My Natural Hair Thinned Out & Changed Textures Postpartum

wand curls now vs then (only 3 months after baby)

by Michelle Thames of HappilyEverNatural.com

Almost 2 years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl, ever!  The pregnancy and the idea of being someone's mom was new to me, so I really didn't know what to expect!  I did, however, know all about postpartum shedding and what could possibly happen to my hair after I had my baby. I spoke about how I dealt with postpartum hair loss here. I then began to notice texture changes with my hair.

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Post-Pregnancy Hair Loss and Advice


by Michelle Thames of HappilyEverNatural.com

This topic is very emotional for me, but I felt compelled to share my story about my experience with hair loss after I had my baby last June, in hopes to help many who suffer from hair loss after having a child. It's something that you don’t want to think about, but it happens and it's okay-- natural, even. The day I saw my edges literally fading away, I cried! Like a baby might, I add! I was an emotional wreck with my hormones all out of whack, and on top of that my hair was falling out. I kept it under wraps though, because I was too embarrassed to let my readers or instagram followers see my hair loss.

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Cut Down on Hair Shedding, Now!


 by Emilia Obiekea of AdoreBotanicals.com

Suffering from way too much shedding?

Many have heard of tea rinsing as a solution for excessive hair shedding. A less popular but more effective rinse can be done with coffee.

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How Having a Baby Will Ruin Your Hair

he's just thinking about pulling that braid!

by Danielle Faust of OkDani.com and LongNaturalHair.info

If you have healthy hair goals, or even length goals, I urge you: Never. Have. Children. Babies may look cute and innocent, but they were really brought here for no other reason than to ruin your healthy hair progress.

We’ve all heard how pregnancy will help your hair grow, but it’s all an evil ploy to get you to have that hair-harassing baby! Once he or she arrives...it’s all downhill from there. It begins with postpartum shedding, continues with possible texture changes, and after the baby has drawn you into its web with gurgly smiles and sweet coos....it’s all over.

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Ugh... Postpartum Hair Shed

Damn! Damn! Damn! *in my best Martin voice*

And so it begins. But I'm okay. I'm not spazzing. I'm breathing... centered.
Trying to hold it together, but Knights of Columbus, this is a butt load of hair! The pic above, while grossly graphic, barely does it justice.

I was in denial at first-- managed to convince myself that it doesn't happen to everyone, so of course it wouldn't happen to me, a friggin' hair blogger, right? Wrong.


There are tufts of hair billowing across the hardwood, what appears to be ropes of my hair blocking the shower drain, stray strands on the sink, on Gia, on my shirt, the head rest in the car... hair everywhere! My dreams of lush volume and thickness... down the drain. Oh, and what isn't falling naturally, Baby G is having a grand time ripping from my scalp. But it's cool... I'm good. I'm collecting all of it to make myself a nice wig.



A while back I gave AfrikanLatina some advice (which I now need to take myself) about dealing with Postpartum hair shed, aka telogen effluvium. It's very common and often happens 3-6 months after a stressful event, or in my case, delivering nearly an 8 pound baby.

During pregnancy, hair that is in the resting phase is pushed into the growth phase. This is why my hair was so lush. It became so thick that I stopped henna'ing (I henna for volume... plus I've grown lazy). After delivery, 3 months later, these hairs go back into the resting phase and fall out. Basically, I'm playing catch up by shedding what isn't really mine to keep anymore. How dreadful. There isn't much I can do to stop or slow it down, other than trying not to stress about it too much. And from what I've read, re-growth begins in the next 6 months to a year... which should help me get back to pre-preggers thickness. So far, I haven't noticed any thinning or bald spots, but at this rate, I'll be rockin' a comb-over by Christmas.

Ugh. I wanted so badly to keep my pregnancy hair. I've had fanciful thoughts of wearing buns and other protective styles for the next few months, just to hold on to, even if just for a short while, the hairs that would inevitably fall. Silly rabbit.

How I plan to proceed:

-Low manipulation styles, and less frequent styling. Bi-weekly washings (with dry Twist-n-Curl sets in the meantime) seem to be working. I still owe you guys an updated hair regimen.

-Wear protective styles that are friendly to my delicate edges (loose buns and twists as opposed to slick, tight buns and braids).

-Continue to opt for twist and braid-outs over wash-n-gos for the illusion of volume (due to less shrinkage)

-Focus on moisture and retention, and avoid harsh stylers


-Use castor oil--it's known to promote hair growth and thicken up the hair line


-Scalp massages to stimulate growth
... Hubby?

-Continue taking my prenatals

-Attempt to keep Baby G's (and hubby's) hands out of my curls

-Commence henna sessions after the shedding period has ended (the process of henna'ing could actually exacerbate the shedding)

-Lots and lots of patience, positive self-talk, and knowing that 'this too shall pass'!




I washed and styled on November 26th... I was leaving for STL to see Grandma. I wore it out for 2 days and bunned it until yesterday. I did a dry Twist-n-Curl last night around 8pm using CURLS Souffle and a teeny bit of water. Fluffed with Philip B Formula 57 Hair Serum this morn.



Did you experience hair fall post-pregnancy? How did you deal with it?

Please share your stories and tips on how to cope with post-pregnancy hair loss!

Dr. Perry on Hair Loss

Our Resident MD is back, and this time she's talking hair loss and possible solutions.


STRANDED

Tied up, tied down, burned with a hot iron, pulled, and pushed – I feel totally neglected. Why can’t I just be left alone? Why can’t I just be massaged with special care, set free and treated with respect and kindness? I may just break and leave this place. Better yet, I could totally drop out of sight where no one can find me.

Sound like a victim of domestic abuse? Not exactly, this may be your hair crying out for rescue.

Alopecia (hair loss) is frustrating, demoralizing and downright scary. Society puts a great deal of pressure on us to achieve and maintain a glorious mane. Unfortunately, circumstances sometimes arise which causes one to lose hair.

There are two basic categories of hair loss: Scarring and Non-scarring Alopecia. Within each category, there are multiple causes. It is possible to achieve hair regrowth in many cases of non-scarring alopecia. Scarring alopecia portends a more permanent and emotionally devastating situation, as it means that the hair follicles have been sufficiently destroyed so that regrowth is not likely. Non-scarring alopecia is more common than scarring form; therefore, my discussion will be limited to this type of hair loss. Scarring forms can be the result of extensive and prolonged destructive hair care practices, or a medical condition (i.e. lupus). The skin on the scarred area of the scalp will usually be shiny in appearance and thin in texture. A dermatologist should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.

The most common causes of Non-scarring alopecia are:

Traction alopecia- Hair loss due to traumatic hair care practices such as braiding, twisting the hair too tight or wearing binding hairstyles frequently. This common type of hair loss is usually most prominent around the hairline. Hair is more fragile and subject to breakage in these areas. Solution: Loosen up that hair! You’d probably fall out too if you were bound down too tight. Braiding/Twisting should be done loosely. If small bumps and or pain may appear in newly styled and affected areas, the braid/twist should be immediately removed. If you’ve already been a victim of traction alopecia and are looking for regrowth, treat affected areas with gentle hair care practices. Avoid the use of drying gels and products which may irritate/ dry out the hair and scalp skin. A dermatologist may be able to assist in providing medical treatments which can encourage a better environment for hair regrowth.

Telogen Effluvium- Hair loss due to major hormonal shifts related to pregnancy, stress and major illness. This type of hair loss is frustrating because the hair tends to thin diffusely throughout the scalp. It is normal to lose up to 100 hairs per day, but this condition results in an enhanced rate of shedding causing much more hair to fall out on a daily basis. Characteristic “club hairs” can be detected among the shed hair. They have a small white bulb at the end. Fortunately, this condition resolves on its own without medical treatment. Unfortunately, it can take several months after the hormones have become regulated that adequate regrowth is noted. Solution: Be gentle with your hair and patient for resolution.

Anagen Effluvium: Hair loss as a result of chemotherapy. This is another temporary hair loss state which usually occurs in response to medications used in cancer treatments. Hair will regrow in most cases, after offending medication is stopped.

Androgenetic Alopecia (Genetics): Women can also lose hair in a specific pattern in the crown region of the scalp due to hereditary causes. Some hair follicles in this region are genetically predestined to become smaller and eventually inactive. The hair then falls out. In women with this type of hair loss, the front hairline is usually spared with balding most pronounced in the crown region. Solution: Rogaine (minoxidil) has been used successfully in some cases to achieve a bit of regrowth. Seek the advice of a dermatologist for evaluation of and treatment for this type of alopecia.

Alopecia Areata : Hair loss thought to be associated with immune factors. This type of hair loss can cause solitary bald patches on the scalp (in its mild form) to complete loss of all body hair (most severe form). Solution: Most individuals with the mild form are successful at achieving hair regrowth with the assistance of cortisone injections and/or topical prescription agents. A visit to the dermatologist would be required for these treatments.

Hair breakage: On average, hair grows a half an inch per month. The terminal length of hair (the maximum length) is genetically determined. A major key to being able to fully appreciate increasing hair length is preventing breakage. Eliminating or minimizing traumatic hair care practices (i.e. direct heat styling), and moisturizing sufficiently are the best ways to retain length. Shampooing, Conditioning regularly and deep conditioning treatments with supple moisturizing agents help maintain hair moisture. Curly hair makes it more of a challenge for natural scalp oils to effectively move down the strand. The curlier the hair, the more difficult this process becomes. Therefore, adding moisture to the strands (especially the ends), sealing and protecting them with various styling techniques can really benefit your hair. Fortunately, there are many conditioning products available. Avoid petroleum and mineral oil containing products. These ingredients occlude pores and can lead to facial breakouts.

Treat yourself to a scalp massage regularly to stimulate the hair follicles. This is very relaxing and can help improve circulation which is always a good thing for hair health!

Until next time . . .

Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.



Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546).

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