So I had a baby a few months ago. There's a host of crazy things that happen to your body afterwards. Things that make never leaving your house again sound lovely.
Aside from all the legit medical horrors that can happen, it’s also a mother-loving nightmare for your self-esteem. You can get zits, blackheads the size of small labrador puppies (like, the runts of the litter), crazy-dry skin, oily skin, hair in weird places, Uncle Fester-esque dark circles.
This list goes on, and every woman is a snowflake, and may or may not experience the these issues after having a baby. Some are more common than others.
I think I speak for a lot of ladies when I say that after having a baby was a really weird time for me. I was pretty helpless, and gave zero craps about my appearance. I felt this grudging, crusty shift into Mom Territory. I was exempt from trying to be pretty for, like, two months.
My biggest issue: hair.
It fell out like crazy. It started gradually enough; I’d find my hair in food, in the book I was reading. It was weird, because I normally don’t really shed, outside of brushing.
Then, in the shower, about four months postpartum, it started falling out in clumps.
All I could think of was Laura Lizzie in The Craft and how I was going to have to wear wigs for the rest of my life, just like Dolly Parton, and I’d even have to sleep in one, because I’d be so ashamed of my wispy scalp.
Then I reeled in the self-pity a bit and did something about it.
My hair fell out in big ol’ clumps along my hairline, mostly at my temples. This made my fringe look weird and thin, and it was really noticeable.
Some women lose hair in patches, or on their crown. I have really fine hair, so it was obvious that I was losing as I didn’t have much to spare to begin with.
Coupled with my present weird body issues, I wasn’t ready to also have a patchy head too.
HOW I DEAL
Keeping your hair clean is important. The moment you get some grease, your hair has the tendency to get all kinds of stringy, creating noticeable scalp.
Using a moisturizing shampoo like Yes to Carrots Nourishing Shampoo and never putting conditioner right on your scalp can help. I also use a wide-tooth comb to spread conditioner through my hair, and try not to brush it dry to minimize breakage.
I live in a dry cabin, so I have to go scam a shower if I want to wash my hair. This means I shower less than once a week. Whatever--it’s cold and dry and I only smell kind of bad.
To get my hair through the lean times, I snagged Suave’s new dry shampoo. I know, cheap, but I was desperate--we don’t have drugstores up here, and the selection of reasonably-priced hair products is seriously limited to grocery stores.
It works WONDERS. It doesn’t smell half bad, and sucks up oil like a champ, but unlike most dry shampoos, when combed through, it doesn’t feel like you’ve been rolling around the ground at Burning Man; it leaves the length of my hair silky, but volumizes my roots.
I’ve used other dry shampoos, but this takes the whole cake, eats most of it, and then falls asleep while watching Golden Girls. And it cost less than a pack of bobby pins.
GET TRICKY WITH HAIRSTYLES
Depending on where you’ve lost hair, there’s a couple of styles that can hide it. I’ve had to wear my hair down a lot more than I’m used to, and I’ve mixed in messy braids and added volume and texture to camouflage the thin spots.
Hannah introduced me to göt2b Powder'ful Volumizing Styling Powder. I sprinkle it onto my roots and have instant volume. It makes your hair feel nasty and causes some serious tangles if you sleep in it, FYI, but it's so, so fabulous.
GO A FEW SHADES LIGHTER
If you’ve ever thought about going lighter, now might be the time. The higher contrast between your bright, shining scalp and your hair colour, the more noticeable your thinning hair. Even just a few shades, or some really subtle highlights will do the trick.
WHAT I DON'T DO
Most ladies’ hair starts growing back three to eight months postpartum. Mine already has! WOOT!
But there is always that little voice (Darwin?) saying, “Just go to a stylist, and let them CUT IT ALL OFF!” But I had short hair for 10 years.
I’ve had several people tell me to go get a cute chop; “It would be so much easier than long hair!” they say. These are straight-up LIES.
I have fine hair; the amount of elbow grease that goes into NOT looking like a sweaty Steve Buscemi is considerable. Products, flat-ironing, tousling—-I can’t be bothered with it.
This goes for extensions too; though there are tons of new extension systems out there, they can cause a considerable amount of hair loss themselves, and can be obvious in already thinning hair.
I’m not a big fan of waiting out beauty crises. Aside from casting spells (isn’t The Craft awesome, by the way?) feel free to throw any hair advice my way!