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.
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?