When people find out you’re pregnant, it isn’t long before you receive compliments like, “Ooh, you’re glowing” and “Your hair is going to be so long and shiny!”.
But what about changing hair colour altogether? Is that possible?
For some women, no matter what natural hair shade they have, their colour darkens either during pregnancy, or post-partum. And, like everything else in pregnancy, it’s all down to hormones.
Yes, that long, luscious, shiny hair is likely to be on the cards too, so at least you can be thankful for that. But during pregnancy, a woman’s progesterone level goes through the roof, with oestrogen increasing almost to match.
These two hormones play an important role in regulating your melanin levels too, so can control your skin and hair colour. You may have heard of ‘melasma’ or the ‘mask of pregnancy’, where you might experience darker patches of skin, commonly on the face, and this happens due to this change in melanin levels. Similarly too is the potential change in hair shade during pregnancy. We may even assume that this change would be more noticeable in redheads than others, who have such low melanin levels to begin with.
Most mothers’ hormone levels (and similarly melanin levels) return to normal within 3-6 months post-partum, but on rare occasions the imbalance of progesterone of oestrogen doesn’t fully normalise, meaning red hair colour can be permanently affected.
Forum posts on the topic suggest that this phenomenon may be hereditary, so speak with your mother and grandmothers about their experiences to give you an idea. It should also be noted that hair colour changes can occur for any number of reasons throughout a person’s life, whether that’s simply through age, stress, or other hormonal changes.
Hormones are powerful things – they can even create new allergies!
Achromotrichia: redheads and their ageing hair