Having a baby is a really beautiful journey. From hearing the heartbeat for the first time to finally holding your beautiful baby after nine long months, it’s magical. But then, the baby is born and we begin the postpartum recovery period. During this time, we will experience a lot of the “fun” side-effects that come with postpartum recovery.
I am nine months postpartum and like most women, I experienced the dreaded postpartum hair loss. For me, the hair loss started exactly when my daughter turned four months old. Since she is my third baby, I was already anticipating this side effect of postpartum recovery but I still felt really anxious about having to go through it again. I understand this is a totally normal part of postpartum recovery but it still bothered me. I hated seeing my hair all over the bathroom floor and stuck to the walls in the shower. The thinning spots around my hairline seemed to be the only thing I could see when I looked in the mirror. After reaching out to a few friends and chatting with my OB about postpartum hair loss, I was able to come up with a few tricks to get through this phase.
1. Diet: First and foremost, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet. We are so busy taking care of our new infant and possibly older children that we forget how important it is that we fuel our own bodies. Make sure you are taking care of yourself by eating well and keeping hydrated. Complete proteins, iron & complex carbs (plus vitamin C to help with iron absorption) are needed to help with hair growth.
2. Prenatal Vitamin: Along with a balanced diet, continue taking your prenatal vitamin. You took this for nine months while your sweet baby was growing inside of you. Keep it up! A good, quality prenatal vitamin is filled with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. If your diet is lacking essential nutrients, your vitamin can help fill that gap. A prenatal vitamin alone will not make your hair grow but, the nutrients the vitamin provides will ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy hair growth.
3. Be Kind: Give your hair a little TLC. Wash your hair only a few times a week with a quality shampoo and conditioner. When you do wash, let your hair air dry and ditch the hot tools when you style. Allow your hair to fall into its natural texture. Course, wavy or curly hair will look more full than perfectly straightened hair. Finish off your styling with a serum to smooth out the ends and tame any frizz.
4. Switch it Up: You can hide thinning patches by switching up your part or throwing your hair up in a messy bun (my personal favorite!). Try out some fun braid tutorials on youtube or pick up a cute hat! Some moms even decide this is the time to try out a new bob. Go for it!
5. Fake it: It’s possible to get the illusion of full, gorgeous hair from products found at the drug store. Look for root lifting creams, mousse, volume sprays and even dry shampoo to increase the volume of your hair. If the thinning hair is really bothering you, try out some extensions! There are many options for hair extensions that vary in price and application. Talk with your hairdresser to find out the best type of extension for your hair type and budget.
However you decide to manage your postpartum hair loss, just remember- this is absolutely normal, you won’t go completely bald, and it will eventually end.