Most of God’s creatures molt during the warmer months, but we’re smack-dab in the middle of winter, and I’m shedding like there’s no tomorrow. (Or, there IS a tomorrow, and it’s National Balding Day.)
If your baby hasn’t reached the age of three or four months yet, you may not have experienced the great fun that is postpartum hair loss. But just wait. About the time your baby is old enough to roll over, you’ll join me spending your days collecting hair from every surface within a 20-foot radius of your scalp.
Seriously folks, of the 24 hours in a day, I spend approximately 21 of them molting and the other three picking up the evidence. At first, retrieving the hairs and depositing them in the wastebasket was an issue of cleanliness. Now, trying to get Every. Last. Hair. off of my shower walls and out of the fibers of my carpet is an obsession. Sometimes I wonder what I did with my time before my post-pregnancy hair-collection efforts began. (Grew hair?)
Every day, during my shower, I collect a handful or two, then, another when I brush my hair, another as I blow dry, and still another if I curl. If things continue to progress like this, by the time you’re done reading this post, I will be as bald-headed as my sweet little guy (but about 25 times not-as-cute).
If you happen to still be pregnant and are reading this blog (shout out to soon-to-be first-time moms: Laura, Andi, Jessica, and Amber!), you probably have the best hair of your life right now. Thanks to hormones and prenatal vitamins, the rounder you get, the thicker and glossier your mane gets. By the end of month nine, you’ll be channeling Rapunzel and only escape getting swamped by little girls because 1) Disney doesn’t draw pregnant women and 2) you don’t carry around a chameleon on your shoulder.
But remember, after your little one is born, the umpteen-thousand strands of hair that have amassed on your head will become the umpteen-thousand strands of hair amassed on your floors, counter tops, and, when he’s lucky, your husband’s dinner. (Extra protein. Yum!)
And if your baby is anything like Jacob, he’ll want to get in on the hair-raising (er, losing?) fun. Ironically, since I began molting, Jacob has discovered the great joy of hair pulling. Almost every time I hold him, he grabs a handful of hair and yanks as hard as his little baby body will allow. I start whimpering and trying to pry the strands from his fist. Tom looks on chuckling and thanking the Lord that he is a man … and that men have short hair. Eventually, the whole fun scene ends with a “rrrriiiippp,” a shriek of pain and a laugh. I’ll let you figure out who does what.
Although losing two-thirds of your hair on a daily basis is a crummy experience (and a mathematical miracle), I’ve heard that things usually get back to normal by month six. If they don’t, I guess I’ll get to see what I’d look like had I been born with Vin Diesel’s scalp instead of my own. But, I’m not too worried about it. They say that bald is beautiful, and the look seems to work in our family. Don’t believe me? Just check out Jacob’s perfect little noggin below.