Bald Baby: Is It Normal for Babies to Lose Hair?

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Every pregnant woman and her family wants a healthy normal newborn. They wish to see the baby as healthy with normal confinement and with normal hair growth. But sometimes they notice unusual hair growth pattern or the baby is completely bald. This hair loss could be seen at any age.

In this article:

Hair Loss in Babies: Is it Normal?
When do the Babies Start to Grow the Hair?
Why Some Babies Look Bald for a Certain Period?
Why Some Babies have lots of Hair?
Why Babies Tend to Lose Hair for Six Months after Birth?
Should I be Concerned with My Baby’s Hair Loss?
Determination of the Hair Growth of the Baby
Does Shaving the Baby’s Head Fasten the Hair Growth?
Application of Hair Oil: Is it Helpful?
Haircare Tips for Newborns

Hair Loss in Babies: Is It Normal?

It is quite normal for a newborn to lose hair and as such, there is no need to worry. During the initial first 6 months, babies tend to lose hair. This type of hair loss is given a special name “telogen effluvium”. This is actually what happens, hair has a certain growth stage and a resting stage. The growth stage is found to last for about three years and has a resting stage for 3 months (vary from one month to 6 months. In the resting stage, the hair remains inside the follicle until the new hair growth starts within.

bald baby

Around 5 to 15 percent of the hair on the scalp is in the resting stage at any particular time. But their number change during stress, fever or any hormonal change can even cause the stoppage of growth all at once. The shedding of hairs is seen only after the next growth stage begins which is about three months later. Soon after birth, the new-born undergo hormone levels drop and this drop results in a large amount of hair loss.

When do the Babies Start to Grow the Hair?

The hair growth of a baby starts even before his or her birth. After birth, all of the baby’s hair turn out to stay in the resting stage until more resources are made available. Usually, the hair starts to shed off at 8 to 12 weeks of age and then grow back within around three to seven months. But around the age of 2 years, thicker hair emerges.

Why Some Babies Look Bald for a Certain Period?

There are two types of hair growth in babies during the first year, baby hair and mature hair. If before complete disappearance of the baby hairs the mature hair does not start to grow and thus the baby might appear to be bald for some time until the mature hair grows back completely. And if this happens before birth, which is rarely seen the baby born is bald.

When the disappearance of the baby’s hair and appearance of mature hair go hand in hand then the change is hard to notice. The later found mature hair is stronger, thicker and less soft than the baby hair. The color and texture can be affected by many external factors like water, climate.

Why Some Babies have lots of Hair?

Mainly baby’s genes are responsible for the quality, quantity of the baby’s hair. Hormones also have a role in the determination of hair growth. During pregnancy, inside the womb baby is exposed to a large number of hormones secreted by the mother. These hormones accelerate the growth as well as the thickness of the hair.

Why Babies Tend to Lose Hair for Six Months after Birth?

Hormonal changes are considered to be the main reason. The pregnancy hormones which were initially responsible for the hair growth inside the womb tend to fall when the baby is born. Therefore, hair growth also slows down and then stops. This phase of hair is known as the resting phase resulting in hair loss.

Should I be Concerned with My Baby’s Hair Loss?

As such, there is no need to be concerned about hair loss if the scalp looks healthy. But It is sometimes shocking for parents to notice the unusual hair growth pattern or color or texture of the hair. There can be the following conditions in children below 12 months of age:

  • Babies with smooth, round, totally bald areas are known to suffer from alopecia areata. This is defined as a condition in which the immune system targets the hair follicles and terrible reduce their growing strength.
  • Irregular patches of hair may fall out if the baby pulls out his hair intentionally. This is known as trichotillomania.
  • Some medical disorders such as hypothyroidism or hypopituitarism can cause hair loss in children.
  • Physical damage due to high and tight ponytails resulting in traction alopecia.
  • Patchy, scaling red bald spots due to any infectious fungal organism such as tinea or ringworm.

Determination of the Hair Growth of the Baby

Around six months of age of the baby inside the womb, the hair follicles develop. The number of hair, thickness, texture and even appearance of hair follicles is determined by genetic factors.

Does Shaving the Baby’s Head Fasten the Hair Growth?

There is no scientific proof of this myth. This can easily be understood by the fact, shaving does not lead to the formation of new hair follicles therefore no more new hairs can occur. The hairs growing thicker is an illusion. This happens because now all the hairs grow back to the same length and end at the same level which makes them look thicker.

Application of Hair Oil: Is it Helpful?

Applying hair oil can dry up the scalp and block the pores. But the use of virgin coconut oil or olive oil before bathing moisturizes the scalp and the hair of the baby. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain a healthy scalp. It is important to be off the oil with the shampoo during the bath.

Haircare Tips for Newborns

  • Gentle care is recommended for the scalp as it contains soft follicles that can be easily damaged.
  • Daily washing of hair should be avoided as the scalp may get filthy easily when compared to adults.
  • Brushing of hairs should be done with a soft bristle hairbrush.
  • Forceful brushing should be avoided as it will damage the follicles.
  • Pressure should be avoided on the soft spot of the top of the baby’s head.
  • Combing before hair bath is recommended to prevent snagging on tangling during hair wash.
  • Holding the baby in reclining position while washing the hair to restrict the water from going into the eyes and face of the baby.

Conclusion

Baby hair loss is common and normal until it is temporary. But if any abnormality noticed it is better to go and visit the doctor.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999647/

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/05/15/bald-baby-problems_n_7291454.html

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