Hair loss in babies, especially in their first 3-6 months after birth, is very normal. Some babies lose their hair due to a drop of telogen effluvium hormone after birth. They also may lose hair due to friction, such as being rubbed on the head too often or if they have ringworms. Babies who are not affected by any of the causes above are likely not to lose their hair.
Hair loss ought not to cause too much worry, especially if it is not a result of an infection such as ringworms. At around one year, a baby shall have regained all the hair that they had previously lost, which means that infancy hair loss will not affect them further in the future.
Hair loss should only cause worries if it results from health-related problems such as ringworms or alopecia which refers to loss of hair in patches and is caused by reduced immunity in babies. Both these conditions can be treated with the help of a specialist and are non-life-threatening.
One can help the baby’s hair grow back by avoiding rubbing them on their heads too often and maximizing instead on tummy time. You can also let them sleep on their backs so they can roll on their own to allow hair lost on the sides of the baby’s head to grow back.
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Possible Causes Of Hair Loss In Babies And Infants
Some of the most common causes of infant hair loss are the following:
Constant friction: Babies spend a lot of time on their back and tummy before they can sit up. The head contacts external surfaces naturally. Repeated contact can cause friction, which can lead to hair loss if severe enough. This type of hair loss is referred to as alopecia friction or alopecia pressure. Hair loss usually stops as soon as the baby learns to sit and lies more time.
Scalp infections, such as ringworm (tinea capitis) which may be bacterial or fungal, may cause hair loss in newborns. Ringworm can create bald patches as circular areas on the baby’s scalp.
Allergies: allergic reactions of any kind may lead to hair loss. A newborn may be allergic to your scalp’s massage oil. Hair loss may also be caused by allergic and eczema reactions. Seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema typically noticed on a baby’s head, often referred to as a cradle cap.
The hair loss might be caused by repeated hair tugging if your infant is playing with his hair or a sibling yanking his hair. One of the causes could be psychological problems such as trichotillomania, in which the person affected enjoys hair removal.
Vital hairstyles: tight hair tightening is a significant cause of hair loss in older kids and kids. Avoid binding your hair so tight that it destroys your hair follicles and breaks and sheds.
Disease and stress: An underlying disease or fever can weaken the hair follicle and lead to hair loss.
Several circumstances can cause the loss of hair. As a result, it is essential to notice hair loss indications in newborns to treat them more successfully.
What To Do If Your Baby Starts To Lose Their Hair
It appears that your baby is changing daily during the first few months of their life. Some of these changes are exciting, such as gaining weight, smiling at you, and being able to hold their head up on their own, to name a few.
One of the most alarming changes that can occur during pregnancy is baby hair loss. The night before, your baby appeared to be in good health. The following day, however, a small clump of hair is discovered in their crib. You decide to look into it. Is this a symptom of anything more serious? Is there any reason to be concerned?
We want to reassure you that neonatal hair loss is entirely average and should not be taken seriously. You lost some hair during your pregnancy (and will continue to lose some after your child is born) for the same reason they are: hormones.
Most individuals are baffled as to how and why it occurs. What should concerned parents do if their child begins to lose their hair at a young age? Mustela’s experts will be able to answer all of your inquiries and alleviate any concerns you may have concerning newborn hair loss.
Is there a reason for baby hair loss, and how does it happen?
To grasp the complexities of neonatal hair loss, it’s essential to realize that the technical term for this disorder is telogen effluvium (also known as alopecia areata). Because telogen effluvium can relate to a wide range of hair loss in babies, children, and adults, the term can be misleading and concerning.
However, none of the more serious causes of telogen effluvium, such as physical or mental stress, chronic illness, or anemia, are likely to be the leading cause of your baby’s hair loss.
Hair goes through two stages: growing and resting. During the resting period, hair remains in the follicle until new hair grows from the follicle opening.
Typically, as we get older, 5 to 15% of the hair on our scalp is in the resting phase at any given time. Stressful circumstances, such as a fever or a hormonal imbalance, can cause a large number of hairs to cease growing all at once.
Because of the tremendous swings in a newborn’s hormone levels right after birth, it is likely that they will lose their natal hair. Their bodies are eliminating hormones from their mother’s body and replacing them with hormones better suited to their new environment outside the womb.
It is usual for babies to lose their hair?
There is nothing to worry about whether your baby’s hair falls out in tufts here and there or is entirely bald.
This is because sudden hair loss (telogen effluvium) later in age is usually an indication of a more serious condition, so most adults instantly assume the worst: cancer. Again, this is not always the case with babies.
The fluctuating hormone levels that cause hair loss are a common component of men’s and women’s growth processes.
In the following steps, you will learn how to identify normal baby hair loss:
Normal newborn hair loss has no impact on your kid’s growth in any manner, shape, or form. They won’t even realize what’s going on or that it’s occurring!
Normal baby hair loss manifests as the following signs and symptoms
It is not advisable to have hair on your child’s cot, stroller, or any other place where their headrests are.
Gather the loose strands of hair in your palm after you’ve touched your baby’s head.
It is common to find hair in the bath or on the towel used to dry them off.
Hair that remains in a hat after it has been removed (especially noticeable during the winter)
If these are the only signs you see, there is no need to worry; your newborn is merely entering a new stage of development at this time.
If your child’s behavior changes around the same time you observe hair loss, take them to the pediatrician to ensure that nothing is wrong.
Will your child’s hair grow back?
Yes, your child’s hair will regrow; therefore, there is no need to be alarmed.
In some neonates, the process is more gradual, resulting in both hair loss and hair growth at the same time. While you may find hair in your hand or their cot, you may not notice a significant difference in the appearance of your child’s hair.
When it comes to other babies, the process is faster, and your newborn could be utterly bald in just a few days.
Both of these scenarios are common, and the hair will grow back in the weeks and months that follow. Although the new hair may appear different from the hair they were born with, this is improbable. It is pretty rare for your baby’s hair to completely change colour and texture after the initial hair loss.
When your child’s hormone levels return to normal, their hair, which was previously brown, may turn blonde. Depending on the situation, it can go from curly to straight or thick to thin. Your baby’s genes, as well as the new hormones they produce as they grow, determine the eventual outcome.
When does baby hair start to fall out?
Within the first six months of life, most babies will lose some or all of their hair.
With no set schedule, it could happen right away after they get home from the hospital, or it could take some time before they are rolling from their back to their stomach and sitting up on their own.
Fortunately, by the age of one, the majority of babies’ hair will have completely regrown. Even if they start losing their hair at the age of six months, they will most likely be back to normal in another six months at the most.
What to Do If Your Baby losing their hair
Please keep in mind that your baby’s hair loss is a natural process that occurs within their body and that there is little you can do to prevent the condition from occurring.
However, by following these simple measures, you can assist in mitigating the severity of the problem.
1) Don’t get stirred up over it.
As previously stated, your baby’s hair loss is nearly often caused by the regular changes in hormone levels that occur in their body as their body metabolizes and replaces them with more appropriate and kinder newborn hormones.
There is very little chance that their hair loss is caused by something other than chemotherapy. As soon as you see that the baby’s hair is falling, you must begin checking for any other symptoms, as it’s usually best to be overly careful in conditions like these.
2) Look For Other Symptoms
A change in your baby’s behaviour caused by hair loss is one of the most obvious symptoms that something more serious is wrong with them.
Is your youngster sleeping less than normal for no discernible reason? Are they reluctant to consume foods they used to enjoy? Is it possible that they’re behaving oddly?
While these are not diagnostic symptoms in and of themselves (kids constantly modify the way they sleep, eat, and act), they can serve as warning indicators of an underlying problem. The following are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for:
Patchy bald spots on the scalp with red, flaky scales
Isolated smooth, round, and entirely hairless patches
A medical ailment is indicated by swelling of the tongue and around the eyes and chilly, pale skin.
Dehydration is characterized by increased thirst and urine.
Although none of these symptoms indicate a life-threatening disease, you must seek further medical attention if you detect any of them in your infant.
It’s crucial to realize that hair loss might be caused by external reasons unrelated to your baby’s hormone levels.
If you often put your baby’s hair in a ponytail (of any size or position on their head), the tightness of the ponytail may cause them to lose some hair. Probably, your baby’s frequent twisting or pulling of their hair will result in uneven patches of hair falling out.
3) Take note of how your baby sits and sleeps.
Furthermore, the way your child sits and sleeps may have an impact on their external hair loss. When you start paying attention, you may notice that your baby spends a lot of time in the same position over and over.
For example, they shift their heads to the right while sleeping to look out the window at the world outside their bed. As soon as they sit in their seats, they turn their heads to the right to look out the window.
Keeping your child in the same position for a lengthy amount of time may put pressure on their skin, causing friction and hair loss. If your baby generally sleeps with their head at one end of the crib, you can try putting them down with their lead at the opposite end of the crib for a night or two.
Include Tummy Time
All young babies must spend time on their tummies. This not only allows them to rest their heads and minimize hair loss, but it is also suitable for their overall health and physical growth.
When newborns are on their stomachs, they must work hard to lift their heads, turn their necks, see their parents, and connect with the rest of the world.
As a result, tummy time benefits your baby’s development by assisting them in learning to push up, roll over, sit up, crawl, and eventually stand-all of which are crucial developmental milestones in your baby’s life.
You start exercising tummy time with your baby as soon as she is born. Keep an eye on them in this position until they’ve learned the capacity to move heads efficiently on their own. If they do fall asleep, flip them over onto their backs as soon as possible.
Remember that tummy time should only be done when you are present to supervise it properly. Never let your baby sleep on their stomach until they can roll over.
5) Gently massage your baby’s scalp.
While you won’t prevent hair loss, you can lessen its effects by caring for your baby’s scalp and hair.
Here are a few simple recommendations:
Headbands should be avoided at all costs.
Avoid overlying your braids or ponytails.
Comb your baby’s hair with a soft baby brush.
Hair should be combed only once every other day.
Leave your baby’s hairstyle to the specialists.
Do not style their hair with a hairdryer.
Do not put a hat or cap on their heads if it is excessively hot outside.
Try not to shampoo your baby’s hair every day (see number 6).
One of the most effective ways to reduce the effects of newborn hair loss is to avoid washing your baby’s hair regularly. Even moderate washing and light friction of your hands on their scalp may cause them to lose their hair faster.
When you wash your baby’s hair, use a baby-formulated shampoo, such as Mustela’s Careful Shampoo or Mustela’s Foam Shampoo For Newborns, and be especially careful to avoid further stressing the scalp and hair follicles.
7) Accept that infant hair loss is a regular occurrence.
Understand that even if you strictly adhere to the guidelines on this list, your kid may eventually lose some or all of the hair they were born with. Again, don’t be concerned. The hair will regrow in its natural state over time.
The most important thing you can do is accept your child’s hair loss as a regular part of their development. We recommend that they save a portion of their hair loss in an envelope as a keepsake of their first few months of pregnancy.
Consider how much fun it will be to show them the straight blonde hair they were born with and compare it to the brown curly hair they now have when they are older.
If necessary, discuss newborn hair loss with your pediatrician.
Consult your pediatrician right away if you are concerned about your baby’s hair loss or if you notice any of the symptoms listed earlier in this article.
The doctor shall either verify that the issue is just due to hormones or will be capable to inform you whether the situation is more significant. In either case, it will put your mind at ease and help you feel better overall. And this is advantageous to both you and your child.