Most know about the postpartum hair loss that comes after having a baby. But what you might not be prepared for is the postpartum change in hair texture that can result it some pretty unruly strands that lead to tangles, knots, and matting.
Before you reach for the scissors to just chop it all off, I have a bit of advice for you!
Why is my hair suddenly tangling postpartum?
I never suffered from hair knots before having kids. My sister and I both had hair so long we could sit on it when we were 10.
Me, with hair so long I could sit on it.
My weekends were filled with bike riding, climbing, playing at the park etc. all the while my long dark hair blew in the Chicago wind; yet I can confidently tell you, that hair did not tangle.
But flash forward 20 years to a few months after delivering my son and suddenly I have matted knots in my hair? What gives?
Why does hair tangle?
When the outer layer of hair becomes damaged or dry the cuticle opens up. Where a healthy hair strand will have a closed smooth cuticle, when a cuticle is opened and damaged its incredibly easy for it to get snagged and break, tangle, or leave knots.
Why is tangling so much worse postpartum?
Hair tangles easier when the tresses don't have much moisture and are dry. We know hair dryness occurs more frequently postpartum.
There are several reasons this occurs but one of the biggest ones can be dehydration. Especially if you are breastfeeding or pumping (you are literally sharing liquid from your body and giving it to another) its important to drink lots of water.
Not just to keep your supply up, but also because when you are dehydrated this really will have an instant impact on your hair.
In addition to needing more water, your hair can also be impacted by vitamin deficiencies.
Noticing that your hair is suddenly tangling; is a tell-tale sign that you need to start a hair vitamin, yesterday. To increase the overall health of your hair, especially for those who do not get enough hair healthy vitamins & protein in their diet this is one of the easiest steps that can make the biggest difference.
When you move your hair about on your pillow at night this may be creating some new chaffing now that your hair cuticle is more open. A silk pillowcase is highly recommended to avoid further knotting and chaffing while sleeping.
You can also where your hair in a braid to sleep and when you workout to avoid friction caused hair knots.
Neglecting a Hair Appointment:
Getting regular trims is really important for hair. It gets rid of breaking and damaged ends. When you remove hair that's damaged (open cuticle) it allows hair to shed rather than become knotted during hair fall.
We know all to well that postpartum moms experience an increase in hair fall, and when the hair is additionally damaged and dry, this is going to lead to a cluster of tangling and knots.
New moms tend to struggle with any form of self-care especially getting a way for a hair appointment. If you are able to stay consistent with a trim though you will likely alleviate a good amount of knots and tangles.
Requiring a Hair Masque:
When it comes to postpartum hair, what worked for years before simply may not work anymore.
Often times moms experience an oiler scalp and dryer ends. While you may need to switch to a clarifying shampoo your ends will likely benefit from a hair mask 2-3 times a week.
Using the right products during this shift in hair texture can hydrate your strands and minimize knotting and breakage.
The bottom line is hair health can be a window into your overall health and if your hair is suffering and knotted you'll want to take the steps to minimize the damage as quickly as possible.
These are our favorite recommendations if reaching for the scissors isn't for you:
1. Get a fun big water bottle that tracks your intake and commit to finishing it daily.
2. Start a hair vitamin ASAP:
Biotin + Collagen & they taste like tropical passion fruit. These will be the easiest thing you do to get your hair back to healthy. Linking them here.
3. Book the hair appointment
Not only do you deserve it but your hair really needs it. You'll be able to remove dry breaking hair and your stylist will likely be able to recommend a great treatment or hair masque that can help reduce the knotting and tangling.
Le Monde Salon, Honolulu Hawaii
4. Get a silk pillowcase to minimize tangling and friction knotting while you sleep.
Let us know in the comments your best tips for minimizing postpartum knots.