Postnatal hair loss – the struggle is real ladies!

It’s an unexpected and cruel twist of fate. You’re in the throws of adjusting to life with a new baby. Your extended beauty routine has been flung out of the window and has been downgraded to some dry shampoo, a mum-bun and a dab of blusher at best. So imagine the horror when your hair decides to have a mind of its own, go off the rails and start falling out!

On average women will lose approximately 100 hairs a day, be that in the shower or when you’re brushing your hair. These hairs are no longer ‘active’ and make up between 5%-15% of the total hairs on your head.

During pregnancy your raging hormones make your hair grow…..and grow…..and grow. That 5%-15% number drops and you shed less hair, and you may notice your hair getting thicker and healthier. But not for long. Once you’ve had your baby your hormones go crazy again, usually around three to four months after giving birth and your plummeting estrogen levels slow your hair growth right down. This means that all that hair you didn’t shed in pregnancy starts to fall out….in clumps!

Postnatal hair loss

Short of getting a hair transplant I unfortunately don’t have any quick fixes to combat postnatal hair loss. You can try experimenting with different shampoos but the likelihood is by the time you’ve found the winning combination, your hormones will have levelled out and hair loss is no longer an issue.

Let’s also not forget the weird little wispy clumps that appear around your hairline either. I mean, what’s that all about? No amount of hair spray will make those pesky little blighters lie flat! For me they have struck just as the hair loss was slowing down. A mixture of broken, poorly nourished hair alongside regrowth of new hair that manages to ruin the look of even the most basic ponytail. It’s never ending at the moment.

Whilst I don’t have any miracle cures to tame those unwanted wispy bits, I do have some ways to help deal with them and prevent getting more:

Don’t wrap your hair in a towel. Wrapping wet hair in a towel does nothing for your hairline. If your hair is weakened for any reason, hormones or stress for example, the towel will cause a lot more breaking. The best thing for fragile hair? Gently comb it out ASAP after the shower, while it’s sopping wet. Use a detangler if you have to, and then clip a towel around your shoulders until you can blow dry or it air dries enough to stop dripping.

Postnatal hair loss

Don’t overdo those ponytails. Avoid brushing and pulling your hair back into a ponytail too tightly, make a conscious effort to leave your hair down as often as you can and use fabric headbands instead of elastics. If you do use an elastic, pull your hair into a ponytail with your hands instead of a brush. (Brushing hair into a ponytail is especially hard on your nape and temples.) And don’t EVER be tempted to sleep with your hair in a ponytail.

Keep the ends trimmed. Hair damage typically starts at the ends, so regularly cutting off split ends keeps the rest of the hair healthy. You could always ask for a deep conditioning treatment too if you notice a lot of breakage. And talk to your stylist about a good home conditioner. Getting to the salon might not seem like a high priority in between all the more important baby stuff, but going too long between trims only makes the problem worse.

Control them with products….carefully. Those flyaway hairs are often on the fine side, even if the rest of your hair is not. So using products that promise a lot of hold can end up making your hair look oily and heavy, which isn’t a good look. Personally, I had the most luck with some good old fashioned light hair spray. Simply spraying a small amount into my palms and then smoothing the wispy bits down really quickly.

So next time you’re down the shampoo aisle and you pass by a fellow wispy haired mama, give her a smile. After all, she knows exactly what you’re going through!

*this is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own