The first clump dropped exactly three months to the day that my son was born. I was horrified, hurt, but prepared. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was obsessed with finding out what new symptom or experience was right around the corner. I counted out the days and marked the calendar for the exact date my morning sickness was due to end, I also made it a point to have TUMS on hand because I knew the heartburn would hit the week after July 4h, but no later than August 1st.
I even made sure to research the dark details of pregnancy that women often times don’t discuss. I soon learned that contrary to popular belief, everyone’s pregnancy experience is truly different. My morning sickness never ended and the heartburn was far more than TUMS could handle, so needless to say when I heard the rumors of what was to come after labor I definitely had my reservations.
After the birth of my son I became very aware of the left over benefits of my pregnancy, one of which just so happened to be long luscious hair. I had heard that pregnancy could have several different effects on your hair, some good and some bad, but all outcomes seemed severe.
Whether your hair would become dry and break off or grow longer and thicker, you were going to be in for some noticeable change. I found myself on the better end of the deal. My hair was thicker than ever and it had grown out from a dramatic cut.
I had almost forgotten about postpartum shedding until the day the first clump fell. I literally could have sewn the shed hair to a half wig cap and sold it.
Weeks flew by and my hair was still looking better than ever. I enjoyed the new length and thickness by making YouTube tutorials showcasing some of my favorite hairstyles. I had almost forgotten about postpartum shedding until the day the first clump fell. Yes clump!
I will never forget it! I was washing my hair preparing to have an updo done as a protective style. As I stood finger combing my hair in the shower, I realized that my hair was shedding at an exponential rate. I literally could have sewn the shed hair to a half wig cap and sold it.
I managed to stay calm. I reminded myself that I was going to get a protective style and that the bulk of the shedding had to be complete. My hair continued to shed at an alarming rate. I realized that I was going to have to figure out a game plan to nip this issue in the bud.
I began to research all things postpartum shedding and natural hair. The most redundant tip of advice I found was to keep my hands out of my hair, so I began to obsessively protective style. It was time to keep my hair wrapped up so I could save as many strands as possible.
No longer than two protective styles later, I realized that nothing was going to save me. Although my Marley hair goddess braid was dope, it also managed to put so much stress on my edges that they slowly began to disappear.
Over the course of one month my hair went from unicorn status to barely hanging on. I went from primarily protective styling to the Curly Gurl wash and go method in a desperate attempt to try and save what hair was left. I have found that so far the wash and go method has made the shedding less dramatic.
I’m no longer putting tension on my hair, or accumulating shed hair over the course of a week and a half, so I’ve managed to at least trick myself into believing that the shedding has slowed down.
I didn’t write this to give you tips on what’s next to come, honestly I don’t think anyone knows exactly whats next. According to several articles about postpartum shedding, I can expect this phase to end in the next month or so, others say it may go on for the next year or so.
My advice is feel free to protective style, wash and go, straighten, dye or do whatever to your hair, that way if it falls out at least you had a little fun first. The truth about postpartum shedding is that it’s real, it’s a process, and it takes a lot of time, care and most of all, patience.
Even though you have to ride this process out. Curls Understood recommends Fro Butter’s Royal Breeze spray to prepare your hair and scalp for life after postpartum shedding. This is a 100 % organic two-in-one spritzer that soothes itchy scalps, refreshes and stimulates the scalp, while moisturizing the hair leaving it shiny and healthy. It’s perfect to use even if you aren’t pregnant or just had a baby so add it to your long term regimen!