8th August 2014 Helen 6Comment

For years and years I have revelled in being a relatively unhairy lady. While friends are plagued with stubbly legs 24 hours after waxing, mine will be ‘grand’ after a quick shave a month before. Some hirsute ladies I know have toes that require frequent attention from a tweezers, but my own digits are hairless – if ridiculously long .  My jaws, upper lips and chin cause me no hairy hassles (save for that one random little chin hair that goes from 0.2cm long to 7cm long overnight) . In short I am a lucky mama.  But then my babies turn 14 weeks old and the postpartum hair loss starts…..

Hairbrush

It starts overnight. I go to bed a normal, knackered, reasonably washed-and-groomed woman. I awake with a lank and greasy shoulder-length mane. I assume the look of a woman who drives a chip van.  The kind of lady who eats a lot of what she produces.

By the end of the week, my hair starts falling out in clumps and everything I touch becomes contaminated with long straggly strands. My desperate mind briefly considers doing a ‘Sinead O’Connor’ on it  but my sane mind knows I’d not look like Sinead. I’d just look like the chip van driver’s ugly sister. I scan Pinterest for one of those low-maintenance ‘Mummy cuts’ (the kind of one that I regrettably ended up with after a getting a cheapo student haircut for a fiver two days before heading off to the States on my J1). I resist drastic action and I opt instead for a colour and trim with a hairdresser who is qualified for the task.

So now, at week 21 I’m still shedding like a mother-trucker and I’m trying to remenber when this ends. It seems however that my brain soaks up the excess sebum and uses it to block the memories of my earlier moulting experiences.   So to remind my future self – and frankly for the entertainment of all, here are the highlights of my journey so far….

The hair is everywhere

Dealing with blocked drains, shower trays, and plugholes has become part of my ‘beauty regime’. Large clumps of hair roll like tumbleweed across the floor boards. The stuffed up Dyson cylinder looks like it has done a few shifts in the zoo. The grey carpet in the car has taken on a golden sheen.

Under EU legislation it’s probably time for me to don a hair net. I admit that a few escapers have made their way into handcrafted items.  It’s one thing when that means I knit a hair into your new baby’s cardigan – heck, I’d like to consider that a DNA signature. But apparently when my kids fish something hairy out of their chicken korma I’ve crossed a line.

I am a health and safety nightmare

While changing Spidey’s newborn nappy back in the day, hubby found a long golden Mama hair that had worked its way around the fella’s little man bits and had to be gently but promptly released.  A friend reported something similar involving her dread-locked partner and their baby’s finger which necessitated an A&E visit to remove. While there, a Doctor mentioned occassional cases where a little fella’s newborn tackle becomes entangled in a long hair that just keeps tightening and requires a snip-snip under sedation to release.

I’m walking around like a loaded weapon. A playful razzer could go horribly wrong.  I can see the tabloid headline now:  “Breastfeeding mother tries to sever boy’s penis with her highlighted, blonde hair”. You heard it here first people.  Beware the stray hair!

My hair loss is causing me to get hairier

Admittedly I was never going to get a halo based on religious merit. However, this non-believer will shortly be blessed with a little halo of baby hair all along the forehead and hairline. I particularly loved this the year I had two babies in 22 months and ended up with multiple frizzy layers. Wow – that was a really great look.

I whinged before about how suncream and wayward moulters join forces to realise my worst nightmare – a hairy chest .  I can confirm that the intervening few weeks and rising temperatures have only increased my emotional and physical irritation at the whole sticky mess.  Bitter experience has taught me that I need to add the following to the list of banned products: lip balm, lipstick, moisturiser, as some days I show early signs of a moustache, beard and sideburns.

I get even less peace and quiet

Any hope I have of a quick hideaway in the loo is destroyed. Though notoriously bad at hide-and-seek all the kids have to do to track me down is follow the trail of golden strands. They are chuffed, but I’m finding this much less fun than when I eeked three minutes of peace out of the bloody game.

Grooming is the new foreplay

These days my lucky hubby can add the de-hairing of my top to his repertoire.  Later, if he’s lucky, and his head wanders anywhere near my pillow, he’ll get to fish a few out of his mouth. Sexy.com

It’s just the start of something…

The lank and greasy mop followed by ‘the sexy shed’ is only the start of a process. This is the first step in my body sending out the HILARIOUS message that it is indeed ready and willing to grow another blonde cutie. Ironic really that my body makes me look less attractive at the very time it things getting knocked up is a great idea but that’s just another of life’s mysteries I guess.  Round here head and heart are on another page however, so someone better send the old hormones the memo. The next time I lose my hair, it’s for good.

So Mother Nature, I’m betting you were one of those hairy toed girls all along.  Touché. Now when can I expect this free fall to end?

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6 thoughts on “Hair, hair, everywhere: the joys of postpartum hair loss

    1. I know I’m going to hex myself here Emily, but I feel I only lost half a toupee worth in the shower this morning. Is there hope?

  1. Oh the horrible post pregnancy hair loss was the worst on my third baba who’s 6 months old. It’s finally slowed down this month but it was really starting to upset me. Jaysus they were everywhere, balls in the washing machine, on the floor, on the stairs carpet, under the baby’s neck and around her fingers!!!!!! Everywhere!!!
    I actually have a very funny story about what OH called my hair brush the other day! Might blog about it but it’s rude haha!
    Anyway hope the hair loss stops soon xx

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