Postpartum Hair Loss Survival Guide

My Favorite Protective Style

 

Since giving birth to my son 3 months ago, I’ve been secretly hoping that the hair gods save me from another round of postpartum hair shedding.  Good thing I was prepared because this weekend it started. Initially, I felt my heart sink but after some serious thinking I reasoned that if this was the price I have to pay for two easy labors, I’ll take it!

What causes it?

If you’ve never had a baby or you’re just a super lucky mama, let me break down the cause of postpartum hair loss. Normally, there are three phases in the normal hair growth cycle Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen.  Anagen lasts for approximately 3 years during which your hair grows. The next stage is Catagen where the hair transitions from a growing to resting state for a duration of about 2 weeks. Eventually, hair sheds during telogen which has three-month duration. So while you’re pregnant, your awesome hormones extend the Anagen phase causing you to hold on to hair that would normally transition to the Catagen stage. This is why a lot of women boast that their hair was gorgeous and lush during their pregnancies. But all good things must come to an end and after delivering your baby, there may be a rapid transition of anagen hairs to telogen which causes excessive shedding. Not every woman experiences postpartum hair loss and it onset anytime between giving birth to 6 months and last as long as 15 months postpartum. There are a few women who experience alopecia as a result of postpartum hair loss but the hair eventually grows back.

My experience.

Let me tell you that it is super scary for a first time mom to experience this! Flashback to December 2010, only three months after having my daughter.  I noticed that my hair texture changed, seemingly overnight (hair shaft has a wider diameter during pregnancy). Then the unthinkable happened, my hair started falling out. I was lost, newly natural and just getting used to my short hair. I called my doctor who assured me that this was perfectly normal. The shedding ended about a month later and after using a few bottles of Liquid Plumr to clear my drains, things felt a bit normal on my head again. The shedding seemed to fancy my hair lines which in turn presented a styling challenge but I survived, my hair grew back and I learned a great deal.

Action Plan.

So, how do I plan to tackle hair shedding, this time? I have my army of ammunition lined up. My last time in the war zone, I wasn’t as prepared but this time, I have trained the troops and fully prepared only for victory. If you’re a new or veteran mom like me, regardless of your hair texture, here is what you’ll need to survive:

Ammunition of Choice

 

1. Jamaican Black Castor Oil


I like to call this product the “Edges Savior.” If you’re having a hard time growing your edges, (finish reading my blog) run out and buy a bottle (Thank me later!) I’m not willing to rock bald sides so I’m already massaging my scalp with this. I know it works, which is important because when you’re at war, you can’t wait until you’re in the battle to test your ammunition.

2. Prenatal Vitamins 

Your body and hair need to be healthy, I found that when I stopped taking my prenatal vitamins my hair shedding got much worst. I tend to forget to take them so I scheduled a daily reminder in my smartphone. 

3. Stay Clear of styles that put tension on your hair

I refuse to wear my hair in tight ponytails, cornrows, Curlformers, straight or in top knots until the shedding stops. Avoid any styles that will put unnecessary stress on your hair. I know you might be tempted to add hair extensions but this only a temporary solution that can potentially lead to even more hair loss and possibly bald spots. I’ve been wearing my hair gently tucked in as shown below, so my son is unable to yank it.

Protective Style

4. Handle Hair Gently.

Don’t detangle when you’re in a rush or upset). Be very gentle with your tresses during this time. The less hair you lose the better. Avoid using brushes and fine tooth combs. I’m only finger detangling when my hair is wet.

5. Contact your Doctor if Shedding is Excessive.

If you are getting bald spots or feel that your hair loss is excessive. Contact your doctor immediately to ensure you don’t have an underlying issue.

Did you experience hair loss after having a baby?