Let’s face it, women of color have unique hair and skin issues. From varying hair textures that can range from straight to curly to kinky to unique skin tones, there’s no wonder why there are so many different products made just for us. But when you throw pregnancy hormones and changes into the mix, maintaining healthy hair and glowing skin can be downright challenging. So I gathered some tips and consulted with noted dermatologist Dr. Susan C. Taylor, M.D. to find some great fixes for five skin and hair common issues multicultural women face.
Problem: Is it safe to relax or color my hair during pregnancy?
Remedy: There is no evidence that chemical processing in the form of relaxers, curly perm, or hair coloring has any detrimental effect on a developing fetus. Many Black, Latina, and Asian women perm, and/or chemically alter the color or texture of their hair. A small amount may find its way into the bloodstream but at an insignificant level, according to most studies. Some doctors recommend avoiding these processes in the first trimester when the baby’s vital organs are forming, just to be on the safe side.
However, discontinuing the process of relaxing your hair can do more harm than good-causing serious hair breakage. To determine what is best for you, consult a professional stylist. And if you must have a relaxer or hair coloring treatment wait until the second or third trimester.
Problem: I’ve got acne. I feel like a teenager all over again.
Remedy: It’s those hormones again. You may notice pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or larger spots on your face and body. There are a few prescriptions or OTC products that can be used safely during pregnancy or while nursing. Your doctor might approve a cleanser, creams, gels, or lotions with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If apply twice a day for six weeks or will see a positive change in the condition of your skin.
Problem: My skin is dry and itchy.
Remedy: Limit your bath or shower to five minutes and use mild cleansers like: Aveeno, Cetaphil, and Dove; or a thick moisturizer such as: Aquaphor, cocoa butter, and shea butter can work as well. Aveeno Oatmeal Bath is a great non-medical alternative for dry skin.