Over these past months, you haven’t just been growing a belly, you’ve begun to grow a head of gloriously shiny, healthy hair thanks to the combination of potent prenatal vitamins and your raging hormones, but has anyone mentioned to you that this beauty phenomenon is short-lived?
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but about three months after your little one arrives—all sweet-smelling and adorable—you’ll start to notice more hair falling to the floor than ever before. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, postpartum hair loss is caused by a rapid drop in estrogen levels typically experienced after giving birth. This starts slow, but soon will leave your hairline resembling that of a young tot, sprouting her first locks. You’ll shed the thick bounty of hair you grew and will be left with weak, wimpy strands.
For the time being, continue marveling over your current movie star hair because there’s nothing you can do right now to prevent the impending hair loss. However, you can prepare for a post-delivery “treatment” by following this advice on how to heal your straggling strands once they begin falling, and how to hide thin spots so you can appear confidently in public.
- Ask your doctor if you should still take your prenatal vitamins; many physicians advise women to continue popping these while breastfeeding. Continuing your vitamin usage will not only benefit your baby, but may increase the rate at which your hair grows back.
- Avoid pulling your hair back tightly.
- Switch to a shampoo and conditioner that adds body to fine, thinning hair. (Do not use Rogaine or other hair growth treatments without consulting your doctor first, as they may be harmful to your breastfed baby.)
- Snip split ends often.
- Lay low on styling products—they can be damaging to weak, brittle hair.
- The American Pregnancy Association advises women who experience hair loss to include plenty of fruits and vegetables within their daily diets. Produce contains lots of flavonoids and antioxidants that may protect your hair follicles and encourage growth.
- Apply shine serum to fake the look of healthy locks.
- Use loose-fitting, cloth headbands (avoid stretchy bands that can pull on your strands and exacerbate the problem!) to cover peach fuzz as your hair begins to grow.
- Cut it off! Choose a style that compliments your face shape and get to chopping! Famed hairstylist Angus Mitchell says that women with oval faces can wear any short style; women with round faces should keep their locks a tad longer and slimmer; those with square faces, should select styles that allow the hair to fall forward around the face, like an asymmetrical bob.
- If your scalp begins to show as the hair releases from the shaft, invest in Joan Rivers’ Great Hair Day Fill-In Powder, which is available in 5 different shades for $29.50 at QVC.com.
Above all, worry not! Postpartum hair loss is only temporary and by the time your little is blowing out the candles on her first birthday cake, you’ll be sporting a beautiful head of hair once again.