Guide To Black Hair Care During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or planning to be, there can be a lot of questions surrounding taking care of your natural hair. What hairstyles are okay to do? Are the chemicals from dyes and relaxers bad for the baby? Or just how does pregnancy affect one's natural hair?
There's a lot to think about, but we've come up with the best what to expect when you're expecting guide to Black hair.
How Pregnancy Affects Natural Hair
Just like everything else going on with your body, your hair changes while pregnant. It's common to experience all different kinds of changes from excess shedding to rapidly growing hair.
Pregnancy affects each person differently. Just because your friend experienced one thing, it doesn't mean you'll experience the same. But, there's a general guideline of what happens to Black hair while pregnant. Oftentimes people experience:
- Hair growth
- Hair loss
- Thicker hair
- Thinner hair
- Texture change
When searching about hair experiences while pregnant, you'll see stories of women boasting about how their hair was in the best shape possible because of their hormones. Other times you'll read about horror stories of women who experienced significant hair loss and thinning hair. And sometimes there are women who experience textural changes to their hair, like more kinks and curls.
None of these changes are guaranteed to happen to you, but it's important to know the possibilities of what's to come.
Can I Wash Black Hair during Pregnancy?
Yes, you can wash Black hair during pregnancy. It's really important to keep up with regular maintenance like washing and trimming your hair. You can wash your hair once a week or once every two weeks, but make sure to stick to a routine. Wash, detangle, condition, and moisturize your hair and scalp each time.
You normally don't have to change out your normal hair care products when you become pregnant. But if you suffer from scalp eczema and use dandruff shampoo, consult with your doctor to see if you can still use it. Sometimes medicated shampoos are not okay to use, and they can offer an alternative.
Can I Color My Hair During Pregnancy?
It is always best to consult your doctor before deciding to use any chemicals when pregnant. As far as coloring your hair, there are mixed opinions on if you should or shouldn't do it. There simply isn't enough research to come to a conclusive answer.
Generally, doctors advise against any colors or dyes during the first trimester since the baby is much more sensitive during this time. After that, you can color your hair like normal!
Is there a Safe Way to Color Hair while Pregnant?
There's little to no evidence that the dye will directly harm your baby. While there are pores in the scalp that can absorb the dye, there's not much of a chance of these chemicals can reach your baby.
To be cautious, you can ask for your stylist to use dyes that don't contain little to no ammonia. You can also request for them to use an off the scalp technique. This will minimize the risk of any adverse reactions to the dye.
Be mindful that dyes can trigger allergic reactions or irritate the skin. Pregnancy changes the way your body reacts to certain things, so even if you have tried a specific dye before, it can still cause a reaction. To limit any negative reaction, you can do a skin test patch. Place some of the dye on part of your skin and let it sit for a while to see if your body reacts. If it doesn't, then you are safe to color your hair!
Is it Safe to Use Hair Relaxer during Pregnancy?
Similar to dyes, there is no definitive research that using relaxers while pregnant will harm your baby. With so many relaxers containing harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, it's best to err on the side of caution and let your natural hair shine.
As always, consult with your OBGYN before making a decision to use a relaxer or not. They may be able to recommend one that they deem safe.
How Can I Take Care of My Hair During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, it can be difficult to have to style your hair often. You can become tired easily or don't feel like putting in the time to maintain your hair. Luckily, with the right protective style, you can have beautiful and well-kept hair without the hassle of styling often. Here are some styles we recommend:
- Box braids
- Crochet braids
- Pineapple bun
- Twists (two-strand, kinky, etc)
- Wash-n- go
Remember that some women experience hair loss throughout and after pregnancy, so when picking a protective style make sure that the hair isn't pulled too tight. This can cause traction alopecia, and if you are already losing hair in your pregnancy, it can make you lose more.
Regular maintenance of your hair is super important in keeping it healthy. Try to get a trim every 3-4 months or when you notice severe split ends. We know that wanting to keep that length is important to some, but regular trims will help the hair stay stronger and grow longer.
Your diet may have already changed since your pregnancy started, which is good. It's best to provide your body with all the nutrients that it needs during this time. A diet rich in omega-3s, which includes fish and nuts, can promote hair growth.
You also need to make sure that you are taking your prenatal vitamins and any other vitamins that your OBGYN has recommended for you to take.
It's the tale as old as time, your natural hair needs moisture. Which means you need to stay hydrated throughout the pregnancy. It can be a bit uncomfortable especially because more water means having to go pee even more than usual. But drinking water is super important for your and your baby's health. Make sure to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Postpartum Natural Hair
Your hair changes with pregnancy and can be different after it. It's very common to experience hair loss after pregnancy, so don't worry if your hair is shedding more than usual.
As mentioned earlier, your texture can change and this can be a short or long-term experience. Some women experience more frizz and feel that their hair is more coarse. This is completely normal, and with regular maintenance, your hair can return to normal.
Some women's hair becomes straighter or curlier after pregnancy, and others' hair becomes lighter. These types of changes can be permanent or just for a few months. Only time will tell how your pregnancy has truly changed your hair.
The most important thing is to continue taking your vitamins and following a healthy diet for your recovery. You may also need to re-learn your hair and what products it likes or dislikes. After pregnancy is a transition period to new beginnings for your life and your hair. Make sure to get yourself back on the right hair care path with Allurium Beauty's hair care serum specifically designed to help hair growth for black women.