I frequently check the key words and phrases that are being linked to my blog and have seen quite a few people searching for information regarding postpartum hair loss. If you have been directed to this post via a search engine and would like to read the original post (Postpartum... Baldness??), click here. I initially wrote about hair loss when my daughter was 4 months old. Five months have passed, and I have encouraging words for other mothers in the same situation.
It is common for women to shed hair following a pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, about 40-50% of women also experience telogen effluvium, which is "the excessive shedding of hair that occurs one to five months following pregnancy." The hair is supposed to return to normal within 6 to 12 months.
When my hair fell out, I was left with bald spots. I had very long, thick hair, but with the excessive shedding, decided it would be best to cut it into a shorter style. It has been a long process, but my hair is slowly growing back. The bald spots have been replaced with new hair growth. Some pieces are reaching about 2" long. It makes for awkward pony tails and some crazy looking hair styles, but I'm glad it is noticeably growing. Below, I've posted a picture to display some of the new hair growth.
I'm not posting this picture because it's flattering by any means. If you're experiencing a similar situation, I just want you to know that it does get better. As women, whether we like it or not, our hair is a defining feature. It is part of what makes us feel confident and attractive. To lose it can be devastating. When mine began to fall out, I struggled quite a bit. My hair has always been the one thing I could control and manipulate however I wanted. I've always been proud of my long, blonde locks. When I lost it, I lost my self-esteem. There was not much I could do about it, so I turned inward, refused to leave my house more than absolutely necessary, and drowned my sorrows in food. I'm hoping other moms out there will have patience and follow the advice listed on the American Pregnancy Association website.
The American Pregnancy Association offers great tips for battling this excessive hair loss. If your hair loss has not improved within 6-12 months after pregnancy, consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Many women experience female pattern baldness. Click here to read more. For these women, there are treatments to help create new growth, but they are costly, and you must have the correct diagnosis in order to find the best treatment. Again, check out the links above for more information. Have patience and keep your spirits high.