It has started. The end is nigh. So far it’s just a few strands, but I know in the next few weeks I will enter full scale hairmageddon.
What is this, I hear you, the uninitiated, ask? Well, it’s a special type of hell, wherein you kiss goodbye to the thick, lush strands of pregnancy and instead welcome the dismal, patchy, uninspiring mop that is postpartum hair.
No one told you about this? I know, right, I was the same first time around. Everyone conveniently forgets to warn you. Here you are, about four months after the birth of the baby, kind of getting your flow and adapting to your new post-pregnancy body when BAM – out of nowhere your hair starts falling out.
I’m not talking the odd, annoying strand of hair. I’m talking next level hair disintegration.
This is wash your hair and instantly clog the shower drain stuff (luckily mums of new babies tend to skimp on the hair washing a little… this lack of time for personal hygiene will come in handy if you hate unclogging that damn drain).
This is run your hands through your hair as you put it into a ponytail and come away with a handful of it.
This is look behind the couch where you spend most of your days and see enough hair for a bird to nest in (I only exaggerate a tiny bit).
Once hairmageddon kicks off you’ll find hair everywhere. It will get in food that you prepare (eww!). It will be all over your pillow in the morning.
You will be constantly picking it out of your baby’s mouth or their clenched fist. You’ll find yourself wondering how it got into their nappy (I believe mothers of boys need to be particularly cautious during this time as an errant hair can cause untold damage to their manly bits).
It will drive you insane and leave you looking a tad insane too. Or maybe that’s just me. But I remember my hair getting so thin after my first pregnancy I had to stop tying it in a ponytail for a while as there were bits where you could see too much scalp.
I feel like it took a good couple of years for my hair to recover. As well as the patchy, thinness the texture was horrible. It went really dry, brittle and frizzy but at the same time looked oily and lank within a day of being washed. No shampoo and conditioner combo seemed to aid it.
To add insult to injury, as new hair starts to come in you’re left with a feathery halo of baby hairs, which are impossible to tame.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I reckon this time around the greys will seize their opportunity to colonise and I’ll be left with a thin, frazzled, greying mop. Oh boy!
If you’re shaking your fist at the skies above wondering why this has to happen, the reason is all hormones. Your hair looks so good when you’re pregnant because it stops falling out due to the increased levels of oestrogen, which freezes your hair in the growing cycle.
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This means the hair that would normally naturally fall stays in place. But once you have your baby and your oestrogen levels decline, all that hair that should have fallen out suddenly realises it’s time to go. And it makes up for lost time with a vengeance.
It starts about three – four months postpartum and should have settled down by six months, but can take up to a year. The internet tells me it’s not due to any type of vitamin deficiency, but merely hormones at play. Which I’m going to assume means there’s not a lot you can do to fight this process. Except maybe invest in a vast array of hats!
I’m off to figure out how to incorporate a beanie into all my daily looks, it’s lucky they work well with trackpants… my other wardrobe staple du jour!
This originally featured on Pregnancy Exercise and was republished here with full permission.
Have you experienced post-partum hair loss? What was it like for you?