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Which Is Worse?

Photograph by Getty Images/First Light

First of all, thank you so much for not saying anything about my hair. Because we all know I'd prefer that it looked much better than this. Any face-to-face discussion on the topic would be awkward and cause me to touch my head self-consciously, thereby making it look even worse. (Is that possible?) But, since you are in the unfortunate position of having to look at me, I think you deserve full information.

Like many women, I lost an alarming amount of hair about six months after child birth. Like many in this same position, I never heard about this strange side effect of procreating —so I did extensive late night/early-morning/afternoon panic-googling on the subject. I learned that having mounds of hair left on my pillow, clumps of it in my hands, and thick tumbleweeds of it rolling around the house was completely normal.

A lot of this loss is simply hair that you didn't lose during pregnancy, but for many women the hair loss seems to go way beyond this. It isn't that surprising, really, considering that pregnancy and childbirth are a huge physical traumas, no matter what version you go through. Add the one-two punch of new motherhood and... well, no wonder parts of your body try to jump ship (if only it was the flabbier parts...).

The good news is that, just as every website and message board on the topic assured me it would, my hair is growing back in. And this is definitely something to rejoice. Except the re-growth has been... well, "interesting." And not exactly a boon to my self confidence.

My husband calls this new growth my "fresh hairs." They tend to announce themselves when I enter a room. As in, "Oh hello, Fresh Hairs." My son is a little over 19 months at this point, so these fresh hairs are probably about a year old and therefore nowhere near the length of the rest of my hair, which I wear long-ish.

At first, these hairs stood at attention á la cactus. For a few months, they framed my face like some kind of feathery halo. Now, they have relaxed a bit, opting to stick out like floppy fish fins at the sides. As you can see in the photo above, after being on a windy beach for a few hours, they run completely amok, defying gravity and easily winning battles against even the strongest of hair bands. (A lot of women get their hair cut at this point to close the gap.)

What's extra aggravating is that a large percentage of my fresh hairs have decided to change things up, quite presumptuously, i.e. without my permission. Instead of growing in brown, they've opted for a silvery-white hue. Reasoning with them has been unsuccessful and they seem to know that my threats to retaliate with dye are empty: I have neither the time nor energy to start up this kind of beauty regimen. Such is the life of an old-ish new mom.

Anyway, I hope this helps you understand what's happening here on the top of my head. Please accept my apologies for having to witness this process—I realize it hasn't been easy.

If you also lost a ridiculous amount of hair after having a baby, I echo everyone else on the Internets—it will very likely grow back in. Just keep a good number of hair bands, clips and baseball caps at the ready for when it does. I recommend taking lots of selfies along the way to document this weird aspect of this already-weird physical journey. (And don't delete them, just in case you ever want to share a significantly cropped version online. Hey, you never know...)

So what exactly is going on there, on your head? Please feel free to leave an explanation in the comments below.

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