Postpartum shedding, let’s talk about it! Postpartum shedding hit me around the three month mark. I have naturally fine hair and thus get my hair done accordingly. I know my hair cannot take a lot of tension or manipulation; with that being said I do get my hair done or do my hair myself because I am familiar with what it can handle. When I noticed the shedding I had just taken out some crochet box braids. Sis, when I tell you my hair was coming out in huge patches I am not exaggerating. My edges around the entire perimeter of my head were bald. I mean smooth as a babies butt bald, the Kim Possible naked mole rat bald. (Who remembers him?) I cried and cried and cried. There was basically nothing I could do and the excessive shedding lasted for months.
After doing a little research I learned that postpartum shedding is pretty common affecting almost 50% of women. During pregnancy hormones cause the hair not to grow on the normal hair growth and loss cycle. I think its important to note that for me I experienced additional shedding once my period returned around the six month mark. I cannot say for certain that there is a correlation between my period returning and my hair falling out; but we know that hormones increase hair growth. So I think the hormones associated with my period increased hair loss.
Typically during pregnancy the growing phase or cycle is extended with minimal hair loss. The hair loss that was delayed can fall out at once or over time. Most women will notice hair loss around the 3 month mark and the hair growth/loss cycle will typically return to normal around the six to twelve month mark. It is important to note that hair loss can also be related to a mineral or vitamin deficiency so please continue to take a pre or post-natal vitamin. If the hair lost seems excessive I encourage you to speak with your OBGYN or even a Dermatologist. For some women being on birth control can help.
The picture above shows how my hair was looking once it finally started to grow back. Yes sis, I said grow back. My edges around the perimeter of my entire head left me! Gone! Vamoose! The picture below shows what the hairs looked like wet with conditioner.
I’ve finally come to terms with the hair loss. I’m currently 9 months post-partum and my hair has finally started to get back on its normal cycle. I’ve really struggled recently with wanting to cut my hair off, but I’m going to give my edges a year to grow back and start taking a hair, skin, and nails vitamin. I will definitely do a follow up post.
Tips to reduce hair loss:
- Avoid hair styles that cause a lot of tension: pigtails, cornrows, braids, and hair weaves.
- Use shampoos and conditioners that strengthen the hair and promote hair growth. Products with biotin would be a good start.
- Consider taking a hair vitamin or increasing pre- or post-natal vitamin intake; birth control can even be an option. Vitamins recommended by the American Pregnancy Association include: Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Biotin, Zinc, and Vitamin E.
- Make sure your diet consist of leafy green vegetables and fruits.
- For my sisters, our hair is fragile when it is dry. Do not, I repeat do not comb or try to detangle your hair while it is dry. Dampen hair to detangle and make more manageable and please be gentle.
- Minimize the amount of stress on hair; that includes hair dryers, flat irons, and hot combs.
Please note I encourage you to speak with a doctor. The tips provided are just suggestions to help lead you in the right direction. When it comes to taking a supplement speak with your healthcare provider and do what feels comfortable for you and your baby. Breastfeeding moms need to be especially careful about what you ingest; not just orally but through your pores as well. Most importantly Moms be sure to love yourself! You just brought life into this world! Just like your baby is growing leaps and bounds in front of you, your hair will grow as well.