I never forget the moment, about three or four months after giving birth. I stood brushing my hair at the mirror as I got ready to go out, looked down at the hairbrush to find what seemed like all my hair attached to it. Another couple of strokes of the brush pulled out even more. I was terrified – what the hell was happening to me?
It turns out hair loss is one of those very common but rarely talked about side effects of having a baby. No one had ever warned me about it, but speaking to friends and family who were mums reassured me that it was totally normal.
I’ve always had lots of hair – not particularly thick, but lots of it. Hairdressers used to both smile and sigh when they saw it. It was lovely to handle but would take forever and an age to blow dry. During pregnancy it got thicker and there was even more of it, and was always so shiny and soft. I never for one moment thought I would be frantically trying to find out what a hair transplant cost!
Why does it happen?
Women, on average, lose around 100 hairs a day. Most of this falls out when it is being brushed. It sounds a lot but over the course of day it is hardly noticeable, especially when you think about how many hairs you have on your head. However, when you are pregnant the levels of oestrogen increase in your body, which makes you lose less hair.
Once you have given birth and your hormone levels begin to fall back to their usual level, which means you lose the hair from your pregnancy. It usually starts a couple of months or so after giving birth, although it can be longer if you’re breastfeeding. It’s not nice, especially when you find hair absolutely everywhere – on your pillow, in the plug, all over the kids – but it really is nothing to be concerned about. It usually stops after about 6 – 8 months or so when everything begins to settle down.
I found going to the hairdressers and having a good trim, and laying off using the straighteners and hairdryer for a while helped, but ultimately, it’s just one of those crazy things that our bodies do after childbirth!
This is a collaborative post.