Scalp Care For Preggers

Even if your pregnancy is not as glamorous as you imagined it to be, your hair will definitely add to the style quotient. Yes, the luscious mane is one of those pregnancy specialties you’ll love. But like all good things, these good hair days will come to an end, unless you take care. Rashmi Ullas reveals handy hair care tips for the special nine months and after.

The Glorious Hair Days

Normally, hair growth is classified into three phases - active growth, resting, and shedding. During pregnancy, the hormones coursing through your body will slightly shift the hair cycle, so it grows or stays on your head for longer giving you longer and thicker looking hair.

Sometimes, the texture changes too and the hair might become more or less curly during or after pregnancy. The exact reason for this is not known, but some experts believe that pregnancy hormones can alter the shape of hair follicles and thus influences the shape of your hair.

Postpartum Hair Fall

This streak of good-hair days does not last beyond the 9 months and there will be excessive hair fall soon after the baby is born. The hair fall over the next three to six months can be extremely dramatic and traumatising. But these bad hair days will also come to an end too and your hair will get back to normal.

While you enjoy the healthy hair days, it is important to care for your mane, so it remains in the best shape before the shedding begins. Here’s what you can do to keep the glow on.

Deep condition your dry hair

Some women have dry hair and it may become drier with hormonal changes. You can overcome this problem by using deep conditioning treatments once every week and hot oil treatments every month. Shampooing dries the hair out more quickly, so you can try and skip a day or a few between the shampooing to avoid excessive hair drying.

Change your brush if your hair gets too oily

Just like how the hair gets drier for some pregnant women, it could get oily for some others. Women with oily hair should use conditioning sparingly and only on the tips of the hair. Switching to a wood or nylon bristles brush could help because a natural bristle brush simulates oil production on the scalp.

Avoid chemical processing

The absorption rates of chemicals used in the hair treatments such as dyeing, highlighting, perming, or hair relaxers are not very well known. That’s why there are mixed opinions about using these hair products and treatments. It is therefore best to avoid hair treatments, especially in the first trimester.

However, if you need to keep up your appearance for professional reasons, it is good to use a natural dye and getting highlights instead of dyeing the entire hair.

The greys could be covered by dyes like henna, which are more natural. Keratin hair-straightening treatments should also be avoided during pregnancy as they contain harmful formaldehyde.

It is best to avoid chemical treatments during pregnancy, but if you need to style your hair, you should -
• Consider treatments after the first trimester
• Use a well-ventilated area for your treatment
• Avoid leaving the chemicals on your hair for too long
• Rinse the scalp thoroughly with water after treatment
• Always wear gloves when applying the products

Wait to get a haircut

You tend to see a lot of changes in the hair texture and appearance in the first trimester; the hormones tend to make your hair curlier, oilier or even greyer. That’s why some hair experts recommend waiting out the first trimester before dyeing or cutting your hair. You will know the exact type of hair you’ll be dealing with after the initial hormone surge has settled.

Continue your hair products

There is generally no need to change the shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, gel, mousse, or blow-dry and curling iron you’ve been using before pregnancy. If you are overwhelmed with the aromas in your current hair-care products, you can shift to a fragrance-free version.

Some women are prescribed anti-dandruff shampoos and may need to change their shampoo. As a rule of thumb, it is always good to check if your hair products are safe to use during pregnancy. Some medicated shampoos and cortisone shampoos are not approved for use in pregnancy.

The Expert Recommendation

1. Condition your hair after every wash and use a conditioner that suits your current hair type - normal, oily or dry. If your hair still lacks lustre, try products that help in deep conditioning.

2. Always eat a balanced, nutritious diet that contains plenty of fruits, nuts, vegetables (like carrots and beans) and fish. Hair loss increases with the deficiency of proteins, zinc and biotin and you’ll need a nutritious diet to fulfil these dietary needs.

3. Massage your scalp before a wash and use only lukewarm (not too hot or cold) water to rinse. Massaging the hair and using lukewarm water stimulates blood circulation of your scalp and improves the health of your hair.

4. You should not over-brush your hair because the hard bristles can cause entanglement and hair loss. Also, you should avoid brushing or combing wet hair, as it will be in its weakest form when wet and become more prone to damage.

5. Switch to natural colouring agents like Henna to dye the hair. You can improve the hair health by regular trimming of split ends.

Hair loss after birth?

Many women suffer from hair loss, especially after childbirth. This happens due to hormonal changes. During pregnancy, women experience an increase of hormones which prevents hair fall. After birth, hormone levels return to normal. Hence, sudden hair fall may occur. Dr. Wolff Research found that caffeine is effective in countering growth suppression and have specially developed a Nutri-Caffeine Complex for women over 21 to protect their hair roots from premature exhaustion. It’s an effective solution that will give hair roots the energy boost they desperately lack, if you use the Plantur 21 shampoo regularly. Just leave it on the scalp for 2 minutes so the Nutri-Caffeine Complex can penetrate into your hair roots. Start hair loss prevention early. Recharge your hair roots with Plantur 21 today!

For more information, visit www.plantur21.sg. Available in selected Watsons, Guardian, Unity, NHG pharmacies and independent pharmacies as well as NTUC Fairprice, Cold Storage and Giant.