Four months later and the hair loss has started. I had no idea that hair loss was even an after effect of childbirth and I certainly didn’t think it would happen to me. I always thought that because I had healthy, thick hair, I’d be fine. That was not the case. You see, I’ve always washed my hair in the shower and I never experienced anything like I did a few weeks ago. As I was shampooing my hair, clumps were falling out into my hands and onto the shower floor. When I say clumps, I mean…golf ball sizes of hair with each run through of my shampoo. I immediately started to panic and the worst of the worst thought came into my mind; I have cancer. I talked to my doctor about it and there it was, the phrase I had never heard of before: “postpartum hair loss”.
As soon as I got back home, I started doing some research on my laptop like I do with every new thing that I hear about for the first time. Postpartum hair loss typically happens around three months after birth and can last anywhere from six to twelve months. While it doesn’t happen to all women, it is very common and it can be a difficult concept to accept. It happens when you least expect it to and if you don’t know what to do, it can be frustrating. Luckily, I was able to find some tips on how to deal with postpartum hair loss as a Black woman.
- Don’t wash your hair too often. I usually condition my hair once a week and shampoo it once a month. As of now, I’m only washing it once a month and that includes shampooing and conditioning. Washing it too often puts a lot of strain on your hair when it’s already fragile. When I do wash it, I use OGX hair products. Right now, I’m using the Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil Shampoo and the Golden Turmeric Conditioner which helps with strength and growth.
- Oil it more often. I now oil my hair 3 times a week rather than once a week. I like to use Via Concentrated Natural Oil. The brand has a variety of natural oils. I use Peppermint Oil for dandruff since I’m only washing my hair once a month now. I use Jamaican Black Castor oil for strength and growth. I also use Cocoa Butter oil for brittleness. When I don’t use Via, I use OGX’s Coconut Milk Serum for Anti-Breakage.
- Trim your ends. I used to procrastinate on trimming my ends, but I know it helps with breakage and growth. Because of this, I started to do it when it’s needed, no procrastination included. I don’t like to put a lot of heat in my hair so I watched YouTube videos on how to trim natural hair. Wash it and towel dry it first, then part it in sections and comb through it while stretching the hair to it’s full length. Holding the section between two fingers, trim it with trimming scissors evenly. Typically my hair needs to be trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks.
Since I’ve started this routine of hair care, my hair loss has been lessening and the strength of hair has been improving. I’m seeing less and less of my hair shedding when washing and combing my hair. Although it makes me insecure about the state of my hair, I keep reminding myself that it won’t last forever and as long as wigs exist, I’ll get through it. I’ve been blessed with my little bundle of joy and nothing can make me regret him; not even a little case of postpartum hair loss.