Pregnancy Ruined My Hair in a Major Way


hair

It’s been almost two years since I had my baby, and my hair is still recovering.

Sure, I had heard about the postpartum shed, but I never thought about how it’d impact my thin, easy to break, super slow to grow natural hair.

The hormones of pregnancy disrupt the normal shedding cycle of hair. This results in the thick, wonderful pregnancy hair that accompanies that growing belly. Just as the belly is temporary, so is that hair, and usually a few months after birth, as those hormones subside and return to normal, the hair that would have been falling out during the previous year starts dropping.

For me, the shed meant knots and clumps crowding my comb regardless of how much conditioner I used, how careful I was, what products I used, and my very healthy diet. The hair kept falling and falling.

What I didn’t understand about postpartum hair loss is the worst time wasn’t going to be when the hair was falling out. No, the worst time is now, almost two years later when all the hair I should have lost while I was pregnant was long gone AND the rest of my hair on its normal cycle had been shedding for a year.

Because my hair grows so slowly, the new hair I started growing  postpartum is still super short and the replacement hair from the normal shedding last year is practically nonexistent. Together this is especially tragic around my hairline. The worst part is I didn’t even realize it until a family member posted a photo of me from Thanksgiving and all I could see was my scalp. I was horrified (and nope, I’m not showing that photo).

Luckily, this site has shown me that I am not alone cringing at my hair after pregnancy. Part of me wants to do a big chop, but I know that with the patchiness that would be a disaster. So for now I’m trying to be extra gentle and taking better care to swoop hair over my edges as I wait for the recovery that I know is coming. My hair grew before. It will grow again. It’s rebounded from years of relaxer abuse including a clump being left in and burning a bald spot on my scalp. I know this is only temporary, but I hate it.

My hair is not really ruined. It’s just not how I’d like it to be. I miss earlier this year when I was glowing about my hair. I realize all the photos I use there were from this summer and earlier and the styles all hid my trouble zones. Honestly, I’ve been here and worse before.

I keep reminding myself that it’s only hair and that only time will really help, but honestly, the thought of having to go through this with every child makes me dread future pregnancies. However, whenever I start too feel too upset, all I have to do is look at my little man and realize I’d go bald if it meant I got to have him.

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It is only hair.

How long did it take your hair to recover from the postpartum shed? Was there anything about your body after pregnancy you hated? How did you deal?

About Alicia B

Alicia lives and took a semester of photography in a small college town that often challenges her resolve to live as simply and as stress-free as possible. When she’s not working, rereading the same children’s books, cooking, or wondering how crunchy she’s become, she’s busy updating her site, liciabobesha.com. You can follow her on facebook.


  • Sherri

    It took a long time for me to connect my new hair “issues” with pregnancy and breastfeeding. Three children five and under, breastfeeding without stopping the whole time – it’s no wonder my hair is in a questionable state. The front/top grows fast and wiry and the middle grows slow and curly. It’s an interesting combination. I have done a big chop a few times since my first was born, but I’ve finally accepted that it is my new normal for now. I’m okay with that.

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  • Elodie

    I am going through the same issues right now. My daughter was born end of December 2013 and I cut my dreads 10 days after her birth. My hair was short but really nice and glowing. One day in March it started to fall…I did not have to touch it or anything, my hair was just all over the floor…that got me really sad…and I disagree with you, it is not only hair. It is my body, my féminity. My motherhood should not make me feel like I am ugly, or not désirable to my man. My hair is by nature really thin and low densité with the post parfum shedding is even worse and I have 2 huge bald spots on the edges…and even if I take suppléments, use conditionner etc it does not seem to recover at all. I believe I have the right to be angry…it is a very tough time for me. It does not mean my daughter is not the greatest thing that ever happened to me…but going outside has become a challenge for me.

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  • Denita

    I recently gave birth to my now 3.5 month old daughter and over the past couple weeks…the hair has begun to fall. My daughter is not my first child, I have a 9 year old son and I didn’t experience anything like this…I guess I got lucky. Postpartum shedding was the furthest thing from my mind, only because I had recently done a henna treatment on my hair so I figured that maybe I just didn’t wash it out well enough. Nope…that wasn’t it. This uneven and unlike me hairline (and bald spots!!) has postpartum shedding all over it according to my doctor. I gotta admit, I am a bit worried that this will get worse before it gets better and apparently it should be back to its normal self by her 1st birthday…that’s a really, really, long time from now.

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  • http://www.cribfit.com Lauren

    Ugh…my baby is 2, I am still breastfeeding, and my hair has never looked worse. I actually hate this thinning, frizzy mop. I think I am gonna chop it and see if it grows back better. Or I may just shave it off!

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