Why did my hair type change after pregnancy? - Baby Blues

Why did my hair type change after pregnancy?

25 comments

Straight to suddenly curly? Formerly the queen of curls and now left with a limp wave?  Hair texture change can happen during or after pregnancy - and tbh no one is really talking about it so, what gives?

For all of my life I had straight hair. I embraced it, I loved it actually.  When pin straight locks hit the runways when I was in high school I felt right on trend.

Sure I still owned a straightener, and if it rained I would get a slight wave going -but by all accounts my hair was straight.  

Fast forward to my first pregnancy, and my hair thickened.  I was on the pregnancy "good hair ride".  Thick + shiny hair, and I was loving it.  

Then, towards the end - maybe month 8 I noticed my hair was becoming harder to manage. 

Soon after delivery my hair became increasingly dry with a distinct wave to it. I thought it was weird, but honestly didn't give it too much thought as it wasn't too drastic a difference.

When my sister called me this past year asking if straight hair to curly after pregnancy was a thing (not asking for a friend), I started to wonder... was it a thing?

 

Why does hair change from straight to curly?

An interesting piece of information about curly hair, is that the gene for straight hair is recessive- but curly hair isn't completely dominant.

 Meaning: you could have the curly gene, but until its activated your waves and curls would be dormant too. 

Ok.. so my sister could have been living with a curly hair gene and it just hadn't activated for 30+ years... so what activated it?

The most likely reasons why hair changes and a gene suddenly stops being dormant:  Hormones.  Along with hormones: stress and aging are culprits of texture and quality change. 

Hormones can affect not only the strands, but muscles- that includes the scalp (the occipitofrontalis muscle moves up the scalp and eyebrows).

As muscle tone changes it can affect the shape of your hair follicles and their direction of growth. Wild, I know!  Straight hair follicles grow straight out but curly hair follicles have a hook shape.

With hormones as the culprit hair changes often occur in women at several points in their life: puberty, pregnancy/post pregnancy, and menopause. 

 

My hair type changed, so now what?  

So is the change permanent? Yes, possibly.  You may find yourself embracing a new hair type long term. Should you switch out your smoothing shampoo for curl control?  You may want to have a chat with your stylist. 

That said, many of the texture changes that occur postpartum are temporary. 

Oily scalp? Ultra dry, breaking, and thin locks? Those are more likely from nutritional deficiencies, stress,  and sudden drop of estrogen/hormones. 

In fact many moms who reported their curls had relaxed and hair had dried out were able to restore their strands significantly with ensuring they were getting the right vitamins for hair and restoring hydration. 

 

Give it some time:

Postpartum hair loss along with texture changes and new growth can take some time to resolve.

When moms continue taking their baby blues vitamins and make healthy lifestyle choices that reflect maintaining/increasing iron levels in foods and limiting stress as much as possible; many moms experience the regrowth phenomenon where lots of hair grows back at the same time.

In fact with so many hairs sticking up, your hair may appear frizzy. 

As you support your hair growth, this typically resolves itself by a year postpartum; but for plenty of women it can take longer.

If your new hair texture be it curly, wavy, or straight persists beyond a year postpartum, its likely here to stay and embracing the result of dormant genes would be the way to go to keep it at its healthiest. 

We would love to hear in the comments if any hair texture change has occurred with you! 

 

25 comments

Fanny Lu
Fanny Lu

This is crazy! I had straight/slightly wavy hair my whole life, and about 3 years after having my son, I realized my hair was different: the bottom layers have defined curls while the top layer is straightish! I am now fighting to get the top layer to curl a little so my whole head looks better but I do miss my old hair…

Isabelle
Isabelle

I am 11 months PP and my new growth is extremely unruly and frizzy. I’ve tried it all – deep conditioning, protein treatment, gel – nothing can penetrate my edges! It’s wild. I have curly 3c hair – preferably straighten it but wear the curls sometimes. After my first baby – I have been wanting to wear my hair curly more often since when I straighten it, it looks terrible! Its refreshing to see that many other women are experiencing similar issues. Even tho I would rather have some of your problems then this mess! Lol anywho – a perfect challenge to start my hair journey to curls and match my curly baby.

Kiara I
Kiara I

The same exact thing happened to me! I’ve always had straight hair throughout my years. It wouldn’t even curl with a curling iron; that’s how straight my hair was. With my first pregnancy my hair began to change after my 1 year postpartum. My daughter was born with curly hair, her dad has curly hair. My hair curls and I’m loving every minute of it!

Peggy
Peggy

I also had very straight hair all of my life until the birth of my 3rd child at 36. As my hair grew people kept asking me if I got a perm. I had not. I did not know what to do with it so I just blew dried it out and thought I just had alot of body. I started watching Youtube videos and started using products and now wear it curly. I have 3a/b curls and am now enjoying it. I am in my 60’s now and it has remained curly. My hairdresser said hormones can change the texture of your hair and she sees it all the time.

Christie Cooley
Christie Cooley

My hair has been curly my whole life. Especially in the summer humidity. But now it is barely curling, more just frizzy waving. I am so sad. I miss my hair! My daughter is almost 11 months.

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