When your about to give birth and heading into that final stretch as a black mother the first thing you think about is easy hairstyles that are manageable. Like braids. At least that was my thought going into labor for the third time. I knew I would not have free time dealing with two toddlers and a newborn playing the single parent role. I could barely make a hair appointment with two.
I kept my braids in for about 3 months while I was in Japan and when I took them out I noticed my hair was thicker, healthier and I was so in love with the new length and thickness. The pre-natal pills did ya girl some justice in that protective style. I continued my normal hair routine and then I started to notice around month 4 significant hair shedding. I mean my hair was coming out in clumps every-time I washed, brushed, or touched my hair. Strands would just fall out. I refused to believe that I had worn protective styles for 9 months, kept heat off, and let it grow out from a pixie cut only to find myself with no edges and thin hair.
I can't lie, I was going through it because I did not know how to stop it, and the sad news is you can't stop it, you have to let the hair finish shedding and return back to it's natural growth cycle. So here I am 9 months postpartum and all of my edges are gone. My baby snatched them literally! I started to do some research to see what I could find to help minimize the shedding. By the way, if you are reading this and going through a edge snatching phase, it is completely normal and common. Yes, breastfeeding can also contribute to this, due to increases in levels of the hormone, prolactin, which is connected with hair loss too.
I am a breast feeding mom, and I will not deprive my baby of the boob to save my edges. So instead I've looked for alternative solutions. Here are my top 10 recommendations and things I have implemented into my hair care routine.
1. Rice Water Treatments
It is no secret that rice water is one of the gems of hair growth. This is my holy grail when it comes to minimizing the shedding. I am starting to notice that my hair has increased shine and thickness. Check out one of my favorite curl sisters JaazzMary. Sis gives the perfect tutorial on getting your started with your rice water regime.
2. Shampoo & Deep Condition
You would think that since your hair is shedding so much the last thing you would want to do is wash it. Please wash your hair, and deep condition it. Your hair is going to shed no matter what and not washing it will just depress you when its time to detangle. All the hair you thought you were saving is still going out come out in one big clump. Keeping your hair moisturized will not only strengthen hair follicles that are not in the shedding phase but also promote a healthy foundation for new growth. Here are my favorite hair products to use for deep conditioning.
The Mane Choice Cheers Supreme Strength & Full Protection Conditioner
The Mane Choice Cheers Strong Strands & Full Protection Gelato
I have tried other brands during the Shedding phase and nothing compared to The Mane Choice products. This particular collection has rice protein in it which strengthens and enhances volume. Moreover, this collection is packed with amino acids derived from brewed beer! it's a win win for me. The Mane Choice hair products are made gentle enough for frequent use and really promotes healthy hair growth you can see.
3. Protective Styling
Protective styling is a must when you are trying to revive your hair or stimulate hair growth. my go to style lately has been a twist out or Wash- n-Go. My fav mom for fashion and hair goal inspo KeairaMonique. She will give you hair goals and a word when you need to hear it.
4. Ditch the hard Brush
Your hair is probably already in a fragile state, so utilizing a softer brush may be ideal for detangling or polishing up those edges. I personally love the Tangle Teezer brush! You can order it from Amazon ( Click Here) it is super affordable and works wonders! If you try this brush out, let me know if the feeling is mutual.
5. Minimize Heat
Your hair is already super stressed out and brittle. Show it some love by allowing the hair to air dry 70% and if needed use the other 30% to blow dry on a low heat setting. I usually, let my hair air dry and throw some twists in it and wear a twist out. However, when I want to wear my hair straight, I go for the 70/30 hair drying method.
6. Eat Protein & Iron Rich Foods
Your body is already consuming much of your energy and nutrients creating milk for your baby, so the nutrients for your hair are getting the short end of the stick. I will be the first to say I do not have a well balanced diet all of the time. Which is why I feed my hair with products that can provide some of the internal nutrients I may lack. I have gotten better living in Japan, eating lots of rice and fish (* inserts applause* ). It is always good to give a little extra though. Some of the rich protein and iron foods that you can eat are: eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry, quinoa , lentils, nuts and chickpeas. Iron rich foods include spinach, beetroot, almonds, walnuts and red meats.
7. Consider Supplements
Yup, I said it. Consider Supplements. I currently take The Mane Choice Manetabolism Vitamin in addition to my other ManeChoice hair products. I recently started taking them this month, and will be sure to capture my growth and let you guys know how it goes. I am breastfeeding as well. So, check my instagram stories to follow my journey using the pills. I will say that they are gentle on the stomach and do not have a metallic taste. I do not have any issues so far with my milk supply, or Kobe not wanting the milk due to an altered taste. In fact I think it may have increased my milk supply a little.
8. Scalp Stimulation
Hair growth comes from a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp, means healthy hair! I know that some say stimulation can ruin the hair growth cycle, but that is not completely true. Just make sure you don't scratch holes in your scalp. A nice massage and a little scratch will suffice lol. This will boost blood circulation, reduce stress, and stimulate the scalp to promote growth. Think of giving your hair the same regime as your skin care routine for a healthy glow. Especially if you suffer from a dry itchy scalp. Cleanse, moisturize and tone if your a blonde. When I say tone, I mean use your purple shampoo when necessary to keep your blonde hair color vibrant.
9. Cut It Blunt
Cut it..Cut it... Girl it's way to uneven, you need to cut itttt. ( O.T. Genesis Voice) Ok, so if you are stuck with uneven hair lengths or patches of hair. Going for a slighter shorter and heavier hair style can help the hair appear thicker and fuller. Blunt cuts are great for long hair, when you want to add extra weight. I opted in for a blunt cut since I am growing my hair out from a Pixie cut! My hair stylist Patric Bradley is amazing with the shears and super knowledgeable when it comes to restoration of hair growth and overall hair health. Check out my blunt cut!
10. Live in Your Truth
I know that at the moment you are probably like WTH and don't want it to be known your edges got snatched, but sis I am here to tell it is ok. Hair grows back and the experience you have endured or currently going through is one of the unfortunate but amazing experiences of motherhood. This funny mom gave me the courage to live in my truth and gave me a good laugh! Your truth may spark another mom's light! Sometimes we just need to hear that "girl me too" in a positive way. Watch this for a good laugh!
I would love to add some methods or products you may recommend that have worked for your hair loss situation! Until then, try hold on to the rest of them edges through this journey called motherhood. :)