I’ve experienced postpartum hair loss each of the three times I’ve delivered one of my babies. I’ve experienced the semi-panicky feeling of washing my hair in the shower and watching clumps drift right on down the drain. I’ve also experienced the plumber’s bill after clogging said shower with said hair loss.
I’ve gotta say—it’s a little unfair that after being pregnant close to 10 months, after birthing a child however you birthed (I mean, let’s face it—no option is easy), after the hormonal surge we experience which then induces a roller coaster of emotions known as the fourth trimester…
After bleeding and breaking out and experiencing the joy of hemorrhoids and rock-hard boobs and breastfeeding and peri bottles and witch hazel pads, and the cervical checks (goodness gracious, the cervical checks!) etc., that we then experience postpartum hair loss too.
Like, could we just keep the nice pregnancy hair? Honestly. Please?
OK, so let’s go back to the three pregnancies thing. I’ve gone through this cycle of having nice, full, pretty pregnancy hair to then slowly and steadily moving into troll-ish, thin postpartum hair three times now. I’ve grown hair then lost hair then have grown it back Three. Different. Times.
Bodies are weird.
This brings me now to what really grinds my gears about postpartum hair loss—THE WINGS. You know what I mean. I now have two wings—or horns, whichever you prefer—of baby hair that are desperately trying to grow back into their pre-baby selves.
They stick out, with a vengeance, when I put my hair up in a bun or ponytail. They laugh at gel or hairspray and bounce right up no matter how much product I put in. They curl around into little strange shapes when they’re a bit dirty and they try their best to blend in when I wear my hair down which is once a year because #blowdrying and #kids and #motherhood.
The postpartum hair loss struggle is real, my friends, and I just wanted to vent to you so you know you’re not alone. Not at all. My wings and I are here for you.
My third baby just turned 1 a week ago (sob) and I recently noticed that instead of clumps in the shower, I’ve moved to mere strands and instead of large wings, I’ve downgraded to small wings. Progress, not perfection, mamas.
And the truth is—if anyone has to lose hair in this situation, it’s better that it’s us—the people who did go through pregnancy and fundus checking and hysterical crying for no reason and lots and lots of wild cravings.
Why, you ask?
Because we are strong mothers, that’s why.
We selflessly give our bodies to our babies… to make a home for them, to nurture them, to feed them, to comfort them.
We give and give… and then give some more to all of our loved ones, but most especially to our children.
We do all the things… the remembering, the worrying, the planning, the magic-making. We take care of our people.
We make time for ourselves… we cultivate friendships, we look for help from our village, we accept the help even though that’s hard, we look inward, we reflect, we strive to be better.
No one ever said postpartum hair loss is fun. But if it’s one of the pieces of the whole pregnancy puzzle, of the transformation to motherhood journey, then I can handle it. Because, honestly, pregnancy was a privilege and motherhood is my soul.
I can handle some hair loss because, in a way, it gave me my children.
I can handle some hair loss because it will grow back.
I can handle some hair loss because, in the grand scheme of things, it is a very small issue.
And you can, too. We can handle it together. Because we’re mothers—we’re warriors. And hair loss ain’t got nothin’ on us. (But that fundus checking… let’s be real… that has something on me, and I don’t think I can handle that again…)
A version of this post originally appeared on Oct. 11, 2018. It has been updated.