You may have seen a post recently, by Toya Wright about her experiences with postpartum alopepicia, which I personally loved to see. I had already had my photo shoot with Joy, which I planned to use for multiple purposes; and I had already intended to spill my knowledge on postpartum alopecia for all my sisters. I, at first, did not know that it was a thing, and you know how much I obsess with sharing what I learn. I’m always hype to see other women sharing too, especially celebrities. She talked about her hair coming out in clumps little by little, and talked about her fears and confusion at first.
Back in 2009, right after I had my twins, the same thing happened to me, but I swore it was due to stress from the relationship I was in. I would wear my hair parted in the middle to cover my sides, and hide the balding. The hair near my temples started thinning out and I had seen the most bare scalp of mine, that I’d ever seen before. It was scary because I wasn’t sure if it would grow back.
Once I went on to a career of maintaining and styling natural hair, I ran into a few clients who were experiencing postpartum alopecia. I actually helped to treat their conditions by turning it up for them on some of the key practices of general natural hair care. With time though, usually about a year, most cases clear up and the hair comes back as it was. Its such an unpleasant situation; at least it was for me, because I was already feeling the pressures of wanting to get back to my pre-baby being.
At this point, after 5 kids and 4 deliveries, I realize that there’s so much more beauty in embracing the entire process of birthing a human. It’s a tough job and one that I, for sure, am grateful for! I had to switch up my mindset and just let nature take its course, and be grateful.
It wasn’t until I had Brooklynn, that a few weeks went by and my edges were gone again. That’s truly when it clicked. I remembered the feeling of “oh great, now my hair is falling out”… and I immediately put two and two together that I had had postpartum alopecia, both times.
I looked up the definition and the symptoms and I was sure. Using what I know from experience, I’ve been treating it and avoiding styles that will make it worse or slow down the thickening process. Overall, I’m at ease because it is definitely growing back and I know why it happened.
I’d be lying if I said there aren’t days where I still frown upon it, along with all the other unfortunate side-effects of womanhood, however, I have many more feelings of gratitude than I have self-pitty. This is why frequent growth and mentality checks are within my routine; because I enjoy staying real with myself and facing the challenge of becoming a better me.
This photo shoot was a huge accomplishment for me, as it symbolized a breakthrough in the department of self-confidence. I’ve outgrown a few phases and along with satisfying a few business marketing needs, this shoot was an embodiment of my personal growth as well.
I just wanted to share some of my journey with you, and give you yet another example of how to incorporate your reality into your business and vice versa. It all becomes so intertwinable once you live in your true purpose and align with nature. Mix that with the understanding and compassion to help others and it is so easy to get to work.
Below, I’ve included a few hair tips for treating/maintaining postpartum alopecia. I’ve also included the link to Joy’s website; she’s the amazing photographer who was behind the lens for this shoot.
Hair Tips for Postpartum Alopecia:
1. Keep hair and edges wrapped with a satin scarf at night, whether hair is done or not.
2. Use Jamaican black castor oil; massage in into the areas of concern at least once daily.
3. Avoid styles that pull or create tension on on near the areas of concern, such as braids with weave, tight buns and ponytails, or wigs with a physical hairline perimeter.
3. Drink lots of water.
Hair Growth Treatment:
Mix 1 cup extra virgin olive oil with 1 raw egg and drench your hair with it. Work it through, cover with a plastic cap and let it sit for 2-3 hours. Wash as normal, 2x shampoo, 1x conditioner. Blow dry and style as usual.
This treatment coats your strands and seals your ends. This is can be done once a month, especially after any recent trimming.
How to know when it’s time to trim:
There are a number of signs that a trim is necessary, but a few that I look for are excessive shedding, frequently tangled ends, or visual thinning at the ends of your hair.
If you are natural (which I hope you are) you only need a trim 1-3 times a year depending on your habits and hair type. If you practice health hair habits, your ends wont split as much and you will also retain more growth.
If you have a relaxed (which I hope you don’t) you’d want to get trims at least every 6weeks to prevent breakage. The harsh chemicals in relaxes suck all the nutrients and moisture from your hair and leave it fragile and dry, without using lots of products often.
Trims are the best thing you can do to speed up your growth and get your hair healthy again.
Images by Joy Evonne Photo