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

Why did my hair type change after pregnancy?


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! 



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.


I’m 62 years old and started life with fine pin straight hair. Didn’t matter what type of concoction was put in it, no curl would be held. Got pregnant at 37 and after birth at 38 my hair was thick and wavy. All through 2.5 years of breastfeeding had the best hair of my life. In my 40s it started to get a kink more than a wave. Now post menopause my hair dries after washing with a very wavy, almost kinky texture. Don’t love how it looks when it’s drying. Probably cuz it seems so foreign to how it’s always been. But once my hair is dry and I can brush it out it gives great body and when I put it up I can get a nice quick wave that holds and looks nice. Happy with the texture change over my life. Who knew? Until it happens to you it’s just an abstract possibility. Once your hair has changed you do have a different experience of wearing it and caring for it. Oh the wonders of hormones! And genetics. Interesting to read other people’s experiences as well.

M. Blain
M. Blain

I’m almost 7 years postpartum. I had wavy/curly hair that was hard to manage and after pregnancy it turned pin-straight and smooth and can’t hold a style to save my life. I never get frizz, even though I live in a humid environment. Even so I really miss my curls. I didn’t know this about hair and even though I find it interesting I’m kind of bummed I’ll never get them again.


I’ve had very thick & glossy poker straight hair my whole life. The kind of hair that wouldn’t hold a curl no matter how hard I tried. My first child has glossy straight hair just like mine, my second child appeared with beautiful ringlets which was very unexpected. But since her birth I’ve noticed that the hair on the back of my head is now wavy and dry. What’s weirder is that it appears to have affected the hair all the way down, not just the new growth. I’ve been trying to blow dry it straight but it just ends up looking frizzy and terrible so I guess I have to try and learn how to work with curls from now on. I absolutely hate my new hair but I’m reconciling it in my head with knowing that something in me resulted in my girls’ beautiful curls. Hopefully she loves her hair as she grows up!


I’m 42 years old and 4 years PP. Ive always had straight STRAIGHT hair and never was able to curl it and keep a curl in it. Ever. I had also always kept my hair longer, but as a result of it being longer, I tended to pull it up A LOT. Yesterday, I went to the salon after 2.5 years of not cutting (I wasn’t taking care of MY needs as a mom) and the hairdresser said “you’ve got some nice curl back here” and I was like “say what?” I got 15” cut off my hair. I guess it was weighing my new curls down. I thought the wave I felt was a result of always pulling my hair up. Like the hair tie bumps. Now it’s time to embrace my new hair, I suppose. I’m pretty excited 😍

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