There’s no doubt that pregnancy affects every aspect of your life. From obvious physical changes, to mood swings, to “mom brain,” hormones run your world. One thing I did not expect them to impact, however, was my curl pattern.
My hair actually went through quite a lot during pregnancy, even before the shift in shape. While most women experience the joys of thick, long hair, mine starting falling out while I was pregnant. I had a difficult pregnancy and was on modified bed rest from about 16 weeks on. Stress, combined with the fact that I had no energy to regularly wash or brush my hair, led to hair loss (IMO). But even through this period, my curl pattern remained intact.
It wasn’t until I had my son that I noticed the change in my hair. It stopped falling out pretty soon after delivery and I regained some thickness. But now it was slightly straighter.
My hair has always been straight/wavy at the root, and then curls into big ringlets the longer it gets. After I had my son, my hair was nearly waist length, but I’d lost the ringlets; it just fell in waves all the way down.
I thought it might have been the length weighing it down, so I cut it into a bob. I regained a bit of my previous bounce, but it still wasn’t as curly as it had once been. So I researched to learn why.
Turns out, no one really knows (though the article, “Pregnancy made me lose my curls,” was helpful.) There hasn’t been a ton of research on the subject of texture change in relation to pregnancy. I did, however, learn this interesting fact: hair texture is determined by the shape of your hair follicle. The rounder the follicle, the straighter your hair. The more oval-shaped or flatter, the curlier.
This basically means that hormones reshaped the hair follicles under my skin. What?!?! I swear, hormones can move mountains.
I cut my hair into a pixie before waiting to see if my curl pattern returned. Now that I’m growing the pixie out again, it will be interesting to see what has happened. There is some curl happening but again, it takes a little bit of length to see the true texture of my hair. I hope I can avoid the scissors for the next few months. :-O
Despite my proclamation here that I was done with long hair, I’ve decided to grow out this mane just a bit. Truth is, I miss my curls.
I’d always planned to grow it out again once my son was older and I had a little more time for me; I just didn’t know when that moment would come. Well… it’s here. Not that I have a ton of extra time; more like just enough to focus on my hair again. I’m ready to play in my curls again.
Mind you, this ain’t my first rodeo. This is the third time I’ve cut my hair into a pixie and grown it out. The last time I grew it back to waist-length. I don’t have that much time on my hands, so I’m thinking somewhere between my chin and shoulders, big and curly.
While it’s never easy to get through the “awkward” stage, particularly with naturally curly hair, there are a couple of lessons I’ve learned that will help facilitate the growth process. Here they are:
1) Little to No Heat
If you’ve been rocking a short cut that you have to straighten, this is going to be a hard one. But it’s a critical time to eliminate any potential damage from heat tools. Also, you want to start coaxing out your natural curl pattern again. Now, the reason I said little to no heat is because, depending on the health of your hair, you may be able to get away with straightening it once in a while. If you question whether or not you should… don’t.
2) No Bleach
I’m all for rocking a lighter look (I’ve done it several times), but hold off until your hair can at least swing. By its very nature, bleach damages hair, and damaged hair won’t grow as fast. (If your hair is already bleached, see my post on caring for chemically lightened curls. I’d also suggest dying it close to your natural hair color so your roots aren’t as noticeable.)
3) Maintain a Shape
The dreaded mullet. It doesn’t have to happen, folks! At its shortest, my latest pixie was at most 2-3 inches long (yes, I went all the way Halle). To maintain a shape throughout the grow-out period, I opted to let the front grow long, and maintain a closely cut back and sides for a few months. This is how my hair looked best in its naturally curly state. You could also opt for a more rounded grow-out cut, like IG influencer @aimskyy, which is just as beautiful. It just takes knowing your natural curl pattern and how your hair lays best (remember, you’re not manipulating it with heat anymore, so work with what you’ve got).
4) Definition Over Volume
When my hair is longer, I want it big. Frizz be damned! But that just doesn’t work when my hair is only six inches long. Remember, we’re still maintaining a specific shape. When it’s growing out, I opt for definition and frizz control over volume. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel remains a favorite product for this reason. I’m still searching for the perfect leave-in though. Since my hair is shorter, it requires a much lighter leave-in conditioner. More on that in another post.
5) Stimulate Your Roots
Get that blood circulating and those natural oils flowing with a good scalp massage. Combine that with a hot oil treatment of your choice and you’re golden. While I’ve been slacking in the hot oil department, I give my scalp a good massage every time I wash my hair, which is about twice a week these days.
6) Deep Condition
If you have naturally curly hair and you’ve done any research on healthy hair maintenance, you know you can’t skip this step. It’s no different with short hair. Keep those follicles soft and flexible and prevent breakage with regular deep treatments. Go for conditioners and masques with quality, natural ingredients that your hair can absorb. Ideally, give yourself a treatment every week or two, no less than once a month. I suggest leaving a deep conditioner on for at least 30 minutes under a heat cap like this one, or use a steamer.
7) Protect Your Hair at Night
Prevent frizz and drying of hair at night by sleeping in a satin bonnet or on a satin pillowcase, or wrapping your hair in a satin scarf. When I first starting growing out my hair, I’d wash it, add a leave-in, sculpt it to my head, and put a scarf on it to sleep. I woke up with shiny, big waves that I’d just adjust with my fingers. Now that my hair has grown a bit, this technique flattens my hair too much. Lately I’ve just been using a satin pillowcase. I can’t wait until I can pineapple again!
There’s no silver bullet to hair growth. It’s all about making sure your hair is as healthy as possible. Following the seven steps above will help your hair grow faster, but there is no replacement for patience. Plus, there are so many short curly cuts you can rock while your hair is growing – try to enjoy the journey.
Living in New Orleans, Florida is my go-to destination when I’m in need of a good dose Vitamin D or a quick escape. I’ve travelled all over the state, though most of my visits have been concentrated on the Emerald Coast.
Since I now have family that live on the Atlantic side, we’ve been venturing there a few times a year. We’ve just returned from a week’s reprieve to Florida’s Space Coast, and I have to say, it was stunning.
While the Atlantic surf is always rougher than its Gulf counterpart, the farther south you get on the Atlantic barrier islands (closer to Miami), the water becomes a gorgeous shade of aqua blue, and the sand so fine.
Barrier Island Sanctuary
My husband and I were with our 3-year old son, so of course 99 percent of the trip was geared to him. We discovered some wonderful things to keep us all occupied, including:
Florida’s Space Coast is only an hour’s drive from Orlando, but we’ve decided not to take our kid to the big attractions (i.e. Disney World) until he asks. For now, he’s just like his parents – the beach is his ultimate playground.
Have you been to Florida’s Space Coast? Did you love it?
Hi everyone – it’s been a while, so I’m just checking in. In the past year or two I really haven’t had much to blog about in the way of hair care. After my son was born, I cut my waist-length hair into a curly bob. Then about a year ago, I chopped it all off into a pixie. And I have to say – I have been LOVING it short. Washing my hair takes five minutes. I usually put some leave-in conditioner in, put a scarf on it, and let it dry overnight. Then I either leave it curly/wavy or hit it with a flat iron.
My hair care routine is nearly non-existent, except for more frequent trips to the hairdresser. But this is exactly what I need at this time in my life. I’m a mom to a toddler and work full time. Short hair has given me the freedom to be stylish in seconds. And those few occasions where I just really need to wash my hair, I throw on a scarf. So easy. Oh, and hair products last forever – my wallet has thanked me.
If you’re interested in products I’ve been using since I cut my hair, here they are:
OGX® Shampoo and Conditioner – I’ve been working my way through the different lines. So far I’ve tried Coconut Curls, Coconut Milk and Argan Oil of Morocco. Love them all!
Fantasia IC Heat Protector Straightening Serum– I have had this bottle for at least four years (that’s how infrequently I put heat on my hair), but since I’ve had short hair, I do use a flat iron more often. Yes, it contains silicones, but that’s sometimes necessary for ultimate heat protection. I only have to use a tiny drop.
That’s pretty much it! I have been toying with the idea of growing my hair out again, maybe into a bob. Every now and then I look at old pictures and miss my waist-length locks. Then I think about the hours I’ve reclaimed and go on about my life. 🙂
Have you gone short and loved it? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve never been one to put a lot of gel on my curls. My hair is fine and build-up occurs easily. Since the point of gel is to coat your hair to hold it in place and prevent frizz, gel is one of those products that makes my hair feel heavy, sticky and limp. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, and I have found what I consider the best so far: Espinache (Spin)Styler Flaxseed Gelly. (Yes, that’s a ‘g’ in gelly. It’s intentional.)
Espinache is a 100% vegan, small-batch line of skin and body products handmade in New Jersey. True to its name, their products are loaded with the leafy green super food. It seems odd at first – spinach in your hair? But it makes perfect sense. Spinach is loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K and more – good things for your body, inside and out.
The (Spin)Styler is a flaxseed-based jelly that, in addition to spinach, contains aloe vera juice, olive oil, and coconut oil. I’d heard great things about homemade flaxseed jellies, but since having my son, making anything other than baby food from scratch is out of the question.
Let me tell you – I LOVE this stuff! On freshly washed hair, I layer it over my Shea Moisture leave-in, and diffuse as usual. The first thing I noticed was how defined and shiny my curls were; the second thing was how light my hair was; and the third was the clean smell that lasts forever! Ever since I tried it a couple of weeks ago, I have been putting this in my hair almost every single day. In the heat and humidity of New Orleans, the (Spin)Styler has worked wonders.
It’s also great for second and third day hair. I just spritz my hair with water, and smooth some jelly over the crown to tame the frizz. It’s got tons of slip, so finger coiling is a breeze. It does create a cast on the hair, but once I fluff it out, my hair is so soft and full. I’ve gotten a ton of compliments recently on my hair, and I’m sure that how it is styled has a lot to do with it!
I’m smitten with this hair and skin line, where almost every product does double duty (and the packaging is beautiful). I’ve tried the (Spin)Mist Hydrating Dry Oil for hair, beard and skin. While it wasn’t quite moisturizing enough on my hair, it’s wonderful on my skin. It’s got such a clean smell that a little spritz on my pulse points doubles as a perfume. Next, I’m eager to try the (Spin)Therapy Moisturizer for hair and skin.
I definitely recommend eating your spinach, and putting it in your hair, too!