I owe you an apology.
I 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 post without giving the black-tea rinse a chance to shine or flop, and I thought a month was an appropriate amount of time.
Seventy-eight percent of you told me (via the poll) that you experienced postpartum shedding, so I knew you wanted to know if this “cure” is really snake oil. I didn’t want to give you an answer prematurely.
Here’s a quick reminder of my action plan:
- Gentle detangling. Deep conditioning. Protein treatments. Scalp massages.
I did really well with this — up until today when I detangled with a comb (a big no-no for me) to see whether the roots of my hair were any stronger.
- Protective styling. Loose buns and ponytails. Limit or eliminate the use of my flat iron.
I followed through with this part, too, except for the flat iron. I realized at about the halfway mark that if my hair is straight, I have less tangling. Less tangling means less hair lost during detangling. I flat ironed my hair about once a week for that reason alone.
- Eat well. Take my vitamins. Drink more water.
I’ve lost three pounds since I started using this plan (maybe Momercizing helped?), so I think it’s fair to say I kicked butt on this part.
The final part was the black-tea rinses. Here’s how I handled those:
I rinsed or spritzed my hair using a modified version of this rinse. The original recipe didn’t mention using peppermint tea, but I had some collecting dust — and peppermint is supposed to stimulate hair growth — so I added a bag to the mix. (My final formula was four cups of water, three bags of black tea, and one bag of peppermint tea.)
I let the tea steep for three days before every wash. It went on after I shampooed and stayed on through the deep conditioning.
So what happened? Did my hair stop falling out? Did my edges grow back?
Yes and yes.
This was the hair loss I showed you pre-experiment:
This is what I lost this afternoon during detangling:
This is what my edges looked like pre-experiment:
This is now:
Better, right? They’re not where I want them to be but they’re a far cry from where I started.
So what’s my verdict on black-tea rinses? Are they the cure women are looking for?
I honestly don’t think so.
The bottom line is that doing the experiment made me take better care of my hair. I was regularly deep conditioning and making sure my protein-moisture balance was right. I trimmed my ends and restarted scalp massages.
Yes, my shedding is down significantly. Yes, my edges are growing back — but I’m 10 months postpartum. My hormones aren’t quite as out-of-whack anymore. I can’t rule that out as having some impact on my hair loss.
I’m always looking for a hair-care solution in a bottle, and I was really hopeful that this was it.
I’m not sure it was, but the experiment certainly didn’t hurt.