All I see in these selfies is my postpartum hair loss

postpartum hair loss 2

With a brand new child and a pandemic to fret about, I didn’t spend an excessive amount of time in 2020 enthusiastic about my hairline. It took cleansing out my telephone to point out me simply how a lot of a catastrophe it was.

I lately went via my telephone to delete previous photographs, which is one thing I do each few weeks now since apparently hanging onto 11,357 stay photographs of my youngsters makes use of up a lot cupboard space that I can now not obtain texts or telephone calls⁠—or, extra importantly, take 300 photographs of my youngsters on the trampoline park.

This time I determined to do a deep dive of my selfies, figuring I might do with out a few hundred pics of myself working with my youngsters in the background, or exhibiting my sister that bizarre patch of eczema I get beneath my eye or attempting to find out if my new “mother denims” are fashionable or against the law in opposition to humanity (or each?).

But as I scrolled via pics I’d taken of myself all the best way again to 2020, I observed one thing…unsettling.

I was lacking some hair. A bunch of it. In truth, if I’m being completely sincere, from about April 2020—six weeks after my second son was born—to Christmas that 12 months, I had a receding hairline not dissimilar to that of former teen heartthrob and present middle-aged dad Prince William. And in the very same means I had been shocked by William’s transformation, the hair loss (and subsequent awkward regrowth) snuck up on me so progressively, and through such a chaotic time, that I didn’t pay a lot consideration.

On the right, a photo of the author in sunglasses carrying a baby and showing her receding hairline. On the left, the author wears glasses while carrying her baby. Both show her hair loss after pregnancy.

Photos: Courtesy of Natalie Stechyson

Parenthood: It’ll suck the youth proper out of you. Wills is aware of what I’m speaking about.

Postpartum hair loss, also referred to as postpartum telogen effluvium, is the shedding of hair after being pregnant and giving start on account of adjustments in hormone ranges. It is regular (albeit shitty) and often momentary. For many, the hair loss is minor. But for some, it may be average or extreme (sufficient that some folks select to put on a wig).

After my first son was born in 2016, I keep in mind being appalled by my shedding strands, receding hairline, excessive half and wee bald spot. So I knew what to anticipate with my second, and loved each second of my luxurious being pregnant hair whereas I nonetheless had it.

But barely three weeks after I birthed Ben, coronavirus was declared a worldwide pandemic and compelled the world into its first lockdown. And I guess I was simply too busy protecting a spirited three-year-old and a new child protected and pleased, stockpiling bathroom paper and child wipes, all whereas managing my every day “is this finish occasions?!” panic assaults to actually discover my hair.

I knew I’d misplaced some hair, and I suppose I recall being a bit distressed. (I imply, I’m distressed now simply from trying again at these photographs). But I’m considering it paled in comparability to my misery over telling my older son he would by no means return to daycare, couldn’t play on the park anymore (keep in mind when these had been deemed unsafe?!), and needed to want his beloved grandpa a cheerful birthday via the automobile window.

The author with her two children showing her hair loss after pregnancy and receding hair line

Photo: Courtesy of Natalie Stechyson

My hair was falling out at alarming charges, however possibly that appeared small in comparison with watching my candy, excellent, new child boy spend the primary 4 months of his life trapped in the home as an alternative of being handed round in the loving arms of his prolonged household. I don’t keep in mind when I stopped with the ability to put my hair in a bun, however I do keep in mind how scared my husband and I had been that point he had a sore throat and went to line up for a COVID check; how he was turned away for not assembly the testing standards; how he modified his garments in the storage afterward, doused himself in hand sanitizer and had a scalding scorching bathe earlier than he went close to our youngsters once more.

I suppose, in order to outlive and transfer ahead, many people have repressed a few of our extra traumatizing recollections from the early days of the pandemic. My repressed recollections simply additionally occur to incorporate shedding a lot hair that in May 2020 I regarded like Danny Devito.

But it’s all there in my iPhone pics, forcing me to face the reality: It was disagreeable, it was life, and it occurred.

Here’s what I do keep in mind vividly: my staggering confidence that slicing my personal bangs would repair every little thing. It was January 2021, my son and the pandemic had been each virtually a 12 months previous, and my hair had grown again in offended spikes. Now I had an electrocuted lion’s mane, and with the new child haze nicely behind me, I was aware of my look. Hair salons had been nonetheless closed, Ben had simply spent his first Christmas in one other lockdown, and I was fully out of fucks to offer.

I reasoned that I mainly already had bangs rising on their very own, and if I tousled, nicely, who was going to see me, anyway? Pandemic for the win! No regrets!

The author showing her pandemic bangs, a solution to cover her hair loss after pregnancy

Photo: Courtesy of Natalie Stechyson

I had rapid regrets. Not solely had I angered the spikes, however I had emboldened them with reinforcements. Now I had a shelf of hair shards pointing in each route, and no scrunchie might include them. It took a 12 months of bobby pins and consuming at night time to get previous it.

But right here I am now, in summer time 2022, and each my life and my look really feel far more manageable. I reduce my consuming, took up jogging, went again to work, and all of us besides Ben are absolutely vaccinated (can we hurry this up, Health Canada?). And my hair? Well, aside from the truth that I’ve been sporting it in a mother bun for therefore lengthy that I possess a piece scrunchie, train scrunchie, and costume scrunchie, I suppose it appears to be like respectable. I can tuck the remnants of my regret-bangs behind my ears now, and these days, when I take a selfie, I see a powerful lady who survived a second child, a transfer to a brand new metropolis, a brand new job, each spirit day my son’s kindergarten might throw at me, innumerable bouts of daycare gastro, the return of high-waisted denims, and a freaking plague.

And then I instantly delete the picture of myself so I have area for 219 pics and three movies of my boys pulling a wagon.