When Scheana Shay gave birth to her daughter Summer Moon in 2021, it was one of the happiest moments of her life. Little did she know, just five months later, she’d be dealing with a problem that affects many new moms.
“I honestly only wash my hair once a week, and there was one week in particular that I noticed a lot of shedding in the shower,” said Shay, star of the reality TV series Vanderpump Rules. “I chalked it up to having my hair in a ponytail all week, and maybe not brushing it as much as I should. When you have a newborn, your self-care isn’t always at the forefront.”
“The next week, I noticed it again coming out in chunks in the shower. I looked in the mirror and realized I basically had bald spots around my hairline. As someone who was already struggling with postpartum hormones and body image, it was extremely hard to now also be losing my hair,” said Shay.
Searching for answers
Frustrated and perplexed, Shay wanted to understand what was happening. Instead of turning to Google, she went on social media looking for feedback. Shay, 37, soon discovered there were other new mothers dealing with hair loss. “It helped to know I wasn’t the only one going through this.”
Still, it was tough to adjust to the change. “It was really hard to realize that my biggest physical insecurity, my hairline, had gotten so much worse. I didn’t feel confident wearing my hair pulled back, which was also hard, because I love to rock a tight pony.”
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, plenty of women see noticeable hair loss a few months after having a baby. This is normal, with excessive shedding typically caused by falling estrogen levels. The loss is usually temporary and requires no special treatment. In fact, most women see their hair return to its normal fullness by their child’s first birthday.
Being in the limelight
Dealing with hair loss isn’t easy for anyone, but Shay had the added pressure of being in the public eye. She admits sharing pictures with fans could be unsettling.
“I remember seeing comments asking why my forehead looked so big and people asking what happened to my edges,” she said. “I honestly hadn’t even noticed how bad it had gotten until people commented on a photo I had posted,” said Shay.
“It was difficult to have something I was already insecure about get worse, especially while filming a television show and struggling with my new body at the time.”
Shay also didn’t know how much longer the problem might last. “Just seeing how much hair I had lost was really hard to accept. I didn’t know how much more I would lose or if it would ever grow back.”
What helped was having people in her corner. “I had so many girlfriends, cousins, and hundreds of people online, going through postpartum who were my support circle,” said Shay.
Leaning on others
Shay also didn’t know how much longer the problem might last. “Just seeing how much hair I had lost was really hard to accept,” she said. “I didn’t know how much more I would lose or if it would ever grow back.”
What helped was having people in her corner. “I had so many girlfriends, cousins, and hundreds of people online, plus producers, going through postpartum who were my support circle,” Shay said.
While breastfeeding, Shay had to make sure whatever remedy she tried was safe and easy.
“I just wanted to try one product, not a lot of things,” she explained. Shay began taking a hair growth supplement compatible with most prenatal- and multivitamins and formulated for postpartum women. She began noticing a difference and is once again feeling good about herself.
Words of encouragement
Currently serving as a brand ambassador for a cosmetics line that sells scalp foundation, Shay said she no longer feels the need to Photoshop pictures. Shay also wants those who are struggling with hair loss to know they aren’t alone.
“So many people experience what I went through, including men,” she said. “Remember that you aren’t the only one dealing with this issue.”