Oh For the Love of Hair
Dealing with Postpartum Hair Loss
Written by Sarah Davis, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Encapsulation, Belly Binding, Vaginal Steaming
I am almost 4 months postpartum, and like every postpartum experience I’ve had, it is the ending of an era; the era of glamorous hair. During pregnancy I grow thick long locks and after birth, a few months later, my drain is clogged and I’m calling (crying) to my sister Kayla, who happens to be a hairstylist asking, once again, if this is normal and am I going to become bald? To which I’m sure she rolls her eyes then tells me to come in for my overdue hair appointment and makes me (mostly) right as rain.
Why Does Postpartum Hair Loss Occur?
The gist of it is that we have hair that goes through different phases; growing, transition, resting and new hair. During pregnancy the estrogen levels keep our hair in the growing phase and less hair is in the resting phase so not much hair is falling out. This creates the gorgeous, lush hair that is on par with the famous Victoria Secrets blow out look. Then the baby arrives! It is exciting and new, and then quickly the wonderful hormones that kept you happy and hair lushes during pregnancy are gone. The loss of the estrogen then can create hair loss because your hair is now shifting back to resting. Not everyone experiences the woes of postpartum hair loss, and even if they do, it isn’t always noticeable.
When will it be over?
You hair should bounce back 6months to one year postpartum. However, if you are noticing that you are still having issues or just want to double check, make sure to talk to your doctor to explore the situation as hair loss can also be a sign of health problems.
Some Tips and Tricks
Since it can feel overwhelming to call your hairstylist, unless she is your sister and is on speed dial, my lovely sister has kindly shared some comforting tips and tricks for Tulsa Postpartum moms to feel some peace about their after baby locks.
- Don’t use volumizing products. These types of products are normally high in alcohol and will dry your hair out and can contribute to dry brittle hair that more easily breaks.
- Use moisturizing hair products instead. With hair easily breaking it is vital that your hair is retaining moisture.
- Do avoid stress. I know you’ve had a baby, so this may be asking a bit much. Stress, unfortunately, does affect your hair and can cause your hair to be less able to bounce back. (It's okay to ask for help. Learn about how a postpartum doula can lower your stress level as a new mom!)
- Do continue taking prenatal vitamins and stay hydrated. Those prenatal vitamins have wonderful benefits even after baby arrives, especially if you choose to breastfeed. And water, though vital for any person, is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails as well.
- Get your hair trimmed. Even if it is just ½ an inch it will help prevent more hair loss. You can even get your hair colored, but you may need to go easy on the bleach.
- Avoid Breakage. You can do this by not putting your hair in a ponytail or bun, and not wrapping it in a towel when wet.
- Avoid heat when styling. I love getting my hair curled and straightened. Who doesn’t love a good blow out? But, when your hair wants to shed, the heat creates brittle hair that is even more prone to breaking. Sigh.
Postpartum Hair Repair Mask
New moms need a little relaxation and pampering, which will also help with the hair loss! Here is a quick DIY Hair Mask for when those days when you can’t see your stylist, but need some loving hair care.
DIY 4 Ingredient Moisturizing Hair Mask
- 1-2 Bananas
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- Blend up the bananas until smooth, making use of the nifty new baby food processor you got at your baby shower.
- Add all the other goodies; coconut oil, olive oil, and honey and repeat blending.
- Take hair mask smoothie, dump on head, slather on and rub in. Wear for five minutes of blissful, hopefully alone, bathroom time while you sit and wonder if you can eat your own hair mask because it smells so stinking good.
- Rinse well with warm water. Gently comb through hair with a large tooth comb to ensure no bits were possible taking up residence in your hair.
- Shampoo and let air dry.
- Feel free to make actual smoothie that you can eat.
For more cool styles and hair tips check out Kayla’s Hair to Share page.