Postpartum Woes: Hair Loss

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hair loss

This past week was my first back to work after maternity leave. With all the emotion that already comes with leaving your baby to return to the workforce, it seems horribly unfair that this is also the time postpartum that many women feel the worst about their appearances. I know, I know, I just birthed a baby. That is an amazing thing. I shouldn’t be worried about unimportant things like my physical appearance. And I really wasn’t. At least before I had to put on real pants and dress shirts and attempt to hide the permanent bags that have appeared under my eyes. Having gone through this once before, I had accepted that my old clothes probably wouldn’t fit and that the days of being told ‘your skin is positively glowing’ had ended with the birth of my daughter.

What I decided not to accept this time around was the postpartum hair loss. Before my first child, my mom had told me this could happen. However, nothing could prepare me for the clumps of hair that started falling from my head around three months postpartum. Unclogging the shower drain became a regular chore around our house. After three more months and a significantly receded hairline, it finally stopped. My hair began its’ slow regrowth. This pregnancy, I was determined not to let it happen again.

I turned to the always occasionally reliable internet to see what I needed to do to prevent the hair loss.

TAKE MY PRENATAL VITAMIN

Easy, I thought, I could do that. However, I remembered that I continued to take my vitamin after my last pregnancy, and it was still bye-bye hair. I needed to search for something more.

REDUCE STRESS

Hahahahahahahahaha! Did I mention that I am just returning to work with a toddler and a baby? Moving on…

PREVENT TANGLING IN THE HAIR

Umm…my three-month-old has just figured out how to reach out and curl her little fingers around objects. Her number one target? My hair.

MOISTURE WITH COCONUT OIL

I already use coconut oil as my primary skin moisturizer, so this should be easy to add to my routine. I worked it all through my hair one morning. Unfortunately, I ended up looking like I hadn’t showered in a week. Which for the record, I happened to have taken at least two showers that week, thank you very much! I decided to try it at night instead, but that just turned the bed sheets into a greasy mess. My search continued…

SCALP MASSAGE

Now we were getting somewhere! Supposedly, it helps to stimulate hair follicle growth. This was something I could do. It even sounded enjoyable. And let me tell you, I massaged my scalp all day long! I let the dog out to go potty; I massaged my scalp. Got a drink of water, massaged my scalp. Put the baby down to change a diaper, massaged my scalp. My follicles were STIM-U-LATED!

And seemed to be working! I was keeping my hair….until three days before I returned to work. While giving myself a really satisfactory scalp massage, I took my hands out of my hair and saw it. The first clump wrapped around my fingers. Over the next few days, it got worse. The shedding. Oh, the shedding! It was happening. My hair covered my pillows and couch. Within days I had clogged the shower drain. I found it in the clean laundry pile. It even ended up in my baby’s diapers.

My prevention attempts had failed. Truthfully, while I am not looking forward to how much worse the shedding might get over the next few months, I know it really is a small problem. It is more obvious to me than to anyone else, and the hair loss will eventually end. Until then, I plan to focus on instead finding confidence within myself, avoiding too much mirror time and enjoying the best trade-off ever: endless baby snuggles!

4 COMMENTS

  1. I read this article in hopes for some cure for post partum hair loss. I lost sooooo much hair with number one and I’m scared to see how much I lose this time around.
    My toddler is now 2.5 years old and my regrowth is now just hitting my chin! Am I going to lose all this progress again?! ???

  2. I think the worst part about postpartum hair loss is not the actual losing, but the re-growing when it finally subsides. I’m one year postpartum and I look like a toddler who’s just discovered scissors and attempted to give herself bangs. I’ve been doing some very creative bobby-pinning lately!

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