A nightmare come true

Have you ever had the nightmare of loosing all your teeth?
If you look it up in a “Dream Dictionary”, you are told it means you will receive a lot of money soon.

Have you ever had the nightmare of loosing all your hair? Like running through it with your fingers and pulling out strand after strand?
No need to look it up in a dictionary this time, I can tell you exactly what that means.

No, I didn´t decide to cut a fringe…

It means you had a baby about three months ago.

Of course, I knew this was going to happen.
I even understood why it was going to happen.
But that didn’t stop me from freaking out.

During pregnancy, your whole body is focused on growth. The baby, your belly, your boobs, sadly even your butt.
Same applies to your hair.

Many women experience full, voluminous, shiny hair, just because your hair interrupts its usual life cycle of growing, hibernating and falling out. It just keeps growing.
Mind you, this is not true for every women out there. My hair was limp and greasy during pregnancy, but it shed a lot less than it usually did.
Hormones play of course a major role, and the prenatals you are told to take contain Biotin, known for promoting hair growth, too.

After you have given birth, you go through drastic hormonal changes. These not only affect your mood, but also your hair and skin.
Many women break out, and every women starts loosing her hair. No exception.
(I have some tips on reducing the damage at the end of this post, so keep on reading, even if it´s a long one.)

Usually, that starts at around three months after you have given birth, sooner if you don’t breastfeed. It lasts between three months and one year.

Of course, the fear of going bald is unnecessary.
What happens is that your hair suddenly returns to its usual life cycle, and every hair that forgot to fall out during the last months suddenly remembers.
And of course they do grow back.
In total, you are left with the same amount of hair you would have had if you hadn’t been pregnant.
The only difference is, a part of it is suddenly very, very short.

On me, it lasted a little longer than three months.
I would get up, brush my hair and remove a good handful of hair from my brush.
Then I would shower, wash my hair and remove a good handful of hair from the sink.
After letting it air dry, I would brush through it again and remove a good handful of hair from my brush.
I had to vacuum every day, because my hair was everywhere.
Those of you who own pets, double the amount of cat or dog hair you find on your pillow and it may come close.

Because all the hair needs time to grow back (depending on the individual between 1 to 3 cm per month), you at first look like you are balding. No volume, thin hair, a horrendous sight.
But when its starts to grow back, you always look unkempt. I literally look like I cut myself a very short fringe at the moment.
And those of you complementing me on the braids I am wearing:
This isn’t fashion! They are a necessity. The only way to keep my hair out of my face.

Is there a way to prevent it?

Is there a way to shorten the duration?
Duration differs between women, but usually the rough amount of hair lost is the same. I lost a lot over a short period, a friend of mine lost less, but kept shedding for a full year.

A bowl of hair goodness

So what can you do?
1. Don´t panic.
Easier said then done, but keep the explanation mentioned above in mind. It is just the hair you didn’t loose the months before, falling out at once.

2. It is NOT related to breastfeeding.
This is a common misconception. Yes, breastfeeding is using a lot of nutrients, but if you don’t breastfeed, you will loose the same amount of hair you would have lost without it.

3. Keep on taking your prenatals (and maybe add zinc).
They will not prevent hairloss, but strengthen the regrowing hair. Take them at least for as long as you breastfeed, maybe longer, depending on your diet.

4. Eat healthy.
Avocado, eggs, salmon, nuts. All great for your hair.

5. Look after your hair.
Less heat, less dye, less everything. Keep it healthy.

6. Scalp Massage.
Increasing the blood flow increases hair growth.

7. Use a shampoo containing caffeine.
Increases blood flow and promotes hair growth. And no, just drinking more coffee won’t do.

8. Try a new do.
You wanted to go shorter for quite some time now? Do it! The shorter your hair, the less time is needed until everything is back to normal.

Calling my fellow mommies out there: Did I miss something?
What are your tips in general to promote hair growth and luscious locks?

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