10 Hair care tips for expecting moms

Aug 24, 2009 at 5:44 a.m. ET

With pregnancy, everything changes. And you can expect changes with your hair too. You'll see thicker, shinier hair and it may even change from straight to curly or vice versa. Here, we've got 10 hair care tips for expecting moms to ease the journey for you.

Pregnant woman with hairstyleWait out the first trimester

If you're thinking about dyeing or cutting your hair, be sure to wait out the first trimester. Your hormones can change your hair to be curlier, oilier and even grayer. It's best to know exactly what type of hair you'll be dealing with.

Avoid chemical processing

Your hormones during pregnancy can change your hair. So if you normally put your hair through chemical processing like perms or relaxers, it's best to abstain while pregnant. Since your hair has changed, you won't know what results you'll get.

Rethink that haircut

While your thicker, shinier hair may get you excited to try that certain style you've always wanted, keep in mind your hair will go back to its natural state a few months after you've given birth. It actually appears thicker because it's falling out slower than normal but you'll begin to lose that hair at a normal rate again so keep that in mind when choosing your new style.

If dry, deep condition

If your hair is already dry, it may become drier with the hormonal changes. To combat this try weekly deep conditioning treatments and hot oil treatments once a month. Also, try to skip a day or a few in between shampooing as this just further dries hair out.

If oily, change your brush

Just the same as your hair may become drier during pregnancy, it can also get oilier too. When in the shower, only apply conditioner to the ends to untangle and don't use every day. You can also switch your brush to one with wood or nylon bristles. A natural bristle brush simulates oil production on the scalp and your hair may not need the added oil anymore.

Yes, you can dye your hair

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says hair dyes are probably safe to use during pregnancy. The one caveat, however, is to avoid during the first trimester. Some doctors still advocate against dyeing the hair so consult your physician to see how he/she feels about it first.

For DIY hair dye

If you do decide to dye your hair since pregnancy can bring about more grays, make sure you wear gloves, rinse thoroughly and stay in a well-ventilated area so you aren't inhaling too many chemicals.

Try highlights

If you don't want to run the risk of getting your whole hair dyed, try highlighting or frosting instead. Since the dye isn't directly applied to the scalp, less is absorbed into the body. Again, wait until after the first trimester.

Read the labels

Many women turn to vegetable dyes as an alternative during pregnancy. Just be sure to read the label because many vegetable dyes contain chemicals too.

Talk to your stylist

Pregnancy can cause curly hair to go straight, straight hair to go curly and can even make your scalp drier or oilier. If you're frustrated with how to handle your new locks, talk to your stylist about the best products and a way to deal with your hair.

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