You know that thing about morning sickness? As in, why call it that because actually, you wind up puking at all hours of the day while pregnant?
The same applies to postpartum hair loss. To really experience the full joys of shedding after pregnancy, watch this video, which was posted by the Intrepid Studio Salon.
The video was accompanied by the following post: “You know the time, 4 months postpartum and you FILL that drain! I’m going through this myself and like to collect it on the wall of my shower Haha so grossly satisfying This is just as good as scalp treatments!! Anyone else going through this!!! #licensedtocreate
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It’s grody. It’s freaky. And it’s very, very real. How do you know, you might ask? Well, kids, I had a baby nearly seven years ago, back in January 2011. Before and during my pregnancy, I was the epitome of fecund splendor. I glowed. My skin was creamy. My hair, always thick and lustrous, was my crowning glory. And then my kid came out, and my hair quickly followed. Clumps would shimmy down my body and into the drain when I showered. To this day, I lose chunks of hair on a weekly basis. Maybe it’s stress. Maybe it’s my wine and sushi diet. But none of this was an issue before giving birth.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, this wondrous phenomenon is known as telogen effluvium. It’s “the excessive shedding of hair that occurs one to five months following pregnancy.” And guess what, moms-to-be? It impacts between 40 and 50 percent of all women. The good news is that in most cases (mine apparently excluded), it’s temporary.
“This is caused by movement of many of the hairs into the same shedding cycle at the same time. Most of these hairs paused during the pregnancy phase, which is why people have such wonderful thick, long hair while they’re pregnant. After you give birth, all these hairs move into the shedding cycle at the same time leading to a dramatic loss of hair. We call this postpartum alopecia. But not to worry, most people notice [a] return of their thick hair after six months. The most dramatic shedding lasts about three months. And you may even notice your little baby going through the same cycle after birth,” says Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
Let me say from personal experience, just how disheartening it is to see chunks of hair disappear. So many of us attach how we feel to how our hair looks. On days when mine is shiny and glossy and just tousled enough, I walk a little taller and speak a little louder. And on those days when it’s flat and wispy and tired, I feel flat, wispy, and tired. Logical? No. But it is what it is. I have to keep reminding myself that my body is a miracle of nature, that it produced a gorgeous human being, but I was also left depleted in so many ways. The hair has never regained its former grandeur. And let’s not even get started on how my hips appear to have shifted three feet in either direction, rendering my former wardrobe mostly moot.
It has made me much more aware of what I put in my hair, because every little bit helps. I find that it feels more vibrant when I use Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner. Kerastase Aura Botanica Concentre Essentiel gives it shimmer and shine without tons of nasty chemicals. And after I apply Caudalie Premier Cru Serum on my face, I run what’s left on my hands through my hair to give it an extra boost. And when I’m trying to style my strands, Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Anti-Static Cushioned Rectangular Paddle Brush does the job without tearing out hunks of hair.
More on hair shedding:
- How to Deal With Excessive Hair Shedding in the Fall
- Some People Are Reporting Hair Loss After Using Retinoids
- Why Your Hair Is Shedding and What You Can Do About It
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