Where did all my hair go? Postpartum hair loss

by | Apr 13, 2021 | Blog

Going through pregnancy obviously caused many changes to my body. About three months after I delivered my baby, I noticed that I was shedding hair. A lot of hair. And it wasn’t your typical hair loss that you find on the brush or on the bathroom counter. My hairline slowly moved back and left behind two exposed areas on my scalp. I thought I was going bald. Thank god for all the pregnancy books and websites; I soon learned this was a normal part of postpartum for many women.

What causes postpartum hair loss? The official term is postpartum alopecia and about 90 percent of women experience some form of it. During pregnancy, there is a significant increase in estrogen and progesterone which causes hair growth. Many women experience thicker and longer hair due to that. After giving birth, the hormones level out, causing hair loss several months later. New hair grows in along the hairline resembling “baby peach fuzz” as I call my little fluffy hairs. There is no sugar-coating it. It sucks. I had to say good-bye to cute updos. But there is no need to be scared. This stage is temporary and for most women, the hair grows back by the baby’s first birthday.

As annoying and embarrassing as this “side effect” of labor is, it is a sign to remind us what amazing work our bodies have gone through. We grew and carried a human being for 9 months before delivering an angel to this world. This “sad” hair line is a badge of honor. So don’t be too upset about it.

As proud as I am to be a mom, I do look forward to my hair looking “normal” again. While this excessive shedding is temporary, there are a few things you can do to help your hair look fuller. Here are a few tips I found online that may help. If you want to try any of these tips, I would recommend checking with your doctor first to make sure it is safe, especially if you are breastfeeding.

1. Consume a healthy diet – we all know that a healthy diet is necessary for healthy skin, nails and overall health. Specifically for hair loss, it’s important to eat food items that are rich in Vitamin A, B and C. Vitamin A rich foods include animal products such as milk, eggs and yogurt. Vitamin B can be found in whole grains, almonds, meat, fish, seafood and dark, leafy greens. Vitamin C can be found in strawberries, peppers, guavas and citrus fruits.

2. Continue taking a prenatal vitamin if you are still breastfeeding. I love the Nature Made ones from Costco: Prenatal Vitamins

3. Hair masks – try making a coconut mask for your hair. One study found that honey helped with hair loss. Try mixing some coconut oil with honey and a splash of water and massage it into your hair. Leave it on for 30-60 minutes and rinse well.

4. Find the right shampoo – there are three main suggestions here:

a) Biotin Shampoo –  I just ordered this one so we’ll see how that works: Biotin Shampoo

b) Tio Nacho Mexican Herbs Shampoo- my friend recommended this shampoo as it helped her with postpartum hair loss. As I was googling this product, I came across countless reviews who supported the same claim. It definitely made my hair thicker. (I found it at target for a better price than on amazon)

c) Volumizing shampoos  – these shampoos often times have ingredients that help your hair look fuller. Avoid conditioning shampoos as they can weigh down your hair. Look for labels such as “volume” or fine hair”. Also, when using a hair conditioner, focus mostly on the ends of your hair.

5. Say good-bye to your curling iron – avoid using heating tools. The heat damages hair and causes additional hair loss. Try air drying your hair if possible. Hairspray is also not recommended.

6. Wear your hair down – for me, most of my hair loss is along my hairline especially above the corners of my eyebrows. Whenever I put my hair up, it becomes more pronounced. I found that wearing my hair down or in a low pony tail helps hide these spots.

While postpartum hair loss may suck, it’s totally worth it to have a little nugget snuggling up to you. Hope you found these tips helpful! No matter how your hair looks, your baby will love you either way