Follicle drama

All day I've been chasing The Nap.  Sydney woke up with Daddy this morning and started to stir roundabouts 6 a.m., and after hitting the snooze button putting her pacifier back in her mouth 90 times I finally got up with her around 7:30ish and have been out-of-my-mind tired ever since.  I've been deviously putting her on her play mat in her crib so she can play while I rest (yeah THAT didn't work), I hung all kinds of interesting things on her bassinet next to the bed so I could snooze while she batted ("Uh, Mama, I need to see your FACE and EYES in order to properly play!") and finally around one she passed out at the breast and went down in her bed.  I cuddled up in bed too and after 20 minutes realized I COULDN'T SLEEP.  My brain is on overdrive today.

The subject of agony?  Once again, MY HAIR.  But it's not over my horrid haircut this time(I can practically hear you breathing a sigh of relief).  For the last few months my hair has been falling out by the handfuls.  Sometimes I tend to exaggerate but seriously by the time I'm done showering and brushing out my hair I have thrown away three large handfuls of my hair.  The shower drain is clogged with it and so is the bathroom sink.  It's constantly all over my clothes.  I find it in my food, in Sydney's mouth and in HER DIAPERS.  John even unknowingly had a big ball of it sitting on top of his head this morning after he borrowed my brush.  In the last few weeks I've noticed that my hairline is receding and my temples are scarily thin.  My eyebrows (which were non-existent to begin with) are practically invisible.  Peeps, I'm starting to freak out.  Especially when I saw this recent photo of myself:

IPhone Roll 025 

(Oh my chubby baby is SO CUTE. This is bad lighting and air-dried bad haircut.)

Only a few months ago, my hairline looked like this:


(Granted, better lighting, glorious Pregnancy Hair, and WAY better haircut that is even STYLED.  BUT STILL.  My forehead was INCHES smaller.)

I felt a little better when Morgan recently commiserated with me over this issue after I kvetched about it on Twitter.  It seems like ever since we collectively gave birth, we are shedding enough hair to knit sweaters and hats for our kids.  Of course, the answer HAD to be on Google somewhere, right (because who in their right mind consults a doctor about such pressing medical concerns when there is You, Internet!?)?

Apparently, I'm suffering from a condition called telogen effluvium.  This is a very scary term for a dermatological disease that is very common in women who recently gave birth or suffered some sort of traumatic event LIKE A CAR WRECK (coincidence?  I think NOT) .  From what my "research" tells me, the time range for my hair to be falling out is normal – three months from the time of "trauma" - and within about a year it should go back to its usual state.  For me that means fine, straight, and thick.  Shall we all say a little sacreligious prayer over my scalp now?

My question is, of course, what the CRAP am I supposed to do until then?  I already powder my brows to avoid looking like Whoopi Goldberg (what is WITH her eyebrows, by the way?  Does she shave them off?  I have always wondered).  I used a temporary home hair color kit to try and beef my hair up a little and fill in the finer, lighter hairs around my forehead but it really didn't help.  I try to be careful about what shampoo and conditioner I use … I quit Pantene years ago after someone told me it was full of formaldehyde and I noticed that it made my hair fall out. I can't get bangs … I look ridiculous with bangs.  I'm seriously on the verge of getting Rogaine. 

Any advice?  And, if this happened to you after having a baby, DID YOUR HAIR COME BACK?  please, please say yes.


Bald and Desperate in Los Angeles


9 thoughts on “Follicle drama

  1. Michelle Z says:

    I lost hair by the handfuls after each pregnancy, but it does stop. My hair was always fuller when I was pregnant, and then it returned to my normal. It did stop – and I never needed rogaine or anything (But I did miss my nice full hair).

  2. shannon says:

    I’m delurking. If you are seriously considering rogaine, get it approved by a doctor first (because you are breast feeding).

  3. lori :) says:

    OK. Call me crazy, but I’ve been semi-trying the no’poo method for the past few weeks. I learned about it from another friend’s blog πŸ™‚
    See links below:

    And by semi-trying it, i was not using shampoo but still using a bit of conditioner here and there. It started off great and my hair was bouncier and softer than normal =D
    But then this weekend my hair got a little wierd…maybe cause the weather changed or because I overdid the ACV, but I faltered for a brief I-hate-mornings moment and I used my old shampoo/conditioner yesterday. Today my hair is ICKY. I can usually go a LEAST every other day to shampoo my hair and more after I made the switch (really, i was receiving compliments on day 3!!).
    So, I’m not sure if it helps the post-trama hair, but it seems to help improve flat and oily hair. Worth a shot?
    Needless so say, I’m going back to the BC/ACV after my beloved salon quality shampoo failed me miserably.
    Let me know if you try it and how it goes πŸ™‚

  4. morgan s says:

    **Hair Update** I am now on the other side of six-months post-partum and the mass exodus of hair from my head has FINALLY stopped! I am so happy to not see clumps and clumps of hair everywhere I turn. I cut it to a shortish bob (NOT a mom-cut) and I had to return to the fancy salon TWICE in an 8-week period (which is more extravagent than my normal every 5 months or so) but things are much, much improved.

    There is hope!!!! It is also great to have the darling baby strapped to your front to distract people from the bad hair in the meantime.

  5. Shannon says:

    Thanks for asking this question. My baby is 16 weeks old and my hair is also falling out terribly. It is every where. I have surpassed the cats in the amount of hair laying around.

  6. Mighty Maggie says:

    I thought I was going bald 3 months after Jack. I lost most of it near my temples and my hairline on the back of my NECK. I couldn’t put my hair in a ponytail for months due to the bald temples thing. Around six months it started growing back- but then I had little short baby hairs sticking out all over my head. The hair right on my neckline is still freakishly short compared to the rest and now I’m waiting for it to happen all over again. WHEE.

  7. Dana says:

    Delurking here… I have an eleven month old, and I had the same problem… Hair was everywhere, to the point where I was afraid to hold the baby because she just pulled out HANDFULS of it… (Too bad I couldn’t donate it to her… Eleven months-still bald as a cue ball!) But it does stop, although the texture of my hair changed with my pregnancy… Wish I knew what THAT was about! Anyway, just wanted you to know you won’t (shouldn’t) go bald!

  8. Caroline says:

    I lost a lot of hair and even spoke with my hair stylist. She looked at me like an alien. Anyways, being 6 months prego my hair has stopped falling out. I did get bangs only because of how my hair did fall out. It is a crazy thing. Figure out ways to wear your hair back in a ponytail

  9. Ashley says:

    I love you. Do you think you might be exaggerating? In the second picture you’re scrunching your forehead…

    We get to see you sooooonnnn! Yeah, try not to get me sick this time.

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