When I was pregnant with my first child, I couldn't believe my luck: not only did I miraculously escape morning sickness, but I had this AMAZING hair! Now, I had never had great hair, much less AMAZING hair. But my hair was better looking than ever.
Better still, I was getting more of it. At first, I couldn't figure out why that little baby hair was growing along my hairline. The were funny, but they and their friends on the rest of my head were boosting the hair I already had, giving my thin, fine hair way more volume than normal. Admittedly, this wasn't saying much. But I was glad for it.
And I wasn't alone. Most pregnant women report that their hair is better -- or at least different -- during pregnancy. Usually, women gush that their hair gets thicker, shinier, and stronger during pregnancy.
Great hair during pregnancy is the result of hormones kicking into high gear to support pregnancy. Those same hormones are also responsible for stronger, faster-growing nails and more radiant skin. In other words, when people talk about the "pregnancy glow", their talking about a hormone rush. Of course, the prenatal vitamins and all that healthy eating you are hopefully doing during pregnancy don't hurt either.
But alas, what the pregnancy hormones giveth, postpartum taketh away...
As the flood of hormones slows in postpartum, then recedes to normal once you stop breastfeeding, that hair literally sheds. The scalp becomes dry, the hair more brittle, and hair simply falls out.
It's completely discouraging. You're (probably) still carrying the baby weight, you're exhausted, you're frumpy from wearing sweats all day... and now you're losing your hair!
And just to add insult to injury: there's a good chance your hair won't be the same when it does grow back. It might be wiry, thinner, thicker, or just different.
Now, we can't completely stop postpartum hair loss, but we can slow it. Read here for some tips on how to prevent hair loss after pregnancy.
How did your hair change during pregnancy? Did you lose your hair after baby, or only after you stopped breastfeeding? If so, just HOW BAD was it? Is there anything you did to prevent hair loss after baby, or encourage hair growth?