Sunday, July 26, 2020

dealing with postpartum hairloss

When I was about 3-4 months postpartum, someone asked me on instagram how I was dealing with postpartum hair loss. I wasn't having any yet, and was like "hmmm, maybe this is one of those things I just got lucky and avoided!"

Jokes on me because two months later, my hair was falling out in handfulls. It was honestly disturbing how much hair I was losing every time I washed my hair. Every time I showered, I had huge clumps of hair left over. I seriously dreaded washing my hair. Everyone was commenting on the beautiful head of hair my baby had, while I was losing all of mine!

And then about two months later, I all of a sudden felt my hair looked crazy, because I had all these tiny short hairs along my hair line. Initially I thought it was just the new shampoo I was using, and then I finally realized it was my hair growing back. So not only did I lose a bunch of hair thickness, but then I had all these wirey new hairs growing in along my hairline.

Telogen effluvium is the medical term for diffuse hairloss (and definitely sounds like a Harry Potter spell). It happens after a big triggering event, like delivering a baby, and makes the hair follicles go from the growth phase they are in during pregnancy (which is why many women get thicker hair when they are pregnant) to the resting phase, where hair eventually falls out. It typically happens 3-4 months after that triggering event, which is what happened to me.

There isn't a "cure" for postpartum hair loss unfortunately, and not a ton you can do to prevent it. But there are a few things I found in this process that has helped deal with the hair loss and helping my hair in this journey!

every day // I continued taking a prenatal vitamin after penny's delivery. Not only is that helpful for lactating mothers, but I really believe it makes a difference for hair and nail growth! I don't have any medical knowledge to back that up with, but just something I've noticed personally. I also eat lots of healthy fats in avocados and olive oil, which I think helps.

in the shower // I only wash my hair every 5-6 days (thank you, world's best dry shampoo!). In the shower, I use Amika's purple shampoo for my highlighted hair with this shampoo brush - it helps get a great lather and supposedly stimulates blood flow to the scalp (again, who knows if this truly makes a difference as I don't have any studies to back that up with, but it sure feels good on the scalp!). Then I follow with the It's a 10 deep conditioner. I use a comb to detangle my hair while that is on - this is the traumatic part when you're going to lose a bunch of hair on the brush, but I think it's better to brush in the shower with the conditioner on as it's less tearing at wet hair outside of the shower.

after the shower // After I step out of the shower, I use this microfiber towel that I use by draping across my forehead and then spinning into a bun at the nape of my neck - I feel this pulls less at the hairline than when you drape it on top of your head because it's not pulling at the hairs when you spin it to be on top of your head. I think use several products specifically to help with regrowth, to protect the hairs I do have, and help smooth out the new hairs. First I apply Kerastase's strengthening serum mostly to be hairline and at the top of my head (I use two pipette's worth of product). This stuff is seriously worth it, and I will continue to buy it. It helps strengthen the hairs you have, preventing hairs from breaking off. Since I was already losing whole strands of hair, I didn't want to lose even more due to breakage. Then I apply Living Proof's no-frizz cream - this stuff is great for the frizz that comes with the new hair growth, and a little bit goes a long way. I focus this first on my ends and then at my hairline. After drying my hair, I use this hair oil,  again first on my ends and then on my part. My hair is almost frizz free using these two products, and don't even straighten my hair anymore (which is an extra win since I'm not applying any heat!).

styling // I tried several different products and tricks to try to get the new hairs to lay flat - I even got one of those hair mascara products in hopes it would keep my new hairs down, but it really only worked for like 5 minutes and then they popped back up. I snuck a little bit of my husband's pomade to make the hairs at my hairline lay flat. Several people also had luck spraying some hairspray on an old toothbrush and using that to brush the hairs down! What I really had the most luck with though was just using headbands to get through this regrowth phase! Amazon is a goldmine for headbands. My favorite for work are these yoga headbands and these floral ones - I get compliments every time I wear them! I love the look of the Lele Sadoughi headbands but $150 for a headband is not something I can afford, so this pack of headbands in a similar style is a great alternative - I've worn these to several weddings and events and love the look of them! I just found this pack of 12 headbands that are now in my Amazon husband probably won't be too happy about even more headbands but when you wear them so often, you can't help but want a few more!

In the end, it's "just hair" and motherhood is hard enough without beating yourself up about your hair, so we all need to give ourselves some grace when it comes to how we think we look in the postpartum (or any time) period. The several times I brought up my crazy hair regrowth in real life or on instagram, every one said they didn't even notice! So it's like all things, we are always our worst critics! But I hope these little tips help you get through the months of losing and regrowing your hair. Would love to hear any other tips from all you experienced ladies!