I’m not going to lie, this one is not a happy feel good post. No. It’s a warning. A ‘just to make you aware’ post. One of those posts that you’ll think ‘wow that’s dramatic and a massive overstatement that will never apply to me…’
You lose hair after pregnancy.
There. I said it.
I was told this but I didn’t really believe it. And then, it happened to me.
I’ve read that, because you don’t lose as much hair during pregnancy (as a result of increased oestrogen), after you’ve had the baby you experience increased hair loss which is really just everything getting back to normal. All it is really is an even-ing out to get your hair back the way it was.
My hair wasn’t quite as thick after my first baby and ended up significantly thinner after baby 2. Currently, after baby 3, I’m amazed each morning that I still have hair. I only have to sneeze and it falls out. It’s literally every where all over my house. My 5 year old pulled a strand out from her cup of water at lunch. Which I didn’t pour, touch or go near.
So yes, it will fall out.
With that in mind, I though I’d write this slightly depressing but honest post on the truth about hair loss after pregnancy.
Truth #1 – you will lose more hair than you think you will
I read about hair loss in one of my first pregnancy books. I’m not quite sure why I thought that it would just be a few strands of hair here and there but I did. Needless to say, this is not what happens.
Be prepared to lose handfuls of hair. Literally handfuls. When you wash it. When you brush it. If baby grabs it.
You’ll be finding it all around your house. You’ll be picking it up off the floor every day. When you go to clear out your drain you’ll make yourself jump because you’ll think that you’ve pulled a dead rat from it. It’s that kind of hair loss.
Which leads on to…
Truth #2 – you will find this very distressing
If you’ve got long hair then you are probably used to losing a bit of each when you wash or style this. Hair loss after pregnancy is something else though and it can be really upsetting.
I am simultaneously amazed and terrified by the amount of hair I’m losing at the moment. I cannot understand – at all – how I am not bald. It seems like it’s falling out in massive clumps and I find this really hard. I straightened my hair for the first time today and when I looked on the floor I swear it formed a small nest.
As women, we’re brought up to associate long, glossy hair with attractiveness. So when we lose our hair it can be really distressing. Really, ridiculously, distressing.
But don’t despair just yet because…
Truth #3 – it won’t be forever
Luckily, although hair loss can be substantial and really upsetting, it isn’t forever. If it were, I would literally have no hair by now. Everything will, at some point, normalise.
Note that I didn’t say go back to ‘normal’. Some women do find that their hair changes permanently. I know mine did. But the hair loss did eventually slow down to a less distressing level and by your baby’s first birthday you shouldn’t have too many problems with it.
So if you are at the stage where, at a few months post partum, your hair has started abandoning you then don’t panic. It’s normal, it’s healthy and it will stop eventually. If you are finding it really hard then maybe talk to your GP to see if there are any underlying issues that might be adding to the normal post-pregnancy loss or consider getting rocking a shorter hair cut for a while.
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