Kids Hair Biography
Some babies are born with a full head of hair, while others have only a sparse covering. What's more, infants often lose all the hair they're born with during their first six months. Sometimes the hair grows right back in, but in a different color or texture. In other babies, it takes a while to grow back. Either way, be reassured that your child will have normal hair growth at some point, although it may take time to be noticeable.
As you’ve discovered, not all newborns are born bald but arrive on the scene with a shock of thick hair. While some of these babies come out with perfectly coiffed locks, the rest look like they’re having a bad hair day, with a punk-style Mohawk, or tufted patches, or the scraggly comb-over of a little Homer Simpson. No one really knows why some babies are born with lots of hair, though experts believe it probably has something to do with maternal hormones and the genetic lottery.
Whatever your baby’s hairstyle du jour, don’t worry too much (or get too attached). Newborn dos are hair today, gone tomorrow. Here’s what you need to know about your newborn’s hair:
Newborn hair loss. If you were surprised by your baby’s massive mane, just wait: All that hair may disappear. Newborns shed like a golden retriever in the first six months (and some can go from luxuriantly coiffed to bald as a cue ball). That’s because all those pregnancy hormones (the ones that may have given you great hair, too!) plummet after birth, so your baby’s hair stops growing. Then a phase called “telogen” kicks in, when lots of the hair falls out altogether.
Newborn hair growth. Luckily, the telogen phase is usually followed rather quickly (or even simultaneously) by new hair growth. But the baby hair that grows in may be nothing like your little one’s newborn locks. Color and texture often change — again, thanks to hormones — so your baby’s thick, dark hair could make its reappearance a lot sparser and lighter. Red can give way to blonde. Curly goes straight. You never know. Eventually your baby’s hair will grow in and she’ll look less like a punk rocker and more like the coiffed baby of your dreams. Exactly when that happens can be anyone’s guess (it’s different for every child). Some get a great new head of hair by six months, some not for two or three years.
Until then, here’s how to take care of whatever hair your baby does have:
Don’t wash your baby’s hair every day. Particularly with newborns, there’s just no need. Aim for a quick shampoo when you bathe your baby, which doesn’t need to be more often than a couple times a week.
Be gentle when you massage a tearless baby shampoo into your baby’s scalp. A too-brisk scalp massage can stress hair follicles and speed up hair loss or breakage.
Comb your baby’s hair with a soft-bristle brush or a wide-toothed comb that won’t snag on tangles or pull your baby’s hair.
Avoid headbands or ponytails that pull your baby’s hair back too tightly, which can damage it.
If your baby needs a quick trim later to look presentable, go for it. Just do it when she’s well rested and fed, so she’ll be less cranky, and set her up with some toys to distract her.
For now, Mom, cut off a lock of that soft Mohawk to tuck in the baby book, and enjoy the punk look while it lasts. Your newborn’s hair will look different soon enough.
Here’s to your baby’s lovely locks — now and later!