Postpartum Hair Loss

I was warned, everywhere in fact, from books, friends, online articles and forums, so while I expected postpartum hair loss, I also didn’t expect it, and certainly not to the severity that it happened.

Almost like clockwork at three months postpartum I began losing my hair. My hairdresser was actually the first to notice, and to be honest I thought he was just being a bit dramatic. That was until a few days later it just became so apparent there was no more avoiding or pretending it wasn’t happening. I was losing so much hair, it was literally everywhere, including the worst location of all: in my baby boy’s diaper. After reading that stray hairs could quickly become a tourniquet on small appendages I knew I had to contain the issue as best as possible. I now understand the purpose of the “Mom cut”, while I didn’t go that far I did have to accept the fact that my daily hairstyle would be either clipped up in a bun, tied up in a braid or a secure ponytail for the foreseeable future. Beyond the nuisance of the issue it didn’t really bother me at first, however it wasn’t long before the hair loss started becoming more intense, and relentless. I was pulling mitt-fuls out in the shower, clumps were coming out in my brush and any time I so much as thought about touching my hair handfuls more would fall out, needless to say my hormonal based emotions began to take me down the road of panic. It bothered me so much that I decided, like any rational person, to start collecting the hair over a few days to see if it really was as bad as I thought. It was.

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This is a few days worth of hair loss. I lost this much hair every few days for two months.

I spoke with several friends who assured me this was normal, some even went as far as reassuring me with their own self-sacrificing pictures demonstrating the extent to their hair loss and the tricks they used to hide it (bangs, and unique comb-overs that are sure to put Donald Trump to shame). After a month of extreme daily hair loss I was at my wits’ end, so I went to my doctor, surely this couldn’t be normal. He reassured me that it was normal, but just in case I could have a requisition to get some blood work done to check my thyroid and hormone levels just to make sure there wasn’t something else going on. He recommended I wait another couple of weeks to see how it played out. Despite the fact I now had half as much hair as I did just a few weeks prior, I obliged.

I tried not to focus on it, but sometimes it was just so in my face (or hand, rather) that I couldn’t ignore it. Something has to give, right?! And eventually it did. After two months almost to the day of straight, intense hair loss things seem to have subsided to a “normal” amount of hair loss. My hair is much thinner than it was a couple of months ago, but then again, if I can remember correctly, I think this is on par with what my hair was like before I got pregnant. You see my “hair gain” during pregnancy slowly crept up on me. In fact, I didn’t even think that it happened at the time. My friends, and hairdresser told me otherwise. After much thought, it did make sense; I had a much more bombshell amount of hair when I look back at pictures, and my normally oily locks could go an extra day before requiring a wash (brilliant for an every day girl).

So, maybe there is some truth to the idea that we don’t lose much, if any hair during our pregnancy and that is the hair that begins to fall out in excess after the fact. It just happens so gradually that perhaps we don’t notice. So, the postpartum hair loss panic need not be as dramatic as perhaps it felt in those two months. Like with anything trying in life, this too shall pass.