April 20, 2010

Baby (Bangs) Blues

Have you ever heard that a woman's hair can be a security blanket? It always has been for me. I'm not a high maintenance hair girl - no rollers, teasing combs or hairspray required. But I grew up with very long hair, as many girls do, and have always found comfort in either length or bangs.
Our wedding day, July 2007

Not the awful sixth grade bangs we all regret, just a gentle swoop guaranteeing that I'm not venturing out with a naked forehead. It's something I've become accustomed to, whether I've pinned my bangs back or tucked them behind my ear. I appreciated them, found them comforting.

Christmas 2008

Then I had a baby. I'd always heard that your "hair falls out" post partum, but classified that as one of the awful scary stories women like to share with moms-to-be.*

(*Note: Your 60 hour, excruciating beyond belief labor story? Save it, sister. Not something to share with a woman who's due to deliver any day. Let's talk about how it's doable! Don't scare these poor girls when their bladders are already on shaky ground...)

With Mac at three weeks old, Halloween 2009 (hence the camo)

Three months after Mac was born, I breathed a sigh of relief, convinced I'd escaped the curse that would snatch me bald-headed.

Then it started - the winter of shedding. I've always lost far too many hairs for my liking, but this time my bathroom floor went from off-white to espresso brown in days. Casually flipping my hair would result in handfuls of dark strands. Mac had them in his fists, on his clothes, in his diapers (ew). It was awful!

Just before the "baby bangs" appeared, January 2010

Thankfully, things have slowed down. I'm back to my normal (if significant) shedding pace, still a sight to see come hair-drying time. I've been left with a special 'do, though, one that's made me very very uncomfortable.

For weeks I wouldn't wear my hair in a ponytail at the gym, convinced fellow treadmill girls would see the "bald spots" at either temple. (First I thought I escaped with only one, but then I realized my flop of bangs was hiding the other.)

My security blanket bangs, the one thing separating my full, snow white face from the scrutiny of society - gone. I've now got a random chunk of hair masquerading as bangs. If you hold them up, it's the hair from the crown of my head, the longest portion of the bangs. Everything else is missing. Must've Swiffered it up...

April 2010: Mac is horrified by the sad state of my hair

So, friends, there you have it. If you run into me socially and see me touch my forehead in an awkward way, it's because of the baby bangs. The short-haired spots at either temple and the new peach fuzz growth coming in at my forehead. (B says, "At least it's coming back!" Apparently he thought the hair falling out thing was forever.)

The new hair seems to be coming in quickly, as evidenced above, but it's so obvious. There's no hiding these baby bangs; they're out there for all to see.

As if a new mom needs another reason to dislike every photo taken of her. How long can a girl walk around with a hand self-consciously poised at her forehead?

Motherhood is giving me humility in spades. Who has time for vanity when you're a balding twenty-something?

Has anyone else gone through this? Surely we'll laugh about this someday, don't you think?


Blue-Eyed Bride said...

i didn't lose a TON of hair-- it's still really thick, but not nearly as hard to manage as it was when i was 9 months pregnant.

but i have tiny strands of hair around my hair line. They kind of blend into my existing bangs, but I see them and sometimes they stick straight up.

I also have these weird hairs where a man has sideburns. It's thick and it's about 2 inches long. SO weird!!!

Anne said...

Hormones can do crazy things! Hate that it's happening to you, too, but I'm glad I'm not alone. The dark hair/white skin makes the new hair quite hard to hide. For what it's worth, I'd love to trade for your blond waves!

Kelli Staggs said...

I lost hair both times...eww. I finally cut it all off (both times) to keep my shower drain from becoming completely clogged with long, flowing pregnancy hair. Taking prenatals will help it grow back even faster. Sorry girl! Good thing babies are so darn cute otherwise they might not be worth sacrificing our vanity :o)

The Doyle Family said...

I didn't start to loose my hair until I quit pumping in November - and it was horrible!! And I am starting to battle with "new growth" as my hair dresser so sweetly calls it. I don't notice it on my sides, but under my bangs like the picture you posted. That's exactly what mine looks like!! (It actually looks like when I was 5 and cut my own bangs 2 days before I was a flower girl in my aunt's wedding.)

Kathy said...

oh anne, you are hilarious! I, too, lost massive amounts of hair, clogging the drain daily!

Anne said...

Dana, if it's this bad and I'm still nursing, I'm going to pretend that it just won't get any worse. :) Otherwise I'll be totally bald! Maybe someone can cut my leftover bangs strategically to fix me up? Here's hoping!

Stacy said...

OMG! I started losing my hair by the handful a few weeks ago...I get depressed every time I take a shower and pull out gobs of hair while I'm washing it. I have some thinning spots around my temples as well...so sad. I also thought I had escaped this curse, esp since I never got a bunch of extra hair like most people do when they're pregnant. I feel your pain!

Becky said...

After my first son, I truly thought I was dying! No one told me you lose your hair and I never had enough to spare, either!

Your hair is beautiful, by the way. So thick and shiny!

The Gaymons said...

I'm in the same boat, friend!! After having Maggie, I had the "sprout" in the front, but Kerri Grace post-pregnancy hormones have been a little kinder...the "sprout" is at least contained at my part. It's not as noticable. By the way, you look beautiful!

The Doyle Family said...

Oh, and beware...the longer they get, the more likely they are to stand straight up like mine do. Actually, mine stand up and curl backwards right at my part no matter how much anti-frizz/smoother I use. :-D

Stephanie said...

This post made me laugh -- especially the photo of Mac! I had this happen too but didn't realize it was part of the whole post-baby changes! My hair is still so thick, but has definitely thinned out. So much so that my stylist asked me if I had someone thin out my hair for me (like I was "cheating" on her or something!)

Anonymous said...

This is soooo true! I have a ten month old, and my hair looks awful. Your hair looks fantastic, even with the baby bangs! Love your post - so nice to know I'm not alone! :)

StratPack said...

Too funny! The exact same thing happened to me. One day, I had a great swoop of bangs and before I knew it, my hair fell out and the baby bangs grew in. At least it grows back!

AndreaLeigh said...

oh dear. i am just starting to loose mine and have a thinning spot on my temple. ugh.

i will say i had this lovely, glowing perfect skin when pregnant... but now my skin is a oily mess.


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