Why does my hair look better when I'm pregnant ?

One of the most noticeable physical changes during your 9 months of pregnancy is your hair. Most expectant mothers enjoy luscious locks in tip-top shape. But why do so many pregnant women have great hair? Read on to find out!

For many expectant mothers, pregnancy appears to be a time of sheer bliss for their hair. Hair is stronger and shinier. Usually, the capillary cycle is made up of three stages1:

  • The anagen stage: the active growth period when the follicle bulb cells divide rapidly.
  • The catagen stage: the transitional stage when hair stops actively growing and separates from its follicle.
  • The telogen stage: the rest phase when the hair follicle goes into “sleep” mode, until the hair falls out.

But this doesn’t take into account the fact that pregnancy disrupts this pattern. Hormonal imbalance is one of the main causes of disruption to the hair’s normal life cycle.

Hormones during pregnancy

Hair loss slows down during pregnancy so your hair gets thicker. This is due to an increase in various hormones (progesterone, oestrogen, prolactin)2. These stimulate the growth (anagen) stage of the hair. As a result, hair lasts longer.

Some expectant mothers notice this change in their hair as early as the first few months of pregnancy. The effects are temporary3, however, as after pregnancy the amount of oestrogen drops back to normal and the rate of hair loss goes back to normal.

So even if Mother Nature has given you a helping hand for nine months, you should make sure you continue to look after your hair once baby arrives. Read our tips on how to avoid hair loss after pregnancy.

1Alonso,L. ; et al. (2006)
2Mirallas O, Grimalt R. ; et al. (2016)
3Piérard-Franchimont C, Piérard GE. ; et al. (2013)