Sunday, March 03, 2013

SOS: Shed Dread
November 2011 (7 months pregnant)
Last March, I was absolutely devastated when I started to see globs and globs of my hair falling out whenever I touched it. No matter how gentle I was--my sink, my bathroom floor, and my shower drain were full of hair. Because I had kept a hair journal, I looked back to 2010, then realized at the beginning of spring and fall, I always seemed to shed. My seasonal shedding would last for 1 or 2 wash days then I was back to normal. But this time it was different. I shed constantly for almost 2 months. I was absolutely frustrated because I knew that it was shedding, not breakage.The strands were long with white bulbs on the ends versus shorter strands without bulbs (which indicates breakage). After a little (rather---A LOT) of research and a frantic call to my doctor, I was finally able to identify the culprit: postpartum shedding. While I was pregnant with my second little one, I could literally count the number of shed hairs on one hand every wash day. This massive shedding started 3-4 months after we welcomed my little guy into the world. My doctor said usually 10-15% of your hair is in a resting phase. The resting hairs slowly shed and are replaced with new hairs. However, while you're pregnant, hormones causes 20-30% of your hairs to go into in a resting phase, while the remaining hair is still growing. Thus making your hair feel thicker. After giving birth, hormones attempt to balance out and all of those resting hairs are shed. All.At.Once.  Ay dios, so that explained the small rodent that was now clogging my shower drain. 

March 2012 (super thin ends after 6 weeks of shedding)
Now that I knew what was wrong, I had to figure out how to attempt to savage the hair that remained. Here's what I did: 
  1. Major Trim. Oh man, this hurt. It hurt like heck. I had just hit BSL a few weeks prior. I self-trimmed about 1 1/2 inches. Then realized that I needed to pull out the big guns: I went to the salon. I went in with already straightened hair and told the stylist that I wanted her to trim one inch at a time until I wanted her to stop. Thankfully, she obliged. I got about 3 more inches chopped. For the first time, I didn't have cutter's remorse after a trim and I was excited to start fresh.
  2. Stimulating Essential Oil Massages and Extreme Deep Conditioning. After my cut, I was ready to take care of the hair that was left. For my scalp- I added essential oil massages back into my weekly wash routine and for my ends- I focused on deep conditioning.
  3. Protective Styling. I'm all about my protective styling now---thanks to this shedding fiasco. Protective styling wasn't my thing in the past because it seemed boring. But thanks to an awesome amiga (that's you Kedya!), I started challenging myself to come up with different styles almost daily. Keeps boredom at bay!
  4. Back to Basics. Instead of detangling only on wash day, I begin finger-detangling (no combs) nightly then moisturizing and sealing.
  5. De-stressing. Having oodles of hair every where but on your head is simply awful. Stressing only makes the problem worse. (See our post on Stress & Mediation) I started exercising regularly again and carving out a little me time (once the little ones were sleeping, of course).
Relax. Ten Paciencia Mamita (Have Patience) The good news is that "this too shall past." This shedding won't last forever and I don't know about you, but my kid was totally worth it. 

Quick Note: With Spring already in the air, I've also incorporated green tea rinses and Philip Kingsley's Scalp Toner into my regimen. After all, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Pro-activity #ftw
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Un mil besitos!


  1. I didn't know post partum shedding could be that important, at least now you know where the problem is coming from (it would have made me feel better)
    Did it happen with you first baby ?
    I hope you'll get your hair back as full as it was soon =(

    1. It did make me feel better to know that the shedding wasn't something that I was "causing" due to neglect or ignorance. I had my first child before I started my HHJ, so I don't remember if I was shedding excessively. Prior to my HHJ, my hair was pretty much a SL hot mess and I thought that tons of shedding was normal.

      Today, I'm happy to say that my ends are happy healthy and full again!

  2. Wow, this is a great post! Thanks for sharing because my time is coming soon hahaha

    And don't forget to enter my Summer Giveaway!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this with me, love! I'm almost 4 months post-partum and have been wondering what's going on with my hair these last couple of weeks. Time to do some serious TLC to these strands.


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