Here's what moms on Insta told me to do with my hair for my first 6 months of motherhood

knotless, your hair grows, Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner,, postpartum alopecia, Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum, Nneka Elliott, @nnekaelliott

I have texturized hair, which is essentially a relaxer that is left on for a short period of time. The result is a slightly looser curl that still maintains some natural texture. I haven't relaxed my hair since January. That's mainly because I didn't want to put any chemicals in my hair while pregnant, but also due to COVID-19 closures.

As a result I have substantial “new growth.” If you have chemically treated Black hair, you know very well that the combination of lots of new growth and straighter hair can often cause breakage if not properly taken care of. With a new baby coming, taking care of my hair isn't  going to be top of mind. Furthermore, I constantly hear from other moms about how their hairline fell after having kids. Regardless of hair type there are countless stories of thinning hair and hair loss.

I needed suggestions for a protective hairstyle that would help prevent me from having to manipulate my vulnerable two-textured hair, while at the same time anticipating any hormonally driven changes. So what did I do? I turned to Instagram, of course!


I put a call out on my feed and, to my surprise, protective labour hairstyles is a thing! Here's the best advice I received.

On braids

The majority of respondents definitely favoured the braids route. Especially knotless or crochet braids.

“Ok I JUST did this (babe is 12 weeks). I did knotless braids for delivery and had them in like 10 weeks (he was just about 2 months when I took them out). I was dreading the takedown but it took me about an hour. Since then I've just been wearing it natural. Having braids was great at first though because having a new baby meant I had time for NOTHING else and the braids were a godsend.” 

“Would definitely say braids – if the person is good they will know how to protect your hairline. Very versatile – with the right oils and leave in conditioner you can still wash while leaving the braids in for a few weeks. When it's time to take them out, you start from the middle, hiding what you've started with a high bun (in case you don't finish) it's really not that bad. All the best.”


I think the major benefit of knotless braids, specifically, is that they're not bulky, less heavy and the application generally involves less hairline tugging. If I do choose this option, for longevity of the style, a silk scarf or bonnet is a must. Also a braid-specific oil or spray that has omegas and fatty acids will keep natural hair strong and nourish your scalp. Braids should be worn 4-6 weeks tops.

knotless, your hair grows, Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner,, postpartum alopecia, Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum, Nneka Elliott, @nnekaelliott

Jamaica Mango and Lime No More Itch Gro Spray, $8.99, Walmart

On going natural

Going natural involves the complete elimination of chemical straightener. Essentially embracing how your hair grows out of your scalp naturally. I've discussed this process many times at my current salon, Jou Jou Hair in Toronto, and in the past at Jazma Hair salon. Some people do a big chop, others patiently let the natural hair grow out and then trim off the straight ends when enough new growth has been achieved.

“I had all the same concerns. I went natural. It was a huge learning curve because I had straight hair for 20 years and my hair was way down my back after the pregnancy. My only regret is that I transitioned for 2 years without a big chop. I kept it straight but I felt like it looked untidy all the time. I cut the straight parts off the other day… like a solid 10 inches and I feel so much better. Love my natural hair!”

“Go natural – French braids or twists. Don't do braids! You will likely lose a lot of hair around month four until six/seven months postpartum. If you lose at the temples or hairline (like I did) I think the braids will make the hair weaker. I left mine natural and hair came back very strong where I lost it. And keep taking iron 🙌”

According to the natural hair community a big part of successfully going natural is keeping roots moisturised and ensuring that you condition regularly. Staying away from heat and a good scalp treatment and detangler are also strongly recommended.

knotless, your hair grows, Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner,, postpartum alopecia, Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum, Nneka Elliott, @nnekaelliott

Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner,$16.99, Locsuria


On weaves/wigs

This is a protective style that involves securing (sewing, microlinks, etc.) hair extensions to your own cornrowed hair. There are multiple options of coverage. You could do a leave out, with your natural hair left out at the top. A closure, which is hair attached to silk or lace material, can also be used to fully cover your natural hair. Then, of course, there are wigs that can be sewn onto braids, glued down to the hairline or left unattached for easy removal.

“I'll say go with a weave… you've worn them and know how to maintain them” 

“Cornrow your own hair and have wigs on deck… also head wraps to the rescue!”

Some people use wigs and weaves as a transition style as they go natural. It's a good way to put away natural hair and protect it from heat styling or additional manipulation. In my experience, weaves shouldn't be worn longer than 6-8 weeks. While wearing, maintaining the health of the scalp is important.

knotless, your hair grows, Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner,, postpartum alopecia, Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum, Nneka Elliott, @nnekaelliott

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal and Tea Tree Scalp Treatment Serum, $41, Sephora

On hair loss

A lot of the moms I've engaged with say three months postpartum is when they started to experience hair loss. Not everyone experiences it. It's called postpartum alopecia.

“From my professional experience [as a hairstylist] I always warn new mommies to not get braids after birth. You can do braids before the birthing time and keep it right up to 1-2 months.”

“Any form of braids after 3-8 months is walking into trouble. Reasons are, your hair goes through the stages of new growth to the dying phase. However, while you are pregnant around 5 months in, the hair does not go through the dying phase and that's why most pregnant women will see an increase in hair growth. But anywhere from 3-8 months while your body starts to regulate itself, you will experience all that shedding. Since the body is already doing that naturally, I generally tell mothers to do very light styles with less tension because it will make the whole shedding experience worse.”

“It normally comes on both sides of the temple area. It's temporary alopecia, don't sweat it, most mother's do freak out. but be careful during that time. Best delivery when it comes❤️❤️❤️”

“Most women lose quite a lot of hair after the baby is born when estrogen levels change, especially around the hairline, so I'd say something that's gentle on the roots! It mostly grows back when hormones re-balance, but that growth takes time and the hairline loss can be pretty alarming for a few months!” 

I think great products for hairline loss have castor oil in them because it fortifies and rebuilds weak, damaged hair.

knotless, your hair grows, Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner,, postpartum alopecia, Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum, Nneka Elliott, @nnekaelliott

Serioxyl Denser Hair Serum for Hair Loss, $60, L'Oreal Professionnel

knotless, your hair grows, Coconut Moisturizing Conditioner,, postpartum alopecia, Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum, Nneka Elliott, @nnekaelliott

Scalp Stimulating Growth Serum, $25, Mello Hair


Nneka Elliott is a lifestyle blogger and actor. She shares her adventures with hair, skincare and makeup in her pursuit of a gutsy life. Follow her @nnekaelliott.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Goalies Lâm and Trường compete for national team starting spot

Goalkeeper Bùi Tấn Trường is competing for a starting spot in the national team. — Photo thethao247.vn HÀ NỘI — Bùi Tấn Trường and Đặng Văn Lâm are competing to start in goal… Read more »

Three Vietnamese teams to compete in PUBG Mobile Pro League

The PMPL SEA Championship S3, one of the biggest PUBG Mobile regional tournaments in the world will take place between May 21 and 23 with a total 18 games between 16 top PUBG… Read more »

Three Vietnamese teams to compete in PUBB Mobile Pro League

The PMPL SEA Championship S3, one of the biggest PUBG Mobile regional tournaments in the world will take place between May 21 and 23 with a total 18 games between 16 top PUBG… Read more »

Hidden world of Japanese maikos revealed through photo collection

Together with geisha and geiko, maikos have been considered as symbol successors of the beauty of Japan. Photos courtesy of L’Espace HÀ NỘI — A photo collection depicting Japan’s apprentice geishas, known as… Read more »

Photo contest featuring labourers launched

A photo by Nguyễn Ngọc Hải submitted to a photo contest Nét Đẹp Lao Động (The Beauty of Labour) launched by the HCM City-based Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper. The contest encourages both… Read more »

Key goalkeeper to join national team early for World Cup qualifiers

Lam is set to fly to the United Arab Amirates (UAE) and join the national team from May 26. Osaka initially agreed to only let him leave after May 31, but after discussions… Read more »

Biennial World Cup on agenda at FIFA Congress

The proposal has been put on the agenda of the global governing body’s latest summit by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation which is close to FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Discussion of a possible… Read more »

Uncle Hồ’s memorial space opens at Children Cultural House

Children visit the memorial space themed “Uncle Hồ with Children” at the HCM City Children Cultural House. Photo courtesy of the organisers HCM CITY — A memorial space themed “Uncle Hồ with Children”… Read more »

'Vietnam Idol' winner releases music video of hit song

Singer Uyên Linh seen to perform the song ‘Giữa Đại Lộ Đông Tây’ in the show Xuân Hạ Thu Đông Rồi Lại Xuân (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring again). Photo courtesy of… Read more »

Two exhibitions highlight landscapes of Italy and VN

Photos highlight the evolution of the glacial masses, underlining the effects of climate change on the mountain landscape in Italy. Photo courtesy of the organiser HCM CITY — The Consulate General of Italy… Read more »

Romance is alive and kicking

MAGIC MOMENT: Liverpool players mob goalkeeper Alisson Becker after his last-minute winner against West Brom. AFP Photo Paul Kennedy There’s a great line in the movie Moneyball when Billy Beane, played by Brad… Read more »

Phan Văn Đức signs record deal with Nghệ An after turning HCM City FC down

Phan Văn Đức (left) will stay at Sông Lam Nghệ An until the end of the 2024 season. Photo slnafc.com VINH Việt Nam national team forward Phan Văn Đức signed a record-breaking contract… Read more »

HCMC FC sign Brazilian defender from Portuguese club

The 26-year-old is completing procedures before flying to Vietnam on Friday. He is set to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City a day later and be in quarantine for 21 days. Later, Lucas… Read more »

Vietnam World Cup qualifiers to be broadcast on national television

They will be broadcast on VTV5 and VTV6 HD. Sports and digital media company Next Media, which has bought the TV rights for the event, said broadcasting on VTV would provide fans with… Read more »

Workshop on how to turn earth into art

At the workshop, attendees will get in touch with the earth in a different way when they hold it in their hands and form it into the shapes as their wish. Photo courtesy… Read more »

Books printed to mark Uncle Hồ’s birthday

The book Bác Hồ Với Quốc Hội Việt Nam (Uncle Hồ and Việt Nam National Assembly) features President’s role in the National Assembly and government in the first period, starting in 1945. —… Read more »

Documentary about French photographer to be screened

Le baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville (The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville) by Robert Doisneau (1950). A documentary about him will be presented on Saturday at the VCCA. Photo courtesy of vintag.es… Read more »

The Magic Flute film at Deutches Haus on May 29

A scene from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, performed by German orchestra Berliner Philharmoniker. File photo from berliner-philharmoniker-recordings.com HCM City — A film screening of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute with the Berliner… Read more »

Vietnamese fashion thrives despite the pandemic

Designer Công Trí’s Fall-Winter 2021 collection has been featured in Vogue US magazine. Photo: thanhnien.vn HCM CITY — Despite being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese fashion designers have opted for innovation and… Read more »

South African woman mends broken heart in Việt Nam

Alushka Linh features singer Hồ Trung Dũng during a concert held on the occasion of Lunar New Year of the Buffalo. Photo courtesy of VTV Ngô Minh Many wonderful stories start from heartbreak.… Read more »

The Factory hosts conversation on Vietnamese sculpture

The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre will host an art conversation “The Undercurrents Of Vietnamese Modern Sculpture Pre/Post-1975 Until Now: an Introduction” on May 22. Photo from the organiser’s Facebook page The Factory Contemporary… Read more »

Thanh Hóa invests VNĐ500 billion to further excavate mausoleum

A new recreated plan of the whole site, which will be excavated soon for restoration. Photo dantri.com.vn THANH HÓA — Last week, local authorities of the central province of Thanh Hóa approved a… Read more »

Veteran striker Đức vies for a slot in national team

Striker Nguyễn Anh Đức (left) seen in a training session with the Vietnamese national team. Photo thanhnien.vn Football HÀ NỘI — Veteran striker Nguyễn Anh Đức scored one goal to help the national… Read more »

Women's football club appoints former South Korea coach

Jong accepted the invitation from Hanoi National Sports Training Center. He will bring analysis expert Park Ji-un to the club. For many years, Jong had managed the U20 South Korea team before coaching… Read more »

Hanoi villa inspired by Covid-19 battle

The four-floor villa, located in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District, attracts onlookers with its colorful work”Chung Tay Danh Bay Covid-19″ (Fight Covid-19 together). All graffiti covering the 300-meter-square villa were done by artist Le… Read more »

Circus troupes struggle to attract new talents

People’s Artist Tạ Duy Ánh. Photo anninhthudo.vn The National Circus Talent 2021 contest was held recently by the Department of Performing Arts in collaboration with the Việt Nam Theatre Artists Association. Only five… Read more »

Track and field athlete Lan gears up for Olympics

Quách Thị Lan is expected to compete in the Olympics for the first time in her career. Photo nld.com.vn Athletics HÀ NỘI — At the National Sports Training Centre in Hà Nội, Quách… Read more »

Producers of award-winning movie fined by culture ministry

A scene from the movie Taste by Lê Bảo. Photo berlinale.de HÀ NỘI — Despite winning a prize at the recent Berlin International Film Festival, the producers of the movie Taste by Vietnamese… Read more »

Under-35 writing contest launched

Many past winners at writing contests launched by organisations, such as the HCM City Writers’ Association, Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House and Kim Đồng Publishing House, have become popular among readers. (Photo courtesy of… Read more »

Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

Midfielder Luong Xuan Truong had a problem with his ankle during a match in training on May 11. He is expected to return after a week. He will train with the doctor of… Read more »

League of Legends pro banned for poaching

Earlier this year, before the national LoL tournament Vietnam Championship Series (VCS) took place, Dia1, one of the best mid-lane players in the country, surprised fans by leaving GAM Esports to join SBTC… Read more »

'Nothing is more important than independence and freedom': A westerner’s view of Hồ Chí Minh

President Hồ Chí Minh during one of his trips to the home of resistance up in the northern mountains. May 19, 2021, is his 131st birthday. VNA File Photo Tom Wilber* I am… Read more »

Vietnamese film 'Camellia Sisters' to stream on Netflix in June

A scene of Camellia Sisters (Vietnamese title: Gái Già Lắm Chiêu V) that will be made available globally on Netflix on June 10. — Photo Netflix HCM CITY — After a successful theatre… Read more »

National futsal team beat Iraq in World Cup playoff prep

One day after arriving in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vietnam national futsal team played an exhibition match with Iraq at Khorfakkan Arena. Vietnam fielded five experienced players and created many chances but… Read more »

Fencer the first Vietnamese athlete positive for COVID-19

Fencer Nguyễn Tiến Nhật (right) is the first athlete of Việt Nam tested positive for COVID-19. Photo tdtt.gov.vn Fencing HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Sports Administration has confirmed what could be the… Read more »

Áo Dài exhibition marks International Museum Day

A special exhibition of áo dài (Vietnamese traditional dress) owned by outstanding women in politics, culture and arts is on display at the Áo Dài Museum in Long Thuận Street, Thủ Đức City.… Read more »

The Local Game: Goals, damned goals and some V.League 1 statistics

Nam Định’s players celebrate one of their 23 goals this season. Photo vietnamnet.vn Peter Cowan It’s been more than two weeks since a ball was kicked in anger in professional Vietnamese football and… Read more »

Striker Toàn ready to bring domestic form to international level

Striker Nguyễn Văn Toàn of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai seen in a recent match in the V.League 1. — Photo docnhanh.com.vn Football HÀ NỘI — Striker Nguyễn Văn Toàn has a chance to… Read more »

Fencer tests positive for coronavirus after returning from abroad

The Vietnam national fencing team with nine members, including three experts and six athletes, went to Uzbekistan from April 21 to May 7 for the Olympic qualifiers, Thanh Nien newspaper cited a Vietnam… Read more »

Assorted duck dishes a delightful Hà Nội delicacy

Bảo Hoa & Vân Nguyễn HÀ NỘI Duck meat is a popular food all over the world, but in Việt Nam you can enjoy an assortment of duck dishes all in one meal.… Read more »

TV show Running Man Vietnam season 2 kicks off

Young singer Jack will take part in the second season of Running Man Vietnam, one of the most popular TV reality shows in Việt Nam in 2019. The show will air in July.… Read more »

Vietnamese contestants move past ao dai at beauty pageants

At the 2020 Miss Universe Khanh Van dons a white ao dai with a 30-kg ‘cocoon’ inspired by the silkworm. Catriona Gray, the 2018 Miss Universe winner, chose Van’s cocoon as one of… Read more »

Vietnam may face disadvantage after North Korea quit World Cup qualifiers

The Asian Football Federation (AFC) confirmed the departure of North Korea from the qualifiers Sunday due to Covid-19 worries. The AFC said it would refer the decision on how the withdrawal affects Group… Read more »

Vietnamese films enter global market

The movie Thiên Thần Hộ Mệnh is under negotiation to enter the global market. Photo thanhnien.vn HCM CITY — Many Vietnamese movies are increasingly being shown in foreign markets. The movie Bố Già… Read more »

Designer launches new collection

Popular designer Công Trí has just introduced his new Autumn & Winter 2021 collection, which highlights material processing techniques. His combination between profound meaning and handmade art is once more expressed in the… Read more »

Youngster Bình hopes to make Park’s final World Cup squad

Nguyễn Thanh Bình is training with the national senior team for the first time in career. Photo Viettel FC Football HÀ NỘI — At 20 years old, Nguyễn Thanh Bình is the youngest… Read more »

Vinyl records make a comeback in Việt Nam

Vietnamese singers and bands are increasingly releasing their music on vinyl, which has helped to increase interest in vinyl records in the music industry. Photo courtesy of Audio Space HCM CITY The hobby… Read more »

HCM City's rural districts expand agrotourism activities  

Visitors to rural districts enjoy catching fish. Photo sggp.org.vn HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Committee is offering support to develop agrotourism and ecotourism activities in five of the city’s outlying districts.… Read more »

Four luxury hotels in downtown HCM City put on new preservation list

The Rex Hotel, built in 1927 on the corner of Nguyễn Huệ Boulevard and Lê Lợi Street, is one of four hotels in downtown HCM City included in a new preservation plan. File… Read more »

Mid-season transfer window put off as Covid halts V. League

It is expected to reopen when the league returns in two months, with clubs considering options like adding foreign players to strengthen their squads for the second phase of the season. The transfer… Read more »