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There are many changes that occur when a woman is pregnant. While your belly grows and your bladder weakens, the hormones raging through your body while nurturing your next bundle of joy can cause havoc on your entire body. We often hear about post-partum shedding, and while scary it is a temporary problem. What we do not hear enough about is what is going on with our hair during pregnancy. There are noticeable changes, so let’s delve into what you may experience while carrying that bundle of joy.

1. It’s not really hair growth you are experiencing

While your hair may seem like it is getting thicker or growing faster, it actually is not. What’s really going on is higher levels of estrogen are prolonging the growth phase of your hair (hair is in one of the three stages of growth at any given time”>, and this results in less shedding.

2. Facial and body hair change, too

While your hair may appear fuller, there may be some hair sprouting in other places as well. Your facial and body hair may be growing faster while pregnant because of the increase in androgen hormones. Waxing, shaving or tweezing may be your only allies in this fight against facial and body hair, but know it is a temporary nuisance and they are all safe during pregnancy.

3. You may want to steer clear of lasers

Some women experience a lot of facial and body hair during pregnancy, and it can become unsightly and annoying. While permanent hair-removal techniques like laser and electrolysis are considered safe procedures during pregnancy, those hormones that cause excess pigmentation during pregnancy can also cause darkening of the skin after the hair removal procedures according to Nanette Silverberg, director of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt and Beth Israel Medical Centers in NYC. The good news is all that extra fuzziness should disappear within three to six months after your delivery. Do avoid bleaching creams and depilatories, as they can be absorbed into the skin.

4. The change continues after birth

The normal phase of hair loss (50 to 100 hairs a day shedding”> is delayed but once you deliver the baby, your hair returns to the normal cycle and the hair may end up falling out all at once.

Related: The Drastic Ways My Hair Changed After Pregnancy

How can I keep my hair healthy during pregnancy?

This is the right time to eat loads of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables to encourage healthy hair growth. Be super gentle with your hair, especially when wet, and avoid heat styling and tension hairstyles.

The biggest thing to remember is that the changes that are occurring to your hair and body during and after the baby are temporary. Within a few months a lot of what you were experiencing will dissipate and you will be back to semi-normal state. I say semi-normal because you are dealing with a newborn! That excess hair shedding is just your hair’s way of going back to its normal hair cycle that was delayed during pregnancy and that extra peach fuzz in unsightly places should be gone for good.

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