I’ve never had the thickest of hair, however during pregnancy it became lustrous and lovely. Downside – it wasn’t going to stay that way! Just when I thought I’d avoided it, my baby hit the 3 month mark and bam! My hair just began to fall out in clumps…
According to todaysparent.com this is known as postpartum alopecia and it affects as many as 90% of women. However, I feel it is a symptom very rarely spoken about. Exhaustion, soreness and stretch marks all seem to be more commonly discussed. Therefore I wanted to ‘shed’ (excuse the pun!) some light on this very real and very irritating issue.
The science behind postpartum hair loss
I did a little digging around to find out why exactly hair can fall out after having a baby (just one of the ‘joys’ of new motherhood!) It just so happens that during pregnancy you don’t actually get more hair growth. Instead, it just stops falling out as much. (Non-pregnant women naturally lose around 100 strands per day). During pregnancy the body experiences huge amounts of oestrogen and progesterone which help to keep hair looking thick and shiny until around 3 months after childbirth. At which point, it becomes the norm to lose around 400 strands of hair per day. This usually lasts until around 6 months postpartum when hair should begin to return to its pre-pregnant state.
Holding on to those precious locks…
Some ways to keep your hair healthy during this time include:
- Do not over- style or blow-dry your hair
- Take vitamins and supplements including a prenatal vitamin (which is recommended after your baby is born anyway if you are breastfeeding)
- Eat well including lots of fruits, veggies and healthy proteins
- Use volumizing shampoo
Dealing with the inevitable…
For me, I am less bothered by my hair thinning slightly (as long as it is not too obvious!) and more concerned by it getting just about everywhere! I’ll simply run my fingers through it and its all over the floor. Or I’ll be moisterising the baby and find it stuck to him and me! Lockdown has compounded the issue as my hair is at its longest in a long time.
I found myself vacuuming daily but then began to worry about the amount of hair wrapping around the brush roll of our Dyson. This was until I decided to spend a tenner on a rubber hairdressing broom. A very worthwhile purchase, it is amazing on the carpet and so much easier than vacuuming, especially when you’re at your hair loss peak!
If anyone has any other strategies, either for keeping the hair on my head or for the clean up when it’s fallen, I’d love to hear them!