The Morning Stroll

Postpartum Hair Loss: Knot the Exception

September 16, 2015

I thought I was the exception. I thought I was totally going to skim right over that whole post-pregnancy-hair-loss thing. Not so.

Hair

The first few months after Mila's birth were great for my hair. The magic of my luscious pregnancy hair continued. It was long, it was healthy, it was thicker. I could go a week without washing it. Even in the humid June air, it stayed frizz-free. I had never had hair this great in my life and I sort of just assumed it would hang around. I tried not to even imagine what I knew deep down in my heart was probably inevitable. It would fall out.

My friends told me they didn't even notice. My husband said it would pass. But I couldn't stand the clumps that would fall out every time I ran my hands through it, the matting of it in my hairbrush. Showering was especially painful because I would spend at least ten minutes just trying to get my hands through wet knots, pulling out chunks of soaked hair with it, throwing them on the wall so I could clean them up later instead of washing them down the drain. 

The wet clumps of wall-hair mock me as I shower. I hate them.

My hair is everywhere, all over the house, on the floor, around my baby's wrists, in our bedsheets, in the sink, on the couch, in my husband's beard. I cannot escape it. I try my best to vacuum frequently, but it just keeps falling out. It is my uphill battle.

It started happening around two and a half months after giving birth. I am almost five months out now, and I hear it's supposed to return to normal around six months, and I am praying to god that's true. It's all the things my pregnancy hair was not, but oddly, the "beauty" part of it is not what bothers me. It is just so damn annoying.

During this whole ordeal, I have had to talk myself out of chopping it off several times. A bob would actually probably look really cute. Wait, no. It would not. Stop it.

I cannot cut my hair. It is the longest it has ever been and I know I will regret it a week later. So, I have realized the best way of dealing with it is braiding it, either to the side or the back. It separates the hairs nicely and holds them in place, so they're not free to just fall out everywhere at all times. The worst way, I have found, to style it is to just be about as lazy as cutting it and throwing it into a massive ball on top of my head, all tangled and mangled and whatnot. That might be cute when you're a man with a manbun or at the new Bonnaroo aka Burning Man or whatever, but that does not fly when you're dealing with postpartum hair loss. That shit will turn into the most monstrous knot that you will spend precious shower time trying to work through. 

And when you have a four-month old, shower time is precious. 

Postpartum hair loss is unfortunately totally normal and natural, and it happens to pretty much everyone. To what extent probably differs but, if you were pregnant, you will experience some type of hair loss after the fact. While you're pregnant, the upswing of hormones keeps your hair either growing or in a dormant, resting phase. So hair that would normally fall out doesn't fall out during the pregnancy (also why hair is so thick and beautiful). After you give birth, the hair reverts to its regular growth schedule and starts falling out around three months. 

It has been about two months of shedding for me and I'm already starting to notice it getting better. By a year, all should be back to normal, and I CAN NOT WAIT.

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