by Shelli of Hairscapades

Chandra asks:

Being in the first trimester of pregnancy has really taken a toll on my energy level. And, I did all that bad-mouthing about PMS?!! This is on a whole different level! So what do you do when you don’t feel like washing, detangling, conditioning, styling or even looking at your hair? I have been mistreating my strands terribly … not protecting it at night, sometimes not moisturizing because I AM DRAINED! Any tips on styles that will hold me over until I feel like dealing with my hair? Thank you!

Shelli Responds:

Okay, I have ABSOLUTELY no direct experience in this regard. So, you may have to take my advice with a grain of salt and accept it as what it is, the well-meaning suggestions of a layman … or woman, to be more precise. That disclaimer aside, here are a few styling options that I think might help get you through this tough time with minimal effort, while still allowing you to maintain the health of your hair.

  • Medium to large twists or braids with extensions. Washing, conditioning and moisturizing will still be necessary, but with far less frequency and without the hassle of detangling. And, moisturizing is as simple as buying a leave-in conditioner or braid sheen spray to use every few days and then sealing with a light oil. This long-term protective style will make your day-to-day styling nominal. But, you still need to wear your satin bonnet or scarf at night and make certain that the braids/twists aren’t too tight or left in too long. Also, make certain to take a break between installs to give your scalp time to rest. This is always important to preserve one’s edges, but may be even more so during pregnancy as undue stress during this time may exacerbate postpartum shedding.
  • Mini or small twists on your own hair. These won’t last as long as the same style done with extensions. However, they still work as an option that can last a week to two and eliminate daily styling. In regard to care, all of the above still applies.
  • Wig it up! There are so many options and you can rock a different look every week if you like! You can cornrow your hair up for the week and rock a wig when out and about. Then, you release your cornrows once a week to every two weeks for wash day. Though you will have to detangle, the amount of time spent doing it will be far reduced as the cornrows will leave hair in a stretched state.

I also found this blog post, Natural Hair While Pregnant and on Bed Rest (ignore the picture! *lol*). The author outlines her regimen, which revolved around keeping her hair in six large braids the majority of the time, washing her hair once every two weeks and wearing al braid out when it was necessary to venture out in public. As you’re not on bed rest, the need to go out is probably far more frequent. So, you might be able to wear a neater version of the 6 braid updo that I detailed here and save the braid out for special occasions, like date night.

What styles have you worn during pregnancy that were easy on time and effort, without sacrificing the health of your hair?

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CN Says:

I lived peacefully in twists and buns in early pregnancy, that is, until my face swoll up… had to let that ish down to balance some thangs out.

Had no idea I had morphed into that person… now that’s a punkin’ head!

I’d do my best to thoroughly deep condition on wash day so that the moisture would last until I could muster up the energy (or desire) to wash again. But even that was difficult. At the end of the day, basic care should see you through– wash, condition, detangle, moisturize, seal, twist or bun and repeat at least once a month, lol! If I had known, those retro scarf pinup styles would’ve been in my rotation too! You could also opt for the occasional light blow out this winter. You could keep your stretched hair in a couple of loose braids or bantu knots at night (moisturize & seal ends as needed), that you let loose and bun, or pin up during the day.

God speed chica!