Combating Postpartum Hair Loss

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Postpartum hair loss is no joke. Hormones and prenatal vitamins do wonders for your hair during pregnancy, but those same hormones can turn those luscious locks into wads of hair clumping in the shower drain once baby is born. Gross.

My hair is very thin to begin with, so when I started to notice my hair shedding in massive amounts 5 months postpartum, I began to panic. If I didn’t do anything, I was going to be bald by spring. I had to do something. I’m still shedding a little bit, but my hair has improved greatly by trying the following solutions.

Washing Your Hair Less

Washing my hair was really the worst. I was seeing clumps at the drain every time, so I decided to avoid exacerbating the situation by washing my hair less. I know that a lot of beauty bloggers and magazines already recommend washing your hair infrequently, but with thin blonde hair, I always feel that if I don’t wash my hair every day, it looks dark, oily, and just plain dirty. A hair stylist friend recommended washing twice with shampoo, the first wash to loosen up the oils and the second wash to strip more away and really get it clean, which would make the wash itself last longer. This technique helped me go between washes longer without oil accumulation and I was not losing as much hair to the drain.

Leave-in Hair Care Solutions

Basically, everything I put in my hair (masks, styling spray, anything) was making more of my hair fall out whenever I brushed it (which I was doing far less frequently) and even whenever I ran my hands through my hair. It was also feeling coarser and more easily tangled after washes when it was usually very fine and smooth, which made brushing an even bigger problem.

I had been receiving the monthly Sephora subscription box, and fortuitously, in one of my boxes, they included a leave-in conditioner mist that made my hair way easier to brush without weighing it down. The Verb Leave-In Conditioner Mist has helped me avoid rough brushing and tangles that were leading to more hair loss without weighing my hair down (this last part being key to why this product is better than the rest). Not Your Mother’s Plump For Joy Thickening Hair Lifter was another product that did not make the problem worse and helped with volume.

A Trim Can Do Wonders

I found that getting a quick haircut stopped the hemorrhaging of hair from my head for a few days at least, while I worked on the health of my hair in other ways. It also helped with the tangling and any fraying that was occurring at the ends. I also have been avoiding blow drying to keep from making the problem worse.

Don’t Underestimate Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins (I’ve linked to my favorites), in addition to the hormones, were making my hair shiny and full during pregnancy, so I became more vigilant about taking them while breastfeeding and continued to take them after the baby was weaned off of breast milk this past month. I hadn’t been taking them every day after his birth, but once I started taking them again routinely, I could tell the difference in my hair.

Biotin and gelatin have also been suggested for better hair and nail growth. The research is rather thin on whether these two supplements actually work. Some doctors say yes, and others think it’s overkill. I do tend to feel that biotin helps, but I have no actual scientific data to back that up. I take it and feel like I see a difference in my hair and nails, but that is as far as my recommendation goes. I did not feel that gelatin did much for me at all, so I stopped taking that one. I may have to do a more rigorous post digging into actual data at a later date. I am curious.

For Shine

To help with shine, I used two products: purple shampoo and John Frieda’s Beach Blonde Lightening Spray. Purple shampoo is really a clarifying shampoo that helps maintain bright color. As a clarifying shampoo, you don’t need a lot of product and it also helps with washing less in general. As for the lightening spray, I love just John Frieda products, especially his products for blonde hair. If I highlight my hair, using this spray keeps me from having to highlight my hair as frequently because it really does lighten up the roots and hides where the highlights have grown out a bit.

These methods have worked really well for me, but my hair loss was never at a point that I would need to see a doctor to correct it. If you are far more concerned by hair loss than trying a few simple solutions at home would solve, I would consult your doctor.

This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

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17 Replies to “Combating Postpartum Hair Loss”

  1. Some really great tips here. I really like John Freida products. I suffer with naturally thin and brittle hair so I’m always trying to find things that will help it look better. Washing it less helps a lot for me. I should get it cut more regularly though. #ablogginggoodtime

  2. I wish I had known this a few months ago! I didn’t really experience this with my first, so when my hair started falling after my second I panicked beyond belief. It wasn’t until going to hairdressers and asking her to “just chop it off” she told me how normal it is and gave me some very similar tips to yours to help it repair itself. brill post x #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Thanks, yeah, I’ve been freaked out too, so I tried a bunch of different things until I found what worked for me. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I used purple shampoo when I had my hair lightened. Its a great product. thank you fr sharing your experience. I had a lot of hair loss due to shock/anxiety after my grandad died. It is scary! Thank you for joining us at #ablogginggoodtime
    An Imperfect Mum recently posted…#a blogging good time #34My Profile

  4. At four months postpartum, I’ve been dealing with this for 3 months now with no end in sight! It’s not anywhere near as bad as some women have it, but it’d be good to not keep having to pick hairs off of my baby when I’m feeding her or hear my husband complaining about the plughole getting clogged yet again! I might try some of these out 🙂 #ABloggingGoodTime

    1. I know what you mean. I was finding my hairs all around my baby all the time. The amount at the drain was what really freaked me out though, and thankfully, I seem to have gotten ahead of that finally. Thanks for commenting and good luck!

  5. I’m 9 months postpartum and still losing hair.. it’s not a lot but definitely more than what I normally lose and it’s a nightmare especially when I’m at my fitness classes and can see my hairs scattered across the light laminate floors! LOL 🙁 Will try and get a trim because I’ve tried the others and have had no luck yet. xx

    1. The trim helped for a couple of days, and then it was back at it. The vitamins and washing my hair less have been the two best things. Good luck!

  6. Thank you , some great tips here. i have quite thick hair but I certainly noticed a mass exodus of hair post bubba. next time I will know what to do. Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime
    mummyinatutu recently posted…10K – Time To Giveaway: #9My Profile

  7. My hair also fell out in lumps following each of my babies. My hairdresser told me that it would continue while ever I was breastfeeding too which I hadn’t realised? Luckily it soon sorted itself out once things were back to normal. Great tips here and I think that shampooing your hair twice is something that I might try too! Thanks for sharing with #DreamTeam x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…#DreamTeam Linky Week 41My Profile

    1. Hmm, I’d have to do some research about the breastfeeding part because I think it actually relates to the growth cycle that occurs during pregnancy and then ends 3-6 months postpartum, which breastfeeding would not change. It may just seem like it correlates with breastfeeding. I don’t think I’ll ever get on the wash your hair once a week bandwagon, but at least shampooing it twice has helped me go longer.

  8. I shed hair every January. And I have a lot of hair. It started a few years ago, but it’s developed a recogniseable pattern now which I put down to a) annual shedding (like an animal … don’t laugh!), or b) stress – which is a big one for me.
    Washing infreaquently is also a big thing but no one likes a shiny head! I love the Tresemme Dry Shampoo. You can really give yourself at least one, if not two more days before you HAVE to wash it.
    #stayclassymama

  9. I lost loads of hair after giving birth – luckily I have a really thick, wavy head of hair, so it wasn’t that obvious. I have stopped washing it as much, though – but I can’t go too long between washes because I use so much hair product. #stayclassymama
    The Squirmy Popple recently posted…Travelling with a toddler? You’ve got this.My Profile

  10. I now have an actual bald patch, well near enough. The hair that remains in the patch is stubby about an inch long. It’s as if it just started breaking and it’s never regrown. I think I’ll have to look into some vitamins. I’ve been using coconut oil before washing. I rub a small amount into my hair and leave it for a while before I have a shower or while I’m in the bath then wash it off as normal. It does make it more shiny. #Stayclassymama

    1. Going back to taking my prenatal vitamins helped a lot, but biotin has also done wonders strengthening my nails as well.

  11. I’m noticing just me aging means my hair is thinning, luckily I have very thick hair so I am not too worried but there are some great haircare tips in here. I too use purple shampoo, my son loves seeing it in the bath! I also have leave in conditioner which is amazing! Thank you for linking to #stayclassymama xx

    1. Lucky! My hair has always been thin, so I was particularly worried. Love purple shampoo!

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