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Hair & Pregnancy: Chic Celebrity Style?

Introduction

Although Lucille Ball was a pioneer in the pregnancy world of the 1950s by daring to show her delicate expectant condition swaddled in maternity smocks on television, Demi Moore completely unveiled her pregnancy with a completely nude cover shot.

After the world recovered from Demi's pioneering magazine pose, pregnant bellies emerged from long flowing maternity smocks and started literally showing up as a new fashion accessory. The pregnant belly became known as "the bump" and pregnancy fashions became hot ticket items. Although celebrities were the first to really push the pregnant belly envelope, everyday women suddenly felt comfortable showing off their conditions in low rise jeans and belly revealing clingy fabrics and gowns.

Actress Anna Gasteyer (shown in the last stages of her 2002 pregnancy, above, with Rachel Dratch on the right) made TV history on Saturday Night Live in 2002 by being the first cast member to ever be pregnant while acting on the SNL show. (NBC Special -- Pictured: Ana Gasteyer, Rachel Dratch -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston)

Sarah Jessica Parker elevated pregnancy to a whole new cool level by draping her expanding waistline in sizzling low cut/super short couture fashions that left very little to the imagination.

(Photo of pregnant Sarah Jessica Parker to the side in 2002 on David Letterman Show).

When Ms. Parker was pregnant in 2002 she ignored the standard "wear sensible flats" edict for pregnant ladies with her standard array of chic Manola Blahnik's sky-high stilettos. And yes, the top shoe designer was rumored to have created a special line of "comfortable kitten heels" especially for his number one pregnant fan.

Sarah Jessica also made important strand statements during her pregnancy. Although famous for a cornucopia of ever changing hair hues, textures, lengths and rapidly changing hairstyles during the wildly popular run of HBO's Sex And The City (SATC), Sarah Jessica made a point of letting her hair go completely natural during her pregnancy.

Although Sarah Jessica made intentional root lines a popular hair trend during earlier seasons of the SATC show's run, when she conceived her son, her naturally curly hair was already coifed in a very blonde, chemically straight chic style which she showed off on a David Letterman appearance right after her pregnancy was announced (See David Letterman photo above).

Ditching her hair dye and straightening chemicals, Sarah Jessica let her hair go with the natural flow of her changing body. As her pregnancy blossomed into full form Sarah Jessica was photographed with progressive dark rootage along with the rapid return of her natural curls. (Photo of Sarah Jessica Parker at 2004 Golden Globe Awards - NBC). After her baby was born, Sarah Jessica opted to keep her hair darker, longer and very curly.

Pregnant Stars For 2004

Following on the new flock of babies born recently to Debra Messing, Kate Hudson, Cheryl Hines, Reese Witherspoon, Mary Louise Parker, Denise Richards, Mr. & Mrs. Jon Bon Jovi and Mr. & Mrs. Will Farrell are a whole list of pregnant and newly pregnant celebrities.

(NBC Photo of Debra Messing: Chris Haston - all rights reserved).

Current expectant celebs for Spring & Summer 2004 include Leah Remini of television's King Of Queens, Courtney Cox Arquette of Friends, Holly Marie Combs of Charmed and Sherry Stringfield of ER.

The celebrity pregnancy wave also includes film stars Geena Davis, Helen Hunt, Marcia Gay Harden, Cate Blanchett, Melanie Sykes and Gwyneth Paltrow. Other celebrity moms-to-be are Supermodel Heidi Klum, and pregnant Dixie Chicks Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines.

Celebrity Hairdressers Of Pregnant Celebs

Celebrity hairdresser Robert Hallowell has tended to the tresses of Geena Davis while acting in various movie roles, appearing at film premieres and strolling down a myriad of red carpets. Robert has styled Geena's tresses during past and current pregnancies. Geena, now expecting twins, is a favorite Hallowell celebrity client.

(Image of Mr. & Mrs. Will Farrell at 2004 Academy Awards).

Robert also currently works with the newly expectant Dixie Chick. When quizzed about how pregnancy has affected the tresses of his star clients, Robert agreed that pregnancy " ushers in a whole new set of hair challenges".

Pregnant Hair Challenges

"One major challenge, when coiffing a pregnant client", according to Robert," is the use of any type of chemicals". Indeed, one of the most common concerns that many newly pregnant women have, whether a celebrity or not, is whether it's safe to use any type of chemicals, from color to perms and straightening treatments, on their hair during their pregnancies.

(61st Annual Golden Globe Awards 2004 -- NBC Specials -- Pictured: Debra Messing -- NBC Photo: Paul Drinkwater - all rights reserved).

Robert noted "when hair color or chemical treatments are absolutely required for his celeb clients to fulfill their professional commitments, common pregnancy hormones make any type of chemical use completely unpredictable".

This hormone induced unpredictability can make dealing with the tresses of pregnant clients troubling. Robert said "not only will curls not hold after a perm but hair straightening techniques tend to fail or misbehave as well".

Even more important than unpredictable hair chemicals is that fact that, as Robert reported, his well-known clients "prefer to completely avoid any type of chemicals, such as hair color, when they are pregnant". Robert understands "they would rather not take any risks with their pregnancies or the ultimate health of their babies".

So what does Robert do when one of his expectant celebrities absolutely must have a color touch up for their professional commitments? Robert turns to safe products like "the semi-permanent, non-peroxide color formulas in the Goldwell's Colorance line". He also is "very careful to avoid applying any chemicals near the scalp areas."

Even though Robert will turn to using semi-permanent colors like his highly recommended Goldwell, he will only do so when it there is no other choice. And of course, when the celebrity has prior doctor approval.

(Leah Remini, pictured on The King Of Queens on CBS - 1/22/04).

Famous celebrity haircolorist Rita Hazan of New York's Adir Salon reported an identical hair trend for her pregnant celebs. Rita, who counts Leah Remini as one of her color clients, recently confirmed "Leah is taking a break from having her hair chemically colored during her pregnancy".

Brooke Shields, another Hazan celebrity haircolor client, also, according to Rita "took a conservative approach to using hair chemicals during her 2003 pregnancy". After Brooke's gorgeous baby was born she visited Hazan for "a beautiful blonde highlighted look".

Medical Experts Weigh In On Chemicals

So what do medical expert say about hair color and chemical use during pregnancy? Most medical experts agree that there is no conclusive evidence of danger when using chemicals on the hair during pregnancy. Others agree there is probably no danger, but suggest waiting until after the first trimester to indulge.

Many medical doctors, when pressed, will advise their newly pregnant patients to postpone chemical hair treatments as long as feasible. Preferably after the first trimester.

(Pictured: Jane Leeves as pregnant Daphne on Frasier, -- NBC Photo: Justin Lubin)

If this is not possible, some doctors will give permission for chemical hair treatments in very well ventilated spaces.

One thing is certain. Almost all of the medical and hair care experts agree that the danger during pregnancy is not the actual application of strong chemicals to the cuticle but the odors that can be absorbed into the body through the lungs. Others believe that applying the chemicals away from the scalp area also minimizes any risks, especially when applied in a well ventilated location.

Regardless of commonly held professional opinions, a large majority of women just personally feel safer not using any hair related chemicals. They prefer to take the "better safe than sorry" approach.

If you personally decide to use chemicals, with the OK of your own doctor, be sure to ask your hairdresser to take every precaution and use the safest products available.

Other Issues

Celebrities such as Leah, Debra and Natalie, like all expectant moms must deal with their raging hormones. Keep in mind that hormones unleashed by pregnancy may cause other unexpected changes in the condition, feel or texture of even the most well-behaved strands.

Although some women report that their hair takes on a lush, shiny and new fullness while pregnant, others report that their hair gets unexpectedly oily, dry or limp. Natural volume disappears overnight for others.

Although pregnancy related hair loss generally occurs after the baby is born and breast feeding has ended, some women report that hair loss occurs during their pregnancy.

Robert Hallowell Prawduct - super volumizing tonic - 8.5 oz (250 ml)The good news? Changes in strand texture and general behavior, according to Robert, "can be easily resolved with the proper styling products". Robert's Super Volumizing Tonic is a product that will help add volume, control and fullness to newly limp or lank tresses. It will also help to disguise pregnancy related hair thinning. Even better, Robert's Super Volumizing Tonic is alcohol free, is all natural and has been given the seal of approval by magazine experts for use with expectant moms and around babies.

Other Options

Jane Tran - Double Leaf Barrette - Blue (1)If you decide to follow the hair trends of famous pregnant celebs like Leah Remini and Geena Davis you will avoid chemicals and let any that are still on your strands slowly grow out along with your pregnancy. This doesn't mean that you have to completely ignore your strands. On the contrary, it is important to work closely with your favorite hairdresser to keep your hair well trimmed and maintained as your strands go through any changes. (Image above of Jane Tran - Double Leaf Barrette - Blue (1))

A great plan that most celebs would follow is to schedule an appointment with your favorite hairdresser as soon as you discover your pregnant. Discuss various hair options from whether to utilize chemicals or not and how to deal with any potential hair challenges as you move forward.

Be creative and resourceful. Be willing to experiment with the help of your stylist with new looks, styling techniques and an array of accessories. Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you are doomed to a series of bad hair days. On the contrary, just think of how fabulous Sarah Jessica Parker's tresses looked during her past pregnancy.

Summary

Keep an open mind with regard to your hair and remember that pregnancy hormones only cause temporary hair changes that end after your baby is born. Use your favorite hairdresser as a resource to help you overcome any hair challenges and you will be a celebrity in your own right.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on HairBoutique.com or anywhere else, please post a message on HairBoutique.com's Hair Talk Forums.

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