Hormones & My Hair: A Postpartum Update

*peeks head around door*

*eyes room nervously*

*steps inside*

Is it safe? Is everyone...healthy? Can I sit down and relax for a minute know...having to talk about the vomit and the vomiting and the vomiting on top of various surfaces up to and including my own neck? Can I at last possibly maybe change the frigging subject already?

The coast looks clear. For now. Hurry! WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MY HAIR.

The last time I yammered on about the topic, you may remember, I was going through what I affectionately and accurately described as my Chia Pet period. I was pregnant with Ike and my head had decided to grow a new pelt of wispy stick-out-y hair all over the place. I even illustrated the situation for you

The problem miraculously solved itself at some point, right when I stopped paying attention. I'm not sure what happened: Either the short bonus hairs all fell out later in the second trimester, or they grew super-fast and started laying flat and blending in, more or less. By the third trimester, my hair once again achieved its typical pregnancy-induced awesomeness. Indeed, on the day Ike was born, I was sporting a bunch of ugly new sun spots and freckles and no longer had any jawline definition to speak of, but goddammit, my hair looked pretty fabulous.

And then it all fell out. Like ALWAYS, every time. Around six weeks postpartum my hair began to shed with a vengeange and I was soon back to having a head of limp, fine hair that refused to do anything interesting. 

HAIR ONE: What do you want to do today?

HAIR TWO: I dunno, what do you want to do today?

HAIR ONE: I dunno, I asked you first.

HAIR TWO: I dunno, I just want sit here and hang, all flat-like and stuff.

HAIR ONE: Didn't we do that yesterday?


HAIR ONE: Okay. So I should tell the blow-dryer and the hot rollers to go fuck themselves, right?

HAIR TWO: Whatever. I'm drunk.

But I was expecting that. It happens. It's annoying and drain-clogging and always lasts juuuuuust up to the point where you start getting vaguely alarmed by how much you're shedding, but then it evens out and you're left with approximately the same amount of hair you had pre-pregnancy.

But after six months or so, I noticed...something. 


There, up around my hairline, was the bizarre return of the Chia Pet hair.


At first I thought it was breakage, but no. After wetting it down and examining it, I am dealing with a perfectly uniform-in-length fresh crop of growth that crosses my entire forehead, my temples, and goes around my ears and across the back of my neck. It's thickest up by my hairline, but if I part my hair on the sides there's a substantial peppering of it there, too. And it all sticks straight up and out so I look like I had an encounter with an electrical socket, or perhaps a weed whacker.

(The longish section in the center is a widow's peak/cowlick thing I've always had, but which also prohibits me from just getting a nice straightforward swath of bangs to cover up the stupid stick-out-y new hair, because it grows completely sideways. So I go for "sideswept" and just hope I don't anger it, because occasionally it does decide to stubbornly go in the opposite direction.)

(Also let's ignore my eyebrows. I'M AWARE. I'M JUST VERY BUSY.)

Will this hair...keep growing? And eventually catch up with the rest of my hair, like (I assume) the first patch of wonky hair did? Will I perhaps keep sprouting new layers of hair every year or so, like a magical everlasting Chia Pet? Or this maybe something breastfeeding-hormone-ish related? (And no, I am not pregnant. NO. DON'T EVEN. I WILL BAN YOUR ASS SO HARD.)

But no matter what, I can blame it on my children, right? Because I can live with pretty much anything as long as I can blame it on my children. 





My hair did EXACTLY the same thing. It's just the hairs that fell out re-growing all at once. And mine has caught up, no worries.


Yeah, this. I had this. It's a Thing called baby bangs or some other cutesy name and it was terrible. Eventually it must have either grown out or stopped. I don't remember, I was tired. ;)


Having babies caused my hair to thin after each child... the body moochers stole my


I am almost eight months post partum and in the same situation. Your pregnancy hormones prevent shedding and post partum you shed at once all you would have normally shed the nine months prior. Then some begins to grow back in hence the chia hair. It will continue grow and your hair will end up thicker than now but less thick than pregnancy. I am sporting the same crazy hair right now.


OHMYGOD. I thought I was losing my mind (which still may be entirely valid). I'm currently 26 weeks pregnant and was wondering WTF was up with my sticking-straight-up new hair. Glad to read I'm not the only one...


Oh yes, the mini bangs of doom. Got them with both of my boys, and now they are just making their grand re-entrance 5 months post baby girl. Yes they are unwieldy (for a damn long time too, ugh) but they will eventually catch up to the rest of your hair. So you won't be a chia pet forever. Yeah, you can totally blame it on your children, that's what I do.


I feel you pain! Only mine has grown back in curly! WTF! WHen it is humid out I know have what appears to be an old lady perm growing through my otherwise normal wavy long hair. Luckily the new growth of front hairs has grown out a few inches and has stopped standing straight up (and curly) all the friggin time. Seriously. Why has my hair grown in curly?!? It startles me when I glance in the mirror on one of those dreaded humid days (like yesterday...)

Rachel S

My daughter is almost 10 months now and I'm experiencing the EXACT SAME THING. Like you I thought it was breakage but my stylist was like, no its just new hair growth. Except mine's all grey now. Bastards. I've been pulling out the really offending ones. The ones that are extra grey and stick up the mist. Of course I've instructed to stop doing that but I'll have to think about it first. In the meantime - it just sucks. Glad to know I'm not the only one.


I have one patch of chia hair right in my part in the front. Yeah, it's still there. My son is 5. Makes pulling my hair back just freakin' awesome.


I've been writing an imaginary Smackdown question to you about Chia Pet hair for a couple of weeks now, thanks for the follow-up. :) My son is 2 years old now and I have some major Chia pet issues. I mostly try to smooth with Moroccan Oil but during the air-drying stage I look like one of those people touching the Tesla balls. My hairdresser said "you really have a lot of new growth there, don't you!" Yes, thank you for pointing it out.


My hair is doing the same thing! I think it's regrowth b/c the lil man uses my hair as a security blanket. A security blanket he pulls out at the roots. Yay:/


Blame it on breastfeeding. I am always saying "I hope when I'm doing breastfeeding blah blah blah stops/is better." Dear Lord when am I going to be done breastfeeding!?


I've had this several times. I dunno, really. I've had it before having babies, after having babies... I can't connect it to anything hormone-related. BUT, it does always grow in and look normal for about 10 seconds before it starts happening again.

Cindy B.

My son is 18 months old now. At 3 month postpartum, I lost all of my hair along my hairline (back into a widows peak). I could literally pull patches of hair off my scale. Scared the crap out of me. And of course happened the week before I went back to work. Then, it all started growing back in - just like yours - in a ring around my head. And I've spent the better part of the last 18 months trying to come up with something that works with the faux bangs (have curly ass hair, bangs hate me). Finally, all of the hairs are now long enough to pull back with clips without looking like a complete dork with clips 1 inch away from my forehead. HOWEVER, there is now a new crop of short-ass hairs that has just recently started to grow back and is now giving me the same troubles the last set caused me. Am debating just shaving it all of and starting from scratch, a la Britney - thought she was a little off back then, but I totally get it now. At least it would all be one length to start with.


Dude, cowlick in the front? I am sorry-that sucks.

I think I'm going to go with the others and say this is a breastfeeding thing, because I had wonky, unruly hair like that, too.


Are wide headbands trendy again/yet? ;)

I have the perma-tuft widow's peak, too. Side part and side-swept bangs seem to by my assigned hairstyle for life.


My daughter was born two weeks before Ike and my hair looks EXACTLY the SAME.....I guess that explains my sudden obsession with sweats or as my 6 yr old son calls them, my 'comfy pants'.

Rebecca S.

I am so glad you posted this! My daughter is almost 10 months and I have the exact same problem. But how long will they take to grow out? Years? Oh. God.


So, six weeks postpartum is when your hair starts falling out? I'm 4.5 weeks postpartum and was just starting to hope that my fabulous thicker hair was going to stick around. Shoot.


I have similar hair and a 13 month old, and the very same problem. It's very annoying and really undermines my attempts to look pulled together.


My favorite part of the postpartum hair loss/regrowth cycle are the sideburns. I do have bangs so they cover up most of the new hair growing in along my forehead, but the little patches lower down just look like sideburns. Then they get longer and I have to tuck them behind my ears. Except sometimes they come out and then I have these stupid semi-circles of hair just sticking out. I have short-ish hair and my son is now 15 months old, so they've FINALLY almost grown enough to blend in with the rest of my hair.


I need to know...did Ezra get his cake? Those pictures broke my heart.

Megan H

My son is 8 months old and my hair is doing the exact same thing. It just sticks straight out. I look like an idiot!

Mrs. Commoner

What you've shown is EXACTLY what my hair looked like seven or eight months after each of my kids were born. It is just regrowth and it will eventually blend in with the rest of your hair. Just don't do what I did the second time, which was cut it all into a short bob in te hopes of making the fake bangs normal. Ugh!

Jenn H.

I can't believe I didn't see it called by name anywhere in the comments: BABY BANGS!!!

I thought this was a commonly known phenomenon. Have you not have them twice before?!?!

I loved the visual, though-- both of the wet, slicked down bangs, and the fly-away, do-whatever-they-want bangs.

Happy hair growing!


Echoing the masses. Currently rocking the baby wisps. HATE the wisps. My hairdresser took pity on my plight. Have succumbed to sideswept bangs and try to keep training them down. But like children, they only listen some of the time.


yep... same story here. i actually had to ask my stylist if it was new or if I was just losing my mind and couldn't remember what my own hair looked like.


I have straight up terrible hair so I just keep it in a pixie cut now. Hides a multitude of hirsuitist (?) sins.


Okay, so I have these baby bang things. I'm 9.5 months postpartum. I'm NOT breastfeeding...but I am 21 weeks pregnant so maybe that has something to do with it. (I mean, the pregnancy thing only applies to me, NOT you. For you, the breastfeeding probably has something to do with it. Not implying you are pregnant, nope, not at all pleasedontbanme).


Is anyone near you pregnant? Is sympathy hair-growth a thing?

If nothing else at least you gave ME something to blame on my fetus, because I forgot all about your post from last year, and my hair is doing the very same thing right now.

Crabby Apple Seed

it's called telogen effluvium.

it's obnoxious, but I am trying not to complain, because this time around, I shedded myself a lovely bald spot. Right smack in front. Impossible to hide. They say you won't shed yourself bald when you have a baby and THEY LIE. (Ok, I mean, I wasn't bald, but it was a very noticeable empty patch, trust me.) So yeah, no complaints. Except when they all stand straight up, even though they're about three inches long. that's not such a great look.


Ok, so I'm currently 5+ mos pregnant, and I have yet to achieve this awesome pregnancy hair that everyone is talking about. I'm still shedding as much as ever - maybe more even. I would LOVE baby bangs if it meant my husband wasn't pulling hair off of me everyday!

Emily B

Oh yes. I heard it once referred to as "baby bangs", the fine short hairs that grow right along the hairline right as all that gorgeous pregnancy hair is falling out. I have it right now, thanks to my 6 month old. And it drives me nuts. But yes, it will continue to grow and eventually blend in. I never had it happen to me during pregnancy but with both my kids it's been exactly the same.
I have fine, straight, thin hair, so it's super obvious, but this time I am much less puzzled and annoyed by it since I know "this too shall pass." Rest assured you are not doomed to cycles of chia pet hair for the rest of your life :)


Thank you for the update!! I tried to turn my crazy chia pet hair into pixie bangs but it just looked AWFUL. They've finally grown to a "I meant to do this" length, but now with #2 on the way I can read the monkey hairs on the wall. Maybe hats will come back in?


Oh my God, YES! Yes to everything. I have a nine month old and my hair has been horrible ever since she was born. Horrible. It makes me weep sometimes because I used to have such nice thick hair. And now, just....ick. Will it ever recover?


I love that you are always experiencing the same things I am (because it feels like nobody else understands!) My hair started doing something similar about 4 months postpartum, and was made worse by the fact that my thyroid levels plummeted (which causes hair loss, also!) I still have chia hair all along the front of my hairline, and I swear it is growing slower than a snail! Glad I'm not the only one with teeny wispy afro-y bangs! :)


Oh thank god for this post and the comments - I'm clearly not just a freak with odd hair growth. Nine months pp now and I look pretty much like te above pictures, only with crazy bonus sideburns! This is my first baby so nothing to compare to, but just hope to god it grows in soon!


I had no idea about baby bangs until my hairdresser explained to me what they were. How come nobody tells you about THAT? Anyhow, mine are finally getting to the point where they are somewhat more manageable, but for a while the baby bangs just stuck out of my head sideways. Super attractive.


Yep. I have a 10 month old and same thing here with a twist. I have always had full bangs and baby's that don't grow and are short and wispy so I didn't really notice anything different. Until the sideburns started. That was a little alarming, and Elvis-y approaching Starburns. They thankfully are at a length now where I can tuck them behind my ears and they stay!

Suzy Q

I know this post is about your Chia Pet hair, which you have described hlariously; however, I feel the need to point out that the print on your blouse looks like a multitude of Georgia O'Keeffe mini-ladybits. You're welcome! Wear it loud, wear it proud!


OK, so here is what I am wondering. Do you think you have new hair growing in all over your head but you can only see the ones which are growing at the edges? Because the other ones are hidden in all the rest of your hair? I always thought it was from having anesthesia, not from hormones. But you are probably right. I think it is cute!


Holy sheet, y'all. I have a freaking three year-old and STILL have those little wispy hairs. At least I know I'm not the only one now.


Wow! I thought I was losing my mind! I'm so glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for posting!


Wow! I thought I was losing my mind! I'm so glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for posting!

D. Marie

I had just about retained my composure through this post until the Hunger Games reference. *dead*

Jennifer R

I have those same hairs
Been there since my son was born, 2 and a half years ago
Can't do a damn thing with them and they wont grow to be the same length. bastards.


Another reader here to chime in that my hair does this exact same thing. That new growth of hair after the baby is born. It looks like I cut little tiny baby bangs, so I just went for some side-swept bangs to help camouflage things a bit. So, basically, I hear ya...


Add me to the list of people that had this happen... See if you have the same whispies all around the nape of your neck when you put your hair in a pony tail. Yeah, that's fun. :) I did get some side bangs to hide the forehead whispies.


You know what, this happens to me every couple of years. (Not baby related- never been pregnant.)

I've never figured out what happens to them, but they disappear-- either into uniformity, or fall out, I guess. I grew to love serum.


So that totally happened to me on a smaller scale with my second child, born 3.5 years ago, but did not happen on my 3rd THANK GOD. Mine sprouted in a clump in the corners where men get a receding hairline on the sides but keep the middle (right above the temples) turning my hairline into a perfectly weird arch. Blech. Each child has also blessed me with longer sideburns ensuring I will never have a short hair cut again. The new growth up top still doesn't reach my eyebrows, stuck apparently at 2" long. The good news is I am resigned to them as I only get upset about it once a week now.


Yeah, I had the same thing... after my twins were born and all my thick pregnancy hair fell out ( no one warned me!!), then I got all this new baby hair. It eventually grew in like regular hair.


Lupus hairs.

I speak for the rest of use who have never had children.


I'm not sure which is worse these little hairs or the widows peaks they filled in...At 11 months post pardum they are awesomely awkward.

With my luck the quick growth will stop as I wean, and they will be stuck in the tiny unruly phase.


Just add me to the list of ME THE EFF TOO. Seriously. I work in a pediatric hospital, and you know you look like a hot mess when your 6 month old patient's mother (whose kid just underwent an organ transplant, so nothing more pressing could be on her mind) asks you if you had some...breakage? After your baby was born? Um, yes, yes I did. Is it that obvious? Hmpfh.

Lisa Y

Mine has done this in the FRONT of my head with every pregnancy. Hello, hairs that stick straight up off my forehead! But with my third, it also grew in like that in the back. And since I have three little people to take care of in the morning, I often end up at work with my hair in a bun, so I had some kind of reverse mullet look, with inch-long hair hanging down my neck. It looked super awesome. But now it's all grown to a reasonable length. In only 15 months.

Snarky Mommy

Happened to me after all three, the worst after the third. She's now 25 months old and the baby hairs are FINALLY grown out enough to blend in. I don't have bangs, so it was a tough growth stage. A ponytail looked hideous, which worked well SINCE I HAD THREE KIDS AND NEVER TIME TO SHOWER. Just be patient.


Mmmmm sweatpants. Warm. Also what the crazies like to wear for comfort, so...blend in with us.


Hahaha! I have never had this happen to me, and I can't even believe all that new hair you've got going on. I will stop laughing and feel sorry for you now because that would seriously drive me bonkers.


I have the very same thing, exacerbated today when I thought, "hey, i'll glam it up and blow dry my hair!" Big mistake. Looked like I had stuck my finger in a socket. Sigh.

Mad Max Johnson

Haha, I'm so glad I found your blog! My Train Wreck Mommy's hair did the same thing. Oy.

-Mad Max


You guys! I get that weird hair too! Except that mine doesn't grow in a sweet, quirky way along my hairline on my forehead. It grows as long, shaggy, greasy looking sideburns. Not whiskers sideburns, but hair that hangs down like long, shaggy, greasy looking sideburns. After my first child was born, I had my long hair cut to my chin to blend with my fancy new sideburns. Come to think of it, I did it with my second child too.


You guys! I get that weird hair too! Except that mine doesn't grow in a sweet, quirky way along my hairline on my forehead. It grows as long, shaggy, greasy looking sideburns. Not whiskers sideburns, but hair that hangs down like long, shaggy, greasy looking sideburns. After my first child was born, I had my long hair cut to my chin to blend with my fancy new sideburns. Come to think of it, I did it with my second child too.


Yep, another one here with EXACTLY THE SAME HAIR ISSUE. My baby is 6 months and my 'regrowth' is a similar length. It's a massive pain in the you-know-what - like growing out a fringe! It's happened to me with each baby and all you can do is wait for it to get long enough that it blends in


32 weeks pregnant and I have the Chia Pet hair. IT IS RIDICULOUS.


Im right there with ya! Mine started on my hairline after I stopped pumping. I have the same hairs growing in their own direction that are all sorts of awesome. I think they are all over my head, but I just notice them most on my hairline. Just another reason why having kids ruins you ;)


You need an excuse to wear sweatpants?


Alex is 6 months old. I just went and looked and I have them too!! Crap.

Jen Duffy

I had that too, my OB called it "The Pregnancy Halo." It eventually caught up to the rest of my hair. I am pregnant again, so we shall see if my forehead gets lowered again....


That's totally my hair when it starts to re-grow after the big postpartum shed. The only difference is I have very thick, dark, naturally wavy/curly hair. So my hairline around my face looks like pubes for several months.

Thanks, kids!


Love, love, love your reference to the Hunger Games!!!!!!!
P.s. you really should start scrap booking (in all your free time!).


Dude. I already loved you, but major pink puffy hearts for The Hunger Games reference!


OMG! My hair did the SAME THING when I was postpartum with my son!


I just sent this post to my husband as evidence that it is NOT JUST ME. This is one of those times where I just want to hug you. Thank you for shedding (ha!) light on the alarming chia pet hair that plagues me to this day (20 months post-partum, holy shit.)


My baby is NINETEEN months old and I am now going through round TWO of the growing back babyhairs from hell. Hello, headbands! And most of mine are growing back white, for jeebussake. So not only do I look crazy, I also look old.
Feelin ya, sister.


i don't know why this would make you feel better, but I've had those hairs mywhole life. I thought they were normal until a hairstylist commented on them a couple years ago. It appears my daughter has them, but it's hard to tell at 16months.


i am two years postpartum and i STILL have them!!! my husband calls them my sub fringe. they never caught up... they just stopped and hung out.

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