Managing Post-Natal Hair Loss
I'm in the 6 month post-partum period now and have found that my hair loss post-pregnancy started around the 3rd month. This was so upsetting for me, especially as I have very thick long hair, which due to it's weight has thinned over the years. My husband often used to say I was 'shedding' as much hair would fall on our bright cream carpets everyday! In a normal hair cycle, you lose hair everyday anyway. During pregnancy I was thrilled that my hair loss was reduced and stopped completely at one point. I saw my hair getting thicker and healthier all over again.
So, this might frighten some. I was aware that it was just temporary during pregnancy not to lose hair, but I imagine it might be scary for some individuals, knocks their confidence and you think, why am I going bald? Well, let's start with the basics, due to the excess oestrogen we have during pregnancy to support our growing babies, body hair does not fall. Hair that usually falls on a daily basis stays put and hence you end up with a thicker mane! However, after baby is born, you no longer need this surplus of oestrogen, so you revert back to your normal hair loss cycle and lose hair as you normally would and also that which you 'collected' or the 'excess' during pregnancy which is why it might seem like you are losing a lot of hair. This usually starts in month 3-4 postpartum (I was spot on) and ends between 6-12 months (hurray!). So don't fret, it's not because your health has declined or you have acquired some dreaded disease!
Hair falls in different ways I have learnt. On some days its actual clumps (which scares the hell out me) and on others its just fine strands individually, when you brush it or shower. I personally lost loads around my temples (which was already the thinner zone) so it makes it look 'balder' unfortunately. I am now waiting for month twelve to come. It can't come fast enough!
So I suppose the key question is how do you manage it during this time? There are a few things I did to manage this.
1) Think about a new haircut or style
When I was a child, I remember seeing many new mommies get a new haircut. This explains why! Try a cut that allows you to feather or layer your hair, especially around the front, with a fringe for example, so that it creates the illusion of thicker hair. I found a great hairdresser at the Urban Retreat in Harrods, who is a mommy and specialises in this for example.
2) I am a huge Kerastase fan. Find a product within a brand that you love that can help create a fuller look. Some examples are using products for fine or thin hair for instance. There are many volumising products on the market. Adding a good conditioner and hair gloss will help to give it shine if you are creating volume.
3) Change how you style your hair to cover the balding areas.
4) Wear your hair curly, wavy or with a beach wave look. This will create more volume. Pin straight hair will make your hair look thinner and limp.
5) Wear a hat or cool hair accessories to mask the thinning areas.
Some mothers have told me that colouring the hair might help. I haven't tried this myself, but its worth a go. Please avoid increasing your normal vitamin intake (especially fat soluble vitamins beyond the recommended intake can be harmful to you!) or using any prescription hair loss products such a minoxidil as they won't address the cause which is purely oestrogen-related. Remember this is a transient phase. Keep calm, relax and use inventive solutions for the meantime. Here's counting down to month twelve!