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Shibe
February 26th, 2015, 03:22 PM
Hey everyone! I'm currently a day from being 18 weeks pregnant and I cannot wait to have my little guy in my arms, but I'm silently freaking over here. I'm not paranoid about labor and delivery- I'm paranoid about postpartum shedding!

I have insanely baby fine hair, and it's already naturally layered on it's own. If my hair gets too oily, it looks like I have bald spots- thats how fine my hair is.

I know postpartum shedding is normal, but I am so scared that due to the natural thinness of my hair I will start balding.

Is there anything I can do to minimize shedding, or stop the loss altogether? I know scalp massage, loose hairstyles, and continuing my prenatal will help- but is there more I can do? I have heard some women mention taking DE.

bonbon58
February 26th, 2015, 03:32 PM
i will be lurking in this thread for future reference purposes :cool:
what is DE btw??

~~~

my current game plan is:
1. trim all my hair so that it is one-length at start of pregnancy :scissors:
2. massive hair growth and thickening from pregnancy hormones :magic: hair becomes super long and super thick!!
3. postpartum shed leaves hair with natural "layers" and back to normal thickness :o

...if only everything in life went according to plan...:laugh:

jenrjen
February 26th, 2015, 03:38 PM
I finished my postpartum shed about 4 months ago. One thing to keep in mind is that you will *probably* STOP shedding during your pregnancy. For about five months of my pregnancy, I think I shed a TOTAL of 50 hairs. My normal shed is like 75/day. My hair felt so much thicker during my pregnancy, and I loved it.

During the shed, I shed small animal size balls of hair. But really, at the end, my hair thickness was pretty much that same as when I started. It may feel like a lot more since it all comes out at once, but it should be just what you would have lost during those months you didn't shed much.

It may feel a lot thinner since it all comes out at once, but remember that in a few short months, you will have all those baby hairs growing right along with baby! Any super thin areas should fill in pretty quickly.

I guess the only thing I'd be concerned about after birth is taking stuff if you plan on breastfeeding. I run all my supplements/vitamins by my doc while I am breastfeeding. And I'm sure you would also during pregnancy!

Enjoy this special time. If nothing else, the sight of your baby will make you feel better about any temporary hair sacrifices you make. If you do find something to lessen it though, let me know! I plan on getting pregnant again and while the postpartum shed isn't even a consideration in my wanting another, I WOULD love to lessen it next time!

And of course...
Congratulations!!!

lapushka
February 26th, 2015, 03:42 PM
My mom's hair thinned considerably after having me, and has been thin since (i/ii, more a i really). I don't want to alarm you, but these things happen. I would concentrate on the pregnancy and having baby more than your hair. Time will pass more easily without those worries bothering you. Enjoy pregnancy and having baby, and worry about the hair when it's that time.

neko_kawaii
February 26th, 2015, 03:49 PM
Not everyone has a postpartum shed. You may get lucky. You really can't know until that period has passed.

lauren_alia
February 26th, 2015, 04:15 PM
I second what neko_kawaii said. I didn't shed after I had my son. I also didn't get that super fast growing, amazingly thick pregnancy hair either. As far as I could tell, it just stayed about the same... At any rate worrying about it certainly won't help. I would just take care of yourself and your growing baby the best you can with a healthy diet and your vitamins and let your hair follicles do as they will.
I hope you have a happy and healthy pregnancy. :flowers:

Panth
February 27th, 2015, 01:10 AM
1) Generally you don't go below your pre-pregnancy thickness, you just shed out all the additional thickness you gained during pregnancy (because pregnancy hormones stop hair from shedding).

2) Not everyone gets a post-partum shed and those that do don't necessarily get an extreme one.

3) If it's going to happen, there's very little you can do to change/stop it and stress will only make things worse (because stress - both physical and mental - can also cause shedding).

I'd just focus on your pregnancy, eat healthily, follow your doctor's advice and absolutely do not go on any non-doctor-advised extreme supplementing regime or diet (especially whilst pregnant/breastfeeding). I suspect pretty soon you'll be so busy that hair will be the least of your worries. ;)

leilani
February 27th, 2015, 01:38 AM
Hi there! I'm also having a baby (#4!) this summer! I have never heard of postpartum hair thinning being permanent, but it may seem that way, decades later, in memory, if hair began a slow decline in thickness around the same time due to aging. (compared with the thickness of the bloom of youth) I'm not saying that lapushka's mom didn't have sudden postpartum hair loss that never filled in, just that I've never heard of that being a phenomenon that is a concern for anyone, before, so it must be rare. Also postpartum depression could certainly be a cause of a more lasting hair loss, and depression isn't always cured. Now lapushka's going to come on and say her mom had her when she was 18 or some other very young age, and was the embodiment of mental and physical health in every other regard, pointing the finger only at the cessation of pregnancy hormones as the cause of thinning hair. But if so, I would say that scenario is exceedingly rare.

For the vast majority of women, they will lose all the hair they kept during pregnancy around 3-4mo postpartum (&maybe another smaller shed again when your fertility comes back, half a year after that if you breastfeed), and it will mostly be around your temples and after a month of feeling awkward about it (I cut bangs last time to camouflage it), you'll notice it's growing in very fast and after a few months no one will be able to tell but you when you measure the length of your temple tufts. It'll go into a hairstyle in a few more months and then you'll forget all about it as it chases to catch up.

I found that I liked a layered/shaped 'do that I could feel stylish about wearing down after pregnancy, as I didn't want all my hair pulled off my face to reveal the thinned out temples. I just couldn't bear having most of my hair at hip and the short bits around my hairline such a contrast. But many don't cut anything and just power through. If you have a face for bangs, especially side swept curtain bangs, that can be a great cover up while you continue updos, if updos are your thing.

Shibe
February 27th, 2015, 05:17 AM
My hair is extremely slow growing, it would take forever for my hair to grow back to what it used to be. I am noticing an increased growth rate, but I recently stopped sleeping with my hair down so it was mainly breaking off, /sigh. As for DE, it is pregnancy and breastfeeding safe.

I also do personally know women who had shedding so bad their hair never recovered.

Also, where did Lapushka say her mom had her incredibly young? I don't see that in her post.

leilani
February 27th, 2015, 06:20 AM
Oh no, I didn't say that, I said maybe in hindsight it seemed like hair was never as thick but maybe aging was the actual reason that a couple years later, when all her postpartum shed was grown out, it seemed like her hair was never again as thick as before having lapushka (hair is thickest during the bloom of youth after all). It was just one possible idea, and then I said, watch lapushka come and say her mom was very young, etc and blow all my theories out of the water. I just have never heard of postpartum shed not growing back in. It's all due 100% to the cessation of pregnancy hormones after all, and I can't think of a medical reason why going back to your normal hormonal pre-pregnancy balance (after breastfeeding is done anyways), you wouldn't go back to the same hair thickness as before. I was guessing that aging, depression/stress, or some other physiological reason could be at work.
But I'm not a Dr. I'm just very defensive of any viewpoint that treats normal childbearing as any kind of "condition", as it's what our female bodies are designed to do, and theres lots of studies saying that pregnancy and breastfeeding sets of physiological responses in our bodies that helps prevent against certain cancers and degenerative neurological conditions (I just listened to a science Friday interview on npr about women and Alzheimers which cited new study results along those lines) that convinces me that generally speaking, it's healthier than not to have kids. But again, not a Dr, just a mama whose about to go through a vacuum cleaner head destroying postpartum shed for the fourth time and I've talked about this with tons of moms over the last twelve years since I became a mama. I'm definitely not a hair follicle expert.

It sounds like you are pretty stressed about it, which could create way more problems with hair growth than losing progesterone levels after birth. Good news is, once you meet your baby and all the lovely oxytocin is released when baby gets to breast, you'll feel so warm and full of love (& drowsy) that you'll likely not obsess as much about your hair, and find ways to get through a less attractive look for a few months if you do shed, while gazing at your little bundle of rapidly growing joy that makes it all worth while.

Shibe
February 27th, 2015, 06:29 AM
My reading comprehension has been terrible lately, thanks for clearing that up for me! And girl, trust me. I don't like people treating pregnancy like a sickness- I'm having a natural home birth and exclusively breastfeeding myself. I just know that every woman I have known sheds after birth- I also have noticed my hair has changed when I was on birth control. Honestly, I'm not as stressed as the post makes it seem, it's just something at the back of my mind that comes up every few weeks or so when I'm combing out my hair. I've been working very hard to grow my hair long with limited success for over 5 years, so I know that if I do get terrible shedding, it will affect me then, and probably pretty strongly.

Upside Down
February 27th, 2015, 07:17 AM
I think mine is over, at 6.5 months pp. It lasted around... Two, three months? I don't know. It sucks cause I baby my hair more than ever, and it feels thinner and thinner. The good thing about really dark hair is that my temple fluffy growth isn't very visible unless I comb it towards my face.
I too cut bangs and a lot of lenght but regretted the bangs because my baby turned put to be very grabby (who knew, lol ), so I babyproof my hair (keep it in a bun all the time) - which is a good thing, for the hair.

I don't have any advice about how to minimize it. I only hope you get a small shed :) and a baby who sleeps long stretches! :lol:
Congratulations, I promise the shed will be nothing more than a minor nuisance.

MagicalMystery
February 27th, 2015, 07:31 AM
I personally didn't shed after both mine. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins afterwards and focus positive energy on it. :) Stress can cause hair loss, and honestly, your mind will be elsewhere once your precious bundle arrives. :)

It's funny, because I had been trying to grow my hair for years, and my youngest distracted me enough to allow me to finally let that happen. :lol:

leilani
February 27th, 2015, 09:25 AM
My reading comprehension has been terrible lately, thanks for clearing that up for me! And girl, trust me. I don't like people treating pregnancy like a sickness- I'm having a natural home birth and exclusively breastfeeding myself. .
No problem, and I'm another homebirth advocate! Once you birth at home, you never roam! And I exclusively breastfeed until after baby turns six months *and* can sit up in the high chair and shows any interest in being fed or finger feeding themselves. So I'm right there with ya!

And upside down- I hate to be a downer, but I usually get a second shed after my first period postpartum, for me that was 10mo postpartum every time.

oOoAMANDAoOo
February 27th, 2015, 09:57 AM
I was told by a hairdresser to take Folic Acid after I had my baby. Didn't do much for me, and everyone else I spoke to said that there was nothing that could be done. I think someone mentioned Nioxin to me, but I didn't try it. I just let nature take its course. At 3 months PP, my floor was basically covered with hair constantly; it was pretty gross. I have fine hair, but I didn't develop bald spots or anything. I think I just shed all of the hair that the pregnancy hormones allowed me to keep while I was pregnant. Now my son is 11 months and I have a lot of new growth.

My advice would be not worry about it so much. It's a phase that will come & go before you know it, and hopefully you'll be so wrapped-up in your little one that you don't even notice.

Best wishes for a safe and happy delivery!!

oOoAMANDAoOo
February 27th, 2015, 09:59 AM
Kind of random, but any other mamas develop an itchy scalp after giving birth?

Upside Down
February 28th, 2015, 02:34 AM
No problem, and I'm another homebirth advocate! Once you birth at home, you never roam! And I exclusively breastfeed until after baby turns six months *and* can sit up in the high chair and shows any interest in being fed or finger feeding themselves. So I'm right there with ya!

And upside down- I hate to be a downer, but I usually get a second shed after my first period postpartum, for me that was 10mo postpartum every time.

Eh, well, I am kind of bracing myself for a shed after my first period or weaning. I am being positive about my hair. Discovered heatless waves, coconut milk henna glosses, keeping it up for 99% of the time since I gave birth.. And yes it has grown! There is a lot of taper, but my hemline looks decent because I don't wear it streight and it is in a blunt cut.

AMANDA, don't remember an itch scalp, but then my first 6 weeks or so were real rough and I mostly forgot I even had a scalp.
I didn't comb for weeks and cut my hair from waist+ to bsl- cause I just couldn't deal with it. With detangling, I mean.

Waverly
February 28th, 2015, 03:03 AM
I had a shed after DS1. It started when he was about 3 months old and continued until he was about 8 months old, so it was back to normal when I went back to work. DS2 is now 5 months old and I started shedding again when he turned 3 months but it is not at all bad, I'm losing maybe 5 more hairs a day than normal. My shed with DS1 was more dramatic. I lost a fair bit around the temples and as I'm dark it was noticeable but it quickly returned. I really don't advise worrying about this.
I've only ever known one woman who had a shed and never recovered and to be honest, I don't think it was her hormones that were responsible for the hair not returning - she wears her hair scraped back in a really really tight high bun held with masses of gel everyday in a style we Brits call the 'Croydon Facelift' (Google it). It has been unsurprisingly linked to traction baldness.
As for labour, another home birth fan here. DS2 was a big boy, over 9lbs and I had a drug free 2 hour labour at home. The midwives only arrived 15 minutes before he was born and that's only because DH insisted on calling them. I told him I wasn't in labour because I wasn't in pain! I know another woman that went to the toilet and gave birth right there - no fuss, no pain. Don't let fear ruin this time for you, labour is natural and your body was designed perfectly to cope with it.

mamaherrera
February 28th, 2015, 03:09 AM
I need to throw in my personal experience. I had an increase AFTER pregnancy in my ponytail circum. (although no one said "your hair looks thicker") it was a very small amount, from all the hair that had accumulated. However, when i started to again shed, it was pretty much all in the normal range, no clumps (thank God) or anything like that, but nonetheless, after about three months of normal shedding, my ponytail circum started to go back to normal, and now, it's gone below my normal range, a very little, but it makes me nervous because I keep thinking (is it going to keep going down) even though I am shedding 70-80hairs per day/normal, so you get my jist. However, I like my husband's theory, it is keeping me hopeful. Even though I did not shed out clumps, the whole 5 months that I shed almost nothing, there was no new growth going on, so when i began to shed (even though it was a normal quantity) there was not enough regrowth/new growth there to maintain the ponytail circum and it began to dwindle. He says (even though I'm 13 months postpartum) that I need to be patient, and wait for all the hair that began to grow again when I began to shed, to catch up and arrive at ponytail length Kind of like a bank account. All those months of no shedding (not working/not spending) I didn't take any money out of the bank account, but I also was not putting any new funds in. So when I began to spend a little bit, even though it was a little/normal, there were no new funds to cover that spendage, thus, the hair thins (temporarily) until you begin to build it up again. Sorry it's so complex, but you can tell I've thought a lot about this as I got nervous too, because like I said, no major shed, and yet, my hair has thinner a bit. Not much. . . . but patience and confidence that our bodies our made to have children and not lose hair from doing so. Good luck with the baby!

Waverly
February 28th, 2015, 09:21 AM
It's funny, because I had been trying to grow my hair for years, and my youngest distracted me enough to allow me to finally let that happen. :lol:

Also, I completely agree with this ^^
For the last ten years or so I've been convinced my terminal length was somewhere between waist and hip. When I was pregnant with DS2, I already had a toddler to deal with as well as HG (had that with DS1 too, not fun :( ) so for the first time in my life my hair went up in a bun every day, sometimes without even being brushed. Finally last month I took it down and had a good look and Holy Cow, I'm at tailbone!

Shibe
February 28th, 2015, 09:30 AM
I had a shed after DS1. It started when he was about 3 months old and continued until he was about 8 months old, so it was back to normal when I went back to work. DS2 is now 5 months old and I started shedding again when he turned 3 months but it is not at all bad, I'm losing maybe 5 more hairs a day than normal. My shed with DS1 was more dramatic. I lost a fair bit around the temples and as I'm dark it was noticeable but it quickly returned. I really don't advise worrying about this.
I've only ever known one woman who had a shed and never recovered and to be honest, I don't think it was her hormones that were responsible for the hair not returning - she wears her hair scraped back in a really really tight high bun held with masses of gel everyday in a style we Brits call the 'Croydon Facelift' (Google it). It has been unsurprisingly linked to traction baldness.
As for labour, another home birth fan here. DS2 was a big boy, over 9lbs and I had a drug free 2 hour labour at home. The midwives only arrived 15 minutes before he was born and that's only because DH insisted on calling them. I told him I wasn't in labour because I wasn't in pain! I know another woman that went to the toilet and gave birth right there - no fuss, no pain. Don't let fear ruin this time for you, labour is natural and your body was designed perfectly to cope with it.

I'm definitely not afraid of labor :)

Thanks for all of the comments so far, I've enjoyed reading them! I'm trying to get into the habit of catnip rinsing my hair and keeping it up before the baby comes- I want it to be second nature by then!