Four months after Benjamin was born, I started experiencing postpartum hair loss. At the time, I didn’t even know that was a thing—one of those details no one tells you about motherhood, even though 90 percent of women will experience some form of it. I did notice more and more hair falling out in the shower, though. In fact, hair was everywhere. But if you had asked my husband he would have told you that was normal.
I didn’t panic at first because I was always wearing my hair up in topknots and thought maybe it was an illusion.
By 9 months postpartum, my hairstyle was a full-on mullet. Panic? You betcha.
Why Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen?
According to Today’s Parent, “The body experiences soaring estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy, which causes hair to remain in an ongoing stage of growth, creating thicker, more lustrous strands.”
I can concur. My hair has never been thicker than when I was pregnant.
The article continues: “Then your hormones level out in the months following childbirth. Hair remains in a ‘resting’ stage for approximately three months before it falls out and new growth shows itself—typically in the form of ‘baby bangs’ appearing along the hairline.”
In my case, I had ‘baby bang’s all over my head.
What Can You Do to Grow Your Hair Back After Postpartum Hair Loss?
Last fall I shared my struggle with postpartum hair loss on my Instastory and was overwhelmed by the number of women who had responded with their own stories of postpartum hair loss. Here is a small handful of them with the various products they recommended…
I didn’t try everything that was recommended to me, but here’s the lineup of what I did try and what worked best for me.
- Vital Proteins collagen peptides – According to the packaging, “Collagen is the protein that our body relies on to ensure the health and vitality of your skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones, and joints… Our modern diets lack the collagen that was once abundant in foods.” I coincidentally received some samples of this and didn’t like it at first. It’s a powder and the texture was weird when mixed with a bottle of apple juice. I later learned to let it dissolve a little more before drinking. And tried the product once per day for about a month. I didn’t notice immediate results, but I still hear really good things about it from various people and probably needed to continue taking it to see results.
- Multi-vitamins – When I stopped breastfeeding at 13 months, I stopped taking my prenatal vitamins and I have no idea why. I told my doctor and she recommended I stay on the vitamins until my hair grows back, so I started taking them again immediately. Even if you don’t take prenatals, a daily multivitamin with biotin is a no-brainer for aiding hair growth.
- Biotin gummies – I’ve heard from several friends that the key with biotin supplements is to take it daily for four weeks straight, then take a week or two off, and resume for another four weeks. This approach prevents your body from developing an immunity. I had already been taking biotin continuously, so I started following this routine and can’t say that I noticed an immediate difference. My parents started taking these same gummies every day and they both said they noticed their nails were healthier. I think the Biotin was helping, but the changes in my hair have been pretty subtle and take time to see.
- Monat – This is the product I’ve been using more consistently (Dec 2017 – present) than any of the above, with the exception of my daily vitamins that I never miss now. After I posted about #postpartumhairloss in my Instagram feed, my now-Monat-rep, Kristen, reached out and offered to send me samples of the shampoo and conditioner. I immediately noticed a difference in how my hair felt with the first wash. It’s hard to describe, other than to say—you know that feeling when you first start working out and your body feels healthier even though your appearance hasn’t changed? That’s how my hair felt. It didn’t necessarily look thicker or shinier or longer, but it felt SO healthy. So I decided to go for it and got the Revive and Revitalize shampoo and conditioner, which came with a free dry shampoo at the time (it’s now my favorite dry shampoo on the planet — stay tuned for an Instagram giveaway next week!). My first shampoo/conditioner bottles lasted me five months, and while I didn’t see immediate hair growth, I have continued to use it and I believe it has helped my hair grow back faster.
- Frequent hair cuts – Because I highlight my hair, I see my hair stylist every 5-6 weeks and get a trim at each appointment. With my hair re-growth, I’ve been cutting more off the ends to help the shorter layers catch up with my longer hair. Frequent trims have helped keep my split-ends at bay and I just recently added a few more layers to even out the existing layers of hair re-growth. Whether or not this has helped my hair grow faster, it has definitely helped with the “crazy hairstyle” aspect of my hair growing back and made me feel more confident about how my hair looks.