Monday, June 23, 2014

Reader's Question: Alopecia, Regrowth, and Hair Styles

READER'S QUESTION:

I have been following you for a while and I admit I am a huge fan of your articles. After carrying locs for 7 years, I big chopped in January to start a new nappy journey. Unfortunately, my hair start to shed heavily beginning of March. I believe it is because of an alopecia post-partum. (My daughter was born end of December). I even have bald spots. Having short hair and severe alopecia on the edges is quite a tough moment. I would like to know if you could make an article on this topic and give some advices to treat the alopecia and above all to style hair...I find it very hard to style my hair. Thank you in advance for your support. Cheers.

LOO'S ANSWER:
Gathered from what I've read as well as seen firsthand, this sort of alopecia can begin 2-5 months after childbirth (Eastthum, JH. Postpartum alopecia. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2001) and should be temporary.  However, definitely consult a physician, especially if you are noticing more bald spots or no hair regrowth in the next few months.  In the meantime, I don't mind sharing the following:

TREATING POSTPARTUM ALOPECIA:

Time and patience.  I know that this is not an answer one wants to hear, but it's true.  Postpartum alopecia usually resolves itself, so just give it time.  In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to massage the affected areas to help (a bit) with circulation and regrowth.  I do NOT recommend using essential oils, though, merely because some are not a good idea while breastfeeding.  However, you can consult your physician if you wish to use them.  
HAIRSTYLE IDEAS:

Finding hairstyles that mask the postpartum alopecia are difficult, but you can do your best to make things work until your hair grows back.  Some women (e.g., my sister after giving birth to her child) opt for cutting their to make it all closer to the same length.  Others go for wigs.  The two videos below provide additional options: 1) Fold N Tuck hairstyle for hiding bald spots or thinning areas and 2) a temporary spray-on color for visible bald areas.  I do wish you well and a belated congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I gave birth right after Christmas 2013. Young mom turning 30 in January I decided to cut my old and long time dread...my hair was short (but not that short as I had not re twisted my locs for 3 months)...but so full, thick and healthy I was in love with it! Then beginning of march after a visit to the hairdresser for trimming and style (the 1st one) my hair start to fall like crazy...no need to touch it or even look at it...my hair was all over the floor everyday and it lasted 1 month and a half. At first I thought it was because the hairstyler blow dried my 4C hair and combed it very harshly dry...it surely did not help....SURELY! but it actually brought up a latent alopecia...The beginning was very tough on me...it's hard to feel good and féminine when you have a thinning hair, bald spots, totally disappeared edges...it's hard to style. I never wore wigs or weaves and I am not familiar with it...so I patiently waited and gave my hair plenty love: vitamins, moisture, projective styles...and now little by little my edges are growing back...my hair does not fall as much as it is used to. I keep giving it some love and hope to see full results by the end of the year. :-)

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