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Postpartum Hair Regrowth of Weirdness

Postpartum Hair Regrowth of Weirdness

By Amalah

First things first, it’s me again! Me, with my super weird 4-hour nap baby! You were right, it went wonky with the 4-month sleep regression but then went right back to the way it was. But we’ve since moved closer to civilization so things like grocery shopping are no longer all day ordeals and we can work with the baby weirdness. Whatevs baby you don’t own me (except you do dammit).

Secondly, I have an old-school hair-related smackdown question that I can’t quite find an answer to but vaguely remember you having a similar problem post your son Ike re: chia pet hairz.

My hair was obscenely long when I got pregnant, like to my tailbone long but when the morning sickness monster hit and I couldn’t even stand the smell of my shampoo I trashed my hair so I ended up cutting about 8 inches off mid-pregnancy. Then the hormones did their magic and it grew long and thick again. Then it fell out.

Now. Baby is 7 months old and grabs the heck out of it so it spends 90% of the day in a top knot/ messy bun/ weirdness on the top of my head except for the new growth which is growing from the nape of my neck (yours was bangs I believe?) But it does the same thing. Refuses to be tamed and isn’t long enough to be pulled up with the rest of it. So I spend a good chunk of my day detailing baby fingers from it and the “yep I finally cut my long hair when I had a baby” comments make me ragey (maybe since most are coming from the MIL) but I’d have to shave my head to solve that problem y’all!

So my question is omg what do I do with them? I clip them up but eventually they free themselves and I’m back where I started! Can I speed up the growth? Can I tame them? Do I really have to shave my head?!

Yes! The dreaded postpartum so-called “baby bangs,” that honestly, are rarely contained to just the bangs. I definitely experienced them all along my entire hairline, front and back — wispy, super-fine regrowth that defied both gravity and hair products — but also had them scattered across most of my head. If I wore my hair down and straight (aka its natural state), you could see these inch-long hairs sticking straight up all over the top of my head. It looked like breakage, like I’d damaged/fried my hair, but it really was just a very strange, uniquely postpartum-style of hair growth.

The science behind it is that while pregnant, you don’t naturally shed as much hair as usual. So yes, for a few glorious months, you have AMAZINGLY thick and wonderful hair. (For women like me, with super fine hair, it was a revelation.)  Then you have the baby and hormones go science-crazy and all that retained hair falls out. (Oh, that lovely moment in the shower when you realize half your hair is clogging up the drain.) And THEN, some of it starts growing back, but not like, normal growing back. It’s wispy, frizzy and stubborn. Prone to static and sprouting in patches, like along your hairline in front or the nape of your neck. (I’ve heard some women say theirs was worst around the ears/sideburn area.) Mine always seemed even finer than my existing fine hair, and thus able to defy gravity and stick straight up even after a couple inches of growth.

So all that said, what in hell’s bells are you supposed to DO about it?

  • Keep taking (or start re-taking) your prenatal vitamins. Healthy diet means healthy scalp and also healthy hair.
  • Don’t wrap wet hair in towels or any sort of turban thing. They tug and can cause breakage and weakness, thus hampering the overall growth rate of your hair.
  • Buy a Wet Brush to comb out your wet hair. I swear, these brushes are AMAZING and I use mine every day, to this day. Super gentle on wet hair while detangling in seconds. I’ve also been able to space haircuts farther apart since switching from a comb to the Wet Brush (and thus grow my hair faster). You can find them almost anywhere that sells hairbrushes these days, plus Amazon and beauty supply stores.
  • Try to skip the blow dryer and let your hair dry naturally as often as possible. Switch to showering at night if that makes this easier.
  • You don’t want to throw heavy products at the problem, but a light spray-in conditioner can help with some of the frizz problems. I really like It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In. If you have very fine hair that is easily weighed down by products, go with the “Lite” version. (Although I use the regular formula just fine.) Lightly mist on wet hair, roots to ends.
  • During the day, apply a light hand cream to your hands. Rub in ALMOST all the way in but not quite. Then smooth your hands lightly over your frizzy spots.

For you, OP, I’d also suggest switching from the top knot and rock a low bun/chignon right at the nape of your neck. Thus camouflaging the worst of the baby hairz without having to bother with clips and hair spray (that are particularly useless with this kind of hair). There are a billion and one tutorials and bun styles out there so I’ll let you go down your own personal Pinterest wormhole, but I’m particularly fond of the low “messy bun” styles, or buns that are a combo of a low ponytail bundled around or back into themselves. These are super forgiving for those of us with amateur-hour hair styling skills AND do a fabulous job of the frizzy, stick-out-y patch of regrowth. You can add a cute scarf or headband around your head and under the bun as well, which will further disguise any under-bun hairz escapees AND limit the amount of exposed hair your baby can yank on. (Another reason to rock the messy-on-purpose look, in case your daughter does get a hold of the bun.)

Also: Start wearing baby-friendly necklaces. Teething beads or pendants, or just fun colorful shapes on a baby-proof string. Etsy is probably the best place for this sort of product, although I’ve come across some okay options on Amazon as well. Your baby will be more attracted to the necklace than your hair, and can safely get her grabbby grab instinct on, without further damaging your poor, tortured hair and scalp.

Good luck! Commenters? Any other advice for dealing with the postpartum hair regrowth of doom?

 

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Comments

  • Allison

    I’d recommend a Buff (google their website) to help tame the crazy hairz and to keep the baby fingers out. This is obviously not a formal-day type hairstyle, but for puttering about doing the mom activities, it works really well and it’s not so tight that it will damage your delicate hair further. The website is heavy on the athletic-acitivity use, but I loved it when I was at home with baby because it covered up the fact I hadn’t been really diligent about washing my hair. I also wear it to the beach a lot since I can arrange it to keep my part and the tips of my ears covered when a hat is constantly blowing off my head.

  • S

    BABY BANGS. And patches EVERYWHERE. I hated it. I have fine hair, but I have a lot of it, so it’s especially difficult to cut/manage in general. This ridiculous little whispies were the worst. One thing I did that kind of flies in the face of what Amalah suggests – spray a little hairspray on a toothbrush and comb the hair (if you are wearing a pony with a headband, comb those little bangs back with the hairspray toothbrush, then put the headband on top, for instance). It worked most of the time, but we don’t live in an overly humid location so that might play a part in how well this works. My girlfriend got them at the nape of her neck and she did the toothbrush thing up into a low pony and then did the topsy tail thing. Does anyone remember those?

  • Anna

    Omg NO do NOT get teethy necklaces if you’ve got the baby hairs and a baby hair puller! Ouch ouch ouch! The silicone they usually use as “beads” in those necklaces gets caught in your hair (esp the tiny tiny fine ones at the back of your neck) and then baby pulls and… No. You have to start all over with the hair regrowth!

    • Myriam

      Some necklaces have a drop pendant on a “rope”. It doesn’t tangle in baby hairz.

  • Mona

    Might a soft headband like those meant for runners work? I do not like to wear necklaces because they get stuck in the fuzzy hairs on the nape of my neck as Anna described in the previous post.

    • Amelia

      Soft headband seems like a reasonable option to me, or some kind of wicked sassy kerchief.

  • Hailey

    So grateful for this post. Have been wondering why on earth I have tons of wispy hairs growing on the sides of my head for no reason all of a sudden lately and I can’t do anything about them. Mystery solved. They are actually LESS noticeable for me if I leave my hair down, where I can try to blend them in with the rest of it. Only helpful when I’m at work though – baby loves to pull long hair. 🙁