Five years ago, just 10 days after the birth of my daughter, I wore my clothes from the Time before Pregnancy.
It wasn't something I was working towards or thinking about. While many "congratulated" me for losing the baby's weight so quickly, I also lost something else I hadn't thought of before the birth - and something that no one ever wants to lose: I lost my hair!
But, not only did my hair fall out, I lost my hair in clumps.
Although it had been mentioned in the various pregnancy books and pregnancy websites that many Women shortly after birth, on Hair Loss was not typical of my hair loss. I lost so much hair at once that the drain in my shower clogged up every time.
My longtime hairdresser said that in all the years she worked in this profession and had several new mothers as clients, my hair loss was the worst female hair loss she had ever seen. Even my husband, who in the past never noticed when I had my hair cut, noticed that my hair "looked different".
In short, I have probably lost well over a third of my hair.
Despite the fact that my hair had always been fine and relatively thin, I still had a lot of it. Seeing those big tufts of hair in the shower, on my pillows and on the floor was not only disturbing but downright depressing.
Although I tried to play it down by saying that this was probably just temporary and reminding me that my new baby was much more important than my hair problems, it did matter. Although my hair eventually grew back, it took well over a year for it to return to normal.
When I researched my particular type of hair loss, I realized that I was not alone with this problem. Female hair loss affects many women, even those who have never given birth.
While many think that female hair loss only affects those who undergo chemotherapy or take certain medications for cancer or other diseases, about 40 percent of all women suffer from hair loss as they get older. Quite a few even experience "female baldness" which, as the name suggests, is similar to male baldness.
Although there are many reasons for hair loss, the vast majority of the disease can be attributed to two things: hormones and genetics. (In my case my hair loss was caused by the former).
There are some things that can be done, but in most cases we either have to wait for our hormones to return to normal, or we have to live with the fact that our thinning hair remains. Neither is any fun, but there are some tips to make life with it reasonably bearable.
Here are a few things I would have liked to know at the beginning of my female hair loss:
1. talk to a doctor about your hair problems
The vast majority of cases of hair loss shortly after birth is usually hormonal, but this is not always the case. (Those who have never had children should consult a specialist as soon as possible).
If you do not fall into this group, hair loss could be caused by hormones, stress, certain vitamin deficiencies, heredity, certain diseases, or a combination of the above factors. (A friend of mine recently revealed that her hair thinned dramatically during the first and second years of her law studies due to stress).
Female hair loss:
Once you have found out the cause and you know if your condition is temporary or permanent, go to step 2, which I personally felt was a gift from God.
2. find a good hairdresser who has experience in thinning hair with female clients
A good hairdresser is worth her weight in gold at such a moment and every cent extra that you may have to pay extra. In my case, I was lucky to have gone to a top hairdresser before I suffered my hair loss, but others may still have to look around.
My stylist not only made the best out of my existing hair, but also managed this annoying regrowing hair growth very well. (My regrowing hair stood up straight for a while, like little bristles, and did not fit at all to my still existing hair). Furthermore, she was incredibly friendly and supportive during the whole ordeal of hair loss, which brings me to the next point.
3. receive support.
As I mentioned earlier, I felt guilty for worrying about my thinning hair, when I should be worrying much more about my baby. But the truth is that it matters how we feel about our appearance and it affects our self-esteem.
When a (male) friend of mine told me that I should just live with it, and that many Men since the beginning of time, I pointed out that while hair loss can undoubtedly be traumatic for many men, it is still far more socially acceptable for a man to lose his hair than for a woman (just think of all the bald, sexy men who have, or had, decorated the canvas): Sean Connery, Patrick Stewart, Taye Diggs, etc. Now try to name one woman).
There is nothing wrong with getting upset about the situation, being angry or frustrated. An Online self-help group or even a sympathetic friend to talk to can be a great help.
4. leave out the minoxidil, special vitamins or herbs, until you talk to a doctor
It can be tempting to be treated immediately with one of these products. However, if hair loss does not occur until after birth, there is a chance that your hair will regrow all by itself, even if one of these products works or not - you will certainly not be able to explicitly attribute hair regrowth to one of these products. And please remember that many of these medications, vitamins and herbs are not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Good to know:
Factor Hair Activator for women can also be used during pregnancy and lactation, as well as during chemotherapy or hormone therapy, as it is itself 100% hormone-free.
Even if you do not fall into the above category, it is worth discussing these things with a doctor or other expert to see if they could work for you - as well as possible side effects, especially if you are taking prescription or non-prescription medication. (For example, Minoxidil is only effective with some types of Balding effective). Some don't work at all, so it's possible that you not only have less hair, but also end up with less money.
5. Do not be ashamed of female hair loss.
We may not want to admit that it exists, but it does exist - female hair loss, and it is much more common than most people think. Fortunately, there are things that can be done about female pattern baldness that may help. I wish good luck to everyone who happens to be in this boat, and if it makes you feel any better, I too have gone down this road and know how frustrating it can be.
It's important to remember that we all are more than our outer appearance.