Hair is a big topic in our house, and has been since Kale was born for two reasons.
- My hair started falling out in handfuls – serious, crazy, huge handfuls. I could have knitted a sweater with my hair.
- Kale had some hair when he was born, but it all fell out and he was bald for a long time.
When we took our prenatal class, our instructor told us to expect our hair to behave differently after it grew in. She said she had hair similar to mine (slightly wavy but mostly straight) pre-pregnancy, and her hair is curly now.
I’ve had a love / hate relationship with my hair my entire life and I have never quite been able to find a style until recently that I liked. It’s been short and bleached, bobbed and purple, long and black and severe with bangs a la Bif Naked, reddish and messy, and now, brown and shoulder length and probably the most natural looking in about 20 years. I like my hair. As with most people, over the years my hair has grown darker. It was very very very blonde when I was a baby.
Now that my hair has finally slowed on the shedding, I have the utmost privilege of entering the next phase: regrowth. I have a lovely frame around my face of hair about an inch and a half long, and if I pull back my hair into a pony tail or into a barrette, I have these awesome hair horns that stick up. When my hair is down, the hair horns tend to plaster themselves on my temples. Its very, very attractive.
What’s funnier is that I just posted a picture of my hair horns on the internet. Awesome.
Pregnancy books really don’t tell you some of the nitty gritty details about what having a baby is going to do to your body. Some of it is common sense: “Hmmm…. I just gained 37 pounds over the course of 9 months while I grew a baby – it’s gonna take a while for that stomach to be less of a bag-o-jello (if it returns to normal at all) so don’t worry about it”. But they also neglect to really talk about the hair loss. I mean, they mention that you might notice in the second trimester that “…your hair is looking thick and glossy. This is because women shed less hair during pregnancy and the increase in their metabolic rate means that hair also grows faster than usual. After the birth you will start to lose hair in much greater quantities than usual – but to a large extent you are simply losing what you would normally have lost during the nine months.” (“I’m Pregnant!”; Lesley Regan, MD; First Canadian Edition 2007) But nowhere does it say “you will have hair horns and frighten small children so buy lots of hats”. Because I would have appreciated that warning.
I’d love to have my new hair grow in either poker straight or curly like my prenatal instructor because this wavy / kinky thing I got going on requires intervention if I am going out into the adult world in the form of a flat iron and anything I can do to cut a few corners is okay in my book.
I’m not the only one struggling with hair in this household. I’m likely the only one whose sense of vanity ensures I care, but Kale is also working hard to grow in the hair he lost at birth. At birth it was pretty dark red, almost the same colour as mine is now:
|From Kale 0 to 3 months|
But most fell out and he rubbed the rest of it off and looked very much like a grumpy old man:
|From Kale 0 to 3 months|
And as it was growing in, it got much, much blonder, and in some lights, looks very auburn, like his Grandpa’s hair. And now its sort of fuzzy, and all sorts of different lengths, and patchy:
|From Kale 3 to 6 months|
Ross wants to give him a hair cut to even out the long bits, and I’m resisting until he at least gets hair all over his head. In some parts it’s nothing more than fuzz, and in one little section, about the same size and shape as a sunflower, Kale has a patch where hair simply doesn’t grow. When he was born, it was a little red mark, and now, in the words of our midwife, its “follicle-free” and he likely will never have hair that comes from that patch. Good to know for when he decided to join the army and gets a buzz cut. Once his hair grows in, no one will notice but us.
There is a little boy in Kale and Ross’ Waterbabies class whose name is John Henry. John Henry is Phillipino, and about the same age as Kale. He has a head full of luxurious hair, and according to his father has had THREE haircuts already.
I have baby hair envy.
Although, admittedly, there is nothing in the world like rubbing my face all over Kale’s head when I hold him close, with the fluttery softness of his downy fuzz and that will be a hard thing to stop doing when his hair grows in finally and something I will miss a great deal.