Hair Loss in Toddlers – Top Causes, Prevention and Home Remedies

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Hair loss in toddlers

Kids too experience hair loss, but the reasons may differ from those that lead to onset of baldness in adults. Hair loss in toddlers is often a result of a scalp infection. The condition is mostly harmless and easily curable. Even so, experiencing hair loss may hurt a kid’s mental and emotional health.

Let’s find out more about hair loss, its causes, remedies etc. Because, when you gain knowledge about this condition, then only will you be able to deal with it without panicking!

In This Article

How Common is Hair Loss in Toddlers?

The hair growth cycle in a toddler is somewhat similar to that of an adult. The active hair growth phase of a toddler lasts anywhere from two to six years. Following this, the hair enters the telogen or resting phase, during which there is no growth at all. The telogen phase lasts approximately three months, after which the hair naturally falls out, and a new one develops.

It is very natural for toddlers to lose some hair daily. But when it gets too much, bordering on abnormal, then it becomes a cause of concern. And if you think your toddler is the only one battling hair loss, then think again! It is estimated that around 3% of pediatric visits in the U.S. are related to hair loss.

Top 8 Causes of Hair Loss in Toddlers

Hair pulling often leads to hair loss in toddlers

Hair loss in toddlers can be caused due to several factors, which may be medical or nonmedical. Some of the probable causes behind your toddler’s hair loss are-

1. Tinea Capitis

Often known as ringworm, it is a contagious fungal condition that may cause your toddler to develop scaly patches on the scalp. These patches will be devoid of hair. The hair may break on the surface of the scalp and appear as black dots. Tinea capitis is usually treated with antifungal medicines and medicated shampoo.

2. Trichotillomania

If your toddler has a habit of pulling, plucking, or twisting their hair, they may experience hair loss in patchy, asymmetrical patterns. These patches will have hair of varying lengths due to the constant pulling and plucking. Trichotillomania is often triggered by stress or anxiety. So, if you notice your toddler pulling on their hair, it’s better to consult a doctor and address the underlying issue, rather than scolding or punishing them.

[Read : Baby Pulling Own Hair]

3. Telogen Effluvium

This condition occurs when the normal hair growth cycle of the toddler is hampered. It may be due to certain conditions like- stress, certain medicines, very high fever, surgery under general anesthesia, etc. In this, hairs stop growing and enter into the telogen or resting phase. So, no new hair growth occurs. Then after a few weeks or months, all of these hairs fall out, resulting in bald patches on the head. There is no diagnostic test or treatment available for this condition. But, once the stress factor is removed, the hair usually grows back on its own.

4. Nutritional Deficiency/Overdose

Nutritional deficiency is an important, if not very common, cause for hair loss in toddlers. Lack of Vitamin D, biotin, zinc, iron, Vitamin C, or calcium may cause hair loss. On the other hand, an excess of Vitamin A can also result in hair loss.

5. Traction Alopecia

The condition known as traction alopecia may develop due to physical trauma, such as that caused by tight ponytails or braids. So, avoid too tight hairstyles for your little one.

6. Endocrine Issues

Hypothyroidism, though rare in toddlers, can also be an underlying cause of hair loss. This can be ascertained by a blood test, and the pediatrician will begin treatment accordingly.

7. Alopecia Areata

This is an extremely rare condition, affecting about 1 in 1,000 kids at any given point in time. In this, the body’s immune system starts attacking the hair follicles, resulting in severe hair loss. Round or oval patches form on the scalp from where the hair falls off. There is no diagnostic test or treatment for this condition. The doctor may, however, give medicine for promoting hair growth.

[Read : Alopecia Areata in Children]

8. Hair Abuse

Brushing the hair vigorously, tying it too tight, combing wet hair, rubbing it too harshly, all of these inconspicuous activities may also lead to hair loss in toddlers.

How Can You Prevent Hair Loss in Toddlers?

Use a soft bristle brush to comb your toddler's hair

Although hair loss is a worrying condition in most cases it’s curable and harmless. Proper nurturing and caring for your toddler’s hair may actually help prevent hair fall. Here are a few tips to prevent hair loss in toddlers-

  • Use a mild shampoo specifically formulated for toddlers
  • Don’t wash your toddler’s hair more than twice a week since excessive washing will dry out the scalp
  • Don’t scrape the scalp with your nails while washing the toddler’s hair
  • Use a soft bristle brush or a wide toothed comb
  • Avoid using towels, pillow covers etc. made of harsh or rough material
  • Don’t make too tight hairdos

Home Remedies For Hair Loss in Toddlers

Onion juice helps in preventing hair loss

Although, there is always medicine for any ailment, sometimes home remedies work wonders too. If your toddler is experiencing hair loss, you may find the following home treatments helpful-

  • Massaging your toddler’s scalp using coconut, almond, or olive oil. It is better if you warm it slightly first
  • Use rice water to rinse. There are a lot of amino acids in rice water, which help to make the hair thick and glossy
  • Apply a mask made from soaked and ground fenugreek seeds
  • Onion juice application on the scalp also aids and promotes hair growth, resulting in reduced hair fall
  • Mix a few drops of castor oil with any other oil like coconut, almond etc. and massage on your little one’s scalp to prevent hair fall
  • Aloe vera gel can also be used to reduce hair fall and itchiness (if any). It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties which are very beneficial
  • Instill good hair care habits in the toddler. Teach them how to care for their hair from early on

When Should You Consider Consulting a Doctor?

If your toddler's scalp has wound then consult doctor

If a toddler is losing more hair than normal, you should consult a doctor since it might be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Some parents or caregivers worry when they notice a bunch of hair in a comb or hairbrush. However, some hair loss in toddlers is normal. Get medical help if you notice any of the following symptoms-

  • The kid says their head hurts or itches
  • Bald patches may be easily seen
  • Loss of hair in eyebrows and eyelashes
  • When your toddler has a burn or wound on their scalp
  • When your toddler has hair loss after being sick or starting a new medicine

Working with your physician is the first and most important step in seeking answers to your toddler’s hair loss questions. A pediatric dermatologist can do a comprehensive examination of the patient’s hair if this becomes necessary.

It is important to remember that observation is the most important factor in diagnosing the reason for hair loss. An accurate diagnosis may often be arrived at by observing the symptoms. The good news is that once the underlying reason for hair loss in toddlers has been correctly recognized, an effective treatment may be administered.


1. Can a Lack of Vitamins Cause Hair Fall in Toddlers?

Proper nourishment is crucial to physical well-being. Lack of essential nutrients like protein and vitamins may cause hair loss in toddlers. Lack of certain nutrients like iron, zinc, niacin, biotin, protein, and amino acids has been linked to hair thinning and hair loss.

2. Can an Iron Deficiency Cause Hair Loss in Toddlers?

Your toddler’s body will be unable to make hemoglobin if they do not have enough iron in their diet. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body, which is necessary for developing and repairing all cells. This includes the cells that are responsible for hair growth.

3. Which Vegetables Help in Toddler’s Hair Growth?

Vegetables like carrots, spinach, onions, tomato, beetroot, sweet potatoes, beans etc. are good sources of beta carotene, Vitamin A and other nutrients. Hence, including these in your toddler’s diet will help in hair growth.

Read Also: Dandruff in Toddlers – Causes and Top Home Remedies to Treat

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.