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