Having experienced postpartum hair loss after Levi was born, I knew what to expect in the months after Asa’s birth. Hairballs in the shower. Fly-aways and baby hairs. Bald patches along my hairline. But knowing didn’t make the hair loss any less devastating.
In fact, I’m convinced my postpartum hair loss happened faster and more furiously the second time around. According to the American Pregnancy Association, hair loss peaks 3-4 months after delivery. That’s when the rise in estrogen that happens during pregnancy returns to its normal levels, causing the hair loss that didn’t happen for nine months (that’s why your hair looked so amazing!) to happen all at once. Amazingly, you could lose up to 60% of your hair during this time.
When I brought up my concerns with my dermatologist this summer, she assured me that my hair loss would return to normal before Asa turned one. (Normally, women lose approximately 100 strands every day.) When the dust finally settled, she promised that I wouldn’t end up with a deficit of hair.
Now that I’m almost nine months postpartum, I can confirm that the hair loss does eventually slow down. I actually began noticing a decrease in the amount of hair falling out after that dermatology appointment three months ago, or when my doctor recommended I start taking Biotin. Every morning, I take 2000mcg of Biotin along with my prenatal vitamin, but you should check with your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements.
Postpartum hair loss is depressing, but it’s still possible to have a good hair day when you’re shedding like a dog in hot weather. Here are six ways to deal with the devastation while keeping you hair looking and feeling healthy:
1. Comb hair with a wide-tooth comb before getting into the shower. If you normally comb your hair while you shampoo or condition it, don’t. Wet hair is fragile, and you don’t want to pull out any more strands than necessary. Also, combing hair before stepping into the shower will help prevent massive hairballs from clogging your drain.
2. Use a luxurious shampoo and conditioner. You don’t need to buy expensive products, just a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that won’t weigh hair down, like Dove Pure Care Dry Oil. I had the opportunity to try Pure Care Dry Oil shampoo and conditioner and was honestly impressed by how silky (but not greasy!) it made my hair. Unexpectedly, it also made my hair smell fantastic — just ask JB!
3. Use fewer hair styling products. If your goal is to make your hair look fuller, don’t weigh it down by layering on serums and creams and gels. I can vouch for Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing Treatment with African Macadamia Oil, which helps condition and style hair (and again, makes it smell so good). Yes, it’s oil, but it’s lightweight and made my hair visibly smoother and shinier, not greasy.
4. Take a break from your hair dryer and other hot styling tools. Even the healthiest, fullest head of hair can be damaged by too much heat. Whenever possible, let your hair air dry — or at least give up the flat iron or curling iron and embrace your natural texture. If you simply must use a hair dryer, extend your blowout a day or two by using dry shampoo. (Bonus: dry shampoo also adds volume!)
5. Try a new hairstyle. The easiest change you can make is to change where you part your hair. When I noticed more hair loss on my right side, I moved my part to the left so that more hair fell over my balding right temple. You may also want to skip the topknots, high ponytails, and other tight updos that put pressure on the hairline. Instead, gather hair into a loose bun or low ponytail using soft and stretchy hair ties that won’t pull your strands.
6. Get a haircut! Skip the ponytails completely by cutting your hair short. Bobs are so trendy for fall, and I especially love them layered and slightly messy. Plus, when there’s less hair to grab, your baby will have a harder time ripping it out by the handful. (You know what I’m talking about, right?)
To incorporate the fine hairs along your hairline, bangs are a great option. I had them when Levi was a baby, and this weekend, when my stylist suggested Francoise Hardy-style bangs, I gave her the go-ahead to cut. Although I always regret getting fringe during the dreaded grow-out phase, I’m really happy with how they look now: slightly shorter in the middle and longer at the sides.
Talk to me about your postpartum hair loss experience. How did you deal with baby hairs, fly-aways or bald patches?
PS – Dealing with postpartum hair loss . . . the first time around.
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