Why and When Do Babies Lose Their Hair? – Problems and Solutions Decoded!

Just like adult hair loss, baby hair loss is a sensitive topic. But the good news is, it might not be as serious as it seems. And even more so – rarely associated with any medical condition! 

Like all physical features, all babies have different hair types and amounts. Some might have a head full of hair tufts, whereas some could have hairs next to zero. Others lie somewhere in between these two extremes. Therefore, it is impossible to predict the hair growth pattern of babies.

Because of this, many parents are concerned about why and when babies lose their hair. And how to grow them back? Drop your concerns, as here are all the answers you need!  

What Is The Natural Mechanism Of Baby Hair Growth?

The process of hair growth in babies starts before they are even born. During their preterm days, the production of hair seeds – known as hair follicles – is started. These follicles are embedded in the scalp by the 14th or 15th week of gestation. 

Over time, the follicles grow fine, soft, and unpigmented hairs known as lanugo on the fetus. These hairs protect the skin of the baby from the physical trauma before birth. Lanugo hairs are dependent on the maternal hormonal signals for growth. Thus, they are normally present in all fetuses.   

Why Do Babies Lose Their Hair? 

Natural baby hair growth depends on the exogen or hormonal surge of the maternal blood during pregnancy. During the prepartum days, the maternal blood is flooded with growth factors and hormones that help the baby develop and grow. 

During this phase, like every body part, the hair development also undergoes growth. It results in the tufts of hair on the baby's head and mothers during prepartum days. However, after the birth, there is a drastic dip in hormones, known as a telogen wave. This sudden decrease results in the baby losing hair after birth – And it is perfectly normal!

Other than this natural phenomenon, some other causes might lead to hair loss in babies. These include:

  • Cradle cap
  • Crib friction
  • Ringworms
  • Alopecia areata 
  • Dry skin  

When Do Babies Lose Their Hair?

Ideally, the babies lose their natural natural during the first six months of their lives. Right after birth, the growth factors start titrating in the baby's blood. This results in a slow loss of baby hair. Some experts also say that baby hair loss begins within the womb during the last trimester of pregnancy.

The actual loss of baby hair starts to be noticeable during the second month of life. Further on, there is a complete baby losing hair at month 3 or 4th of their lives. Surprisingly, this is also when the mother starts to experience postpartum hair loss. Thus proving that hormones are the real culprit behind hair loss after birth!      

When Do Baby Hairs Grow Back?

The hair growth cycle of babies usually takes 12 weeks for the hair to grow back. This duration may vary from baby to baby. This period is normally between 6 to 18 months for the scalp to grow all the hairs back. 

Babies with naturally slow hair growth may even take up to 2 years to grow back. However, it is important to understand that baby hair's natural texture and color might be different from at birth. The regrowth of hairs is dependent on genes and DNA traits. Therefore, the hairs that grow back will differ from the lanugo hairs.  

How To Grow Back Baby Hair? – Growth Care Tips 

Growing hair back can be tough. But if you are consistent enough, your baby can have dense, thick, shiny, and smooth hair quickly. Follow these tips for pepper hair care for your baby.

1. Use a gentle and tear-free shampoo

A good quality baby shampoo is chemical-free, sulfate-free, and paraben-free. A chemical shampoo often harms the baby's scalp, causing redness, flakiness, and further hair loss. A gentle shampoo helps prevent this hair loss by cleansing the scalp without causing any damage to the hair follicles. Following baby shampoos can help in the gentle hair care of your baby:

  • Purelitto's Gentle Baby Wash
  • SheaMoisture Baby Wash and Shampoo
  • Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash
  • Burt Bee's Baby Shampoo
  • Babo Botanicals sensitive baby shampoo

2. Massage baby's scalp

Scalp Massage can boost hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles. So, give your baby a soft scalp massage once or twice a week. You need a lightweight baby oil to increase results.

3. Trim your baby's hair more often

Cutting and trimming baby hair boosts hair density, encouraging heavy and voluminous hair growth. Plus, it helps to make your baby look presentable and cute! 

4. Practice more "Tummy Time" with your baby

Since friction is a big, leading cause of hair loss in babies, lying on the stomach occasionally can help avoid this cause. It will prevent the excessive rubbing and shedding of hairs on the scalp and give proper time for new hair growth. 

5. Follow proper hair wash technique

Your hair washing technique is also a big factor in determining your baby's hair growth. The trick is to stay gentle and soft! Prepare a bathtub with water that is neither too hot nor too cold. Gently lather soap and shampoo, avoiding eyes. Rinse off the shampoo and then towel dry the baby by patting gently.       

When Do Babies Lose Their Hair? – FAQs

Do all babies lose hair? 

Yes, all babies lose hair. This hair loss is a natural mechanism that depends upon the body's hormonal levels. After birth, these levels fall, and babies experience hair loss.  

When should you give your baby the first haircut?

The ideal time for a baby's first cut is not always the same. However, it can be around one year of age when the hair has outgrown properly. 

Does baby hair change its color? 

Yes, baby hair does change its color. Once the lanugo hairs have fallen off, the true hair features based on genetics start to develop. During this time, the hair may change its color, texture, and other features. ​​