Today I am going to talk about postpartum hair loss. This is the biggest thing I was NOT looking forward to after my son was born. I experienced it with my youngest daughter, most noticeable right in front, and I felt so self conscious. I took to the internet “Please tell me this doesn't happen the exact same way twice! I do not mind the hair loss, but can it at least all fall out on the bottom? That way I could get an undercut, and not look like I am balding.” I did not get reassurance, and they were right to not give me reassurance. I did, in fact, happen the exact same way.
See the thinning? Well it is easier to see in person...
At almost 6 months postpartum it is slowing down, but I feel like my hair is everywhere! It clings to the couch when I stand up. I am constantly picking strands off my clothes, and the clothes of my babies. It comes off en mass when I brush my hair. My shower floor looks like it is trying to grow a mane when I am done washing my hair.
So what causes this? Well your hair has two phases a growth phase- anagen and a resting phase- telogen. When you are pregnant your hormones stimulate more of your hair to go into this growth phase. When your hormones change again after the birth of your baby it signals a lot of hair to go into the resting phase. This resting phase usually lasts about 3 months. Which is why, unfortunately, just about the same time your little one starts grabbing onto things, your hair is falling out everywhere.
The good news is this doesn't last forever! (Even if it may feel like it.) Most individuals who have given birth will return to a normal hair growth cycle in between 6-12 months after their baby is born. The bad news is there is something you need to watch out for. Remember those hairs I am constantly picking off my kids? You need to make sure that a hair doesn't form a tourniquet around parts of their bodies: fingers, toes, and penises need to be checked regularly. (Feel free to google hair tourniquet.) It is easy when toes are hidden in footie pjs not to notice right away, so it might be a good idea during a diaper change to do a quick check for hair on the body, and in their clothing.
So what can you do until your hair grows back in? Some people find help in volumizing shampoos to hide that their hair is thinner. I style my hair in a way that it hides my bare spots in the front
You can still kind of see the bare spot, but it is less noticeable
As that area grows in, I will need to flat iron it so it isn't just a fluffy poof spot on my head. You might find that you may just want a shorter style. My hair is frizzy and poofy when I don't use product (think 1st year Hermione in the Harry Potter movies) so that doesn't particularly work for me. More good news: on average hair grows back at ½ an inch (or for the rest of the world where measurements make sense 1.25 cm) per month, or about 6 inches (15 cm) in a year. Of course, if you feel like your hair loss is excessive, talk to your doctor. They will be able to rule out anything that may be causing additional problems.