Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet as saying, “Whoever has hair should honour it” (Abu Dawud).
Hair is often considered the essence of a woman’s beauty. We style our hair, touch it and feel it every day. It attracts the attention of others – which is why when we don’t want to attract attention, we cover it with hijab. To honour our hair means to cover it, just as much as it means to beautify it. That’s why when we lose hair after giving birth, it’s disheartening to look in the mirror and can even affect our mental health. But if we focus a little more on why it happens, we can take steps to feel less distressed and less conscious of it.
You may feel your hair loss after having a baby is really weird, embarrassing and not normal whereas actually, to a certain extent, it is normal for a woman who has just given birth. Based on your hair growth cycle and the change in the number of hair follicles that are growing hair, this is called Telogen Effluvium (TE), the second most common form of hair loss.
Your hair growth cycle consists of a growth (anagen) phase and a resting (telogen) phase. You may have noticed during pregnancy that your hair was much thicker than normal. That’s because you had a higher than normal number of hair follicles in the growth phase. After childbirth, hormonal changes trigger a higher than normal number of follicles to enter the resting phase and this is followed by excessive hair shedding (then re-growth) once the resting phase ends. This usually happens around three months postpartum. This is the process of TE – when you have less hair follicles that grow hair during the prolonged resting phase (telogen) of hair growth.
Thankfully TE isn’t permanent. It can take anything from 6-12 months after childbirth for hair growth to return to normal. So dear Mamas, don’t despair and love every strand of hair you have as much the baby you cradle in your arms! Whether it’s your first or fifth baby, postpartum hair loss is no novelty and you shouldn’t be surprised if it happens to you.
In some cases, postpartum hair loss can be excessive and may take longer to return to normal. If this happens, you should see your GP to check if you have low blood iron or thyroid hormone levels.
What’s your post pregnancy hair journey been like? We guarantee another mum who is reading this has been through the same so please share!
Writer Sharmin Begum says – “I am currently on a career break, having previously worked as a Senior Laboratory Research Scientist. Whilst being a stay-at-home mum with my two children (aged 3 years and 8 months), I also work as a freelance medical writer from home.”
All guest writer articles come from our Muslim Mamas community or from our network of supporters. Some contribute one-off stories; some contribute as anonymous mamas. All experiences and opinions are those of the writers.