One of the most common side effects of pregnancy is faster hair growth, which is typically caused by the surge of hormones during this time. More specifically, one of the main reasons that pregnancy and hair growth often go together is the increase of progesterone. Another likely reason for the increase of hair during pregnancy is the fact that most women take prenatal vitamins, which can make the body healthier in general, resulting in thicker hair. The sudden growth of hair is not limited to the head, as many women notice more hair elsewhere on their body, as well.
Estrogen can speed up the growth of hair, and this hormone usually increases during pregnancy. Progesterone, however, is the hormone that makes the most impact when it comes to pregnancy and hair growth, as it tends to rise steadily just after conception. The surge of this hormone can cause the hair to enter its resting phase, encouraging each strand to stay longer on the head before falling out. Not only can this result in thick hair, but it can also lead to growth of hair on the lips, cheeks, and chin, though it can show up nearly anywhere else on the body, as well. The positive association between pregnancy and hair growth can also equate to an increase in existing hair, such as the follicles on the legs and arms, making it necessary to shave or wax more often than usual.
Another reason for pregnancy and hair growth to occur at the same time is the addition of prenatal vitamins to the diet. Pregnant women who take these, ingest more protein than usual, which can help hair grow. In particular, vitamin B complex, iron, and vitamin E are all known for helping to increase hair thickness, and these are often included in prenatal pills.
Hormones like progesterone tend to return to normal levels once the pregnancy ends, which also means that the hair growth is reduced greatly during the postpartum period in most cases. In fact, not only do pregnancy and hair growth often end around the same time, but the hair may start to fall out quickly after the baby is born. The return of normal hormone levels causes the resting phase of the hair to end, and this phase during pregnancy and hair growth is naturally followed by shedding. Though this can scare many new mothers, it should be known that this hair loss is considered normal, as the hormones gradually balance out, which usually takes about six months.