Health & Wellbeing Pregnancy

Greasy & Oily Hair During Pregnancy: 5 Remedies That Work

You probably don’t need to be told that pregnancy brings a variety of changes to your senses (think food cravings) and to your body.

And for some women, one frustrating pregnancy side-effect is that your hair can suddenly become greasy and oily.

But the good news is there a few easy things you can do to get your hair back to looking its best in no time.

So let’s take a look at why your hair may get greasy during pregnancy, and the most effective remedies for greasy or oily hair.

Why Does Your Hair Get Greasy When Pregnant?

If you are experiencing greasy hair or an oily scalp when pregnant, the first thing to note is this is a completely normal side-effect of pregnancy.

The cause is down to your changing hormones, or more specifically, because of something called progesterone.

During pregnancy your body produces much more progesterone, and there is a link between increased progesterone levels and excess sebum production.

Sebum is a natural oil, so this explains why you may have oily or greasy hair, dandruff and perhaps even greasy skin during your pregnancy.

Is Greasy Hair An Early Pregnancy Sign?

If you have noticed your hair is suddenly more greasy, you may be tempted to ask yourself if you may be pregnant.

Having greasy or oily hair by itself is not really a reliable sign of pregnancy.

However, if you have some of the other well-known signs of pregnancy, such as fatigue, light-headedness, sore breasts, nausea and mood swings, in addition to greasier hair (or skin), then it could be another indication that your are pregnant.

Is Greasy Hair More Common In Early Pregnancy?

It depends.

During pregnancy, your levels of progesterone remain high throughout the entire time you are expecting.

And typically, a pregnant woman’s body will produce more progesterone as their pregnancy progresses, so your levels will be higher in your third trimester than during your second or first trimesters.

For this reason it can be quite normal to experience greasy or oily hair all the way through your pregnancy.

However, some women may not experience changes to their hair at any time while expecting, and some may only experience it during early pregnancy, so there is no consistent pattern across all pregnancies.

lose-up Shot of a Woman Brushing Her Hair

Does Greasy Hair During Pregnancy Indicate A Boy or Girl?

You may know the line “craving salty foods means you’re having a boy, sweet for a girl” – which we investigated the truth of when looking at whether craving onions can indicate a baby’s gender.

But is having greasy hair during pregnancy a sign of an impending baby boy or baby girl?

Unfortunately just as with food cravings, this is an old wives tale.

There is no scientific evidence or proof to suggest that your greasy or oily hair is an accurate indicator of the gender of your baby.

How To Stop Greasy & Oily Hair During Pregnancy

Now that we know why you may be experiencing greasy hair, let’s take a look at what you can do to help keep greasy or oily hair at bay during your pregnancy.

1. Wash Your Hair Less

One of the most effective remedies for greasy hair is to wash is less often.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but the more often you wash your hair, the more your scalp can dry out and the result is your body will produce more sebum, which as we mentioned above is the cause of your hair and scalp issues.

And if you feel you still need to clean your hair between washes, you can always try using dry shampoo.

2. Change Your Shampoo & Conditioner

While we’re on the subject of shampoo, another effective remedy could be to change the brand and type of shampoo and conditioner that you are using.

You should opt for mild and gentle shampoos with natural ingredients and ideally lower levels of sulphites and other drying chemicals, as these can cause skin irritation.

Some women also find a PH balancing shampoo works well, because the acidic pH can help reduce the excess oil that is building up in your scalp.

Shampoo Bottles on Shelf

3. Try These Home Remedies

Many of us have natural remedies at home that can help with greasy or oily hair.

Some pregnant women have found the following to be effective:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: know to be effective because it can lower the pH of the hair and scalp, which controls the oil production.
  • Coconut Oil: its anti-fungal properties can help ward off dandruff and calm an irritated scalp.
  • Aloe Vera: known to eliminate bacteria and remove excess sebum.

4. Stay Hydrated

Making sure you’re properly hydrated when pregnant can be challenging, but it’s very important for your baby’s health as well as your own.

Aside from the vital heath benefits of adequate hydration, drinking plenty of water (pregnant women need to drink 8 to 12 cups of water per day) will also benefit your hair as it will keep your scalp hydrated.

5. Balanced Diet

Finally, a health, balanced and nutritious diet will help control your body’s oil production, which will benefit your hair and scalp.

Try easting more foods that are high in vitamin B, and these foods can help keep your sebum production in check.

Leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach, as well as peas, broccoli and chickpeas are all rich in vitamin B, so try adding more of these to your diet should to help get your hair back to looking its best.

Related: The Complete Guide To A Happy & Healthy Pregnancy

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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