Some babies are born with thick hair while others are born with barely any noticeable hair. When it comes to the hair growth of the normal range can be quite wide. Don’t get too much attached to your baby’s thick hair nor worry about his baldness. Both are not going to remain the same. During the first six months, infants often lose all the hair they are born with (baby hair) and their mane is replaced with new hair (mature hair). The new hair that grow are often differ in color and texture.
The rate of this replacement procedure varies from baby to baby.
Anyhow, normally, mature hair starts to grow around the sixth month. So, even if your baby looks bald for a while, there is no need to bother too much. Your child will regain the normal hair growth normally before his first birthday.
When Do Babies’ Start To Grow The Hair?
The hair growth of a baby starts way before he or she are born. Apart from lanugo, the first soft and smooth layer of hair that covers the body of a baby to regulate the body temperature, which appears around the 14th week of pregnancy, the hair starts to grow on the head of the baby around 30th week of pregnancy.( Most of the lanugo are shed prior to delivery).
Why Do Some Babies Look Bald For Some Period?
There are two crops of hair during the first year of the baby- baby hair and mature hair. When baby hair falls off completely before the mature hair appear and hence the baby will look bald for some period of time till the mature hair grow back. When this happens just before birth which is not much common, the baby can be born bald.
When the mature hair fills in simultaneously while the baby hair falls off, the changes are hardly noticed. The mature hair is stronger, less soft and sometime differs in color than the baby hair. The color of the hair changes several times during the life of a person as it is subjected to several external factors like water, climate etc.
Why Are Some Babies Born With Lots Of Hair?
Quantity, quality, and color of the baby’s hair are highly influenced by genetic factors. But that is not an only reason that some babies are born with a thick head of hair. Hormones too have a role in this. Inside the womb, the baby is exposed to high level of hormones from the mother. These hormones accelerate the thickness and growth of the hair. Hence, the baby is born with thick hair.
Why Does The Baby Lose Hair During The Six Months After Birth?
Hormonal fluctuations are the main reason. The pregnancy hormones that influenced the hair growth when the baby is inside the womb will drop when the baby is born. Thus, the growth of the hair also stops. The hair will enter into a phase of rest called telogen, resulting in hair loss (please refer hair growth cycle explained under ‘premature balding’ here).
Should I Be Concerned With My Baby’s Hair Loss?
There is no need to be concerned about your baby’s hair lose when his scalp looks healthy. Healthy scalp looks soft without any scaling, redness or oozing.
However, you baby’s hair loss will need attention and seeking medical advice is essential when:
- The scalp looks scaly and unhealthy
- The baby is born with health conditions like alopecia and thyroid problems
- The baby is still losing hair noticeably after six-month-old
What Determines The Hair Growth Of The Baby?
All the hair follicles are developed around the sixth month of the baby inside the mother’s womb. A baby is born with a specific number of the hair follicles. The number of hair follicles is influenced by genetic factors. It is these follicles that mainly determine the growth, thickness, texture and appearance (straight or curly) of the baby’s hair throughout his life.
Does Shaving The Kid’s Head Fasten The Hair Growth?
It is a myth with no scientific proof. There is no evidence for shaving (or hair tonsuring) the child’s head helps in hair to grow faster and thicker. New and more follicles are not formed when the head is shaved. If new follicles are not formed, neither will new hair come. The hair though appears to be thicker when it grows back is merely an illusion. This is because all the hair grown back are more or less of the same length and the hair ends are in the same level. This will make the hair look thicker.
Does Applying Oil Fasten The Infant’s Hair Growth?
Applying oil can dry up the scalp and clog the pores. However using extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil on the scalp before bath help moisturizing the scalp and hair. This also helps in brushing off cradle cap easily before bath. So if not promoting hair growth, properly applying oil will help to maintain a healthy scalp. Remember to wash the oil with shampoo during the bath. Keeping the oil in hair for a long time can cause cold among infants.
How Can I Take Care Of my Newborn’s Hair?
- Handle a newborn’s hair with extreme gentle care as the scalp is very soft and the follicles can be easily damaged
- A newborn’s hair need not be washed everyday as the chances of the scalp getting filthy or greasy are odd because the oil secretion of infants scalp is very less compared to an adult
- Use a soft-bristle brush to brush the baby’s hair
- Never pull the baby’s hair back forcefully. It will definitely damage the follicles. If you need to put pony do it gently
- Never apply even slight pressure to the soft spot on the top of the head of the baby
How To Wash The Baby’s Hair?
Washing the baby’s hair should be done with extreme care.
- Comb the child’s hair gently before hair wash. You can also untangle the hair gently with your fingertips.This will help to avoid snagging on the tangles and pulling hair by mistake while washing hair
- Infants often momentarily get frighten during bath time. To minimize this, speak to him in a comforting tone throughout the bathing time
- Hold the baby in a slightly reclining position while washing the hair. This will restrict the water to make the way to the eyes and face of the baby. Support the head and shoulder of the baby strongly. This support will also minimize the fear of the baby
- Shampooing the baby’s hair is the next step:
- Always choose most trusted brand of baby hair care products for your infant
- Never use grown-ups products on infants
- Make sure the shampoo is pH-balanced (the pH level should be under 4.5 to 6 range)
- Use mildly scented shampoo as it will relax the baby to sleep
- Hold the infant in a reclining position
- Wet the baby’s hair with a soft sponge
- Gently massage the tearless shampoo (1-2 drops will be enough) to the infants scalp without applying pressure in the soft spot
- Remember, the brisk scalp massage can damage follicle and speedup hair fall
- Now pour water carefully and wash the shampoo off
- Pat dry carefully immediately
Conditioning the baby’s hair is recommended if the infant has thick tangled hair. This will help to remove tangles easily during brushing without causing any discomfort to the baby. Thick band tangled hair should be wash often to avoid matting.