You get pregnant. You’re round and glowing, you urinate every 20 minutes, and produce more gas than Exxonmobil. But, if you’re so fortunate, your suffering is eased by a glamorous perk: pregnancy hair. What you don’t realize is it’s only on loan.
Your hair has never been so full, lush, and manageable. It is your crowning gestational glory. Until postpartum hair loss hits. Some time around 3 or 4 months postpartum your body realizes that baby it’s been brewing has made a departure. And now it is time for all of that phenomenal hair to do the same.
While you were pregnant, your body held onto hair instead of shedding regularly. Now your hormones have reset so shedding has begun again. The problem is that you’re now shedding 10 months of mane all at once. That means a thinning hairline, bald patches, mangy ends, overall thinness. Not pretty.
Mother nature may be kicking your leaky, stretched, hormonal, dark-circled self in the ovaries but that’s the price you pay for 10 months of pregnancy hair and a baby. There are ways to manage the hair loss though. After having three kids and three rounds of confidence-obliterating postpartum hair loss, these are my tips for regaining a sense of follicular normalcy.
1) Remember this is natural, unavoidable, and – most importantly — temporary! You will hit a point when you think you will go bald. You will have clumps of hair clog your drain after just one shower. You will cry. You will survive this. This WILL stop. Know this. You will NOT go bald.
2) Don’t believe the hype! People will claim this potion, that vitamin, or this treatment will magically halt the hair loss. FALSE! Nothing is stopping this hormonal train. The best you can do is manage the aftermath. Don’t buy the snake oil.
3) Regrowth is your hope! Biotin supplements and prenatal vitamins are your key to speeding up regrowth. Some shampoos offer the same claim too.. the jury’s out on that. If it makes you feel better, buy them, try them, and go for it. It won’t stop or reverse hair loss, but the vitamins at least will help new hair replace the shed hair sooner.
4) Camouflage is your friend! Hit up a beauty supply store and buy a hair piece (faux bun, hair-covered hair tie, or faux ponytail like these) or dry shampoo/texturing product, whatever works to hide your thinning ends and allows you to wear your hair up with confidence. (Bonus: Wearing your hair up very temporarily keeps the hairs from shedding, but know that as soon as you release your hair so will your scalp. Also, updos can get uncomfy given the hair loss can place unwanted stress on still-rooted hairs as others depart throughout the day. So proceed with reasonable caution.) Grab some root concealing spray or powder (this is my favorite) to hide any thinning edges and bare patches. There are ways to hide the hair diaspora.
5) Cut and color boost more than your confidence! A shorter cut makes hair appear thicker. Hair dye makes hair appear fuller. The combo could be just the image-enhancing, volume-feigning move you need.
Postpartum hair loss is embarrassing but it shouldn’t be. It’s entirely natural. Your body just did an amazing thing: it created a human. YOU created a human. You are amazing. You are beautiful. Your hair will return and this will all be a memory. You’ve got this!