losing my hair

My hair is falling out. A fine, sad network twines across the pillow in the morning. I am forever plucking strands from the corner of the baby’s mouth.

I pull at it, run my fingers through it, checking them compulsively afterward for the telltale evidence. It’s always there, sometimes eight strands at a time, weaving together, blowing away.

I stand in front of the bathroom mirror in the evening, tugging my hair to this side and then the other side, exposing the horror of my widening part. My hair can part anywhere now, given even half a chance. It falls open obscenely.

Losing my hair feels like losing my confidence. I hide under a hat. I try to surreptitiously check my reflection in case it’s ended up even more embarrassing than when I left the house earlier. I am thinking about it while having coffee with a friend. Is she looking at my hair? Is she feeling a little sorry for me?

Bear says I’m being ridiculous, I look exactly the same. My hair is beautiful.

patch

Beautiful is a gross exaggeration, I say. Gross is a better word.

He gets frustrated. Come on, stop it, you’re being vain. It doesn’t matter.

Wait, I say. This is not vanity. I swear.

Actually, I’ve been trending towards fine. I mean, I just wrote this piece, about feeling sexy. And before that I wrote this piece, about not caring about the way I look anymore. So yes, that just happened. I realize I’m sort of contradicting myself now. I tried not to write this piece for that reason, but I’m writing it anyway, because life is contradictory. Also, my hair wasn’t falling out then.

My thinning hair yanks me back into a tightening awareness of my reflection, and I resent it for that, too.

It reminds me of losing my hair other times. This isn’t the first time.

 

Thick hair sounds the same as beauty to me now. People used to say, “Your hair is so thick!” the way they said “you’re so thin!” And my brain, even as a girl, went “check!” off the list of things I needed to have to make me valuable. To make me enviable. It’s a freeing list, when you already have the things on it, because you don’t have to think about them anymore. You hardly have to notice. But in college my hair suddenly betrayed me and then I thought about it all the time. What had happened? Who knows. One doctor said serious anemia, so I took tons of iron and ate tons of chopped liver. Another doctor recommended a generic Rogaine, which I applied in desperate, furtive secret, hiding the bottle behind a box of bandaids in the medicine cabinet in my first apartment. I was so afraid that some guy who slept over would somehow find it. Maybe if he cut himself. I would have to remember to get the bandaids. That was very important. Also, I worried about missing an application, for the sleeping over guy. It was important not to miss a night.

Who has time, really, to Rogaine themselves? You’re supposed to apply it twice a day, and it stays on for a half an hour or something. Who can do that? I felt a dark kinship with balding men everywhere. The ones, who, like me, were afraid enough of how they looked to make the huge, chemical-steeped, foul-smelling effort. We were all lonely, in our bathrooms, applying the stuff, I was sure. But we were united, in a way.

Except that I was a woman.

So I was totally alone.

“That’s for men, honey,” said the woman behind the counter in the store where I got it.

“I know,” I said, looking down. I tried to look like I was definitely getting it for a man in my life. A man too shy to purchase it himself. A steady boyfriend. A father. A husband.

Her eyes went pitying. At least, I think they did.

That was what I was most scared of. The pity. It is shameful, for some reason, some probably deeply rooted biological reason, to have thinning hair, as a woman. It is a failing, for some reason, to lose your hair as a woman. To lose my hair sometimes seemed to me to be a loss of womanhood itself.

You know what’s interesting? Every time I’ve gotten caught up in the failure of some aspect of my appearance, I’ve believed almost completely that my potency, the success of my femininity, my essence as a woman depends on that thing. I’ve believed it helplessly, against reason, in spite of my efforts to not get hung up on stupid stuff and instead live a bigger, better, more rational life. What is with that kind of fear? Where does it come from?

The best women are thin. The best women have long legs. The best women have small noses. The best women have thick hair. The best women have big eyes. The best women have long necks. The best women probably never get a pimple on their butt or dark hair on their arms or dirt under their nails.

I don’t know who they are—these best women. But I have known for a long time that I am not one of them.

It’s not vanity, I explain to Bear. It’s fear. I am afraid on some level of not being good enough. Or maybe this is just semantics. Vanity, I think, is when you preen and primp and fuss in constant attention to a façade that you already believe is superior. I have, on the other hand, learned to be afraid that I will never even be acceptable. When my hair started falling out in college, I was afraid that I was falling, too. Falling down on the job of being an acceptable woman.

I stopped using the Rogaine chemicals only a few months in. I couldn’t stand the smell anymore. I couldn’t take the shame. I was humiliated, alone in my tiny bathroom.

My hair never got thick again, not like it was before college. But it goes through phases. The hormonal changes of new motherhood are wreaking havoc on it. This is the worst it’s been in years. But, I remind myself, I am not the worst I’ve been in years.

morning

I’ve learned a few things since college. Since grad school. Since I hid that bottle in the medicine cabinet.

It’s easy to slip into old, hateful habits, but I know now with greater certainty that I am not my hair. Or my weight. Or my legs. Or my breasts. Or my neck. Or my nose. Or any of the myriad details that make up my body. I also know that of course these details matter. Of course they matter to me. I can’t pretend I graciously accept them all. I can’t manage to embrace my traitorously wispy hair. I can’t be such a big-picture, awesome, fiercely focused person that I am constantly like, “I am on a journey! I am weaving the colorful tapestry of my life! I don’t have time to notice things like my hair. I have to nourish my SOUL.” Or, like, “Children are STARVING in the world—why would anyone ever, ever bother to care about their hair at all?”

Nope. I’m still kinda lame this way. I’m still kinda stuck sometimes. I still care too much about too many stupid things.

“So change,” my mom said, referring to something totally different about me. But still, it applies here.

“Yeah, yeah,” I said. “I’m trying.”

“You really have to try,” she said. “Because people say it’s too hard to change and then they don’t work on it, and then fifty years later they have the same problems. And if they’d tried they could’ve actually improved.”

“True,” I said.

The worst thing is feeling helpless. Like it’s out of my control. Like the things about me that matter are things I can’t impact. Stupid or not, that’s how losing my hair makes me feel.

And then I remember how I walked into a barber shop and got a buzz cut once. Twice. Four times? But the first time, especially. How that felt. It felt like I was in charge.

“Listen,” I tell my hair, very sternly, in the mirror in the bathroom in the evening. “Listen, hair. I will cut you. I will. You’d better watch yourself.”

And then I let myself be jealous of my friends for their lustrous, cascading locks. I wish my hair did that. I really do. But it’s not a huge deal. Obviously.

And then I put on my red dress and go out.

laugh

(I bring the red hat, too, just in case)

*   *   *

Have you ever lost a lot of hair?

Unroast: Today I love the way I look when I grin

Here are some cake pics from a reader named Elizabeth who wrote to me to talk about postpartum body image, so it’s perfect that I get to share these delightful shots of her here. Thank you, Elizabeth!! Here’s a link to the gallery of pictures of women eating cake. (As always, if anyone else wants to share pics of themselves with cake, please do!)

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44 Comments »

Kate on December 18th 2013 in beauty, body, hair, motherhood

44 Responses to “losing my hair”

  1. teegan responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 11:33 am #

    First off, your hair is gorgeous, especially in the last photo.

    That being said, losing your hair is awful. Even though you KNOW that postpartum loss is just because you didn’t lost any while pregnant and your body plays catch-up (how weird is that?). Even though everything else is getting back to normal and comfortable and you now have a fantastic new little person. It’s still awful. And you feel like everyone is staring at the whispy thin spots on your scalp. And on top of that, you have to make sure it doesn’t get wrapped around their little fingers and toes when you’re not looking (yes, check once a day. A friend’s daughter got a hair wrapped around her toe once. Nothing life-shattering, but no fun getting a doc to clip too-tight hair off your baby’s tiny toe).

    It feels like it will never end. Lots of new motherhood things feel like they will never end. I think part of it is because there are always a couple of neverending things happening at once (lochia and thrush and hair loss and sleepless periods and teething and nap strikes, etc). I don’t remember when hair loss ended for me, but it went on months longer than I wanted. Until he was six months old? Seven? I don’t know. I also discovered my hair often looks better uncombed between washings during that time, so I comb it less, which means that when I DO comb, more comes out anyway.

    My hair is thick. It’s also entirely unpredictable and decides to be dandruffy at random. So thick hair does not automatically mean a win. And my head looked really odd when my hair was very short, so at least appreciate that you look lovely with the buzz!

  2. Kate responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 11:44 am #

    you’re always comforting.

    I was looking forward to trying longer hair for a bit– I’m still hoping to. It’s been really short for so long. And I’m not sure, honestly, if it actually looks great short. I just do it anyway, out of my own tiny version of personal ferociousness.

  3. Kaisa responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Reading this made me remember my mom’s constant comments on her hair. In her 40s, a lot of it fell out, she cut it short, and it grew back more frizzy than curly. I always thought it was lovely, though. Thick, curly hair is in our genetics, and people would always comment about me, “OH, SHE HAS YOUR HAIR! IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL.” and my mom would respond “yea, she has it and I don’t have it anymore.” Everyone else and I just saw her beautiful hair, and I imagine that your friends didn’t notice at all until you made this post. ;)

  4. Kate responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 11:49 am #

    @Kaisa
    Is Kaisa really your name? It’s so lovely!
    This reminds me not to constantly comment on the things I don’t like about myself :-)

  5. Natty Sci responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Thank you for writing this. I have PCOS, and my hair has been thinning a lot lately — like you, I had really thick, curly hair prior to college. I loved it! It was one of those things I felt like I could always count on, those perfect black Botticelli spirals.

    I chopped off my hair earlier this year when I realized it had gotten thin, straggly. It looks much better when it’s short, but I had to give up my fantasy of having (natural) mermaid hair for my wedding in 2014.

    I have to say though — the hair loss was initially very traumatic. I cried when I got it cut, and I wore lipstick to sleep that night just to feel feminine again. And like you, I’m a body image blogger! None of us is immune to this stuff, immune to the conflation of our femininity with certain body parts.

    It goes without saying, but you look radiant in these photos :-)

  6. Florence responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 11:55 am #

    I’m so glad you wrote this post even though you didn’t feel it was representing the best side of you, or thought that it was contradictory. I love seeing people being honest and being human, which sometimes means being a little vain. It’s hard to admit it when we place emphasis on things that seem so superfluous, so I admire you for doing so openly here. You do indeed look radiant, you rock it girl. Worst case scenario you end up looking like Charlize Theron…go head and give her a quick google search (being bald could actually be okay).

  7. Emily responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Like you, with my first the hair loss was unreal. It was everywhere. The worst was when I realized it wasn’t just “catching up” from pregnancy, whatever that is supposed to mean, I flipping had a receding hair line. Thank you baby. I grew you. You ate my hair. Literally. It’s coming out in your diapers. I felt so bad when there was so much of it I couldn’t keep up with keeping it out of her mouth. Now I know. With our second I won’t feel bad… as much. I know exactly how demented it looks when your receding hair line tries to fill back in.

  8. Rachyl responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Yeah. I’ve lost a lot of hair, as a combination of stress and the birth control pill I was on, and then a bout of Lyme disease. At first I didn’t realize I was losing head-hair. It was nice to shave my legs less often, to have less hair on my arms. Then I realized that when I brushed my hair back to put it in a ponytail, I was seeing more scalp than usual.

    It wasn’t a pleasant feeling at all, looking in the mirror, pawing at my head, parting my hair here and there to see which way looked least bald. I asked my boyfriend a number of times if he would still love me, if all my hair fell out. (He said of course he would, and asked if I’d still love him if we went bald together. Good answer, man.) I started taking biotin. I stopped taking that pill.

    Eventually my hair started growing back. I’ll deal with having to shave my legs too often if it means having my head-hair. My faaabulous hairstylist commented that I have new growth everywhere. I notice this too, because it’s all about three inches long (where the rest of my hair is well past my shoulders) and doesn’t want to lie flat. But it’s growing, and that’s what matters!

  9. Mindy responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    This made me cry. I lost hair with every kid (3) and it didn’t come back. I long for the long, thick, wavy locks others have. I want to put my hair in a careless bun when I workout at the gym. Instead, I have “cute” short hair, because it’s just doesn’t look great to have long hair when your entire head of hair can fit in a ponytail wrapped with one of those little bitty baby elastics. I know it doesn’t matter, but it kind of does.

  10. Emmi responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    I lost most of my hair when I was really I’ll with what we later found out was Crohn’s disease. I pretty much stopped absorbing all nutrients because of massive, widespread intestinal inflammation and my body self-cannibalized. I babied it to keep it for my wedding updo, but afterwards it pretty much all came out. It regrew well though, and now it’s thicker ( and curlier) than it ever was before. Could have been worse! When it was still wicked short I did some fun highlights and stuff so that helped keep away sadness about my predicament.

  11. Kelli responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I had really bad post-partum hair loss after my first was born. I had never had super short hair but I cut it all off because it was so thin & I was so self conscious about it. It is crazy how you don’t ever really think about what a luxury pretty hair is until you don’t have it anymore. I was very scared that it would keep falling out until I was actually bald, but after around 5 months it stopped.
    My hair had just started to thicken a bit & I was about to start growing it back out when I found out I was pregnant again. So…I told my hair dresser to chop it again, no point in going through the awkward in between phases only to have to chop it if it falls out like it did last time.
    I think b/c hair is so strongly tied to femininity in our culture (most cultures?) it can feel worse than weight gain or short legs or other things. That’s my take anyway.
    Sorry you are dealing with this too!

  12. San D responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    I know what you mean about losing your crowning glory. I too had thick curly hair. Then I didn’t. Cancer does that to you. For a while I wore a strawberry wig that made me laugh every time I saw my gaunt green face in the mirror. I was aiming for somewhere between Bozo and Ronald, but not as red. Then it grew back, thinner, and “bent”. After stopping hormone therapy my hair started to curl back up. It’s never going to be thick, but boy is it curly and I am laughing again. You, too, will get your hair back. Maybe it won’t be the same, but at least it will be yours.

  13. olivia responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Oh Kate your hair looks lovely in the photos! And definitely thicker than mine even though you say you’ve lost a lot.

    I’ve always had very fine hair and it’s only recently that I noticed and it really started to bother me ( someone pointed it out -thanks for that). But my main insecurity with my hair is that its really curly, and I’ve just always wanted straight or wavy ”normal hair”, to have the beautiful effortless hair of my friends, who can just wash and go and don’t have to blow-dry and straighten it. I know i

  14. olivia responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Oh Kate your hair looks lovely in the photos! And definitely thicker than mine even though you say you’ve lost a lot.

    I’ve always had very fine hair and it’s only recently that I noticed and it really started to bother me ( someone pointed it out -thanks for that). But my main insecurity with my hair is that its really curly, and I’ve just always wanted straight or wavy ”normal hair”, to have the beautiful effortless hair of my friends, who can just wash and go and don’t have to blow-dry and straighten it. I know i don’t HAVE to do this, but I’ve really internalised the media’s idea of what beautiful hair is, virtually no celebrities wear their curly hair natural, as far as it goes are fake tonged ‘curls.’

    It’s weird because sometimes I don’t mind being ‘unconvential’ – I have really pale skin but have never felt the desire to be tanned, despite it being western society’s ideal. But with hair I can’t help but feel that my hair is ‘wrong’ and something I have to fix :(

  15. olivia responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    * sorry for the repeated comment..my computer went funny..

  16. Sarah S responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    I’m losing mine right now, for no other apparent reasons than stress and late-thirties hormone shift. It’s always been really fine, so (I think) the thin patches are horrendously noticeable. I’m dutifully rolling with it’s obstinate frailty, however, and continuing to try to grow it long. Most days it looks like shit. :) Occasionally, though, someone tells me I look really pretty with long hair (always a sucker for a compliment), and that keeps me from going back to my blond pixie of a few years ago. It’s also a lot cheaper to maintain now. :) I guess my point to both of us is: thinning hair is like a few pounds in that no one else really notices or comments (unless they’re shallow and petty, in which case screw ‘em). You look beautiful in all your photos, and I’d never guess this was worrying you if you hadn’t written about it.

  17. Emily Snook responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Hair woes come in many shades.
    Growing up I was a glorious, natural blonde. Took it for granted that I would always have such vibrant hair color.
    Then I went to grad school and got all funky – buzz cuts, purple, red…
    And then I didn’t really know what color it was anymore but I wanted my blonde of youth back. So I highlighted. And lowlighted. And spent a small fortune in the process.
    This last time I cut my hair pixie, all of the blonde came off with it. And now my hair is this foreign reddish/strawberry blonde color. Unremarkable. I am trying to not judge myself. Hell I am almost 40. It just seems like coloring your hair at a salon is so…frivolous (to me at least). Still working on accepting the image that greets me in the mirror…

  18. Rachel responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    I love this! Both my dad and my brother started losing their hair in their twenties–my 22 year old brother just started shaving his head to hide his bald spot. Because of that and the way I shed like a cat now that my hair’s waist-length again and the HUGE widow’s peak I inherited from my dad, I’m constantly terrified that my hairline is receding. And it is, but nowhere near as quickly as I’m convinced it is every time I pull my hair back. It’s so hard not to fixate on it and fix my hair twenty times a day!!!

    You look fantastic. Your hair looks amazing, all curly and wild and wonderful. I’m so glad you made this post.

  19. Marnie responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    A few years ago I ended up in the hospital with a severe flare of ulcerative colitis. About 100 days later (apparently this is a thing that happens) I started to notice it falling out in droves! I was terrified and panic stricken at first because I didn’t know when it might stop but as I started to investigate head wraps and little hats etc for when it was all gone I started to feel a real sense that I would be better for it in a way. I started to understand what that experience is for others and developed a deeper sense of empathy around the topic that I had previously thought of as not so bad. Strangely it circled back around for me and I realized that I wasn’t my hair and that I was going to be ok. Anyway, it grew back in – in a totally different and unruly texture – so that has been weird. Overall, though, I’m glad it happened, even if I’m not in love with my hair these days. :)

  20. Kate Also responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    I am expecting my second baby in the spring and I’ve already been thinking about how to deal with the horrible hair loss stage. My plan is to let it grow it all the way through the pregnancy and for a month or two after, then chop and donate it before it can all fall out on me. It was so awful last time–my hair was really long and it was EVERYWHERE. More hair than carpet in my bedroom. Ew.

    Hair is a big deal for me because I have trichotillomania, which basically means somewhere around puberty the little “you’re not good enough” voices in my perfectionist little brain started telling me to medicate my imperfection by pulling out all my eyelashes and big chunks of my hair. Being 30-something and far less critical of myself has mostly but not entirely cured the problem. So . . . I really didn’t like it when it fell out last time and I’m not going to like it next time!

    Finally, you have the most deliciously, adorably, wonderfully chubby baby ever. My family makes beanpole babies and they’re damn cute if I say so myself but man do I ever want to pinch her awesome cheeks. Aren’t you proud that you GREW her with your own body and you’re still doing it!? So amazing. Well done. :-)

    I love your blog.

  21. Farmchick responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I lost a bunch of mine after I was in a really bad wreck and had to be on blood thinners for awhile. Its scary and I really don’t know why! The worst thing is no one warned me it was going to happen, and just as I thought I was slowly starting to get a grip on my life again, my hair started falling out.

    It came back, and honestly it was easier when it wasn’t thick! I’m trying to work up the nerve to hack it all off, actually.

    My husband has thinning hair (early hair loss runs in his family) and he is very sensitive about it. So being worried about your hair is definitely not just a girl thing!

    Blame Eden. She has gobs of hair! lol She’s so adorable. :D

  22. kitty responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    I totally get this. My girl Matilda is a similar age to Eden and during pregnancy my already super fine eyebrows pretty much disappeared. Heartbreaking. Every time I spoke to someone I thought, ‘They’re looking at my eyebrows, they’re thinking about my eyebrows, they’re wondering where my eyebrows are.’ And then I’d see a woman who’d lost her hair because of cancer and I’d think harden up, you great big eyebrow-less wuss (me, not the cancer lady). They’re still barely there. Oh well. I have a baby girl! Life is good! My worth is not contingent on my eyebrows!

  23. kitty responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Oh, and Growing Eden was great. Well done.

  24. Stephanie responded on 18 Dec 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I lost my hair slowly over two years. I struggled with an eating disorder and when I recovered I gained weight and lost my hair at the same time. I have always been naturally thin and had blonde hair to my waist, so when I lost both of those things I was devastated. I felt like I had lost my whole identity and what made me ‘me.’ It’s been very hard but I’m comin to terms with it. I recently cut my hair relatively short and I actually like it- it looks much better this way until my body decides that it’s safe to use energy on growing hair again.

    You look beautiful and your daughter is absolutely adorable. I had my first, a boy, in October. Isn’t the love you feel for them amazing?!

  25. Katy responded on 19 Dec 2013 at 5:53 am #

    Although I can’t really relate to dramatic hair loss, I absolutely related to the essence of this article about how if only certain things on your body were better, you would suddenly be this care-free woman, beautiful and living life to the full. I had acne problems on and off from when I was about 15-37yo. It wrecked my self-confidence, and I tried so many different ways to overcome how it made me feel so ugly with varying degrees of success. But I must admit I’m glad it’s not an issue any more. Now, I just have an extra 15kgs that I feel bad about, haha.

    I’m 40 next May, and I have two kids and I am confident that I’m getting better and better each year at not placing an undue amount of concern into my appearance. I will always put some, because we are physical beings in a physical world. But it’s more a case of making the best of what I’ve got and to hell with the rest!

    Love your blog, you so wonderfully articulate what intelligent women everywhere feel and ponder.

    Have a wonderfu firstl christmas with baby Eden xo

  26. Maya responded on 19 Dec 2013 at 8:09 am #

    I’ve never dealt with hair loss, but reading this made me think about the absurdities (albeit, sort of loved absurdities) about my relationship with my hair. I cover nearly all of it, since I got married- but I won’t cut it. In fact, it’s longer now than it has ever been, and basically, no one sees it most of time time. But it is very much a part of how I see myself, even though I see the me with the colorful fabric on my head much more often than I see the me with hair I can just about sit on.

  27. Adey responded on 19 Dec 2013 at 8:54 am #

    I always deeply appreciate your honesty Kate! There are so many normal parts surrounding having a baby that “they” (powers that be?) don’t really advertise very well.

    Also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_5jIt0f5Z4

    :)

  28. Kim responded on 19 Dec 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    I lost a bunch of hair after being pregnant with both my kids, and it wasn’t the loss that bugged me (it will grow back, of course). It was when it grew back in and I had weird spikes all over my head until it got long enough to blend in!

  29. Gabbi responded on 19 Dec 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    I inherited thinning hair from all the women in my family. When I was young, my hair was so thick you couldn’t put it up in a barrette. Now, my braid is half the size it used to be. But I still have curls, in unstoppable ringlets, so it’s okay for now.

    I do fear losing my curl. I fear that someday people will see my hair and think ‘thin’ instead of ‘I want to boing your curl.’ But both my mom and my grandmother spend hours in the hair salon getting partial wigs tied on, dyed, trimmed to match their thin hair underneath. And I can’t imagine spending hours of my life doing that. Learning to be okay with whatever you have frees up so much time to do the things that matter.

    And like others have said–Eden will think your hair is beautiful no matter what it looks like.

  30. Neeva responded on 20 Dec 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    “It’s not vanity … it’s fear” Great quote!
    Almost as good as “You don’t have to have a birth experience. You can just have a baby.” I liked the book a lot, but that quote was the best in my opinion. :-)

    And yes, five months since giving birth and my hair is falling out in quantities. That’s what I get for beeing smug about my thick braid the first two months. Complicated by the thyroid rollercoaster through pregnancy and afterwards.

  31. Kate responded on 20 Dec 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    @Neeva
    I also love that birth quote :-)
    And I was also pretty damn smug about my thick hair for the first couple months. Sighhh

  32. Kate responded on 20 Dec 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    @Maya
    I feel like hair is always so integral to our self-image, even if no one sees it. Or even if other people see it all the time and never notice. It really is interesting

  33. Kate responded on 20 Dec 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    @Kitty
    Thank you!!!

  34. Kate responded on 20 Dec 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    @Farmchick
    Whoa. Bad wreck and blood thinners. I’m sorry for all of that! I hope you’re totally OK now.
    The kinship with men is interesting– I know it’s sensitive for anyone who’s losing their hair, women or men. I’m still sort of surprised that there’s this whole thing about it being unattractive for men to bald when it’s also so very normal. I feel like we should all get over our weird hair hangups. That would be cool.
    Eden definitely got all of the hair :-)

  35. Kate responded on 20 Dec 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    It’s interesting to see responses from women who dealt/deal with serious illness here– such a different experience I’d think than my “so my hair randomly falls out sometimes and now it’s from the postpartum hormone stuff” story. I feel a little embarrassed to even complain, but I also always feel like I want to hear everyone else’s story, so I’m glad I’m getting a little glimpse here

  36. Kay responded on 21 Dec 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Sometimes I feel like I’ve read everything about pregnancy, but how did I miss knowing about this particular side effect? I lost hair due to stress this year and that was traumatizing enough since I have not much to begin with. You still look great. I like your curls/waves but the buzzcut was badass too. Eden’s grumpy little face is so cute, it makes me laugh.

  37. DeeDee responded on 23 Dec 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Yeah, it is no fun when this happens. My hair changed a lot the past few years -and it is now thinner and less curly. I really like Nioxin shampoos and conditioners. They clean your scalp (not just your hair) and help you keep the hair you have while creating the best conditions for new growth. And I only use it once a week.

  38. karen responded on 23 Dec 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    See, no one told me about hair loss after pregnancy! And so 4 months after the birth of my first – when my hair started falling out in clumps – I was SO convinced I had some horrible disease, I started crying… and my husband had just left for 6 months in Afghanistan so I couldn’t tell him…and then my mom visited & asked how my hair was since hers all fell out each time she gave birth (3x). SO RELIEVED I wasn’t dying!

    So this time around I was prepared for it when at 4 months post partum my hair started falling out again. Husband was a little freaked by all the hair everywhere since he missed it the first time. :)

    Oh, and did your feet grow? My feet totally went up a half size. I think that bothers me more than the hair loss because the hair loss has stopped (kiddo is 13 months now) but my feet are still half size larger!! I was a PERFECT size 7 my whole adult life & now I need a 7 1/2. It’s really annoying & a bit discomfitting to have to remember the new shoe size at nearly 40! So that’s my little vanity.

  39. Amy responded on 23 Dec 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I LOVE this post! Thank you for writing down how so many of us feel about ourselves. For you it may be your hair, for me it may be my teeth, for someone else, it may be whatever. But I know I have thought so many times how I am not happy with my teeth, body, wrinkles, etc. and then said the same thing, “Amy, some people don’t have any teeth, or no limbs, etc”. But that doesn’t always work. I still dislike things about myself. We can’t ALWAYS love EVERYTHING about ourselves. I think it’s human nature. So don’t beat yourself up about it. Thank you for sharing how you are feeling- it’s awesome!!

  40. Terri Weaver responded on 26 Dec 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Postpartum hair loss is normal but deeply disturbing nonetheless. I will suggest that if you haven’t had your thyroid checked since the adorable one was born you might want to do that. The first sign I have that my thyroid levels are dropping is the kind of hair loss you’re describing.

    That said…your hair is lovely and so are you and I love reading your blog. :) Happy 2nd day of Christmas!

  41. Jen responded on 29 Dec 2013 at 1:08 am #

    Oh my gosh, I remember that. My son is now 11 months old. During pregnancy, my nails and hair grew stronger and I was so excited (I’ve never had strong nails). I have thin hair, so the change was lovely! Then it started coming out in clumps. I thought it would never stop. But it did. Then my son got old enough to start pulling it and I wear it up constantly anyway. Thinner hair is cooler in summer :)

  42. Anysia responded on 18 Jan 2014 at 9:33 am #

    When I was pregnant my hair was a thick, glossy, curtain that ended in the small of my back. A few months after my sons birth it started falling out in clumps, my head was speckled with quarter sized bald spots. Horror. When it grew back my head acquired a very bristly appearance, my son meanwhile was happily shredding the ends: ) In the end I just chopped it all off. I love your red dress! Thanks for talking about this, I think it impacts a lot of women, but when I had my son I definitely thought it was just me.

  43. Tina responded on 01 Feb 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Firstly, I think your hair looks fab!
    Thank you so much! I have been struggling with post partum hair loss for nearly two months now. My hair has always been very fine and now it is just flat and stringy. I, like you, tug at it in the evenings and continually check it throughout the day. I am beginning to feel like I don’t want to leave the house. Again I have never considered myself vain but have found my confidence has been knocked completely. My doctor has suggested counselling but I thought how can I talk to someone when I really do not understand why I feel like this. You have helped me to understand why. I now understand my feelings are not just about my hair but they go deeper and further back in my past. It is all about not feeling whole as a woman! You see, I could not conceive naturally, which left me feeling less of a woman, and I therefore endured years of fertility treatment. I just presumed those emotions had gone now that I have 2 beautiful boys! I now understand that this hair loss has reignited those feelings and these need to be addressed so that I can concentrate on enjoying being a mum and embracing who I truly am! So, to you, I send a huge THANK YOU!!!!

  44. Tovah responded on 01 Feb 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    I know exactly how you feel. I dream of having the hair you have. My hair started thinning at about 14 years old. I hung in there, still able to cover it up with the ever-present bun or ponytail.

    I took a medication for something else about 7 months ago and my little bit of hair started falling out in clumps. I kept going shorter and shorter until I had practically no hair at all.

    It’s funny how when we’re losing our hair, we can’t stop touching it and pulling on it.

    Anyway, I never leave a link on someone else’s blog, but maybe some readers would be interested in what I’ve gone through in the last 7 months.

    http://www.hautecurvywoman.com/7/post/category/my-alopecia/

    Thank you so much.