It is expected to experience bodily changes during pregnancy. That your skin will do funky things and your hair may even surprise you with extra lusciousness. We're also told that around 3-4 months postpartum, your hair will shed. You may even lose your edges or entire hairline. EEK.
Fine. I made peace with this. I didn't ball up and cry when my hand was covered in what seemed patches of hair while I showered. I told myself, "it's okay. It's part of the process." But then it kept happening. Again and again. Each time I washed my hair, it seemed more hair fell out. I was devastated.
Years ago I dreaded my hair because I was tired of the upkeep and maintenance curly hair needed and deserved. It felt liberating. and I also found a new sexy within me with locs. But then traction alopecia happened and I was NOT 'about that life.' So, I cut it all off and went back to sporting my curly mane. Needless to say, my hair was a big part of my identity. Always has been and probably always will. I mean it's my crown after all.
Fast forward 2016. Caring for a little person full time, 24/7, no days off became my reality. And my new identity was (still is) forming. Balancing obligations, responsibilities and new mommy duties didn't leave much room for the upkeep and maintenance I know my hair needed and deserved. It became dry, brittle and of course, continued to shed. Not to mention my curl pattern changed in various parts of my head (currently working with wavy, curly and coily hair). It was overwhelming to think about what I had to do to my hair. For the first time in my life, I truly began to feel unsexy and dare I say, gross?! Yes, all because of my hair. I mean washing it was an ordeal in and of itself. Finding time was like looking for a grain of sand in ocean water. I had no idea how I could revive my curls. How do I do this while my very mobile boy wonder tugged at my leg demanding my attention? Well, one year later I think I have some of it figured out. I think...
research and splurge.
I've spent countless hours YouTubing and following bloggers with similar hair type. I saw what products they used. Their methods of applying styling products and even what hair accessories they used. Then I bought what I thought would work best with my hair.
pick one day.
I decided Wednesdays will be "wash day." Wash day will include prepoo'ing and deep conditioning. My partner now knows that when he comes home from work, he's all hands on deck with our kid so mama can have some "me time." This usually then spills over after we put boy wonder to sleep.
continue trusting the process.
Things won't change overnight and like everything else, I am (re)learning how to care for myself in this new body and lifestyle. While it's been a year since I gave birth, I am still going through the motions and noticing changes internally and externally. It'll take time and that's okay.
With all of that said, I want to show you all the results of my 2nd (lol) successful "wash day." The process was as follows:
- After prepooing with coconut oil and honey for 30 minutes with a plastic cap on, I washed my scalp with Giovanni Eco Chic Tea Tree Trip, sprayed a 1:1 mix of apple cider vinegar with water then rinsed the remainder through my scalp.
- I applied SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner and using my WetBrush, I detangled and made 2-strand twist throughout my hair.
- After a few minutes, I rinsed this out and applied The Mane Choice® Green Tea & Carrot Conditioning Mask and steamed my hair in sections using the Qredrew. I left this treatment on for a little over an hour (had dinner).
- I washed this out with cool water and proceeded to style using Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Collection: first leave-in, then smoothie and finally, custard. I air dried for about 30 minutes (and cleaned up my apartment a bit) then diffused on cool.
If it sounds like a lot, it's 'cause it was. BUT - I enjoyed it. This is me giving back to myself. I'll continue sharing any tips, treatments and products I find that work for my hair. Anyway, I hope this helps or at the very least, is in solidarity with other mommas working to get their groove back.