Pregnancy changes so many things about your body, most of which are openly talked about. Most women are well aware of the impending (and necessary) weight gain and the hormone fluctuations and the morning sickness, well before they make their first prenatal appointment or even pee on a pregnancy stick. But what about the other changes that are rarely mentioned? What about your hair? Because, yes, what pregnancy does to your hair is a little weird, and super interesting.
It might not seem like such a big or worthwhile change to mention, but when so much of your body is already going through awkward and sometimes confusing stages, and your whole life is being altered as you grow a human being inside of you, even something as small as the length or thickness of your hair can be extremely noticeable.
Luckily, even if your hair is doing some really odd stuff while you're pregnant, chances are it's all very normal. With the influx of hormones, even the rate at which your hair grows or falls out is altered, which is all a sign that your body is doing what it is supposed to and your baby is benefiting from the crazy and extraordinary things your body can do.
Here are five weird things that happen to your hair during pregnancy, because it doesn't hurt to know that even strange changes are normal changes (and yes, eventually it will all most likely go back to normal).
You Hair Grows Faster
When you're not pregnant, 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. When you're pregnant, however, your body experiences an influx of estrogen, and the extra hormones prolong the growth stage, causing your hair to grow longer much more quickly than normal.
Your Hair Grows Thicker
Pregnancy changes the growing, resting, and falling out phases your hair usually goes through. During pregnancy, your hair stays in "resting phase" longer, and doesn't fall out as often, making your hair thicker and fuller. So even though your strands aren't actually becoming thicker, a larger percentage of your hair is in a constant state of rest and you're losing less of it.
It Can Make Your Hair Curly Or Straight
Pregnancy changes the levels of estrogen in a woman's body, which can actually change the texture of your hair. If you have curly hair, you might see that your hair starts growing straight. If you have naturally straight hair, you might start growing curly hair! Hey, do you know what that kind of processing costs at a salon? Take it, girl. See how the other half lives.
You Get More Body Hair, Too
The hair on the top of your head isn't the only hair that experiences changes during pregnancy. An increase in a hormone called androgens can cause your facial and body hair to grow rapidly, as well. This means you might find hair on otherwise hairless places, like your stomach, your chest, your back, your chin and your upper lip.
Don't worry, it's normal and yes, once they're no longer pregnant, most people's body hair will go back to normal.
After Pregnancy, Your Hair Can Fall Out
After you give birth and your hormone levels start to decline, the stages your hair normally experiences start up again. All of the hair that was in the growing or resting phases, shift, and you start losing hair. Sometimes it is gradual but sometimes it is all at once (i.e., you'll freak out when you find large clumps of hair in your brush), but it is definitely normal. The shocking hair loss usually ends around your sixth postpartum month, and isn't a sign that you're malnourished. It's just a sign that your body is finding its neutral state again.
Images: Univeral Pictures; Giphy(5)