Newborns often shed their locks shortly after birth due to significant hormonal shifts as their body metabolizes their mother’s hormones. While it might cause some concern, most new parents need not worry as this happens naturally with each birth. Babies may rub their heads against mattresses or car seats, rubbing off hair. This is also normal and will correct itself as they become more mobile and start sitting and moving about more freely.
Baby hair loss is usually completely average and should subside within six months because baby hair grows much faster than adult hair, stretches its follicles to their limit, and then falls out. An unexpected hormonal shift may prompt all your follicles to go into resting mode at once, leading to sudden hair fallout. Don’t panic; your locks will return once all strands have relaxed. Other causes of baby hair loss may include cradle cap, which causes flaky, red patches on the scalp (seborrheic dermatitis). This usually goes away on its own without needing treatment, while friction on the head caused by constant rubbing against surfaces like crib mattresses, strollers, or car seats may also contribute. Once children sit up independently, they tend to stop rubbing their heads against things as much, and this problem usually corrects itself.
Finding that your newborn had full locks of hair at birth may leave you alarmed; however, infant hair loss is pretty standard and usually due to hormonal changes. Your newborn may sometimes experience crusty and scaly patches on their scalp that look similar to hardened dandruff, a condition known as cradle cap. While you can gently brush away this condition without picking at it, hair might also appear all over his crib or toys. It should only affect short-haired babies, though. Frequent rubbing against firm surfaces, such as the crib mattress or stroller, may lead to hair breaking off and falling out, while excessive combing could place undue stress on hair follicles leading to further hair loss. If any of these symptoms appear in your child, visit a pediatrician immediately who may prescribe medicated shampoos and creams that reduce inflammation.
Baby hair loss should only last a short while; in most cases, they’ll regain a full head of beautiful locks in no time. If you are concerned, consult your pediatrician, as they can confirm whether fluctuating hormones or something else could be at play. Other causes of infant hair loss can include fungal infections like tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp), psychological conditions like trichotillomania and alopecia areata, tight hairstyles or abrasions caused by playing with siblings’ hair, allergies, or tight braids that pull on it too tightly. A healthy diet and regular hair washing with gentle shampoos such as Mustela’s Foam Shampoo for Newborns will also help ensure nutrient deficiencies don’t lead to further hair loss in infants. Avoid tight and tightly braided styles as this can increase stress on their hair follicles; instead, opt for loose, soft styles that won’t pull on their scalps. Also, try not combing or washing their hair daily, as this could irritate their scalps and increase shedding/hair loss rates.
There’s not much you can do to stop natural baby hair loss; usually, the initial six months of loss are simply part of development and will soon be followed by new growth. While your body was pregnant, its hormones activated the resting phase of your baby’s follicles to cause natural shedding of their locks. You can help lessen this effect by regularly shampooing with mild, baby-safe shampoo and not tying their locks too tightly; this will reduce friction on their scalps and maintain healthier locks for your little one. Try switching up which side your baby sleeps on to prevent constant rubbing of one spot and flat spots developing from too much pressure being exerted on any one area of their head. Over time, your child’s hair should thicken and resemble that of their parents.