One of the joys of an expecting mother is the miracle of life blossoming within her womb. For some women, they also experience a sometimes unexpected flourish of long, thick hair.
A question was posed by a community reader, “Do you know why many naturals use prenatal vitamins as part of their regimen?”
Do prenatal vitamins really make your hair grow?
Generally speaking, I think women mostly fall into 3 categories:
- Trying to conceive
- Not trying to conceive
Taking the word for face value prenatal vitamins, before baby vitamins; seems like most women taking these vitamins would fall into the pregnant or trying to conceive category.
If you’re pregnant, the growing little person inside of you definitely does more taking as the expecting mommy does all the giving, when it comes to nutrition. Prenatal vitamins are generally formulated to supply the approximate dose for mommy -to-be and baby.
Preparing your body before pregnancy with certain prenatal vitamins and minerals like folic acid has been proven to reduce certain birth defects like spina bifida early in the pregnancy. If you are trying to conceive, it is beneficial to take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy because spina bifida generally happens within the first 28 days of pregnancy before most women even fathom the thought of being pregnant because you haven’t missed your cycle yet.
So why do women experience a surge in hair growth during pregnancy?
The hormone estrogen is credited with the surge of hair growth and thicker hair during pregnancy. For many women, estrogen keeps the hair growth cycle in the anagen phase longer than normal and shedding less for thicker longer hair. For other women, these hormonal changes can cause dry brittle feeling hair.
How the hair responds to the hormonal changes of being pregnant will vary from woman to woman and many times pregnancy to pregnancy.
Other elements that should be taken into consideration when speaking about expecting mommies is that they tend to live a healthier lifestyle, eating a more balanced diet, reducing stress, creating a peaceful and nutritious environment for the baby.
There are only a few prescription drugs available that have been proven to increase your hair’s growth rate. Prenatal vitamins are not among the list.
Overdosing and taking supplements unnecessarily may actually cause hair loss, so beware when taking more than necessary. More does not mean better or faster; it simply means more that your body will either eliminate because it’s a water soluble vitamin or it will be stored because it’s a fat soluble vitamin.
As each natural hair journey is a personal path, women incorporate products and vitamins into their natural hair regimens that they feel will benefit their hair most. That is not to say that every natural or relaxed haired woman is only taking prenatal vitamins for hair growth, they are prescribed by doctors for medical reason like anemia because prenatal vitamins have a higher dosage of iron than multi-vitamins.
However, keep in mind that hair growth rates are predetermined and are affected by hormonal changes. The recommended dosages for prenatal vitamins are specifically for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. An alternative is to take a multi-vitamin if you are not trying to conceive.
So, what is your take? Why do naturals incorporate prenatal vitamins in their regimen?