Some aspects of the postpartum period you can prepare for. Stocked up on diapers? Check. Made sure you’ve got snacks on hand to keep you energized during those late-night feedings? Check—and pass the trail mix. Other aspects are harder to prepare for. (The night sweats???) The postpartum period is intense—to put it lightly. So whether you’re newly postpartum or several months into the crazy and unpredictable ride that is caring for a baby, if you haven’t reminded yourself yet today: you’re doing amazing, mom!
And along with all of the other changes that happen, you may have noticed that your curls are going through some major changes, too. Between new curl patterns and of course, postpartum hair loss, there’s a lot of new territory to discover. To help you navigate postpartum hair changes with confidence, we tapped our Director of R&D for his expert insights on exactly what causes postpartum hair changes, and how to handle things like postpartum hair loss and a new curl pattern that you may not be familiar with just yet.
Firstly, why does postpartum hair loss happen?
Like we discussed in our Curly Girl’s Guide to Pregnancy Hair Changes post, during pregnancy, the process between two of the phases of the hair cycle, the anagen (growing) phase and telogen (resting) phase, slows down. This is why you may have noticed (and probably enjoyed) some hair growth during pregnancy. “During postpartum, the conversion from anagen to telogen is accelerated,” explains LUS Director of R&D, Michael Ajayi. So you may find that you lose those “extra” hairs that hung on during pregnancy—and then some. “This accelerated conversion can sometimes lead to hair loss during postpartum.”
We know this can be an emotional experience for so many reasons, but remember that this period of increased hair loss is temporary. “Once the body’s natural hormonal balance returns to regular levels, a balanced hair growth process can resume,” says Michael. In the meantime, remember to give yourself patience and grace. Your curls, no matter how thick or thin, defined and voluminous or thrown up into a quick bun, are beautiful, and the hair you know and love will be back before you know it.
What are the best products for postpartum hair loss?
“While your body is resetting, make sure to maintain your regular curl routine and keep your scalp clean by using a gentle sulfate-free shampoo on your regular wash days,” says Michael. “With all the rapid changes going on during this period, it's best to not add anything to your routine that may disrupt the natural cadence of your scalp and hair. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a sulfate-free shampoo that has enough cleaning power to remove impurities, but is still gentle enough to not strip your hair’s natural oils or disrupt the scalp’s natural microbiome.”
The scalp’s what now?
Microbiome! It’s a collection of microorganisms that lives in and on the scalp (and the skin and inside our bodies). The microbiome is made up of trillions (yup, trillions) of microorganisms that can’t be seen by the human eye — things like bacteria, viruses and fungi. Sounds gross? It’s not — we promise! You may have heard the term “good bacteria'' before and this is exactly what it is. Just like the skin on your face, the health of your scalp’s microbiome relies on regular cleansing and lack of buildup, which is why a good shampoo, like LUS’ sulfate-free, light lather formula, is crucial. It’s infused with just the right amount of shea butter and moringa oil to leave your hair feeling clean and moisturized with every wash. Need an extra deep-clean due to extra oil during the postpartum period? Try our Scalp Scrubber to really get in there and exfoliate your scalp when you shampoo.
(Bonus: it doubles as a scalp massager for those postpartum days when you need some serious unwinding.)
What about changing curl types during postpartum?
We know, we know — after getting used to all of the changes that come with new parenthood, the shock of finally taking your curls out of a days-old bun only to discover that your curl type has changed, is, well, shocking. (By the way, if you’re ready to #FreeUrBuns but aren’t ready for another wash day quite yet, here’s how to refresh your hair quickly and easily.)
But just like pregnancy hormone patterns can change the shape of your hair follicle (among other things like the amount of oil your scalp produces), so can postpartum hormone patterns. Whether you’re experiencing a hair texture change after pregnancy, searching for postpartum hair loss remedies, dealing with the aftermath of dry hair during pregnancy, or even just want inspo for easy hairstyles for new moms, figuring out a new curl routine can be overwhelming when it feels like the goalpost is constantly moving. And the last thing you want to do is start your curl journey from the beginning.
Luckily, you don’t have to. When we say LUS is for all curlies, we mean it. “LUS products support all curl types,” says Michael. So if your hair is suddenly more (or less) curly, try choosing one of our All-In-Ones that is formulated for your new curl pattern—NBD! Make sure to take our curl quiz first to find out what your new curl type is. If extra hydration is what you’re after, our Deep Condition & Repair can give you that extra moisture (in just 15 minutes, by the way!). And while you’re nailing down your new curl routine, our Wash·Style·Refresh Kit can help you quickly revive your day two (or three or four or five…) curls.
Use this time to work with and embrace your new curl pattern because before you know it, you’ll be teaching your little one to love their curls like you love yours. And LUS will be there for you every step of the way.