I’m not going to lie, when I was pregnant, I asked all of the nitty-gritty questions: What’s delivery actually going to feel like? How often do women tear? What about the aftermath? And luckily, the women in my life provided me with a pretty clear glimpse at what was to come. One thing I was absolutely NOT prepared for: postpartum hair loss. Sure, I’d heard about it before, but I thought it was just a little more hair fall than usual. WRONG! Although every woman is different, my hair literally fell out in chunks, and I felt like I was left with three strands on my head. Needless to say, my confidence—which was already all over the place after dealing with the other gross effects post-delivery—was at an all-time low. So how did I cope? Here, my top tips for dealing with thinning strands after baby.
First things first, even though it’s been two years since I’ve given birth, I feel like I am STILL on this journey. My hair has definitely grown back, but now I’m dealing with thicker roots and short baby hairs—the WORST! But, hey, at least I am seeing progress.
I have to say, though my postpartum hair loss was extreme, I do consider myself pretty lucky. I didn’t lose any hair around my face; most of my hair fall affected the bottom half of my hair. Though I was a mess when it was happening, everyone reassured me that the extreme shedding doesn’t last forever. And luckily—they were right!
Continue to take your prenatal vitamins
Breastfeeding or not, your body needs vitamins and nutrients to get back to your post-pregnancy self. As a new mama, you’re probably not sleeping or eating as well as you should, so it’s important to make sure that you’re getting all of the nutrients you need in order to help your body function. Also, make sure your prenatal has a good amount of the essential nutrients you need for hair growth (i.e. iron, zinc, magnesium). You can also try taking biotin or collagen on a regular basis, but I found that when you’re dealing with a newborn, it’s easier to remember to take one supplement a day.
Avoid wearing your hair up in a tight ponytail or bun
The absolute last thing you want to do after having a baby is style your hair on a daily basis. (Heck, you’re lucky if you can even wash your hair!) While it may be tempting to throw your locks into a messy bun, don’t! Constantly pulling hair taut can cause the already-vulnerable strands around your face to break off. Instead, opt for a loose, low ponytail or bun, or cover up your hair with a baseball cap, hat, headband, etc..
Stock up on brow powder
If you do happen to experience thinning around the front of your head, grab a brow powder that matches your hair color and use a large eyeshadow brush to fill in any sparse areas. Trust me, it will make a huge difference in your hair!
Invest in a good set of clip-in extensions
I’m not going to lie, clip-in extensions have literally changed the way I feel about my hair ever since I had my baby. I’ve actually worn extensions on and off since college since they are an easy way to add length and mix up your look. The reason why clip-in extensions are the best option for postpartum hair? You can take them out when you’re at home and can adjust the number of wefts that you use as your hair continues to grow. For example, I used to wear about 4 wefts in the beginning, but now, I typically wear only one or two wefts to thicken up the bottom half of my hair. I personally wouldn’t recommend getting semi-permanent extensions right after giving birth as your hair is already in a very fragile state. I also don’t recommend wearing extensions daily or for more than 8 hours a day as they can potentially weaken your hair. But seriously, if you are struggling with postpartum hair loss, a good quality set of extensions will literally make you feel like a new woman.
Lay off the heat
This one has also been tough on me. When I was working, I pretty much heat-styled my hair every day during the week, which obviously has caused major damage over the years. While it’s ideal to give up hot tools completely, for those of us with wavy, curly or frizz-prone hair, it’s just not possible. My advice? Wash your hair only 1-2 times a week and heat-style only on those days. Also, stick with a style that requires minimal touch-ups and use dry shampoo and a lightweight styling cream or oil to revive hair on your non-wash days. I promise you, the lack of heat, coupled with the right vitamins, will help your hair grow back in a few months.
How did you cope with postpartum hair loss? I’d love to hear your hair growth tips!