Not long ago, I posted about baby hair. Specifically, about how some babies are born with it (or tons of it, like mine) and others donât have any. You may be worried that your baby will never grow hair, but I can assure you, they will!
In fact, my dad loves to tell the story of when my older brother was a baby. He was born with no hair. None! And he didnât get any hair for 18 months. Apparently, Mom used to cry every day because she worried heâd never grow any hair. But he did, and it grew like crazy to the point where he even had a long-hair phase back in college.
Point being that babies do grow hair, even those that come into the world bald. Iâm going to address some of your baby hair concerns here including how to make it grow in faster. If at any time though youâre worried about your babyâs hair, make sure you talk to your pediatrician about it.
Table of Content
- How Long does it Take for a Baby’s Hair to Grow?
- Common Baby and Toddler Hair Problems and Solutions
- Treating Baby Hair Problems
- What You Can Do for Faster Baby Hair Growth?
- How to Care for Baby Hair
- Bottom Line with Baby Hair
How Long does it Take for a Baby’s Hair to Grow?
In general, babies start growing hair in the first 6 months if they didnât have any or very little of it on their heads.
You should also remember what I said in my other baby hair post though â hair loss for babies is NORMAL. Please donât panic when around the second month, you find little baby hairs on the crib mattress. If there is ever a time to panic about anything involving your baby, your doctor will likely let you know.
Hair has a growth stage that lasts about 3 years and a resting stage that lasts about 3 months. When hair is in the resting stage, it remains in the follicle until new hair comes in. Most of the hair is in the growth stage, though a small percentage will be in the resting phase. It begins to shed during the next growth stage.
And when it sheds, you might be surprised to find your babyâs hair grows in with a completely different texture and color than he had when he was born!
How to can I make baby hair grow in the womb?
Still pregnant while reading up on baby hair? Got you covered, girl! As it turns out, if you want your baby to have a better chance of growing lots of hair in the womb, it all comes down to estrogen. Eating the right foods can help that along like eggs, fish, oranges, and nuts. Interestingly, I also ate lots of these foods during my pregnancies but I didnât know what I know now.
And I kept eating them as I nursed. Eating healthy foods while youâre breastfeeding also helps serve your babyâs overall growth (including hair!).
You know what I happened to notice while being pregnant abroad in China though? The parents there shave their babyâs heads. Youâre going to ask soâ¦
Does shaving the head increase hair growth in babies?
In China, they shave the heads of both boy and girl babies. They believe this makes the hair grow in thicker and fuller. As it turns out though, itâs just an old wivesâ tale. According to an interview with the University of Utah Health and pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner, all it does is give your baby a bad haircut. Hair growth and texture are determined by genetics alone, not by your ability to wield a shaver.
Thankfully, my husband wouldnât allow his parents to shave our daughtersâ heads. Though there was a time when I was teaching when I thought my mother-in-law had something to do with a bit of a bald spot my eldest had. She didnât, though let me touch on that to help you out.
Common Baby and Toddler Hair Problems and Solutions
With my eldest, we found that her hair fall was more noticeable on the back of her head. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you should be laying your newborn on their back to sleep to prevent the risk of SIDS. But you should also turn your babyâs head a little to one side, alternating each day, to prevent the wear in one spot.
If youâve noticed your baby has one bald spot like a little old person, donât worry! That hair will grow back, I promise. My eldest has the longest, shiniest, most gorgeous hair ever. In fact, Iâm a wee bit jealous.
Other things to watch out for:
Patchy bald spots and red, flaky scales
If you notice a bit more than a bald spot, perhaps with red, scaly flakes and even black dots where dark hair has broken off, your baby could have a fungal infection known as ringworm. There are treatments for this so notify your pediatrician at once so they can help you.
Smooth, round, totally bald areas
Look closely at your babyâs head and chances are, if they are bald, youâll notice some peach fuzz. But if you donât, you should have it checked out because it could be alopecia areata, which is a condition that causes the immune system to wage war on the hair follicles.
If you suspect anything is out of the ordinary with your childâs hair growth or lack thereof, your pediatrician will likely check for hypothyroidism, a thyroid disorder, or hypopituitarism, which involves an underactive pituitary gland.
Hairstyles and physical damage
For babies that have hair or young toddlers, be careful how you style it. Tying your daughterâs hair too tight, like in cute little pig-tails or a pony-tail can cause hair loss in the form of traction alopecia.
Treating Baby Hair Problems
If youâre worried about your babyâs hair growth and want it to grow faster, youâll have to make sure youâre doing tummy time with him every day. Itâs important to give them a break from laying on the back of their heads. Plus, itâs good for their overall development. This is how they strengthen their neck muscles to support that cute little head!
Newborns can benefit from tummy time too so make sure youâre doing it as soon as possible. Thereâs no need to do it for long periods of time. Just about 5 to 10 minutes twice a day should suffice. Go on your babyâs cues and if they seem overstimulated, you can end tummy time for the day.
If you find your baby has other hair problems like ringworm, your pediatrician can help you treat it with prescribed antifungal medication. For things like alopecia areata, youâll be referred to a dermatologist. Your child may even outgrow this condition, but itâs best to have it looked at.
If the hair loss for your baby was caused by breakage, youâll need to treat the hair and scalp with extra care as it grows back. When styling baby hair, remember that itâs much finer than the hair on your head so be gentle, brush softly, and try to keep styles natural.
What You Can Do for Faster Baby Hair Growth?
Want to make your babyâs hair grow faster? While I never had this problem, plenty of my mom friends did. I asked them what they did to speed up baby hair growth and hereâs what they had to tell me:
âI used baby hair oil to grow my daughterâs hair. It worked like a charm. I used the Chicco brand but there are lots of other ones out there. I also used coconut oil at one point. I took the time to gently massage it onto her head in a circular motion to stimulate the scalp.â â Deanna
âI ate tons of dates and almonds because I heard they helped. I canât find any medical reference for this, but I am telling you, it was the only thing I changed about my diet and suddenly, poof! My sonâs hair growth was off the hook!â â Brittany
âI would regularly massage argan oil onto the heads of my twins. Because itâs natural, itâs safe for babies. I did it every other day to avoid over-greasing them.â â Sarah
How to Care for Baby Hair
I canât find anything medically to dispute what my friends said, and natural ingredients like the ones they mentioned are safe for babies (though with anything, avoid contact with eyes and mouth). What I can tell you is what pediatricians advise for taking care of your babyâs hair, whether itâs just slight peach fuzz, a few tufts, or a full head of hair:
- Donât wash it every day
Newborn babies canât really do anything. They sleep, they eat, and they cry. They participate in tummy time. Thatâs about it. So thereâs no need to over-wash their hair. You donât need to scrub it until it squeaks clean either. If you do that, youâre damaging the shaft.
Be gentle with the washing and use quality baby shampoo. Tearless formulas work best because if it accidentally gets in their eyes, it wonât cause them harm. Try washing your babyâs hair a couple times a week until they get bigger.
- Massage gently
Boosting the circulation to the scalp is good for them, and a good trick on your own head too. Be gentle though. Use only your fingertips and a very light touch. If youâre too overzealous, you can stress those hair follicles which can result in more hair loss or breakage.
- Use the right tools
A soft-bristled brush is the best for baby hair. Wide-tooth combs are also good for styling baby hair thatâs a bit longer. Again, the key is a gentle touch when using them.
- Stay away from too-tight accessories
Maybe itâs just me, but I couldnât stand those big baby headbands that made me want o shout, âI get it! You have a girl!â But hey, if you like them, go for it. Make sure theyâre not too tight though. The same goes for when you style hair into little ponytails. Watch out for any accessories with small parts though. Babies are so curious and once they start grabbing at things, you better believe they will take those bows and barrettes and try to put them in their mouth!
- Fix stuck-up hair
Babyâs hair keeps sticking up? You can take a tiny bit of baby lotion or that baby hair oil if youâre using it and slick it into style. Donât use any hairspray or hair gel!
Bottom Line with Baby Hair
Try not to stress! I know I say that a lot but really, itâs not very common for babies to not regrow hair. Blink and youâll be like, âWow! Where did that hair come from?â If you do suspect an underlying problem, get with your pediatrician who can help resolve the issue.
Breastfeeding moms can help by making sure theyâre eating nutritiously, and all moms can help by serving healthy solid foods to their babies when they are old enough to eat them. Treating your babyâs hair and scalp with care will also help keep from causing damage that would set hair growth back.
Just thinkâ¦one day, youâll be arguing with your kids about how to style their hair before school, like me!