“After you give birth you’re hair is going to fall out!” I heard this for the majority of my pregnancy but I dismissed the warning because I was convinced that if you have locs your hair won’t fall out; I’d bet money on it. At 3 months postpartum, I was winning the bet but by 4 months postpartum my luck started to change.
What is Postpartum Hair Loss?
By definition, postpartum (hair loss) alopecia is the temporary telogen (resting phase of a hair follicle) loss of scalp hair at the termination of pregnancy and its characterized by spread thinning. Many pregnant women experience the benefit of full and luscious hair as the surging hormones slow down the shedding of hair. However, it is not guaranteed that the luscious perks of pregnancy will remain after you’ve given birth; in fact, on average 40% off women experience postpartum alopecia.
My Denial of Losing My Hair
When I reached 3 months postpartum I hadn’t noticeably lost any hair so I thought I was in the clear. Praise Him! But shortly after proclaiming my victory over postpartum hair loss, I began to notice more and more curly stands around the house. “This isn’t my hair,” is what I told myself on an almost daily basis. Even as the bottle of my hair oil was covered with fallen coils. “That isn’t my hair, ” was repeated over and over in my head. I was in complete denial. I had taken my prenatal vitamins, I was exclusively breastfeeding, I didn’t comb or retwist my locs excessively, my mother (so she says) didn’t lose her hair, I’d been exercising 4 times a week and eating healthy, so I couldn’t be losing my hair. Right? Wrong.
I didn’t face the reality of my postpartum hair loss until around 5 months postpartum when I had no choice. I looked in the mirror and my edges were hanging on by strands. My once full roots had spaces that weren’t there before and that’s when I realized I was experiencing postpartum hair loss.
I’ll be honest, it was very hard to see and accept that my hair was falling out. Despite all the information I had about postpartum hair, when it happens first hand it’s a different story. However, now at 7 months postpartum, I can see my (almost) bald areas beginning to sprout new hairs and I feel confident enough to share my testimony and words of advice.
4 Tips to Overcome Postpartum Hair Loss
- You’re not the only one. Medical research has shown that about 40% of women experience varying degrees of Postpartum hair loss. Just like each pregnancy is different, so is the healing and recovery process afterwards.
- Don’t Worry. Understand postpartum hair loss is a hormonal change and there is very little you can do to change the inevitable. Also, know going into motherhood that it takes about a full year for your body, organs, and hormone levels to balance. The important thing is to stay fit and healthy, especially eating whole foods, for you and your baby.
- It will grow back. By definition postpartum hair loss is temporary and related to your hormones therefore the best treatment is healthy hair and internal wellness. I recommend using moisturizing shampoos (link) and oils such as, rosemary oil & Jamaican Black Castor Oil, to help stimulate your hair follicles.
- Accessorize. There are styles and accessories to get you through the hair loss, almost without anyone realizing. You can try curls that with camouflage the thinning area(s), headwraps or hats, like fedoras, that can complement almost any outfit. Here are a few links to tutorials:
Pipe Cleaner Curls
Erykah Badu Headwrap
Turban Headwrap Updo
Front Cinnabun Headwrap Tutorial
Please share this post with a mother & list any tips below that you have for overcoming postpartum hair loss!