Unfortunately, as a society we have decided that female hair loss is a taboo topic that is rarely discussed. In reality, hair loss will affect up to 50% of women in their lifetime, but since we do not have honest discussions about it, many women feel forced to suffer in silence. Today we are thankful to have a patient that is willing to share her experience so that more women can feel empowered to speak about their hair loss and learn about the treatment options available to them. Laura D. is 31 years old and has been experiencing telogen effluvium over the past few months due to being post-partum. In the upcoming months she will occasionally write blogs for us to let us know how her journey is going.
Being a new mother has been more wonderful than I had ever dreamed. That being said, I will be the first to admit that I didn’t love most of the parts of being pregnant. I am someone who likes to be in control of my own body, and it was challenging watching my body change in ways that were completely out of my control. Despite having what most would consider a “fit pregnancy” where I continued running, doing yoga, and swimming up until delivery, I gained 50 lbs with my daughter! Yet along with the less desirable body changes that included swollen ankles, a baseline waddle, and constant kicking of my ribs, I will say that my hair was more thick and vibrant than it had ever been. There were at least some perks of being pregnant for sure!
Now that my daughter is four months old, I feel as though I have finally gotten into a routine of daily life with a baby, and for the most part have my body back again. Let me tell you what a victory it was to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans! I finally feel like myself again and would be feeling very happy about my post-partum body if it wasn’t for one thing, my hair. The one thing that I wasn’t expecting was how much hair I would start losing, and how drastic the change in my hairline would become. At about 3 months post-partum, I started shedding hair excessively. My shower drain would be clogged with a fistful of hair each time I washed my hair, and it became near impossible to keep up with vacuuming the rooms in our house where my hair seemed to collect in every corner. I now dread washing my hair or even brushing my hair, because every time I do so my hair falls out in handfuls. Although there is definitely overall thinning, I am thankful that I had very thick hair to begin with, so a thinner ponytail isn’t the worst thing. However, what really bothers me is that I have significant hair loss along my temples and across the front of my hairline. Instead of thick dark hair, there are patches where my hair is now so thin you can easily see through to my scalp. I’ve started parting my hair differently and styling it differently to try to cover up these balding spots near my temples.
It’s extremely frustrating how self-conscious I am about my hair loss, because I feel like this should be a time where I am so proud of all that my body has done for me in the past year. It’s crazy to think that over this year my body has carried a tiny human from conception to birth, and now has been nourishing this tiny little human and allowing her to grow and thrive in this world. I should feel empowered that this body has done all of that so well, yet I find myself focusing the negatives of my thinning hair when I look in the mirror and not the other beautiful parts of my body both outside and in.
In March I decided to speak to the medical staff at Medi Tresse to try and figure out what was going on with my hair. While it was not easy to talk about, my interactions with both Diana and Rosie have been beyond wonderful. They are both such caring, compassionate, and dedicated practitioners. They have assured me that I’m not alone in my post-partum hair loss, and they’ve helped me create a treatment plan that will fit into my life as a new mom. They explained that I was experiencing telogen effluvium due to being post-partum. After discussing my options, I decided to pursue treatment with a laser cap to hopefully slow down the shedding and reverse the hair loss. I am really excited to get started with treatments and see if I can regain some hair (and some confidence!) in these upcoming months. I can’t wait to share this journey with you all and I am so thankful that Medi Tresse is here to help me!
Note from Diana Gallerani, NP: Laura is experiencing telogen effluvium, which is a temporary hair loss typically caused by a stressor on the body. For most patients, telogen effluvium is reversible and all loss should regrow, however, it is important to start treatment early to help mitigate the shedding and reverse the telogen effluvium. Post-partum hair loss is extremely common, as during pregnancy most women experience less shedding and will see thicker hair as a result. After the pregnancy women will shed hair and go back to their pre-pregnancy baseline. Unfortunately, in some cases, and in the case of Laura, we do see some patients shed more hair than they started with before their pregnancy and actually see thinning throughout the scalp. With telogen effluvium, it is important to be aggressive with the treatment and we typically recommend a multi-therapy approach of Low Level Laser Therapy, Formula 82M, and Viviscal. However, since Laura is breastfeeding we do not recommend the Formula 82M or Viviscal, so we have started her on a laser cap. Laura is currently not a candidate for Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy as she is in an active shed, but once we stop the shedding she could try PRP, which will likely give her faster results than just waiting for her hair to grow back on its own.
Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team