able to positively influence the life cycle of the hair, prolonging its permanence in the growth phase (anagen) and considerably limiting its fall.
At the end of pregnancy, on the other hand, the opposite phenomenon occurs: estrogen levels decrease and one can see what is defined as hair loss during lactation, or - more properly - post-partum effluvium. However, this is a temporary condition, which in most cases returns to normal within six months or a year.
Although with due individual differences, a loss of about 100 hairs per day is considered normal. When the fall remains high even after several months from the birth, it is possible to ask your doctor to check the hormonal values through a simple blood test; in the event of alterations, it will be possible to intervene with adequate replacement therapies. In general, however, a temporary increase in hair loss during breastfeeding should not worry the nurse excessively, nor should it interfere with the "magic" that characterizes this period (for more information: Hair and Breastfeeding).
Despite the beneficial effects of estrogen on hair health, some pregnant women could still complain of a dry, brittle and dull hair. To try - to the extent possible - to tackle the problem, it may be useful to follow some tips:
- Use mild and non-aggressive good quality shampoos, specially formulated for dry, damaged and / or damaged hair.
- Only use hair conditioner if really necessary.
- Do not dry the hair at high temperatures and do not keep the hair dryer too close to the scalp.
- Do not rub your hair excessively after washing it so that it does not break.
- If necessary, make compresses with extra virgin olive oil, castor oil or linseed oil. These completely natural products, in fact, when applied to hair shafts can help to increase their brightness while making them softer at the same time.
- Adopt a healthy and balanced diet, fundamental not only for the well-being of the hair, but also for the well-being of the unborn child. In fact, during pregnancy, if the diet is adequate, nails and hair should not suffer any setbacks. Any recourse to specific supplements can only be made on medical advice.
Finally, the use of hair dyes during pregnancy is much debated. On the one hand, in fact, there are those who maintain that the products currently available are sufficiently safe to allow their use during gestation; on the other hand, however, there are those who claim the opposite, strongly discouraging hair coloring in pregnancy.
For the avoidance of doubt and, above all, to guarantee the health of the child, it is essential to always ask for the preventive advice of your doctor before resorting to this type of treatment.
As for the use of permanent or ironing (counter-permanent) treatments in pregnancy, however, the contraindication is absolute.