Even when you think you’ve prepared yourself, the inevitable can still take you by surprise. Whether you have experience with postpartum shedding or not, if you’ve read any blog or watched any YouTube video dedicated to this topic, you know this is true. Nothing can really prepare you for your hair falling out in clumps or seeing strands of your hair on your clothes or pillow in unprecedented numbers. Postpartum hair loss can be disconcerting, especially if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into growing and maintaining your hair and its health. The way to make it through the experience is to ensure that you are clear on what happens and why. Knowledge is power and knowledge will likely go a long way to help you control your emotional response to any postpartum hair loss you may experience.
Postpartum hair loss typically hits between the third and sixth month after pregnancy and lasts for varying periods of time. For some women, it’s a few weeks while for others it can last several months. A select group of lucky women won’t experience postpartum shedding at all and like all other pregnancy-related conditions, there’s no real rhyme or reason when it comes to understanding who gets affected by what. The basic explanation behind postpartum shedding is that during pregnancy hormones interrupt the normal shedding process so we end up holding on to the hairs that would otherwise have been shed. Once the pregnancy hormones subside, all those hairs that we should have lost begin to fall out in addition to the normal shedding that is also happening.
The first time around I had no issues with postpartum shedding, at least none that I recall. However, I have come to realize that sometimes we look at the past with rose-colored glasses. We see them as the good old days when in fact we probably thought they were awful at the time we were living through them. I’ve read quite a few accounts of postpartum shedding and even for those who knew it was coming, it was still a pretty traumatic thing to go through. Having your hair come out in clumps is never fun, especially when there seems to be no end in sight. A lot of women also lose their edges because of postpartum shedding, which is a little bit like adding insult to injury.
Breastfeeding may delay the onset of postpartum shedding, however, once weaning begins and or baby starts eating solids postpartum shedding is likely to rear its unwanted head. If it doesn’t start by this time, you stand a high chance of being spared the experience.
Postpartum shedding usually ends by baby’s first birthday and hair should return to normal around this time as well. If excessive shedding proceeds beyond this time, see your doctor because hair loss has many different causes. If you noticed shinier hair during pregnancy then expect it to become drier and duller during this time as well. Over time, postpartum shedding should become less and less. If shedding does not seem to be subsiding, if your hair does not seem to be returning to normal or if you feel that the amounts are excessive then see your doctor. When it comes to possible medical issues it is always better to check it out when in doubt.
The following tips can help you weather the storm that it is postpartum shedding.
- Keep taking your vitamins. Prenatal or regular multi vitamins is fine. You may also want to consider taking Shedavi’s Hair Growth Vitamins in conjunction, however, please seek medical advice before doing so. It is important for you to keep the remaining hair in great shape and give the new hairs that will be coming in every opportunity for success.
- Eat well, exercise and stay hydrated. This is particularly important postpartum even though it’s pretty much great advice regardless.
- Be gentle on your hair, especially your edges
- Avoid heat or any chemical process such as a coloring your hair until shedding is over. Your hair is being stressed enough. No need to add to it.
- Wash and go styles work well to camouflage thinning as well as reduce the stress of styling on the hair.
- If you find your hair is very thin, using volumizing products might help.
- Keep your hair moisturized and ensure that your ends are in good condition while you wait for the shedding to subside.
- Keep your stress in check as stress can also disrupt the hair’s normal cycle.
When it comes to postpartum shedding remember this saying. “This too shall pass”.