Hair and Nail Changes During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your hormone levels will change and vary and these hormones will also affect how your hair and your nails grow.

All women will respond to these hormone changes differently and while some may notice their hair is growing more quickly and is stronger than usual, some women will find their hair is drier or more oily.  Many women feel that their hair becomes thicker during pregnancy although in reality this is normally because pregnant women lose their hair more slowly.  When a hair stops growing, it rests on your head until it naturally falls out and is replaced by new growth, every day women lose about 100 hairs which is then replaced.  However, the higher levels of oestrogen during pregnancy prolongs the growth phase of each hair meaning that less falls out and making it look thicker.  Unfortunately, these changes are not permanent and most of this hair will be lost postpartum or after breastfeeding ends.

Some women may discover that hair is growing in unwanted places including on the face, on your stomach or around their nipples.  You may want to remove some of these stray hairs and you can safely wax, shave or use tweezers to do so but it is best to avoid the use of chemicals, bleaches or depilatories as these could be absorbed into your bloodstream.  This unwanted hair should naturally go after postpartum or once you have stopped breastfeeding.

The varying hormones in your body can also affect your nails.  Some women find that their nails grow faster and are stronger and harder, however, some women find their nails become softer and more brittle.  Again, these changes are temporary and will return to normal after you give birth but it is a good idea to regularly moisturise your nails, keep them short and neat and protect them when using chemicals and cleaning products by wearing gloves.


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