From weight loss to fatigue, it’s an understatement to say that a lot can happen to your body after having a child. One common issue that many new moms deal with is hair loss. During pregnancy, you might see an increase in hair growth. However, after giving birth, you may experience more hair shedding and thinning than usual. As a result, you might end up with a new set of postpartum bangs—or wispy, shorter strands around your hairline that are hard to control. Fret not, we tapped a derm to help us to the root of things. Plus, we asked our hairstylist friends to share their best tips on styling your baby bangs in the interim.
Here's Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Bangs, Including Tips for Managing Them
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What Are Postpartum Bangs?
Postpartum bangs are little tufts of hair that grow in areas where it had fallen out due to pregnancy and childbirth. Dr. Liu tells us these wispy strands are typically shorter and finer than the rest of your hair and they're usually found around the hairline and nape of your neck. If you’re currently dealing with postpartum hair loss, these bangs are actually a good sign, as they’re proof of regrowth.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?
It’s important to note that postpartum hair loss is very common. Everyone deals with some form of shedding or thinning after giving birth. “Postpartum hair loss is caused by hormonal changes that shift our natural hair cycle. In essence, postpartum bangs are a sign that our hair is in the process of reverting back to normal and growing again,” explains Dr. Liu.
For more scientific context: During pregnancy, you have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, which increase the speed of hair growth while you’re pregnant, but reduce the number of hairs you shed. (This is why some women report having longer, thicker hair at this time.) “During postpartum, your hair tries to shift back to what it was prior to the pregnancy. Since this is happening all at once, it appears that more hair is being lost and hair is thinning. Over time, our bodies will adjust back to pre-pregnancy and hair will start to grow in as normal,” assures Dr. Liu
There are also other factors that contribute to hair loss such as your diet, genetics, stress and when you stop breastfeeding.
How Long Do Postpartum Bangs Last?
It varies from person to person. According to Dr. Liu, this period can last anywhere between six and nine months. Remember: Given that hair loss and regrowth stems from a multitude of factors, there’s no one-size-fits-all timetable. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some universal solutions to maintaining and taming your new fringe in the interim.
How Can I Manage My Postpartum Bangs?
When it comes to dealing with postpartum bangs, you can either change some daily habits or consider treatment options from your OB-GYN. At the end of the day, you want to find a solution that works best for you. Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips to managing these wispy hairs:
- Implement a balanced diet: We recommend reaching out to a medical professional for help with this. In the months after giving birth, your body is still changing and adjusting. Your primary doctor can help you create a healthy diet that helps you with that process.
- Buy hair growth products: Look into haircare products that can help reduce thinning and promote healthy hair growth. Key ingredients like minoxidil have been proven to address hair loss and thinning. (Brands like Rogaine, Nutrafol and Vegamour have products that are a good starting point for beginners.) Just make sure you speak with your doctor before use, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
- Try volumizing products: According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should try haircare products that add volume and fullness to your hair, such as protein-based shampoos and lightweight conditioners that won’t weigh down your strands.
- Practice scalp care: Dr. Liu suggests investing in scalp care products to keep your scalp and strands healthy. “These products can help maintain scalp health by reducing dandruff and supporting a healthy environment for hair growth,” says Dr. Liu. Look for serums (like this one from the Inkey List), scrubs and oils that cleanse and soothe your scalp.
- Brush gently: Your hair is pretty fragile at the moment so make sure to move your brush slowly through your strands to detangle them (and refrain from tugging at them).
What Are Some Ways to Style Postpartum Bangs?
If you’re having a difficult time rocking your unruly baby hairs, we found some helpful tips and tricks to styling those bad boys.
- Use edge control or gel to tame your baby hairs. The strong hold formula will make sure they stay put all day.
- Or try some hairspray. Philip B. suggests grabbing a toothbrush (or a clean mascara wand) and spritzing some hairspray onto the tool before smoothing it over your fringe.
- Apply lightweight styling products. Check out creams, oils and sprays that condition your strands without weighing them down. (We’re currently loving It’s A 10, Ouai and DESIGNME to add a light hold, fullness and hydration.)
- Avoid heat tools. Philip B. recommends putting down your blow dryer (or flat iron) for now. “Most postpartum regrowth tends to come in thinner than the strands you may be used to, so you'll want to use heat sparingly when styling these strands. And if you must blow dry your hair, make sure to use the cool setting,” shares Philip B. You can also try air-drying your strands and showing off your natural texture instead.
- Invest in hair accessories. Whether that’s a headband, head wrap or scarf, add a snazzy accessory to lay your bangs down. Bonus: It looks stylish, too.
- Change up your part. Play around with a middle or side part to cover any new growth. You just might find that your bangs blend in better this way. “Try combing it in different directions to see how it lies and which direction you prefer based on how it goes with the rest of your hair,” says Stollmeyer.
- Consider getting a haircut. Fact: A fresh cut is a great way to add instant fullness and body back to your strands. Whether you prefer layers or a short ‘do, we’ve got 20 haircut ideas that will pair well with postpartum bangs. “Look for a haircut that can blend the shorter pieces in better to make them look more intentional,” adds Stollmeyer.
- Or consider a new hairstyle. If you’re not ready for a cut, opt for some new hairstyles instead. A low bun or a ponytail can be a nice alternative to your go-to high pony or top bun style (which can actually cause tension and breakage).
Postpartum bangs can be a pain to deal with, but they’re a sign of regrowth. Try to remember this whenever you feel defeated and show some grace for yourself during these next few weeks (or months) as your body readjusts. Or take a cue from Ashley Graham and try to find some humor in it.
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