Hair loss is something that most of us usually associate with adults. However, it can also happen to babies during their first six months. In fact, some babies may be born with a good head of hair, then lose it all, only for it to grow back again.
Watching your baby go bald may make you worry, but in the majority of cases, this is a regular cycle that will balance itself out. Read on to find why infant hair loss happens and what you can do about it.
Why Does Infant Hair Loss Happen?
Hair has a natural cycle of growth, followed by a resting period. Immediately after birth, your baby will go through a series of significant hormonal changes that can send the normal hair cycle into overdrive. Therefore, it is perfectly normal to notice strands of hair or even whole patches of hair falling out during this time.
Most infant hair loss occurs in the first six months of your little one’s life. During pregnancy, a mother’s hormones stimulate a baby’s hair growth. As the amount of those hormones drops off, your baby might start losing their hair. This period doesn’t last for long, but it explains why a baby may be born with completely different hair color and texture than what they grow up with.
Other Common Causes of Infant Hair Loss
Friction: Your baby may lose some hair for reasons other than their hormones adapting to their new surroundings! It is relatively common for some babies to lose hair due to friction with surfaces such as crib mattresses or strollers. As babies spend a lot of time on their backs while napping, it is quite common for some small hairless patches to show up on the backs of their scalps. This issue usually resolves itself once they can flip themselves onto their bellies.
Cradle Cap: This very common skin condition in babies and has similar symptoms to dandruff. It can lead to patchy scaling or thick crusts on the skin. The good news is that it looks worse than it is, and it will not usually cause any discomfort for your baby. It usually clears up by itself without any need for treatment.
Ringworm: It isn’t all that common for babies to get ringworm, which is caused by fungi. However, it is highly contagious, so if any older siblings or adults have it, you should make sure that they don’t use the same hairbrush or share other items with your baby.
Things You Can Do
If your baby’s hair loss is caused by hormone levels, then there isn’t a great deal you can do about it. On the other hand, if you expect that the hair loss might be down to some other medical condition, then it is worth discussing your concerns with your pediatrician.
Generally, you should aim to keep things simple when it comes to your baby’s hair care. Don’t wash your baby’s hair every day; just a couple of times a week is enough. Use mild baby shampoo and only apply a small amount at bath time.