This is the second instalment of a two-part article. It goes without saying that your hair will take a backseat after the birth of your first child. In fact, just about everything will, including your exercise routine, the housework, your social life, and any hobbies that you might have had before becoming a mother (such as, ahem, writing about hair and fashion).
Non-parent says: ‘Nice photo!’ New mother says: ‘I wonder how many times he pulled her hair as it was being taken?’
Aside from the lack of time you’ll have to care for (let alone style) your hair, you’ll also find that your baby simply adores pulling on your hair. This is something that begins when he or she is literally just a couple of weeks old, and continues happening until… well, my daughter is eight months old and she’s still doing it! The difference is that now she can pull HARD, and as you might imagine, it’s not the most pleasant feeling in the world.
And to think I used to wonder why so many new mothers cut their hair short!
The other major thing you’ll notice with your hair after you’ve had your baby – something that no-one ever seems to talk about – is the shedding. Chances are that when you were pregnant, your hair was growing like nobody’s business. It probably looked and felt much thicker than usual too. This is because your elevated estrogen levels were keeping your hair’s growth cycle in the telogen phase (also known as the “resting” phase) for longer – the result being a dramatic reduction in hair loss.
But of course, it’s not going to stay that way forever. Around three months after you’ve given birth, your extended telogen phase will have come to an end, and you’ll probably start losing quite a bit of hair. But don’t stress – for most women, it’s just their body’s way of making up for lost time. The hair loss should occur evenly, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have any bald patches; most of us will just experience a mild all-over thinning.
The other good news is that the increased hair loss will only last a few months at the longest. My advice? Buy a plunger for your shower drain – you’ll need it! Or if DIY bathroom plumbing is not your cup of tea, place a piece of steel wool in your drain each time you shower to collect the fallen hairs and prevent them from clogging up your pipes.
Having read this far, you might be tempted to just cut your hair short and be done with it. And of course this is a valid option, and one that plenty of women choose to take. But if you love your long hair – like I do – just take heart that the lack of time, the hair pulling, and the shedding will eventually come to an end, and by the time your newborn reaches toddlerhood you’ll be able to enjoy your long locks once again.
And there’s nothing quite like the utterly serene expression you’re given when you stroke your long hair down your baby’s face. My daughter absolutely loves it when I do this, and I wouldn’t deny her that feeling for the world.