So you can finally see down there again...
after months of odd shaving with mirrors and stools, and frantic google searches that went something like "how to shave pubic hair while 9 months pregnant.."
and now... your looking at bald patches and sparse spots?
Google is like zero help here because for some reason this isn't a topic that anyone is brining up; yet we've all been there!
Is it normal? Is this another surprise postpartum symptom I didn't know about?
Help! My hair is falling out, but not from my head:
A recent study found that about 80% of women groom their pubic hair.
In the past 5 years there have been trends in completely lasering it off; but for those of us doing the groom job -it is quite shocking to be a few weeks or months postpartum; and discovering pubic hair loss you didn't sign up for.
It's important to note that hair on your head grows differently than pubic hair:
Her's how hair growth breaks down: Hair grows in cycles. In the anagen phase of hair growth, your hair follicles start accumulating cells and proteins and form this into a rope-like structure that you call hair.
The blood supply and nutrients in your scalp feed the follicles and allow them to divide into cells. As long as your anagen phase lasts your hair grows longer and longer - without cutting or breaking ends this is approximately 1/2 inch a month.
The anagen phase will only last so long, no matter how fancy and expensive your shampoo was.
The growth phase lasts a few years and while that amount of time varies from person to person; the amount of time is likely genetic.
The best you can do to get the most bang for your buck during the anagen phase as far as length and hair health is make sure your hair has all the nutrients to grow and consider adding a hair vitamin to your routine.
Ok, so hair length on your head is determined by the length of how long your anagen phase lasts (aka the growth phase- the longer the anagen phase, the longer your hair will grow naturally.
Here's, where it gets interesting: This growth stage can really vary in humans- anywhere from 2-6 years.
So someone can grow hair to these really long great luscious lengths, while some just max out so much sooner.
For example: hair that grows for a few years without stopping will be approximately a foot long but hair that is in the anagen phase for six years can essentially triple that growth before hair moves to a resting or shedding phase.
Body Hair Growth:
Instead of years like our hair growth; body hair growth only lasts weeks and grows to a set length.
The Postpartum Factor:
Ok so without getting into it too much, I will say that humans typically experience these staggered growth cycles.
Only about 3% of your strands will be shedding at any given time while 90% are growing or in this resting stage normally.
This however, is not true postpartum. Postpartum hair loss really takes that statistic and turns it on its head (pun).
And well, let's just say -you have a lot more than 3% shedding at one time.
Take a deep breath, there is nothing wrong with you postpartum, if you are losing pubic hair.
It's important to keep in mind that anything that causes head hair loss, like medications, surgeries, and child birth- can also lead to body & pubic hair loss
It's unfortunate that this isn't brought up more as women really don't need any more surprises after child birth.
Rest assured if you are feeling a bit sparse down there, that this is completely normal and will start to regulate soon-ish; typically by a year postpartum.
Aging: hair loss up there and down there:
I gave birth to my second son in my mid thirties vs. my late 20s; and since I've started to notice some affects to my hair.
Sharing because I feel like our OB'S and google don't always disclose.
As we age and go through these major life events & added stressors; some hair follicles start to slow or stop working, and others just simply produce thinner hair.
If you've noticed your hair is thinner long term you may also notice that its feeling drier, and this is because oil glands in the hair follicles shrink with age. Dry hair is also more prone to breaking.
If you are concerned about thinning hair follicles; while you can't completely cheat genetics and aging, ensure you are support your hair growth and hair health as you age.
Plenty of water and good vitamins for hair are incredibly important and an easy way to support hair growth at its thickest and healthiest. .