Nothing can describe the feeling of utter panic and despair when I started losing my wonderfully thick, healthy pregnancy hair about 12 weeks after birthing my first baby. The high I had been on disappeared down the shower drain along with a clump of hair. What was happening??!
I was a first time mum, clueless, inexperienced and, admittedly, rather uninformed when it came to my own body. While I had spent months researching the choices we made for our baby, it never crossed my mind that this postpartum thing could affect me too. I mean, you're pregnant, you give birth, you bleed for a bit, done. Right? No. Evidently not.
So here I was, losing my precious hair, still with plenty of baby weight that I certainly had not planned on and dripping breasts from oversupply. What the actual f*#@.
So what was happening to me? Basically, hair has a life span of about 3 years. Before falling out, it remains in the hair follicle for about 3 months until it is pushed out by the new hair that's growing back. So the good news is, your hair is already growing back before you lose it! Because of hormonal changes during pregnancy, a larger number of hairs than normal are growing at the same time and less hair than normal is falling out which can lead to the fabulously shiny, thick pregnancy hair! Once you give birth, your hormones shift again and all the glory comes to an end. More hair than normal ends its life cycle and you experience the dreaded postpartum hair loss.
But what can be done to make the wait for the new hair to grow less stressful? Plenty. While you can’t prevent hair loss from happening, you can make it less obvious.
• Take some time out and ask your hair dresser to give you a hair cut that requires less styling as brushing and pulling your hair up in a tight ponytail can add stress to your scalp.
• Get natural hair care products to nourish your scalp and hair and add less chemicals.
• Ask your hair dresser for styling ideas to give the appearance of fuller hair.
Most women are back to normal around 12 months postpartum. If you feel that you are still losing excessive amounts of hair, go speak to your GP as there might be an underlying condition that is responsible.