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Is Baby Hair Loss Normal?: Understanding Baby Hair Loss

Is Baby Hair Loss Normal?: Understanding Baby Hair Loss

Discovering your little bundle of joy, who was born with a head of perfectly coiled curls like Sherly Temple. Only to find a few months later, they have transformed into delicate wisps resembling Homer Simpson’s iconic hairstyle can leave you wondering what could have possibly caused this.

Although your dreams of hairstyling your baby may be dashed by this sudden change in their hair’s appearance, there is nothing to worry about. It’s likely that your baby has experienced newborn hair loss. Surprisingly, hair loss can occur at any age, even during infancy. However, you can rest assured that your baby’s hair will grow back.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is perfectly normal for babies to experience haiAvoid tight hairstyles:r loss in the first few months of their life. However, if your baby is losing hair after 6 months of age it could be hair loss attributable to fungal infection or alopecia and should be discussed with your pediatrician.

In this blog, our goal is to help you understand the cause of hair loss in babies and offer practical tips to care for your baby’s hair so that you can navigate this phase with confidence and reassurance.

Is It Normal For Babies To Lose Hair?

Yes, baby hair loss is quite normal and common. Most babies face hair loss in the first few months of their life. It is a natural part of the hair growth cycle, which is typically temporary.

It is commonly known as ‘acute telogen effluvium.’ Acute means it will not last long. It occurs when hair follicles go into a resting phase and shed old hair to make way for new hair growth.

Newborn hair loss can manifest in different ways, such as thinning hair, hair loss in patches, or temporary bald spots. It is more noticeable in babies born with a thick head of hair. Rest assured that the hair will grow back with time.

If you notice any unusual symptoms of hair loss or a change in your baby’s behavior or are worried about the baby’s hair loss. In that case, it is better to consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation.

Newborn Hair Loss Symptoms

Some newborns’ hair regrowth and loss occur simultaneously, so you may not notice a difference. However, the hair may sometimes fall out quickly, resulting in your baby being temporarily bald. Both of these situations are completely normal.

Here is a list of some additional symptoms you may observe:

  • The baby’s hair may appear thinner, with less volume and density.
  • Hair loss in the form of bald patches in specific places.
  • You may notice a receding hairline, particularly on the forehead or around the temples.
  • Loose strands of hair in your hand when carefully stroking your baby’s head.
  • Hair on the towel after bathing your baby.
  • Hair in places your baby rests their head, such as the crib and stroller.

It is important to remember that neonatal hair loss is common and typically a temporary phase that resolves on its own. However, if you have concerns or notice additional symptoms such as scalp redness, irritation, itching, or scales, it is best to consult a medical expert for advice.

Common Causes Of Hair Loss

Some common reasons that may cause hair loss in babies are:

Newborn Hair Loss

It is common for babies to experience hair loss in the first few months of life. This condition is known as telogen effluvium.

In this condition, the hair follicles go into the resting phase, leading to hair shedding. However, this is a temporary condition. The baby’s hair is eventually replaced with permanent hair. Usually, this process begins around 3 to 4 months of age and lasts a few weeks or months.

Rubbing or Friction

Rubbing or friction can cause hair loss in babies, especially on the back of their heads. The friction happens when they rub their head against a firm surface, such as crib mattresses, playpens, or car seats.

Don’t worry. There’s nothing to worry about. Their hair typically grows back once the baby starts sitting up. This condition is also known as friction alopecia or pressure alopecia.

Tight Hair Styles

If hair is pulled too tight, it can eventually break. This is commonly observed with braids, dreadlocks, or ponytails. Baby’s scalps are sensitive, and vigorous brushing and combing can also result in hair breakage. This type of hair loss is known as traction alopecia, mechanical alopecia, or “hair abuse.”

Ringworm

Ringworm, or ‘tinea capitis,’ is a fungal infection that can affect a baby’s scalp and lead to hair loss. The fungus infects the hair shafts and follicles, causing the weakening of the hair, which eventually results in hair loss.

If your baby is experiencing ringworm, you may notice round, patchy areas on the scalp with broken hair. These patches can be itchy and may show redness and scaling.

It is very important to seek medical advice if you suspect your baby has ringworm. So they can receive the appropriate treatment. The treatment may include the use of antifungal cream or taking oral medication.

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is a common condition in babies. It appears as yellowish, crusty, or scaly patches on the baby’s scalp. It is not painful and contagious. Hair loss is not directly caused by cradle cap.

When trying to remove stubborn scales, either with a comb or with the help of shampoo, there are chances of hair breakage and loss. It’s important not to pick or scratch the scales to avoid worsening the condition.

If you are worried about your baby’s cradle cap and hair loss, it is best to consult a doctor. They can evaluate the situation and provide guidance on a specific treatment. Such as using a cradle cap shampoo to make your baby’s scalp clean and healthy again.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a condition that can cause hair loss in babies, adults, and children. However, it is relatively rare in babies. In this condition, the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, resulting in patchy hair loss or hair loss across the entire scalp.

If you notice that your baby is experiencing hair loss in unusual patterns, it is essential to seek medical advice. The doctor will evaluate the condition, offer potential treatments or may refer to a pediatric dermatologist for expert advice.

When Do Babies Start Losing Hair?

During the first 6 months, hair loss in babies is common. Babies typically start losing their hair around 3 to 6 months of age. This is a normal process of a baby’s development, also known as ‘infant hair loss.’

After birth, babies have a fine layer of hair known as “lanugo.”This layer sheds and is gradually replaced with permanent hair. The hair usually grows back within a year. Parents are sometimes surprised when they see the baby’s newly grown hair is entirely different from what he/she was born with in terms of color and texture.

How To Treat Baby Hair Loss

Baby hair loss often resolves on its own. Usually, new hair begins to grow again after a few months. There’s nothing much you can do to stimulate the regrowth. But a few things you can consider doing to avoid hair breakage and loss.

If the bald spots result from your baby sleeping in the same position. Try switching up your baby’s nap time and nighttime sleeping positions. If your baby typically sleeps with their head in one position, try changing it every other night.

You can help reduce baby hair loss from friction by providing your baby with supervised tummy time while they are awake. This encourages neck and upper body strength while relieving strain on the back of the head. Tummy time can be done on your lap or a play mat.

If your baby is experiencing cradle cap, you should regularly wash their hair with a cradle cap shampoo. While shampooing, you can gently remove the scales with the help of a cradle cap brush or comb. To learn more about effective cradle cap treatment, take a look at our blog, How To Prevent Cradle Cap.

Talk to a doctor if you think your baby is losing hair because of a skin condition like cradle cap, ringworm, or fungal infection. They will check your baby’s health and look at their scalp to determine if a medical problem causes it. They will suggest a treatment plan based on your baby’s condition and needs.

Baby Hair Care Tips

Taking care of your baby’s scalp and hair is essential for their health and well-being. Here are some hair care tips:

Use a mild shampoo:

Choose a gentle baby shampoo free from harsh chemicals, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and dye-free. To maintain the natural pH level of the baby’s scalp.

Don’t overdo it:

Babies’ scalps are sensitive, and it is important to keep them clean. But you don’t have to shampoo their hair every day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is best to shampoo 2 to 3 times a week until it is necessary.

Use a soft brush:

Choose a baby brush or comb with soft bristles or teeth. Always avoid using adult brushes and combs. While brushing, gently detangle the baby’s hair without pulling them.

Avoid hot water:

Baby’s skin is sensitive, especially the scalp. You must use lukewarm water for their scalp and always avoid hot water. Test the water temperature with your elbow before applying it to their head.

Don’t scrub:

Never rub the baby’s hair with a towel after washing it. Instead, pat dry their hair gently. Vigorous rubbing can cause hair breakage and tangling.

Avoid tight hairstyles:

Avoid hairstyles that pull the hair tightly, leading to hair breakage. Go for comfortable hairstyles that allow the scalp to breathe.

Be mindful of the cradle cap:

Cradle cap causes dry, flaky patches on the scalp and affects many babies. Ensure you use a pediatrician approved baby shampoo for cradle cap and a soft-bristled cradle cap comb or brush to remove the scales gently.

Be patient:

Allow the baby’s hair to grow naturally, and be patient with it. Avoid using adult hair care products and treatments without consulting a doctor. And don’t try useless remedies from the internet to grow the baby’s hair back faster.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be surprising and confusing for parents to see their baby’s once-perfect curls turn into wispy strands. But there’s nothing to worry about because baby hair loss is completely normal.

Newborns often experience a temporary hair loss phase called alopecia, a natural part of the hair growth cycle. The baby’s hair will eventually regrow but can have different textures and colors.

There are several reasons for baby hair loss, such as rubbing and friction, tight hairstyles, or a medical condition like ringworm, cradle cap, and alopecia areata. Parents can ensure their baby’s healthy hair by attaining the right treatment and adopting gentle hair care practices.

Experience the best for your baby’s skin and hair with Dr. Eddies Happy Cappy products. Enjoy the benefits of smooth, hydrated skin and soothing scalp relief. Treat your little one to ultimate care with Happy Cappy!

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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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Is It Normal for Babies to Lose Hair?

Yes, it is completely normal for babies to lose hair in the first few months of their life. It is a natural part of their development cycle. During this, the baby hair is replaced with permanent hair. This phenomenon is known as ‘baby hair loss’ or ‘infant hair loss.

When Does Baby Hair Loss Occur?

Baby hair loss occurs around 3 to 6 months of age. The timing and duration may vary from one baby to another.

Why Do Babies Lose Their Hair?

The most common cause of hair loss in babies is telogen effluvium, which is a natural process. But some of the other reasons that can cause baby hair loss are rubbing and friction, tight hairstyles, cradle cap, ringworm, and alopecia areata.

Will My Baby’s Hair Grow Back?

Yes, in most cases, your baby’s hair will regrow in some time. However, the new hair may have a different texture or color.

Can I Prevent Baby Hair Loss?

Unfortunately, baby hair loss is natural and can’t be entirely prevented. However, you can minimize hair loss from friction by changing your baby’s sleeping position every other day, encouraging tummy time, and avoiding tight hairstyles.

When to Consult a Doctor for Baby Hair Loss?

You should consult a doctor for baby hair loss if you notice sudden or extreme hair loss, accompanying symptoms of rashes, scaly patches, redness, bald patches, or any concerns about your baby’s health.

Can Cradle Cap Cause Hair Loss in Babies?

Cradle cap is a common scalp condition in babies that causes flaky, scaly patches on the scalp. Hair loss due to cradle cap is rare. Although while removing the scales from your baby’s scalp either with shampoo or with a soft-bristled brush, there is a very strong chance they might lose some hair.

Can Baby Products and Shampoo Cause Hair Loss in Babies?

Using products or shampoo that contain harsh ingredients can damage the baby’s hair and scalp and result in baby hair loss. But if you choose the appropriate baby products that are gentle, fragrance-free, paraben-free, dye-free, and specially formulated for babies they won’t affect your baby’s hair and scalp. Eddie’s 3 Step Baby Skincare Routine Bundle is a great option for a baby’s sensitive skin and scalp.

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