Around three months postpartum, I started to notice that my hair was falling out like crazy. I’d find my hair all over my husband, our daughter, and all over myself. When I showered and washed my hair, my hands would be filled with hair; and after I’d brush my hair, my brush would be full. I’d heard other moms talk about postpartum hair loss, but I didn’t realize I’d be shedding so much.
I felt like I was going bald, but I knew that wasn’t really the case. I was just a new mom, freaking out as usual. So, to put my mind (and my husband’s) at ease, I did a little research. Here’s what I learned:
- Hair Has a Growing and Resting Stage — 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and 5 to 15 percent of the hair is in a resting stage. After the resting period is over, your hair falls out and is replaced by new hair.
- We Shed Approximately 100 Hairs a Day — On average, we shed around 100 hairs a day. During pregnancy, however, due to the increased levels of estrogen, less hair is in the resting stage and fewer strands of hair fall out each day; that’s why our hair looks thicker and fuller during pregnancy.
- Estrogen Levels Tumble After Birth — When estrogen falls, more hair follicles enter the resting stage, thus more hair falls out.
- It Can Last Up to a Year — Most information about postpartum hair loss indicates that around your little one’s first birthday, your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy state and your hair loss will have tapered off.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a “cure” for postpartum hair loss—it’s just something we have to work our way through. Six months in, I’m still experiencing massive shedding. I empty my shower drain regularly and I’m slightly terrified of cooking for guests. More times than I care to admit, my husband has found hair in his food. I brush constantly, I pull my hair back, and apart from investing in a hair net, I really don’t know what else I can do.
Apart from the running jokes with my husband, I am careful to check my daughter frequently. My hair is long, so I make sure she doesn’t have any strands wrapped around her fingers, toes, or stuck in the crevices of her neck. So, ladies, if you’re right there with me—wondering why on earth your hair is falling out everywhere—rest assured, it is normal. You’ll just have to add one more task to your never-ending to-do list for the next few months—cleaning out the shower drain.
By Holly M.