I have come to love breastfeeding. I never thought I would enjoy it this much. In fact I feel like I breastfeed for 5 years (just kidding)! I was not ready for the implications though!!!!! Not saggy boobs…haven’t experienced that yet…but HAIRLOSS! No one told me that I my hairline would be close to Kibaki’s (former Kenya president for the sake of my diaspora readers). The bald was real! I couldn’t hide any more. It was very devastating to see my comb full of hair and I would sit down, coil and mourn the death of my awesome hairline. You know the swahili saying “Akili ni nywele”? At some point i thought that this hair loss was the main cause of memory loss. My baby hairs were not spared either. I contemplated shaving severally and like usual, I would consult with my husband. He told me to go ahead as long as I will shave my baby! He knows how much I love my baby’s hair. I have never shaved her since birth. It’s black, voluminous, curly and it has never shed! (did you shave your baby first hair? What was the result? Please share with me in the comments). So, I was left with no choice but to stay with my big forehead. The good thing is that it manageable coz I have learnt how to manage it. You can too.
Causes of post-partum hairloss
Let’s get a little technical. “postpartum alopecia” AKA postpartum hair loss is a temporary hair condition and is experienced by 90% of women after child birth. Yes! You are not the only one, you are not the first to experience this and definitely not the last one!
Hair loss is attributed by drastic drop of hormones. During pregnancy, there are various hormones like estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin and prolactin which are produced in large amount to support the growth and development of the fetus. These are the same hormones that are responsible for pregnancy glow and play key role in hair growth. Meaning, if they drop drastically, your hair drops as well.
When does it start?
It happens different times for different women. It mainly start between 2-6 months postpartum. I hope you are among the 10% that doesn’t go through this tormenting phase. The good thing is that it does not last forever. By 12 months post-partum, your hair will starts going back to normal but it dpends with how you handle it.
How will you know you are losing your hair?
- That moment when you comb your hair and have to clean it before another stroke! (this brings me to tears I swear)
- When your hair is of uniform length. Mostly the back side the hair remains constant and even grows longer while the front part it’s the opposite. This is the time you start doing (musundu AKA Ponytail AKA moms signature looks. Welcome to motherhood.
- When braiding lines and you and it seam to start somewhere in between your head. You know what I mean?
- When you realize that your sink is full of hair when washing
- Anytime you run your fingers through your hair you get hair stuck all over your hand and fingers. Like when your permed hair has growth? It feels like a forest with thick undergrowth! Can you relate?
How will you manage hair loss
Because I love you so much, I will share with you some tips on how you can manage your hair during this period. Am still working progress but I can attest to the improvements I can see on my hair line. By the way I had to change my hair stylist and am happy she was kind enough to advise me. We will do a video soon. But here are some few tips that she has shared to help me with my hair comeback!
- Moisturize your hair– Hair breaks off why it too dry. One sure sign to know that your hair and most importantly the scalp need moisture is when it becomes itchy. There are many hair oils in the market. My stylist encourages anything with shea butter or cococnut oil. There are great moisturizing agents and essential oils that strengthen the hair. If you have braided your hair, you can mix the oils in water and then spray inside. The scents are mild and hence baby friendly.
- Protective hairstyle– If you have been a braid person, it’s time to let go. Braids normally pull your hair to a point of developing some whitish pimples on hairline clearly indicating that your hair is overstretched. Instead of braids, replace with crotchet styles. They will give equal results and still protect your hair. It’s good to avoid hairstylist who pull your hair too much to a point that you can hardly sleep for a week after a new hair do.
- Avoid heat- Avoid too much blow drying, drier heat and flat irons. The heat weaken the hair. It’s hard to avoid the blow dry do it just to straighten your and drying your hair after washing. If you had permed your hair, you may consider giving it a break by plaiting protective styles.
- Hair Treatment and Shampoos- Treat your hair every time you wash. There many products out there and its important to use different ones every time you wash. Most treatments and shampoos contain keratin and proteins that strengthen the hair.
- Be gentle- Some hairstylist are quite harsh when scrubbing your hair. Its even worse when drying it. To dry the hair, wrap the towel on the head and tap till dry. Do not rub. Remember wet hair is fragile hence it good to be gentle.
- Use wide round toothed hair combs to detangle the hair. I would recommend applying some air conditioner as it softens the hair and untangle the hair easily making it easy to comb.
- Diet-eat balance diet with plenty of proteins and vitamins and they are key to hair growth.
I hope this helps. But you know what, don’t stress over the hair!!!! It grows..it’s a temporary condition and I like to encourage by saying.. This tooo shall pass! Beauty for Ashes! The baby is worth all the hair loss.
How else do you manage your hair loss? Please share your tips in the comments section below! Please like and follow me on facebook by just clicking on the icon below. You don’t want to miss great stuff!. Thanks