If you lost little or no hair after having your baby, I hate you.
Women often notice shedding within three to six months of delivery, so I thought I was in the clear when, by five-months postpartum, I still had a wonderfully full head of hair.
Then I started to spot strands around the house. On the headrest of the nursery glider. In the shower drain on wash day. Between my fingers when I pulled my hair into a messy mom bun.
Denial went out the window the day this happened:
Yes, that’s my hair.
That’s just what was lost from finger detangling. (I never detangle with a comb. It’s just in the photo for a pop of color.)
The loss was mostly confined to my edges — which was a blessing and a curse. Blessing: My hair still felt pretty thick. Curse: There was no hiding my problem area while wearing the mom bun.
Weeks later, I straightened my hair for a church event. The thinning was undeniable — and it was throughout my head.
I couldn’t believe how my hair felt. I actually teared up.
I knew I wasn’t going bald, and that what I was experiencing would only last a few months. I knew it was connected to postpartum hormonal changes. I also knew I wasn’t alone in experiencing it. (About 40 to 50 percent of women deal with postpartum shedding, according to the American Pregnancy Association.)
But knowing those things didn’t make the situation easier to accept. I was embarrassed by my hair loss. And it’s hard to walk with an air of confidence — or to convince yourself that you look good — when you’re leaving a trail of hair behind you.
So I put together an action plan.
I function better when I have a plan. It helps me think I’m in control of my life.
- Keep up my hair regimen. Gentle detangling. Deep conditioning. Protein treatments. Scalp massages.
- Protective styling. The less manipulation, the better. Buns and ponytails are acceptable as long as they’re not pulled to tightly. And I’ll limit or eliminate the use of my flat iron.
- Nutrition. The shedding doesn’t mean that I have a vitamin deficiency, but eating well, being on top of taking my vitamins, and staying hydrated can’t hurt.
- Black tea rinses. According to online hair forums, black tea rinses reduce shedding. It’s online, so obviously that makes it true, right? (Interested in learning more about caffeine’s potential benefits for your hair? Check out this article.)
Here’s the recipe I’m planning to use, courtesy of Urban Bush Babes:
- Add two to four tea bags to 2 cups of boiled water. (The number of bags and cups of water might vary depending on how much hair you have.) Let the tea steep for a few hours or overnight.
- Shampoo your hair, then pour on the tea and allow it to “marinate” for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Apply a deep conditioner (without rinsing out the tea).
- Rinse after the appropriate amount of time has passed (usually 30 minutes), and finish your hair routine.
I hope following the action plan propels me back to normalcy. Even if it doesn’t, I’m told postpartum shedding usually ends within a year of giving birth, so I just need to make it to the end of summer.
God help my hair.
[…] know it’s taken me a long time to write this postpartum hair loss follow-up, but there’s a good reason for that. It just didn’t make sense to write the […]
Oh my lord I feel you! After having each of my older kids there was no hair loss. Here I am 4 months PP with my 3rd and I’m losing hair by the handfuls! After taking a shower last night I had a LITERAL handful of hair in my hand and all I could say was “holy shit that is so much hair”….Hoping not to lose much more or I might lose my sanity as well.
I am very curious to hear an update on how this worked for you and what the results were.
I plan to give it a month before I rule on whether it works. Look for an update around this time in June!
I haven’t experienced that, either, but I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with it!
Thankfully, it’s starting to grow back, but it still feels insanely thin.
Oh, to have just one part of motherhood be a cakewalk! 😀
I never experienced hair loss to this degree. I’m sorry for what you are going through. Hopefully your hair goes back to normal soon!!
Thank you. I hope so, too 😊
Mine fell out in clumps too! I wish I would have had your tea recipe then! Wow!
Let’s hope it works! I’ll have to do a follow-up post to tell everyone about the results — good or bad.
How long did it take for you to feel your hair was back to normal?
I feel ya! My hair fell out in a nice little halo the whole way round my hair line. So now if I put my hair in a high pony, I have baby hairs sticking out round my whole head! Luckily my hair grows quickly but I still look ridiculous!
That sucks! My hair doesn’t grow fast at all, so I might be wearing hats and scarves all summer to hide this mess 😩