You were amazed as your hair became thicker and longer during pregnancy? That was awesome right? I remember back in 2012 when I was pregnant with my last born, my hair was the thickest and the longest it has been ever.
Although that hair product or the new routine you are on helped your hair in so many ways, your estrogen levels and high blood levels rigged the whole thing. You see, when you are pregnant, your hormones rise to capacitate the healthy baking of your baby. One of those hormones is estrogen, which prevents your normal shedding which is about a 100 hairs per day ( approx.) Thus the volume.
Coupled with increased blood volume, which is about 50% more during pregnancy, your blood circulation increases thereby delivering more nutrients to your scalp and hair. Thus the longer length of your hair during pregnancy.
When you give birth to your bundle of joy, your hormone levels drop very quickly, forcing a lot of your strands into the resting phase. Where the hair is not growing anymore but resting, preparing to fall out of the follicle. These hairs could have rested and fallen out anyway during the 9 months of pregnancy but because of high levels of estrogen, they kept growing.
After resting for a while, they will start shedding, round about 3 months and the peak is normally at 6 months. That is when most notice less hair on the head and thinner ends. Experts say, you don’t loose more hair than you would have in the 9 months of less hair fall. But because it is all coming out at once, you feel as if you are going bald. The most affected area, for most people is the hairline which looks like traction alopecia and yet it is just postpartum shedding.
Can I stop postpartum shedding?
Unfortunately, there is no sure way of stopping the hair loss from happening. You can only reduce its effects or manage your image after it happens. Let me give it straight to you. You just have to deal with it. Some more than others. That’s how life is right?
What Can I do to reduce effects of Post baby hair loss?
Some things you will need to do and others you will need to stay away from so that you don’t make post baby hair loss worse than it could have been. Here are a few things you need to to know that will help you as you navigate this part of being a mom.
- Eat and sleep well. I know both may be difficult with the increased demand on your time and if your baby is restless and cries at night, sleepless nights for mommy may be in the mix too. But, it is important that you keep healthy, for you and the baby. If you are not managing, ask for help. It does not make you less of a mother.
- Continue to take your vitamins including iron to support a gradual drop in blood levels and to support you health wise.
- Wear your hair loosely as much as possible so that you do not add any pressure on your follicles. My go to hairstyles were medium twists without any added hair. No pressure at all on the scalp.
- Stay away from any hairstyle that puts extra pressure on your hair follicles. That includes, micro braids, very long and heavy braids and using a lot of added hair that tends to weigh heavy on your roots.
- Sleeked tight ponytails, tight high puff and top buns should be avoided.
- Don’t stay too long with a protective hairstyle. I know you do not want to leave you newly born to go to a hair salon but staying too long will mean more shed hair to deal with and detangling may be a nightmare. Get someone close to help you undo, even at home, wash your hair and do something simple to keep your hair stretched. Ask for help if you need to.
- Stay aware from heat and let your hair air dry instead.
- Avoid excessive combing or brushing of the hair. It will stress out your scalp.
- You may want to experiment with a new hairstyle, get a cut or something that does not keep you thinking about your hair loss issue.
- You can also wear a wig. I know wigs aren’t for everyone but if you can, a wig will help you take care of your actual hair anytime while still looking kempt and together when you go out. It’s true. Some of the hairstyles that you need to do so that you are not pulling at your hair may not look nice and if you are uncomfortable to go out like that, a wig will solve all that.
Alright, the bottom line is, post partum shedding may happen after you give birth. The severity of it differs from person to person. You cannot really stop it from happening but you can manage the effects and minimise the hair loss and make sure you still feel and look your best. You can do this. You brought a human into this world. So, managing postpartum hair loss is just a small thing. Plus, it’s temporary. Your hair will grow back. Enjoy your baby. Stop worrying about your hair.