WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MY HAIR AND NAILS?
When you’re pregnant, your fingernails and toenails are likely to become stronger than they’ve been before and you may find that they grow very fast! This is caused by pregnancy hormones and increased circulation. Some women, however, find the opposite: their fingernails may split and break more easily.
NAIL AND HAIRCARE TIPS
• Keep fingernails short and wear rubber gloves when washing up and for any other household work! Apply hand lotion regularly and nail strengthener weekly. • While you’re pregnant your hair may be in peak condition, thanks perhaps to the pregnancy hormones. But not all women experience this “crowning glory” sensation. • If your hair becomes fragile, avoid perms, relaxers, harsh chemicals and colourings for a while. Use sulphate-free products, and gentle combs and brushes. Avoid tight hairstyles that can pull at the scalp and break your hair. Speak to your hairdresser for advice. Concentrate on a good cut and use gentle shampoos and rich conditioners or oils to keep it in the best condition possible. • Contrary to myth, pregnancy doesn’t affect the results you get from having a perm. But because haircare products are among the many products that have not been tested sufficiently to determine whether they’re safe during pregnancy, you may want to hold off on a perm or dye job, at least until after the first trimester. • Many women find that their face shape changes during pregnancy. Because of this you may want to have your hair cut into a new style, especially if fluid retention causes your face to seem rounder. • Your hair is also affected by your diet. Many haircare professionals comment that they see a dramatic improvement in hair during pregnancy, due to the fact that the mother is taking prenatal vitamins. • A real treat is finding a therapist who offers Indian head massage. Not only is this good for your head and hair, it’s relaxing. A lot of tension is carried in the scalp. • While pregnancy often makes your hair thick and lustrous, the postpartum period can be a shock to many moms who find chunks of hair falling out when they brush and wash their hair. Don’t stress. This condition has a name! It’s called telogen effluvium or postpartum hair loss, and about 50 percent of women will experience this after birth. It happens because the high levels of pregnancy hormones that stopped you from losing your hair now drop to prepregnancy levels and the hair that should have fallen out (naturally) now falls out all in one go! This is an interim condition and your hair should be back to its normal thickness and texture within 12 months.