Giving birth and becoming a mum brings so much happiness, and with the ups come the downs. There are the things you expect such as sleepless nights, emotional rollercoaster rides and adjusting to the dramatic lifestyle change. Then there’s the stuff that might come as more of a surprise such as postnatal hair loss. Now, I’m not talking a little shedding, this is handfuls of the stuff falling out when you shower, having to empty the hairbrush every time you use it and the grief you feel when that cute little baby grabs a fistful of it, chucking gleeful as they unceremoniously yank precious strands from your scalp.
This unpleasant side effect of pregnancy usually kicks in about 3 months after giving birth, and is caused by estrogen levels in the body settling down. After the best part of a year having stronger, thicker hair due to pregnancy hormones this can come as a bit of a shock. It doesn’t happen to all mums, but if you are one of the unlucky ladies suffering like me here are a few tips and products that may help.
Invest in a good shampoo and conditioner.
I purchased OGX Argan Oil of Morocco which is for dry, damaged and brittle hair and it has definitely made my hair feel stronger and in better condition. Argan oil is packed full of antioxidants and vitamins, and is used in both hair and skincare products for its nourishing, moisturising properties. I try to only wash my hair a couple of times a week as styling it after causes lots of fallout, but this shampoo and conditioner leave my hair feeling lovely for days.
Use a hair mask.
I know as a new mum there isn’t a lot of pamper time but if you can find 5 minutes once a week before you have a bath to put on a hair mask and leave it on until the bath is run, or put it on before cooking dinner and wash it off once you’ve eaten, you will really notice the difference. I use Retread from Lush which is a conditioner but I find a little heavy so works well as a mask. It doesn’t have the nicest smell but that goes once it’s washed off, it contains 3 different types of oils (avocado, jojoba and extra virgin olive oil) to help repair and strengthen the hair, and yogurt and soya milk to leave the hair soft and shiny. Coconut oil is another great natural hair mask that will leave your hair smelling great and feeling super soft.
Try not to brush your hair when wet.
This is when I seem to lose most of mine, so I try to limit the amount of brushing I do when it’s wet. I tend to brush it before I wash it, afterwards set my parting in place with a comb and putting on a detangling spray but leave the brushing until after it’s blow dried. I use a Tangle Teezer brush to limit the amount lost.
Get a hair cut.
This might feel like the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to cling on to as much of your hair as possible, but it really does help. I was guilty of avoiding the hairdresser for months because not only did I not want to get it cut off, I was also embarrassed about how much would fall out when I got it done. This was probably the best thing I could’ve done for my hair, although I was sad to lose a little length it looked in so much better condition and the hairdresser was really good at advising how to style it to hide the thinner bits.
Now, this isn’t something I usually advise. When I first had Alice I relied on Google to be the third parent, asking it some gems such as; What colour should my babies poo be? Why is my newborns poo grainy when she only drinks milk? How many days can you go without sleep before you die? When will my baby sleep more? Is my baby now sleeping too much? As you can see mainly sleep and poo related questions. Now I try to limit the amount of parental advice I take from search engines, but it did help when the hair loss kicked in. As nobody had warned me about it and I hadn’t heard of any of my friends experiencing it so I felt like this was just happening to me, but if you search online you will find out just how many people go through the same thing.
Lastly, try not to worry about it. I know that is easy to say but it honestly will ease up and grow back very quickly. I think the hardest part is people rarely talk about it as there is so much embarrassment surrounding female hair loss, which can leave you feeling alone if it happens but I assure you so many women go through this, me included.
If you’ve experienced postnatal hair loss and have any tips or miracle products you found helped please do leave a comment below!