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During my pregnancy I was in awe of my gloriously lush hair. For a moment there, I even almost forgot I normally have thin hair! Despite all the other less desirable effects of being pregnant, at least I could enjoy my house being free of my tumbleweeds, my bedding being hair-free and my shower draining freely when I washed my hair! At one point I even gloated to myself how my skinny hair elastics weren't holding up my ponytail anymore and had to purchase some thick ones! Wowzers it was awesome. Then I had my little baby boy and just like after my first baby, three months down the line, I'm shedding enough hair to knit a jumper (for everyone) and my shower gets clogged with a hair-ball the size of a large rodent every time I wash my hair. My hair is getting thinner by the day and to add to it, I now have loads of wispy flyaway baby hairs framing my face. Not so awesome. Some days there's so much hair everywhere I think, is this actually going to stop or should I just embrace baldness?
So this delightful experience is called Postpartum Alopecia (hair loss). The great news is, it does stop eventually (normally at about 6 months postpartum) and your hair does return to it's normal pre-pregnancy thickness (or thinness in my case).
Postpartum hair thinning affects about 90% of women and can differ from pregnancy to pregnancy in the same individual. It's caused by hormonal changes that occur after giving birth. Many people believe breastfeeding hormones are the cause but that's not actually the case. It's actually due to the disappearance of pregnancy hormones. During pregnancy, under the effects of high levels of oestrogen and progesterone, our hair follicles enter a growth phase so hair grows (and grows and grows) and doesn't shed. At the end of pregnancy, it takes a little while for these hormones to drop back to normal so hair shedding typically starts about 2-6 (commonly 3) months after birth. We then start shedding hair to make up for lost time (apparently it's about 400 hairs a day as opposed to a normal rate of 80)!
Although breastfeeding isn't to blame, stress and being run-down are contributing factors to hair loss and having a newborn, sleep deprivation and being a human dairy can all really take their toll.
So ladies, don't despair! The shedding will stop and your hair is growing (that's what those annoying baby hairs around your hair line are) but there's a few things that may help to prevent further alopecia:
Eat a well balanced diet
Get some exercise
Try not to stress about it!
Haha! I know- easier said than done when there's a newborn and possibly other children in the house, right!? But do try and do what you can to satisfy the above (I'm working on it myself!) and whatever you do, don't turn down any offered help!!
And if you need something in the meantime, wearing clip in hair extensions are a fantastic, temporary, affordable and most of all, gentle way to boost your hair volume and confidence while your hair grows back. I may only wear mine when I'm going somewhere 'nice' but when I do, I feel like tossing my hair around a bit. And here's a little tip - a little hairspray applied with a toothbrush does wonders to tame those annoying baby hairs around your hair line!
Enjoy your gorgeous bubbas ladies and take care of yourselves (and maybe pamper yourself with a cheeky set of clip in extensions)! 😉