Hair or no hair, babies are cute! As parents, we all love our little ones unconditionally! It doesn’t really matter whether they are born with a head full of hair or with just a few cute wisps here and there. However, it is totally understandable to have some questions on what’s normal, especially as a new parent. So, let us address some common baby hair queries and how to take extra special haircare for your little bundle of joy!
Why do some babies have more hair than others?
It is because of genetics. You and your partner’s DNA determine how much hair your baby has, the colour and the texture. Other than that, hormones play an important role too. Ultimately, everything from kiwi fruit bald to a lush bushy toupee is normal in birth.
Why does my baby have hair fall?
In the womb, little foetuses have a thin layer of hair all over their body, called the lanugo. These fine hairs form a barrier between the delicate baby skin and the amniotic fluid they are immersed in. Lanugo begins to fall out between 32 to 36 weeks of gestation, but it can sometimes remain intact and fall later, after the baby is born, usually around 4 to 6 months. This may cause a lot of shedding and it is perfectly normal. Also, our bodies secrete a lot of hormones during pregnancy which circulates through the mother and the baby. After birth, these hormones gradually withdraw and go back to normal, causing a sudden bout of hair fall in them both. This is okay too; as your bodies adjust to the new normal, a fresh spring of hair growth will restore the lost hair.
Why is my baby bald at the back?
When your baby is less than 6 months old, you might notice some bald patches, especially at the back of the head. The bald spot at the back of your baby’s head is most probably because your baby’s head rests lying on that spot. Baby hair tends to go kaput when there is friction – most little cuties have bald backs because they lie on their backs so much. It is extremely important for the baby’s safety to sleep on their backs. So, don’t mind the bald spots, they will vanish on their own when your little one begins to roll over and crawl.
Can my baby’s hair change?
After your baby’s lanugo falls off, it can be replaced by a very fine, light coloured hair called vellus. Vellus hairs are the body’s way of regulating temperature. They can sometimes exist interspersed with your baby’s permanent hair or can grow and fall out in set phrases. If your little one is a natural brunette and she grows blonde vellus, it can be quite a sight to see hair change colour over time. Some hormones that step in from time to time can also influence this process. This changing of hair colour is perfectly okay too. Usually, by your baby’s second birthday, he/she will have a full set of permanent hair.
Do you see a greasy patch of scaling which appears to be crusty, thick, yellow, white, or brown in colour on your baby’s scalp? Though it looks like a severe case of dandruff or an infection, it most probably is what doctors call infantile or neonatal seborrheic dermatitis, a common condition that occurs in almost every baby. This is also commonly known as the Cradle Cap.
Cradle cap starts off as a small red area, then gets covered with scaly patches that look like a bad case of dandruff. The scales get flaky and fall off, bit by bit, sometimes with hair trapped in them. In some babies, the cradle cap also can flare up on the nose, cheeks, armpits and in the nappy area. While it can look uncomfortable, cradle cap is not an itchy condition at all.
A cradle cap is not contagious. We still don’t know the exact cause of this phenomenon. Some experts believe it’s due to the mother’s hormones still being circulated inside the baby’s blood circulation and…NO! It has nothing to do with hygiene but it’s always best to maintain good hygiene for obvious reasons.
But, a majority of the time it is harmless and normally clears up on its own by the time the baby reaches 12 months of age and in some cases, it persists a little longer.
If you’d like to do something, gently rub some virgin coconut oil on the affected areas and let it soak. Very carefully and gently brush off the scales using a soft brush later. You can also use a paste of green gram flour to softly scrub your baby instead of using soap and shampoos.
In some rare instances, a cradle cap can get infected, which will look red and swollen. In that case, consult your doctor for mild medicated shampoos. Be careful to keep the shampoo away from your baby’s eyes.
Shaving your baby’s head
Many cultures celebrate the first shaving of the baby’s hair in a big way. Though it is widely believed that this will make your baby’s hair grow back healthier, experts deny it. Shaving only cuts the visible hair above the scalp. The hair thickness determining follicles are buried deep within the skin and are not changed in any way when shaving, so the hair that grows back isn’t much different than the one shaved. That said, the growth of the new hair shaft and the evenness might make the hair look healthier than before.
It’s also worth considering how temperamental the little cuties might be. Shaving the head when they are full, calm, well-rested and sleeping is the best way to do it. If your baby is very fussy, squirming, cranky or at that stage where they are frightened by new places or people, be extremely careful letting them near sharp razors.
How to care for your little one’s hair?
Oil massages are great for your baby’s body and scalp. Use natural oils like coconut and massage them in a soft circular motion on the scalp to nourish and moisturize your baby’s hair.
You are good to comb your baby’s head when the fontanelle has closed completely. Use a wide-toothed and soft-bristled comb to detangle your baby’s tresses once a day. Soft motion with a comb also simulates in healthy oil production in the scalp.
Choosing the right product
Using adult products on delicate baby skin can dry them out. Pick mild shampoos that are specifically formulated for the soft baby hair to keep your baby’s mane shiny and smooth.
Styling baby hair
You won’t have much hair care if your baby doesn’t have much hair at all. Trimming and keeping it short is a smart shortcut! If you decide to let your baby’s hair grow, you’ll have to multiply the care too. Avoid tight hair bands or hair clips. Keep your baby’s hands in mittens to prevent them from pulling hair. Keep the hair off zippers and any of your ornaments.
Using soft towels
Drying or rubbing the fine baby hair with rough towels can damage follicles and cause hair thinning and hair fall. Use a soft towel to gently pat dry your baby’s head.
Keep your baby’s head covered when going out in the sun or in the cold to keep hair from becoming brittle and dry.
Use lukewarm water and gentle shampoo to rinse your baby’s hair. Scalding hot water or harsh shampoos can stress the growing follicles and cause them to not grow optimally. You don’t have your wash your baby’s hair every day with shampoo. You can simply wet the hair every day during the bath and use shampoo only once a week. Remember, just a tiny squirt goes a long way for the little scalp.
How to make your baby’s hair grow faster?
A healthy baby has healthy hair. Make sure your baby has plenty of mother’s feed or formula till 6 months and a balanced diet after that. Include lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains to keep your baby healthy and hydrated.
Butter crème can help tame thick curly locks and soften them. This can change detangling your baby’s hair from a difficult chore to a massage or even a bedtime routine.
Oiling your baby’s hair can deeply moisturise and nourish your baby’s locks. Oil the hair for two days and wash the hair on the third day to keep hair from accumulating dust and grime. Virgin coconut oil is a great option.
You can massage your baby head to toe with rich unrefined additive-free shea butter. The smooth creaminess of the shea butter makes your baby’s hair supple and smooth.
Whether your little baby is mossy bald or has fuzzy wisps, just remember to care for them as we’ve explained above. Keep a few locks of that soft hair for your baby journal and don’t forget to take many pictures and give kisses!
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