ANOTHER clump of hair comes off while I shampoo and it’s been like this for the past few weeks. It’s always so distressing scooping hair out of the shower drain and tiring sweeping strands off the bathroom floor over and over again. I find myself shedding more and sooner than I did after my first pregnancy but my doctor has assured me that I won’t go bald and that my hair will be back to normal by Iman’s first birthday.
But that’s months away!
I read that an average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day. Normally, about 85 to 95% of the hair on your head is growing and the other five to 15% is in its resting stage.
After the resting period, the hair falls out — often while we are brushing or shampooing it and is replaced by new growth.
So here’s what’s going on.
Precious: Daphne and family during a holiday in Perth, Australia recently. — Photo by JOE LEBOSI
During pregnancy, the increased level of estrogen prolongs the growing stage.
There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, hence the thicker and more luxuriant tresses during pregnancy.
But after birth, the estrogen levels take a tumble and more hair is seen coming out in the shower or the brush as more hair follicles enter the resting stage.
Despite the medical explanation to this, I am still worried.
I didn’t see such drastic change to my crown of glory during my first pregnancy.
In fact, this second trip to motherhood has been different all together from my first.
When I was carrying Iman, I saw so much difference in mood, cravings and feelings — even how I looked, walked and reacted to the pregnancy were poles apart.
My aunties told me I was carrying a boy. My mother told me to ignore the old wives tales and to listen to my doctor.
Just for fun, we decided to keep the sex of the baby a surprise till birth. Ironically, I knew I was carrying a girl despite everyone saying it was the opposite.
Call it a mother’s hunch — I’ve learnt to trust my instincts better now and am much happier taking in my own advice.
At least if the plan doesn’t go my way, I have only myself to blame; rather than going against my gut instincts to conform to what others want ‘best’ for me.
I hate that feeling I get when I do the opposite of what my gut instinct tells me to do because of the pressure to conform to society.
It’s a real slap-on-the-forehead moment when I find out that what I felt initially was actually spot on.
Reflecting back on the recent years that was, to how it is today, a lot has happened for the best even if it may have been painted otherwise.
I have been given a second chance in love and motherhood and although it may not be the sweetest bed of roses, life is more meaningful and intimate.
When I was going through a very public divorce — I was judged and labelled.
Those who mattered stood by me despite the allegations and those who were ashamed to be associated with my family and I, upped and left.
At the end of the day, I found I only had a handful of friends and colleagues left that I could truly trust and rely on and because they bothered to find out the truth, they remained loyal and protective and I love them dearly for that.
My point is this.
As painful as it is to my vanity and how it does stress me out seeing shreds of my hair everywhere I go, I know that losing hair is part of nature’s process in getting my body back to normal after the hormonal upheaval it had to go through during and after birth.
Given time, my hair will return to its normal pre-pregnancy thickness, but according to the medical reports, the texture of the hair might not be the same.
It may be wavier or straighter or more dry or oily than it was before.
In the meantime, I won’t be able to stop the hair from falling out, but I am probably going to see my hairdresser soon to experiment a different look or to see what products can I use to give my hair a fuller look during this transition period.
Likewise, when we go through a difficult patch in our lives, it’s God’s way of detoxing the good from the bad and it helps to open your perspective that life is not all black and white, but a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours.
Initially, I was hurt that some so-called friends turned their backs on me.
But on a hindsight, I am glad.
I have true friends surrounding me now — less in quantity, but definitely more in quality.
I have a different approach to life and situations now and am less concerned about what others think, and more concerned about doing the best for my loved ones and to my creator.
There was nothing I could do to stop the badmouthing, but with God’s strength and love and support from my trusted few, I became stronger. Alhamdulillah
Here’s to a brand new year and more blessings for 2012!
Daphne is looking forward to three things in 2012: the General Election (please register yourself as a voter!), completing more stuff on her bucket list and growing her hair back. Follow her tweets at @daphCLP