Hair Growth in Pregnancy
You’ve probably noticed a change in your hair since you got pregnant. If you’re one of the lucky ones, this means that your hair is shinier, thicker and more lustrous than ever. For others, this could mean that your hair is actually duller and more lifeless than before. While still for other women, they
couldn’t care less about the hair on their head; they’re concerned about all this new hair growing all over their body and have already started collecting laser hair removal brochures!
So why the new hair? If you answered "Hormones!" to that question, then you can go to the front of the class. Like so many pregnancy symptoms, including morning sickness and acne, increased hair growth can be chalked up to the amplified production of various hormones in your body.
Normally, your hair goes between an active growing phase and a resting phase. At any one time, about 90% of the hair on your head is actively growing at a rate of about half an inch a month for two to six years. The remaining 10% are in a resting phase where they will stay for two to three months before falling out.
During pregnancy, though, the increase in hormones causes more of your hair to enter into the resting phase, resulting in the appearance of thicker hair. For many women, this is a wonderful thing as they finally have the hair they have always dreamed of. Yet, for others, this extra production of hormones not only increases the amount of hair on their head, but also causes a bout of excessive hair growth.
Generally, this extra hair shows up on your face: above the lip and on the chin and cheeks. However, it can also appear on your breasts, back, stomach and arms. Understandably, those women who have this type of extra hair growth in pregnancy can become quite self-conscious of it.
Should I Worry?
As alarming as it can be to find hair growing in places you’d rather it didn’t grow, usually there is nothing to worry about. While excessive hair growth in pregnancy is similar to hirsutism, it is not the same disorder.