I remember it like it was yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised one day when Husbae came home with a brand new flat iron! It had those fresh clean smooth plates, and that new new smell. I immediately washed and deep conditioned my hair getting ready for my new toy. It took me all night, but I flat ironed the shit out of my hair. I mean it was BONE STRAIGHT! And that’s not always easy to do with thick 4C natural hair. A couple of days later, as I’m combing down the wrap, I notice that it’s feeling really light. So I thought, yea girl you got it real straight. A week later, same thing. I started to notice that the thickness was gone. My hair felt different. It was lighter, and looking a bit shorter. I didn’t think much of it, until I washed it again the next week. So I washed it again, this time I tried different products. Nope, same thing. So at this point I’m looking at my new shiny flat iron like “what did you do to my hair!?!?” Did I have the temperature up to high when I flat ironed it? I certainly wasn’t about to try it again. I spent weeks over analyzing the ingredients in all of my hair products. I mean I was tracing my steps back, trying to find my hair that used to be thick and long.
Finally I reached out to my old hair stylist from high school (heeeeeey CeCe!) I was telling her all of my symptoms, she was asking me all kinds of questions, and then it dawned on me. It was the miscarriage. My body thought that I actually had a baby. I was three months postpartum when my hair initially started falling out, but I didn’t think anything of it.
I froze. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought I was finally on the road to recovery from the horrible pain of the loss. I was pregnant, and then I wasn’t. And there was no baby. But my body didn’t know the difference. My hormones were trying to level themselves out, just as they would if I had given birth.
For MONTHS I thought I must have just burned my hair out trying to get it BONE STRAIGHT. I thought I was using the wrong products on my new natural hair journey. I thought stress was causing it to fall out. No. This was postpartum shedding. From a baby I never got to meet. From a full term pregnancy that I never got to experience.
“I lost my baby and I lost my hair.”
As you can imagine, I cried another pool of tears, shouted and screamed at God, a whole nother woe is me sermon. I was googling and researching about postpartum shedding nonstop. Telogen Effluvium (the clinical term) is the shedding of hair at a noticeable rate in the first two to six months after having a baby. And it can last as long as 18 months. So now I was thinking of all the worse possible scenarios. And what if it never grows back?
It took me a minute, but ultimately I had to pull myself together. What’s done is done. There’s nothing I can do to erase the past, so what can I do to change my future? I had to think to myself, a year from now my hair will be thick and pretty again. It will grow back. What can I do today to help promote that growth?
DON’T PANIC! It will grow back.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is YOUR hair journey. There will be trials and tribulations with different hairstyles and finding the best products that work on YOUR hair.
To kick off my new hair growth journey, I got my hair braided. That is always the best thing to do for any kind of hair loss. Braid it up! It can grow and do its thang on its own, without being combed and pulled and twisted and stretched.
And please tell me, how is it that men always decide to switch it up halfway through the relationship, talking about “I don’t like weave”
Wayment…. Are you kidding me right now?
This man has spent hundreds of dollars on all kinds of weaves, wigs and extensions over the years. Now all of a sudden, it’s an issue. So in order to keep the peace, I knew I had to figure out another way after I took the braids out.
After watching what feels like millions of YouTube videos on postpartum shedding, and trying out different products and styles, I can celebrate that my hair is growing back longer, thicker and healthier! I’m coming on up 3 months postpartum again, and I’m ready to combat this thing. I’ve been preparing my hair for this. Start early if you can, during pregnancy, to prevent as much hair loss as possible. These are 10 secrets that work!
After I took the braids out, I tried to do these mini twists that I saw in an Instagram post. It took me four hours to complete and it looked a hot mess! My twists were all skinny and the roots were all puffy. It was an epic fail! Next I attempted my first ever flexi rod set. Clueless to it all, I ordered me a ten piece rod set online. I did it realize until it was too late that I needed a good 30-40 rods. I was way off, but a friend of mine encouraged me to try it anyway just to see how it turns out. I used those ten rods, and fell in love! I knew it would be even better with a full set, so I ordered more. It’s my go-to protective style now.
Hair skin and nails vitamins are the truth! They get you all the way right! There are tons of different brands out there, so go with the one that you like best. Just be sure that they have at least 5,000 mcg of Biotin. The more the better! I was actually three months pregnant with my rainbow baby when I realized my hair was shedding, so I was already taking prenatal vitamins. They include a good amount of Biotin. I’m still taking them now while exclusively breastfeeding.
RICE WATER RINSE
This is an amazing DIY protein treatment that strengthens and repairs the hair. It’s been used in China and Japan for centuries. It stimulates hair growth, improves curl definition, adds volume, smooths the hair cuticle and a whole bunch of other stuff! I’ve even seen people use it on their eczema. All you need is 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water. Let the rice ferment in the water for 2-24 hours. After you wash and condition your hair, wet your hair with the fermented rice water all over and let it sit in your hair for at least thirty minutes. I like to SATURATE my hair with the rice water, so I let it sit for a couple of hours. Then rinse it out and style like normal. It doesn’t have the best smell, but I noticed less shedding and more length after the first treatment, and it’s been growing thicker too. It’s definitely a must have for your hair growth journey. You can do this weekly, or mix it in biweekly with other hair treatments like I do. This video explains more about it:
THE EDGES! We can’t forget about them edges girl! A lot of women notice more postpartum shedding on the edges of their hairline. Castor oil is useful in keeping edges moisturized and stimulating growth. Apply it to your edges before bed every night for faster results. I use this on my 3 month old daughters’ hair once a week. And I even put it on my eyebrows when I’m doing her hair. Those are important too.
The Liquid-Oil-Cream Method will keep the hair MOISTURIZED! This is a basic technique where you hydrate the hair with a liquid like water or aloe vera juice, lock that moisture in with oil, then use a cream or leave-in conditioner to prevent it from drying out. This is good once or twice a week. But you know your hair, you may need to do it more or even less than that.
MAYO DEEP CONDITIONER
I know what you’re thinking…mayonnaise? In my hair??? Yes girl, mayonnaise! It helps to moisturize and restore shine to the hair. Mix it with 2 eggs, and a little honey. Wash your hair and rinse like normal and then apply the mayo treatment. Let it sit for 45 minutes. Of course I let mine really penetrate into my hair for way longer than that, but go with what time permits for you. The eggs are a great source of protein to strengthen your hair. My hair always turns out so soft and fluffy when I use this deep conditioning treatment. Watch my girl @Naptural85 whip it up in this video:
I told you I watched a million videos!
I mentioned that I like to mix the different treatments into my weekly wash routine. So on the weeks when I don’t do the mayo treatment, I like to do a good prepoo before the rice water rinse. I make my prepoo using coconut oil, a little honey, and conditioner. Dampen the hair, and apply the coconut oil/honey mixture. Then apply the conditioner and use a wide tooth comb to distribute it all evenly. It’s really easy when you do this in smaller sections. Twist it up and let it sit for 30 minutes. Sometimes I will leave this in overnight to get that extra boost of moisture and shine. The coconut oil aides in detangling, and prevents hair breakage and split ends. While the honey gives it more shine.
Drinking water is key. Think of your hair like plants, plants need water to grow and dry up without it, and so does your hair. The more water it gets, the more it grows! After drinking water, your roots soak up the moisture to your hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. Girl go get you a glass of water right now!
As I said before, you will have to use trial and error to figure out which products work best for your hair. I love using anything from Shea Moisture, As I Am, and Miss Jessie. But there are tons of names to choose from.
SPEAK TO HER
I’m sure you know by now that I’m big on speaking life over any situation. You betta talk to those curls!
“My hair is growing long and healthy”
“My juicy curls are thick and bouncy”
Compliment your own hair daily, and she will grow long and pretty for you!
Stay focused on the end result: a year from now, when your hair is longer and stronger than its ever been.
I really hope this was helpful. I’m sending you positive vibes for long and healthy hair! I will be checking in periodically with hair updates
Until next time,