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During pregnancy your hair was thicker, shinier and basically worthy of shampoo commercials. After pregnancy, things are looking thinner, weaker and much duller. It’s a bummer, but we assure you, it’s temporary. Here’s why it happens and what to do about it.

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What the heck is going on?
Under normal circumstances, about 90 percent of the hairs on our head are in the growing phase and 10 percent are in the shedding phase. After giving birth, the numbers can shift thanks to hormonal changes, which causes more shedding than usual, says Mona Gohara, a dermatologist in Connecticut. Not to worry, though. This will automatically reset (typically within six months of giving birth) and your hair will grow back to what it was pre-pregnancy.

OK, so what do I do in the interim?
Keep taking those prenatal vitamins. Most of them contain a vitamin B complex that makes your hair shiny (and appear healthier).

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Are there any haircuts or styles that help disguise the wonky shorter pieces in the front?
Between the aforementioned fallout and breakage (particularly if you have fine hair to begin with), many new moms end up with little baby hairs along their forehead. Getting some face-framing layers or bangs can help hide them, as can switching your part, says Kevin Mancuso, a stylist and global creative director for Nexxus. If you have curly or wavy hair, try twisting your ringlets over any baby hairs using a combination of mousse and serum for more control.

What about what not to do?
Be careful when you’re blow-drying. Typically, you lift your hair up and out using a round brush to get volume at the crown, but this only exaggerates those pesky little hairs and makes them more obvious. Instead, skip the brush on your roots and use your fingers to smooth down the little hairs. Just make sure the nozzle of your dryer is pointing downward the entire time.

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What about hair color?
To make your hair look fuller and thicker, go darker than your natural shade, says David Adams, a hair colorist and owner of Fourteenjay salon in New York. The best ways to do this are through a semi-permanent color (which makes your hair glossy and gradually fades after about six weeks), adding lowlights (using darker colors to create more dimension throughout your hair), or a combination of both. 

And are there any products I should or shouldn’t use?
While diet, stress and exercise all play a part, avoiding harsh chemical treatments (like keratin, relaxers or bleach) is also a good idea. For regular maintenance, stick to your normal shampoo and conditioner and incorporate a scalp treatment into your regimen.

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