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There are many things I knew I’d have to prepare for in my 30s. Child-induced sleep deprivation (yep), work difficulties (hell yeah), love life dramas (uh-huh), but there’s one thing I never thought I’d have to tackle: dealing with hair loss.
Despite knowing it could be part and parcel of child-bearing it was just never on my radar. I’d heard that sometimes your locks fall out a bit after having a baby, and six months after Hux was born I had the requisite baby fluff growing back after some slight post-birth shedding, but I wasn’t prepared for my proud mane to start disappearing in chunks.
It started last year during a time that was particularly stressful. No matter what I did, every time I showered I’d come away with handfuls of the thick stuff; not the usual strands that are on your hands as standard when shampooing, but proper volumes of the stuff. It was awful.
I told myself that I just had to ride it, to chill out and it wouldn’t be an issue. After all, I’d spent half my teenage years getting my hairdresser to razor away the bulk of my thick wavy hair (remember the early 00’s when ruler-straight thin hair was all the rage?!), so I wanted to try and enjoy this slight change to my appearance, sure that dealing with hair loss would be a non-issue. But, having spent my early twenties learning to love and style my voluminous ‘mermaid hair’, I was gutted.
I realised things had got bad when, one evening about four months into my hairloss, I sat next to my mum on her sofa. She gestured at my ponytail: “where on earth has all your hair gone?!” she exclaimed. I hadn’t realised it was so obvious, and felt embarrassed that people could see my hair was disappearing.
Dealing With Hair Loss
I knew I had to do something to solve my thinning hair woes. From my research I knew I couldn’t stop it – tests showed it wasn’t down to hormones or deficiencies so the aforementioned stress was a culprit – so it was up to me to manage the situation as best I could.
It was around this time I started visiting a new hairdresser, Rochelle at The Dolls House Salon. I’d found her on Instagram and had long admired her colour and styling prowess, and from my first visit I was impressed. She gave me the best cut and colour I’d ever had, as well as some helpful tips on dealing with hair loss. She recommended the supplement Biotin, something I credit my strong and quick fuzzy re-growth on, and left me with maximum confidence in the hair I had left.
I wanted to do everything I could to help my poor scalp, so I started researching shampoos for hair loss and thickness. I tried ’em all: Kerastase, Aveda, Susanne Kaufmann. But the brand that came out on top for me was, surprisingly, The Body Shop. I’d got a really irritated scalp with my hair loss, and the Body Shop’s Ginger shampoo (formulated to be anti-dandruff) has been the only thing that has eased this. It’s simply brilliant and I can’t say enough good things about it; I follow with Lush’s American Cream conditioner which I find super gentle, too. I use Susanne Kaufmann Repair shampoo and conditioner once a week at the gym, and find that extremely gentle and nourishing, too.
I style my hair as normal using my Dyson hairdryer which I find very gentle – and it takes a lot less time to dry the half-volume of hair now! – and then spritz with Oribe Apres Beach spray for a bit of movement. This is admittedly a ridiculous amount of money to spend on hair spray; I’d received a sample to test first and thought long and hard before I dropped 35 quid on it, but it’s the absolute tits for giving shine, volume and interest to my flat hair.
I’m seriously considering extensions with Rochelle to re-build my volume as the hair grows back in, but a temporary solution is these Remy Weft extensions from Amazon. I’ve got the 14 inch versions which give me hair down to my shoulder blades, and for the price the quality is incredibly good.
Out of everything, I’ve found the thing that slowed my hair loss the most was learning to chill the hell out a bit more. Easier said than done, but prioritising my mental wellbeing and health – early nights, meditation, relaxing, remaining calm – has done me the world of good. Seven months on and the hair loss has almost come to a stop, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop it coming back again.