No one wants to lose their hair. Older men with high testosterone levels don’t want to lose their hair. Aging women don’t want to lose their hair. People undergoing chemotherapy don’t want to lose their hair. And postpartum women don’t want to lose their hair. But sometimes we don’t have a say in what happens to our bodies. So several months after you give birth, when your hormones get a bit wonky, sometimes you find clumps of hair in your hands and shower drain. Because many moms experience severe postpartum hair loss, recognizing their struggles is certainly important and worthwhile.
My own issues with hair loss started when I was postpartum. My hair had flourished during my pregnancy with my son, and when it still hadn’t shed four months after his birth I figured I was in the clear. But half-way into my son’s first year of life, I started noticing huge clumps of hair in my shower drain. I decided to stop washing my hair as often, hoping that would minimize the amount of hair I was losing, but it didn’t help. I tried not combing my hair, which made a slight difference, but I was still losing more hair than I would have liked.
Eventually I realized I was experiencing postpartum hair loss and, thankfully, it did slow down after a couple of months of heavy shedding. The entire experience took a toll on my mental state and self-esteem, though, and I know I’m not alone. So with that in mind, here's how other moms dealt with the emotional turmoil of losing your hair postpartum
“It feels like you’re going bald and that it’s never ending! Oh my god, the giant hairballs that would come out. I have a lot of hair as is, and typically have a good amount of hair loss. But those 10 months after each of my girls were ridiculous.”
“At six months postpartum I thought I had gotten lucky and skipped that part of postpartum. Then at about six and a half months, I shed all the hair around my face. Now when I wear my hair up in a bun (new mom, hello!) I have about one-two inch little pieces all around my face like a lion — they stick straight out. I also have thinned in other areas around my face and somehow the hormones have also given me eczema on my scalp (I am breastfeeding). Overall, my daughter is worth all of this — but it is hard to feel beautiful again after birth when one of the only things I love about myself was my hair and it’s looking pretty rough."
“It wasn't so much a struggle, other than cleaning the drain! Didn't lose any hair (like you normally do in day-to-day life), then caught up with hair that should have been lost. My brush and shower drain were always full of hair there for a while!”
“Oh, goodness. I had a normal amount of hair loss with my first. However, I had a noticeable amount of loss with my second. I had read about women running their fingers through their hair and pulling out clumps, but it's one thing to read about it and a whole other thing to experience it. In the shower I would run my fingers through my hair until, after several minutes, hardly anything else came out. I would have an actual pile of hair leftover. So much that I could feel the weight of it. I would even have to unclog the drain three or four times during one shower.
My hairline receded, I had bald spots on and above my temples, and it was (and still is) visibly thinner throughout. I came very close to shaving it off in the hopes it would grow back in a uniform fashion, but instead I opted for a shorter cut with lovely layers to help me manage the differences.
It's been about six to eight months since it stopped coming out. It's slowly growing back. And just like the first time, it's growing back in spiral curls. It's the most bizarre thing. I look forward to having all my hair back the way it's supposed to be. I miss the fullness and weight of it.”
“My hairstylist warned me that, since my hair growth phase was stuck in ‘don't shed’ mode during pregnancy, I should expect to lose a lot after my body went back to its pre-pregnancy growth cycle. I didn't think to factor in my lupus, though. Hair loss is one of the symptoms I experience during a flare-up and nothing triggers a flare-up quite like giving birth, so I lost roughly two-thirds of my hair in the first three months after having my son.”
“So much hair. Everywhere. On the ground, in my brush, and even in my food. Now my hair is starting to grow back and it looks wild. I have to wear headbands daily.”
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