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October 20, 2009

Postpartum Hair Loss and Advice

Sharina, a CN.com reader writes:



Hey Nikki,

I was wondering if you could ask other curlynikki.com readers a question for me. I am a new mom! YAY!! I love my son and wouldn't trade him for anything in the world BUT I did not know that postpartum shedding was part of the deal lol. My hair started to shed like crazy last month, when my son turned 2 months old. I have lost so much of the hair around my temples I don't even know how to style my hair at this point to disguise the hair loss. Luckily, my hair is super thick so you can't tell that I'm losing hair anywhere else but my edges. I have since found out that postpartum shedding is something that lots of moms go through. What I would like to know is what these moms did to combat the problem or if its something that just has to pass on its own? If there is any more information needed please let me know sis. Thanks in advance.

Sincerely,
Sharina aka Tajs Mommy


Sharina,

Taj is absolutely adorable! I'm not a mommy yet, so I have ZERO first hand experience with this, but here goes :) From what I've read, postpartum hair shed is an inevitable, untreatable, short-term phase that many new mothers must traverse. During pregnancy, hair literally gets stuck in the 'grow' phase and becomes thicker, longer, shinier, and all around healthier looking. After the birth of your beautiful babe, that new found growth and thickness doesn't stick around--leaving you with excessive hair fall while detangling, styling...even when you're not touching it at all! Ahhh...the joys of motherhood :)

I'd recommend taking it easy through this transition period:

-wear protective styles that are friendly to your delicate edges (loose buns and twists as opposed to slick, tight buns and braids)
-twist or braid-out instead of wash&go...in my opinion, twist-outs appear fuller
-focus on moisture and avoid harsh stylers such as gels and mousses
-use castor oil--it's known to promote hair growth and thicken up the hair line
-scalp massages to stimulate growth
-take your vitamins and supplements (I'm feeling Macro Greens at the moment--lots of yummy ingredients for hair and skin among other things, of course! Talk to your doc before starting any new supplements...)
-keep baby's (and daddy's) hands out of your curls, lol
-lots and lots of patience!

Haha, that list doubles as tips for what to do if you're experiencing hair loss/breakage/damage in general! Good luck and congrats!

~CurlyNikki~



Help her out curlies!

25 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

i experienced the exact same thing after having my first baby! i ended up with a bald spot near one of my temples. i also breastfed though, but i think it happens whether you nurse your baby or formula feed. my hair did start to grow back after 7 mths or so (when i was no longer bfing). at the time i was getting relaxers every few mths. just had my 2nd baby about 4 mths ago, again after a couple of mths my hair has really started to shed. now i'm 6 mths into transitioning...same bald spot in the same place though :-/ my stylist said it's very common, just all the hormonal changes we're going through. she's natural & told me she had braids after having her baby, her hair shed so much at the temples that her braids slipped out yikes! it will eventually grow back though, mine did the first time. make sure you continue to take your prenatal vitamins!

Cygnet said...

Your hair goes through different stages of existence. In the first stage, it is growing, In the next stage, it is just there, looking pretty. In the final stage, it drops out to make room for another hair. I may have skipped a stage somewhere, but any trichologists or dermatologists may be able to set it straight. Typically, your hair is in one or another of these stages all at different times, which is why you only shed so much at a time. I read somewhere that during pregnancy, however, the follicles all seem to synch up, and everything gets stuck in "grow". Then, when the baby comes, there is a lot of shedding, because the stuck-in-grow thing stops. As has been pointed out already, it's caused by your hormones. The hair eventually reverts to its pre-pregnancy routine of all the follicles doing something different, but it takes awhile.

Anonymous said...

I had a baby 10 months ago and experienced shedding, especially around my temples. I started wearing a TNC and that really helped. I was not handling my hair everyday, not pressing it every two weeks and while I still had some shedding it was not as bad.

Anonymous said...

I lost a ton of hair after both pregnancies. Like cygnet said, it stops falling out while you're pregnant, and then makes up for it a few months post-partum. It'll last for a good number of months -- I think I stopped shedding around 9 or 10 months pp.

Anonymous said...

I ended up with two bald spots after I had my son. I started taking Biotin & oiled my scalp with castor oil. My hair grew back.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of two girls, I have gone through this twice ( and still going through it since my youngest is only one year old). All I can say is that it will pass, just try to take good care of your hair (when you have the time and you are not totally consumed by your little cutie).I went to see a dermatologist for that, and he said that it was all hormonal, he did not prescribe anything, but what i think helped me the first time was taking my prenatal vitamins.
Take care

Vainity said...

I am in the same boat as Sharina. My LO is going on 4 months and my hair has been shedding like crazy. It recently started breaking and falling along the front hairline - especially near my ears. I'm practically bald there. My cousin who has had three babies in the past 5 years said the shedding is normal and the balding is caused by the epidural. It will grow back, according to her. I'm nursing and plan to for a full year. I'm taking my vitamins and keeping my scalp oiled. I'm starting more intense deep treatments as soon as I get a new dryer. I just hate to see so much of my hair in the comb.

Afrikan said...

I think I lost my post with the little one sitting in my lap but what I wanted to say was... Thanks Nikki for posting my question and for your response. I was wondering if the fact that I'm breastfeeding could prolong the shedding? Thankfully I'm a stay at home mom so we'll be indoors a lot especially with the weather changing here in NC . I think I'm going to get a moisture/maintenance routine started implementing the castor oil scalp massages. Also I'm planning to WRAP IT UP...my hair will be hidden/protected anytime I go out. I'm hoping that my Decemeber/January I have some growth going on and not just shedding. I'll let you Curlies know how it goes. Thanks ladies!

PR Urbanista said...

I just had my son two months ago and read about the issues about hair loss, etc. after getting off of your prenatals and your hormones dropping after pregnancy. I have been wearing protective hairstyles, keeping up on my vitamin intake and I am happy to say my breakage has been minimal. Like Nikki I take greens but I use Roots Nutrition "Power Food". http://www.rootsnutrition.com/. I must say in a glass of juice, it tastes really good and not nasty or something you need to get use to with other green powder supplements. In addition it was created by an african american doctor who also offers a cleansing/ weight loss technique.

Afrikan said...

Vainity I had my son at home so I didn't get an epidural. I'm not sure if the epidural would make it worse though. I also plan to breastfeed for a year and MY GOODNESS I don't want to be dealing with this shedding a year from now lol..I'll have no hair left.
-Sharina

Afrikan said...

Hey PR Urbanista. I just wanted to clarify that there I'm not experiencing breakage. I'm experiencing shedding. Breakage being a detachment in hair somewhere along the hair shaft and shedding being the detachment of the hair from my scalp with the little white bulb on the end. I'd prefer the shedding over breakage if I just had to choose lol. I'm just not sure if your using the words interchangeably. Thanks for the weblink, I'm going to check that out.

Closer to My Dreams said...

This may sound vain but I wanted to have a baby soon but I also want my hair to get to MBL in the next 2 years is that meanin that it is not possible if I want to have a child?

Danie said...

I'm a mother of twins so I know exactly how you feel except a lot of my hair fell out in the middle of my head...I did the aphogee regimen when I had this problem and my hair got a lot better (I believe it was for about 5 months), and I started taking vitamins and drinking lots of water. As of August 09' I decided to start my transition and I'm in my 3rd month. I wish you luck with your hair journey and congratulation!!

Carolyn said...

I experienced a lot of shedding on my edges. my sides were nearly bald (something I've never experienced as I have always had long thick hair). I also noticed that the texture of my hair changed. It was coarser and dry. Unfortunately, I decided to lighten the color, okay, so I bleached it, which added more brittleness (is that even a word) to my hair woes. I rocked a head band to disguise the patches until I started scouting sites like this and others teaching me about the nature of curly hair.

I started taking better care of the hair I did have including: co-washing twice a week, deep conditioning once a week, oiling my scalp with coconut oil, spraying WATER on my hair daily, using shea butter on the ends and recently incorporated doing a henna treatment once a month (my mix is 2 boxes of jamila henna BAQ2--not the most expensive brand, 1tbsp acv and distilled water). I went home last weekend and everyone in my family noticed how great my hair is starting to look again and how it is growing back extremely healthy (and gorgeous if I do say so myself). Just have patience and learn to work with what you have now. Motherhood is a journey to (re)discovery.

Anonymous said...

This happened to me too. About 3 months after I had my son, I lost just about all the hair around my temples, then I lost the hair around the nape a few months later. That's one reason I decided to go natural. It eventually all grew back.

b. said...

Sharina, I've just gotta say it...your little one is the CUTENESS! Good luck w/ your hair. I don't have much to add since I haven't entered motherhood (yet), but I will attest to the wonderful nature of castor oil. My hair loves it!

Tina said...

Your little guy is adorable! My cousin had the temple issue and I gave her a link to the megatek site where she bought the conditioner and also advised her to keep taking her pre-natal vitamins and it grew back in a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

being put under makes your hair shed like crazy, bon't know if that counts for epidural. Eat for hair which means tons of ANIMAL protien (works best), orange and red things also (sweet potatos carrots red bell peppers)!!! P.S. keep taking the prenatal vitamins, they are great for the hair.

Moni said...

I just want to say that Taj is absolutely adorable! Enjoy the baby stage while it lasts!

luvmylocs said...

i don't have kids yet but i would second the castor oil. i have a friend who is indian and she says in their culture it's very common to use castor oil for beautiful thick hair. i would suggest adding some essential oils like rosemary, lavender, sage and ylang ylang to some castor oil. warm it and massage it into your temples. you should be on the right track. good luck and congratulations on your baby taj!

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of 2 with my first i had the same problem and after about 9-10mths it began to grow back. I now have a 2mth old and am now going thru the same thing. While you are pregnant you hair does not shed so after you have the baby you begin to shed all the hair plus more. It will pass just continue to take care of your hair.

Anonymous said...

I am on my THIRD pregnancy, had a daughter in 2007, and another in 2008, and will be having my 3rd daughter in December. Went through the SAME thing that everybody else experienced...shedding around the front edges and temples...Started at 3 months post-partum, but started to grow back at 6 months. I breastfed as well, so I continued to take my prenatals...I really didn't do anything else special the first two times, but this time, I'm going to try castor oil scalp massages, and stregthening treatments...we'll see how it goes!! Luckily, I retained most of the length that I gained during pregnancy, and just had to be patient for the temples and front edges to fill in...any other suggestions that anyone has will be greatly appreciated!!

Anonymous said...

Went through it too. Hang in there and taking your prenates or a multivitamin will help. I was not natural then but I wore roller set for the next few months after she was born and everything bounced back. I also have alopecia due to Discoid lupus and I had a bad bout about a year ago and regularly deal with patches of hair falling out every few months. I lost all the hair around my edges and had to walk around with a tacky headband for a few weeks but loved the texture around the edges when it finally started growing back. Hence, I had my last relaxer a year ago and BCd in June and even though I have a spot about the size of a silver dollar right above one of my ears - I can hide it sooooo much better now that I am natural. I haven't tried the castor oil myself so I am going to try that on my spots. Hang in there - cory

Afrikan said...

You ladies are wonderful. Thanks so much for letting me know that I will make it through this phase. I was seriously considering a BC but decided against it after reading stories like these.

@ Closertomydreams: Yes having your hair shed like crazy is such a pain BUT to hold, kiss, and love your baby for the first time and then everyday thereafter is SOOOOO WORTH IT!

@all of the ladies who complimented Taj: Thank you sistas. He is mommy and daddys heart!

Beverly said...

It looks like many have given you advice. But I was reading up on The Coil Review and this article came up. I instantly thought of having read about your issues so hope this helps!
http://www.thecoilreview.com/tcr-final/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=346:baby-hair&catid=4:the-pieces

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