Baby Fuzz Hair! Postpartum Hair Growth

June 13, 2013 in All, Breastfeeding, Skincare by wildandwisdom

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This is an odd one! It’s my strange baby fuzz hair!

One of those pregnancy perks that we all hope to experience is thick, shiny, gorgeous, commercial-worthy hair, right? Along with the glow of expectancy, there is a shadow of hope that we may feel like a super model for a few short months with this luxurious mane!

Then, all to soon, the postpartum hair loss hits. Your once rope like ponytail will sadly again become a scrawny rats tail and the advice everywhere is that this is a totally normal part of life after baby.

What nobody warned me about however, was the postpartum hair growth!

I have this weird halo of short frizzy hair around my head! When my hair is tied up (which it usually is or the little guy would pull it all out when he is feeding) it looks like my head is glowing…I have this ginger aura around my head, every day.

How have only just noticed this phosphorescent phenomenon, 11 months postpartum. I guess the fuzz has just reached a length that is more noticable, and impossible to tame. I was wondering why I had started looking like I had a serious case of bed hair…all day long.

Here’s the science!

On average, hair grows about 6 inches in a year. Every hair goes through three phases.

General Hair Growth Cycle

Cycle of hair growth (Credit: More’s)

Anagen is an active growth phase of which approximately 85% of the hairs on your head are going through at any one time. A hair in this phase grows for one to six years. Have you struggled to grow your hair past a certain length? This is down your anagen phase, and how long your hair spends in this growth period.

Catagen is essentially a transitional phase where the hair is cut off from its nourishing blood supply. The hair stops growing at this point.

Telogen is a resting phase. The hair lies dormant in the follicle for up to 100 days. Once telogen is complete, anagen can start up again and produce a new hair. This pushes out the old hair and you see what you might call shedding.

Up to 10% of hairs are in the resting phase at any one time…that translates to up to 100 precious hairs washing down the drain or taking up residence in your hair brush every single day!!

Hormones again…

During pregnancy, the increased level of estrogen keeps hair in the growth phase for longer. Your hair keeps growing and growing and growing! More hairs than the usual 85% are in this active growth phase at any given time, meaning less hairs enter the shedding phase…the result is thicker more luxurious hair.

Once baby is born, estrogen levels begin to drop…and that’s when you notice what seems like totally abnormal and massive hair loss, and start to panic! All of those hairs that stayed in active phase have to fall out eventually and now is the time. The switch up in hormone levels allows hairs to continue into the telogen phase and start to shed. All of those hairs that you didn’t shed for the last year suddenly start falling out 3-4 months postpartum.

And then…

6 months to 1 year after the arrival of the bundle, with any luck, your hormones are behaving sensibly and your hair should have settled back into a more normal growth cycle…new hairs start to push through and you may start to notice the not so cute, baby fuzz halo of un-tamable hair at the nape of the neck, the sides of the head, temples and forehead.

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No slick ballerina bun for me!

 

So those bad hair days may not be over just yet!

There really isn’t anything you can do to alter the course of nature and those darned hormones, but there are steps you can take to preserve hair and cover up the areas most affected.

How to help the problem of thinning hair:

  • Continue taking pre-natal vitamins or supplements after the birth and throughout breast-feeding as well as eating a healthy diet.
  • Be gentle, don’t wrap wet hair in a towel, the weight of the towel can drag at delicate hairs. Use a de-tangling conditioner, and comb hair through with care.
  • Try to let hair dry naturally when possible, save the blow-dry or styling tongs for special occasions.
  • Try a new hair cut, a good stylist will know how to cut hair to make it look thicker and fuller, with layers, a new parting, bangs or a fringe, and will advise on the right products to use.
  • Tinted hair powders, a glossing treatment or lightening and lifting up your hair colour may all help to camouflage thinning areas.

Remember also, if you think your hair-loss is excessive and not a normal for postpartum shedding, it may be worth booking a blood test to check for thyroid and hormonal imbalances.

Did you experience lovely, thick and luxurious hair when you were pregnant, only to watch it fall out once your little one was born? Have you also got the baby fuzz halo??? Let me know…