10 Ways A Dad Can (And Should) Support A Mom Going Through Postpartum Hair Loss
In the days, weeks, and months after having a baby, most of us tend to lose ourselves in motherhood. The lack of sleep and privacy means we don’t always shower as often as we’d like; many of us ditch the makeup and stop doing our hair; matching outfits are usually a thing of the past. Eventually, though, you start to notice and pay attention to yourself again. This is when postpartum hair loss will rear its ugly head. While postpartum hair loss is common, it's also scary, so mothers really need their partners to step up their game. Thankfully, there are many ways a partner can support a mom going through postpartum hair loss.
Some dads and other partners might not really be sure how they can help at first. I know that when I first started losing my hair after having my son, my husband wasn’t really sure what he could do or say to calm my (very rational, I promise) fears. If I tried to talk about the loss, he would just try to act as though it wasn’t so bad, even though I knew it was. Of course, because I was postpartum I was also vulnerable, raw, exhausted, sore and hormonal, so how my partner reacted was very important to me.
Over time, and thankfully, my partner has learned how to help me out through not only postpartum hair loss, but a slew of other postpartum changes that I may or may not have been totally prepared to experience. So, for all the partners out there trying to be there for the new mama with postpartum hair loss in their lives, here’s a few helpful tips. After all, that mama has enough going on.
Never Speak Negatively About Her Hair Loss
Please note: this is not the time to be funny. No calling her “baldy” or “cueball." No complaining that her hair is clogging up the shower drain. It’s hard enough being a new mom without having to worry about hair loss and a partner who’s being a jerk.
Listen When She Needs To Talk About It
Eventually the mom will come to you to discuss what’s bothering her. Listen attentively. Use kind words. Don’t interrupt. Hold her hand. It’s harder to experience than you might think.
Help Her Research Remedies
If you notice her scouring the internet for home remedies, offer to help. A simple Google search will yield a number of suggestions, from black castor oil and coconut oil hair masks to upping your biotin intake. It’s not difficult to write a few of these down and let her know you’re there to help.
Make Sure She Takes Her Vitamins...
Now I don’t mean follow her around like she’s a child to make sure she took her pills. A gentle reminder after lunch or dinner, asking if she’s taken her vitamins yet, is more of what I have in mind.
Maybe start taking some of your own vitamins and buy some pill minders for the both of you. She’s already dealing with mom brain and sleep deprivation, so this is is nothing short of thoughtful.
...And Eats A Healthy, Hair-Friendly Diet
The mama in your life is probably too busy changing diapers and singing lullabies to whip up a consistent menu of stellar meals, so why not take that task upon yourself? Cook up some kale, whole grain pasta, or maybe chop up an assortment of fruit for dinner. Or at the very least, pick up some health-conscious takeout so she’s getting her vitamins in more way than one.
Book Her An Appointment With A Good Stylist...
Depending on the amount of loss, she may or may not want someone touching her hair. Ask her if she’d be interested, and then offer to make the appointment for her and with a trusted hair stylist. She might find some joy in going for a new haircut or adding a bit of color.
...And A Dermatologist, Too, If Necessary
If the hair loss is prolonged, a trip to the dermatologist might be the best thing for the new mom. This way, they can rule out other reasons for the hair loss, like alopecia or a vitamin deficiency. Since new mommy is so busy, making her the appointment shows her that you seriously care.
Actively Reduce Her Stress
Take on more of the child care duties. Take over bedtime routines. Take out the trash and take down the laundry and take the dog for a walk. More importantly, let her take all the time she needs to relax. Stress only makes hair loss worse.
Compliment Her In Other Ways
Depending on the mom, she may be feeling less attractive or confident due to the hair loss (or any other postpartum change she may or may not be experiencing). Of course, losing your hair isn’t the end of the world by any means, and some are able to take this in stride. Others might have trouble coping, but practically everyone can appreciate a well-timed, sincere compliment now and again.
Support Her Decisions Regarding The Loss
Your partner might decide that she wants to shave her head. Depending on the severity of her hair loss, she may also begin to wear scarves or even wigs. Maybe she just takes a lot of supplements that don’t smell too great. Maybe the postpartum hair loss is completely normal (it probably will be, as almost every single postpartum mother experiences it to a certain degree) and, with time, losing some hair will be a thing of the past and something she doesn't even think about.
Whatever works for her should be fine with you, though, and it’s important that all dads give their partners support.