(Don't worry—nonalcoholic bubbily of course!)
Pregnancy and post-pregnancy can bring the best of times and the worst of times when it comes to your hair and skin. Enjoy the changes you like, and try to remember that the less-than-desirable changes are usually only temporary.
Hair Highs and Lows
During pregnancy, you may discover that your hair has never looked or felt better. You might also notice that you aren't shedding as much hair. This is great news (especially for those of us with thin hair) because it means thicker, stronger hair. When I was pregnant with twins, I loved my hair. It was thick and shiny, and it grew very quickly. Because of this, I took the opportunity to finally grow my hair long.
If you color your hair regularly, you will want to ask your OB/GYN about continuing with color during your pregnancy. My opinion as a hairstylist is to wait until your second trimester. (That's what I did.) By that time, your nose won't be as sensitive to the smells and your scalp won't be as sensitive to the chemicals. If you can't live with the gray or dark roots and decide to color your hair, do not wash it on the day of your service—this will allow your natural oils to work as a protective barrier on your scalp.
Other hair color options include highlights and semi-permanent color. With highlights, the only thing you need to worry about is sensitivity to smell (since the product does not come in contact with your scalp). A semi-permanent color has no ammonia and therefore will not have a strong smell or cause any sensitivity on your skin.
Now for the bad news: You probably won't be too happy with your hair post-pregnancy. Remember how you weren't shedding much hair while you were pregnant? Well, all the hair that didn't fall out then may fall out after you have the babies. (On average, we shed about a hundred strands a day!)
Most women will start to shed either soon after delivery or a month or two after they stop breast-feeding. During this time, make sure you are getting regular trims. This will keep your hair looking healthy, and you can pick up some styling tips and products from your hairstylist. I started shedding a lot of hair when my twin girls were about 8 months old. My hair began looking stringy and dull, so I cut it short and loved the change!
Every pregnancy is different. Some women will break out more, while others will just glow. I have been pregnant three times and have experienced both ends of the spectrum. My advice is to drink plenty of water. This will help you in many ways during pregnancy, but it will be especially helpful in maintaining healthy skin.
If you are using any acne medication on your skin, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. You might have to put it on hold for a while. If you're lucky, you might find that during pregnancy your skin is much better anyway!
Waxing while you are pregnant can be tricky. Your skin is much more sensitive, so be sure to go to a professional. Ask your aesthetician to do a test patch to make sure your skin can handle it. You might experience more sensitivity and in some cases bruising. For my first pregnancy, I had my bikini area waxed a week before delivery—it was not a pretty sight, not to mention very painful. For my next pregnancy, I just shaved (well, with help).
Some women will find that they develop dark spots on their face during pregnancy. Sometimes there is no avoiding the spots—they are just another side effect of your raging hormones. But you may be able to minimize them by avoiding sun exposure. I can't stress enough how important it is to use sunblock every day. If you are going to be outside, protect your skin and especially your face by wearing a hat in addition to using sunblock. When I was pregnant, I used a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30. You'll be pleased to know that those dark spots will usually go away post-pregnancy.
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