Here’s a fun fact about that postpartum period – as a result of the dip in estrogen we experience in the months after giving birth, all that beautiful thick shiny hair that we enjoyed during pregnancy loses its luster, thins out, and breaks off!
I was not prepared for this! It was as if in the space of a few weeks my hairline (aka my edges) vanished! After having a minor panic fest, I did a little research into what the heck is happening.
Here’s the short version: during regular cycles for your hair, your hair grows and sheds, but when you’re preggo, your hormones sorta just pause at the growth phase and you wind up with the best hair of your life. After the baby is born, those hormones regulate, the cycle continue,s and you get hit with the shedding phase – BIG TIME. For some women, this means actual clumps of your hair will start falling out. If you had a lot of hair growth or you have longer hair, you’ll most likely relate to this. The hair will most likely fall out around month 3 (it was month 4 for me).
During this period, here are some tips that worked for me:
- Try not to stress: I know this is way easier said than done. I remember standing in the front of my mirror with achy engorged boobs and tired eyes, gritting my teeth with the pain from my c-section and then looking at my drastically thinner hair and just feeling so overwhelmed. It was all such a big adjustment. … being a new mom is such a major shift in life, sometimes you just need to close your eyes, take around 6 very deep slow breaths, and remember that you just grew an entire human in your body! That’s incredible!!! And if you need to have a good cry to let some of that pent up energy out – that’s perfectly OK too.
- Time for a new hairstyle: After giving birth I decided to wear my locs curly, it gave me a bit of a boost and made me feel better. The curls also took some attention away from my hairline. I’ve seen some other moms get haircuts or part their hair differently for the same reason.
- Change your hair routine: One of the best things you can do with thinning hair is leave it alone. Avoid the temptation to add hard brushes, harsh chemicals, or extreme heat from flat irons. Instead, give your hair a break and try using a volumizing and nourishing shampoo to your hair care regimen.
- Eat as well as you can and take your vitamins: When you’re sleep deprived and just trying to make it through the day the concept of going on some special diet seems ludicrous, however making an effort to have better nutrition will not only make you feel better and more energetic, it’ll also promote healthy hair growth! Fortunately preparing meals that are healthy are often a whole lot quicker and easier than unhealthy meals and most grocery stores offer ready made fresh and healthy meals. If your budget allows, you could even using a healthy meal delivery service. The key is to try to eat as clean as you can (cut down on processed foods, snack foods, sugar, and unhealthy carbs, ramp up on plant based foods and lean meats; make water your main beverage etc..). Supplementing with prenatal vitamins, biotin, and vitamin e could also give your hair a bit of a boost.
Here’s the great news:
Your hair will grow back! The growth cycle will eventually resume and your locs will start growing back at around the 6 month mark (up up to 12 months) so if all else fails and you find yourself stressing out, flat ironing and dying your hair while eating from your favorite fast food restaurant – have no fear, just wait it out and before you know it your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy glory.