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What to Do About Postpartum Hair Loss

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So you've got the babe, you've nailed the sleep schedule, and life is finally feeling a bit more familiar. Then one morning, you finally decide to shower, and a small mammal shows up in your drain...or at least a small mammal’s hair.

My postpartum hair loss experience took me by surprise... I've always shed a lot for a typical human, but it picked up a bit more than usual after my babe arrived. Yet I had no idea what was in store for me upon that 3-month mark. A handful of hair here and there became the norm.... THE NORM! It was shocking to say the least but I took it all in stride, and you should too. Here’s how to cope.

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Why You’re Losing Hair.

While this is a completely normal and – luckily – temporary issue, it's nice to have a little science-based info for those times you think you might actually be going bald. Like with most pregnancy-related things, postpartum hair loss is due to hormonal changes. While pregnant, our estrogen levels rise, which stimulates the dramatic increase in the 'growth phase' of our hair. After birth, however, the hormones shift yet again, and your hair enters its 'resting phase,' which is followed, about 3 months later, by shedding and regrowth. These phases are typical of hair growth, but they become very intense thanks to the upsurge of hormones during after pregnancy.

Pro Tip: "Choose a healthy, organic conditioner that won’t add weight to your hair, and one that also enables you to skip the shampoo between washes,” says Fabian Lliguin, Co-founder and CEO of Rahua. Rahua’s Voluminous Conditioner works wonders for this, and thanks to its Omega 9 Amazonian molecules, it also reduces hair loss while maintaining the essential moisture and oils on the hair and scalp.

Thinning Hair is a Thing Too.

Once that 4-month post-pregnancy hormone dip hits, you'll most likely notice an intense thinning of the hair. While it might feel like you're losing every hair you've ever had, you are in fact only shedding the excess you accumulated throughout the pregnancy. If you feel like you’re struggling with thinning hair, try using dry shampoos, texturizing sprays and products containing Beonite Clay, which helps add grit and hold to hair. These will keep your postpartum mane looking (and feeling) full!

What’s Actually Up with the Baby Hairs.

Regrowth is a beautiful word for most of us, but for new mothers it means a thousand crazy baby hairs crowning your head like the queen you truly are. This is yet another gift your sweet hormones are bestowing upon you! As your hair cycles into its regrowth stage, you may find yourself fighting the unending battle against the dreaded disappearing hairline and those newly acquired 'baby hairs.' No amount of hairspray, gel or cement will get those tiny, fine hairs flat, and product will only weigh the hair down giving you a deflated effect. Resist the temptation to shellac! Time and a healthy diet, plus supplements like Ritual Vitamins (check with your doctor before taking, especially if you’re breastfeeding) will all help to speed the regrowth process.

Pro tip: Keep that hair down! Stylists recommend avoiding ponytails and top knots as much as possible to minimize the appearance of the fine hairs around your hairline. Also think about requesting deep layers or face framing texture from your hairstylist, this will help keep the baby hairs under wraps. If you find yourself with a quickly changing hairline, some stylists will recommend a full fringe!

The Best Products for Postpartum Hair.

My best advice to any new mom – grin and bear it. Consider your new hair as your Postpartum halo. And know, as with much of motherhood, this too shall pass. But until then, here are 5 of the best hair products and supplements to help you through this crazy hair phase:

1. Rahua Voluminous Line $32 - $34. The brand’s whole voluminous line helps strengthen and clarify hair while achieving maximum volume thanks to a combination of antioxidants, Rahua oil and Lavender. Citrus juice and lemongrass remove build up and reduce oil production helping to extend time between shampoos -- exactly what every new mother needs! Rahua oil, which is incredibly rich in omega-9, pumps up the volume and restores the hair to its previous glory. The Voluminous Dry Shampoo is a personal favorite, with organic, food-grade Cassava (Tapioca) starch that helps to absorb oil and perspiration from the scalp and to build a supportive base for long-lasting durable styles.

2. Phyto Paris - Phytocyane Revitalizing Treatment Serum $69. This triple-action serum helps support us in our dreams for the beautiful lush hair we had throughout pregnancy. Combining sulphured amino acids, B vitamins, Ginkgo Biloba, and silk proteins all helping to encourage keratin production at the follicle level, it essentially jumpstarts the growth phase and leaving us with thicker, stronger hair strands.

3. Ritual Vitamins $30. Ritual’s founders were inspired to start the brand after becoming pregnant and struggling to find a reliable, clean prenatal vitamin. They have since simplified the daily vitamin down to its nine most essential nutrients, each in their most effective, vegan, non-GMO, gluten, soy and dairy-free forms. Containing, among other things, Boron to support and balance hormones and Vitamin E to get that added antioxidant kick. The subscription based service is a perfect setup for new moms! *please speak with your doctor before using supplements if you are breastfeeding/pregnant.

4. Herbalore - Catalyst Gold $96. Another interesting vitamin option on the market is Catalyst Gold, which is committed to bringing the world cutting edge, therapeutic formulations that combine old-world herbalism with modern scientific knowledge. Herbalore is an all-natural, non-gmo, allergen-free, vegan supplement of supergreens/fruits, herbs and essential minerals designed to protect and revitalize the body and support the hair and skin. The formulation includes the essential hair vitamin and the Beautifier Biotin. *please speak with your doctor before using supplements if you are breastfeeding/pregnant.

5. pH + Shine Corrector, Sans[ceuticals], $50. Is your baby hair crown feeling extra frizzy these days? Keeping your hair down will help keep the frizz under wraps, but the pH + Shine Corrector can be a long-term help in restoring the moisture of your hair as it grows back, making it stronger, shinier and healthier. Plus, it helps detangle the hair with limited breakage -- a relief for any mama who’s already struggling with hair loss! We also love that you can count the ingredients that Sans[ceuticals] uses on both hands, and that the brand doesn’t use any chemicals and doesn’t do any testing on animals.

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As a former beauty editor, I pride myself in housing the best skincare products in my bathroom. Walk in and you're sure to be greeted with purifying masks, micellar water, retinol ceramide capsules and Vitamin C serums. What can I say? Old habits die hard. But when I had my son, I was hesitant to use products on him. I wanted to keep his baby-soft skin for as long as possible, without tainting it with harsh chemicals.

Eventually, I acquiesced and began using leading brands on his sensitive skin. I immediately regretted it. His skin became dry and itchy and regardless of what I used on him, it never seemed to get better. I found myself asking, "Why don't beauty brands care about baby skin as much as they care about adult skin?"

When I had my daughter in May, I knew I had to take a different approach for her skin. Instead of using popular brands that are loaded with petroleum and parabens, I opted for cleaner products. These days I'm all about skincare that contains super-fruits (like pomegranate sterols, which are brimming with antioxidants) and sulfate-free cleansers that contain glycolipids that won't over-dry her skin. And, so far, Pipette gets it right.

What's in it

At first glance, the collection of shampoo, wipes, balm, oil and lotion looks like your typical baby line—I swear cute colors and a clean look gets me everytime—but there's one major difference: All products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free, with ingredients derived from plants or nontoxic synthetic sources. Also, at the core of Pipette's formula is squalane, which is basically a powerhouse moisturizing ingredient that babies make in utero that helps protect their skin for the first few hours after birth. And, thanks to research, we know that squalane isn't an irritant, and is best for those with sensitive skin. Finally, a brand really considered my baby's dry skin.

Off the bat, I was most interested in the baby balm because let's be honest, can you ever have too much protection down there? After applying, I noticed it quickly absorbed into her delicate skin. No rash. No irritation. No annoyed baby. Mama was happy. It's also worth noting there wasn't any white residue left on her bottom that usually requires several wipes to remove.


Why it's different

I love that Pipette doesn't smell like an artificial baby—you, know that powdery, musky note that never actually smells like a newborn. It's fragrance free, which means I can continue to smell my daughter's natural scent that's seriously out of this world. I also enjoy that the products are lightweight, making her skin (and my fingers) feel super smooth and soft even hours after application.

The bottom line

Caring for a baby's sensitive skin isn't easy. There's so much to think about, but Pipette makes it easier for mamas who don't want to compromise on safety or sustainability. I'm obsessed, and I plan to start using the entire collection on my toddler as well. What can I say, old habits indeed die hard.

This article was sponsored by Pipette. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Military families give up so much for their country, particularly when they have small children at home. Those of us who have never witnessed this kind of sacrifice first-hand could use a reminder of it once in a while, which is just one of the reasons we're so happy to see the beautiful photoshoot Mary Chevalier arranged for her husband's return home from Afghanistan.

The photoshoot was extra special because while James Chevalier was serving a nine-month deployment, Mary gave birth to their second son, Caspian.

Getting ready to meet Dad

"During the laboring and birthing process of Caspian, I was surrounded by family, but that did not fill the void of not having my husband by my side," Mary told InsideEdition.com. "He was able to video chat during the labor and birth, but for both of us, it was not enough."

While James had yet to meet Caspian, their 3-year-old son, Gage, missed his dad a whole lot, so this homecoming was going to be a big deal for him too. That's why Mary arranged for her wedding photographer, Brittany Watson, to be with them for their reunion in Atlanta.

Gage was so happy to see his Dad 

"[He] had no idea he was going to be getting to see his daddy that day," Watson wrote on Facebook. "The family met at the Southeastern Railway Museum for Gage to go on a special train ride... little did he know, he'd be doing it with daddy!"

Watson did a beautiful job capturing the high emotions of every single family member, from Gage's surprise, to the delight on baby Caspian's face. It's no wonder her Facebook post went viral last week.

"Caspian is natural, a very happy baby, but both James and I felt like Caspian knew who his father was almost immediately," Mary told Inside Edition. "He was easily comforted by me husband right off the bat and seemed to have an instant connection. It was very emotional."

The moment this dad had been waiting for 

If we're sobbing just looking at the photos, we can't even imagine what it was like in real life.

"We are all so blessed and take so much for granted," Watson wrote. "I cannot contain the joy I feel in my heart when I look at these images, and I hope you feel it too!"


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During both of my pregnancies, I was under the care of an amazing midwife. Every time I went to her office for check-ups, I was mesmerized by the wall of photos participating in what may be the most painfully magical moment of a woman's life: giving birth. But there was a painting that always drew my attention: a woman dressed in orange, holding her newborn baby with a face that could be described as clueless. The line above the canvas read, "Now what?"

I felt like the woman in the painting as I kissed my mother goodbye when my daughter was born. She came from my native Colombia to stay with us for three months. When she left, I realized that my husband had been working as usual during those first 90 days of our new life. My baby was born on a Friday and on Monday he was back at the office. (No parental leave policy for him.)

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Now what? I thought. The quote "It takes a village to raise a child" suddenly started to hit home, literally.

After a few years in Miami, I had some friends, but it truly didn't feel like I had a village. Some were not mothers yet, most of them worked full-time and others didn't live close by. My nomad life left my best friends spread out in different places in the world. I found myself signing up for "mommy and me" classes in search of new mothers, immigrants like me, alone like me.

It seemed like a utopian dream to think about when my grandmothers became mothers. Both of them had 6 and 10 children and they were able to stay sane (or maybe not? I don't know). But at least they had family around—people cooking, offering help. There was a sense of community.

My mother and father grew up in "the village." Big families with so many children that the older siblings ended up taking care of the little ones; aunts were like second mothers and neighbors became family.

When I was about to give birth to my second baby, my sister had just had her baby girl back in Colombia. Once, she called me crying because her maternity leave was almost over. My parents live close to her, so that was a bonus. Hiring a nanny back there is more affordable. But even seeing the positive aspects of it, I wished I could have been there for her, to be each other's village.

The younger me didn't realize that when I took a plane to leave my country in search of new experiences 19 years ago, I was giving up the chance to have my loved ones close by when I became a mother. And when I say close by, I mean as in no planes involved.

It hasn't been easy, but after two kids and plenty of mommy and me classes and random conversations that became true connections, I can say I have a mini-village, a small collection of solitudes coming together to lean on each other. But for some reason, it doesn't truly feel like one of those described in the old books where women gathered to knit while breastfeeding and all the children become like siblings.

Life gets in the way, and everyone gets sucked into their own worlds. In the absence of a true village, we feel the pressure to be and do everything that once was done by a group of people. We often lose perspective of priorities because we are taking care of everything at the same time. Starting to feel sick causes anxiety and even fear because it means so many things need to happen in order for mom—especially if single—to lay down and recover while the children are taken care of. And when the children get sick, that could mean losing money for a working mother or father, because the truth is that most corporations are not designed to nurture families.

In the absence of that model of a village I long for, we tend to rely on social media to have a sense of community and feel supported. We may feel that since we are capable of doing so much—working and stay at home moms equally—perhaps we don't need help. Or quite the opposite: mom guilt kicks in and feelings of not being enough torment our night sleep. Depression and anxiety can enter the picture and just thinking about the amount of energy and time that takes to create true connections, we may often curl up in our little cocoon with our children and partners—if they are present—when they come home.

Now what? was my thought this week while driving back and forth to the pediatrician with my sick son. I can't get the virus, I have to be strong, my daughter can't get ill, my husband needs to be healthy for his work trip next week, we all need to be well for my son's fifth birthday. And so, it goes on. I texted one of my mom friends just to rant. She rants back because her son is also sick. She sent me a heart and an "I'm here if you need to talk."

I am grateful to have talked to her at that random postpartum circle when I first became a mother. She's a Latina immigrant like me and feels exactly like me. I will do it more, get out of my comfort zone and have—sometimes—awkward conversations so I can keep growing my own little village.

It may not look like the one I'd imagined, but still may allow me to be vulnerable even through a text message.

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Halloween is around the corner, but if you are like me you are still trying to figure out what to dress your family (especially the little ones), so here are some cute ideas inspired by famous characters. There's something for everyone—from cartoon lovers to ideas for the entire family!

Here are some adorable character costumes for your family:

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