A woman’s pregnancy is a wonderfully exciting time, full of changes to both one’s life and body. These are the most unexpected beauty surprises that come along with being pregnant.
Why pregnancy affects hair and skin so dramatically
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“During pregnancy, a woman’s body experiences very sudden and dramatic changes as a result of the increase in the hormones estrogen and progesterone,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery. One of those is that glorious (though far from universal) pregnancy glow, which might have you sporting an extra bounce in your step. But there are some less-appealing changes too. “Most moms-to-be expect the signs of pregnancy they’ve heard before like bigger breasts and fatigue, but are totally in the dark when it comes to the other symptoms that can wreak havoc on—or work wonders for—their appearance,” says Joel Schlessinger, MD, board certified dermatologist and RealSelf advisor. Here’s the scoop on the pretty and not-so-pretty perks of being preggo and what you can expect to experience in terms of pregnancy skin care while baby’s cooking. You can safely ignore these pregnancy myths.
Thick, shiny hair
Hurray! You may notice that your hair looks fuller and shinier than it did pre-pregnancy. “This is again thanks to your pregnancy hormones, which slow down the rate of hair loss, making your locks seem thicker and more voluminous,” says Dr. Engelman. As much as 95 percent of your hair can be growing during pregnancy, but then after delivery, you can expect much of that hair to shed. “Once your hormones return to normal, there’s a shedding process of everything your body worked so hard to build up during pregnancy—hair growth included,” says Engelman. Try a dietary supplement that contains biotin, vitamin C and a blend of amino acids to help your hair become stronger, healthier, and more vibrant.
Extra body hair
The flip side to long, lustrous hair: when it grows in unwanted places, like your abdomen, face, nipples and (yep!) even your backside. But don’t make a waxing appointment (if you can stand it) just yet—this extra hair growth is only temporary and should ease up around six months postpartum. “It’s completely safe to wax, shave, or use electrolysis during pregnancy, so at least you have some options if the hairiness is getting to you,” says Dr. Engelman. Read about the truths no one tells you about giving birth.