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The Fallout

There’s something on my mind that’s also quite close to my heart-- close to all women’s hearts, I imagine-- not to mention all over my hands (and floors, and couch and clothes): my hair.

To offer some background information, I’ve always lost a lot of hair—in the shower, in bed—but I’ve also always had a lot of hair (nice thick, shiny, wavy hair), so I never thought too much of the ongoing heavy shedding. I’ve also never really fussed with my hair, or been preoccupied with it (since a certain teenage phase during which I dyed it bright colors, anyway); it can’t really be ‘styled’ and performs best when left to its own natural leanings with a quality, layered medium-length cut. I might add a dollop of product here and there, but nothing fancy.

I didn’t stop losing hair during pregnancy, either, as the pregnancy books explained I would. My hair maintained its regular thickness and continued to fall out/re-grow in a typical healthy way (it may have grown in length more quickly than it usually does, but nothing extraordinary) until about a month before giving birth, when I noticed that I was losing more hair than usual. At that point, though, my belly way growing rapidly but the rest of my body wasn’t getting any fatter; it was clear that all of my nutrients were going straight to the loveable little parasite within, and I assumed that my borderline-lifeless hair was a part of the package.

Then I became a mom, which I was very ready to do by the time it happened. Kaspar’s hair featured prominently in his birth, actually, as it’s the first Aaron saw of him, and he was born with gobs of it. He got my hair, too; it’s blonde-ish-brown, shiny, curly, growing rapidly. Very cute. It’s growing in a natural Mohawk pattern right now and it smells like cinnamon toast (I like to bury my nose in it when he’s sleeping against me). But I’m starting to think that he actually got my hair and that I’m not getting it back. My own hair is now dry and kind of limp, and it’s thinning. It’s noticeably thinning. I’d heard about postpartum hair loss and thus have attempted to ignore this trend, but I’ve reached some kind of breaking (breakage?) point.

Seriously, I look like I have a receding hairline. It’s less obvious when I wear my hair down, but it still doesn’t look the way it ‘should’, not by a long shot. I lose horrifying quantities in the shower (it takes forever to wash my hair because I’m constantly having to stop and untangle my fingers from what’s come off of my head), and I pick rogue hairs off of my clothing throughout the day. The cat hair in our house used to gross me out, but now I’m the problem. I’m telling you: it’s everywhere, except where it’s supposed to be, which is firmly rooted in my scalp.

I did a little research and found suggestions of hypothyroidism, but I’m not fatigued (beyond the usual sleep-dep-induced drag), gaining weight, or exhibiting any other unusual symptoms. I think I can safely rule that out. I’m just losing tons of hair, and it definitely began late in pregnancy. It’s been five months since then, though, and I want to reverse this process now, before I’m shopping for a Jackie O. wig or investing in some kind of questionable follicle implants.

Did this happen to you (and are you bald)? Did your hair come back? When? How did you deal with the hair loss in the meantime? Vitamins? Acupuncture? Miracle cures? Stealthy styling? Hermitage? Help!