10 Essential Tips for Taking Care of Baby's Hair
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10 Essential Tips for Taking Care of Baby's Hair

Your baby's skin and hair are extra delicate during the first year, so it's important for parents to practice proper baby hair care. Check out this blog post to find out how to properly care for your baby's sensitive hair.

From hair loss to hair growth, from cradle cap to oily scalp, from curly hair to straight hair, there are many factors to consider when it comes to how to take care of a baby's hair!

Baby hair care doesn't have to be complicated, but it does involve some special precautions. Babies, especially newborns, are sensitive to dyes, fragrances, and other harsh additives, so it's important to exercise caution when it comes to using hair products on baby hair.

Read on to find out more about how to become a pro at baby hair care.

How to Take Care of Your Baby's Hair 

Mother brushing baby's hair

1. When do babies grow hair?

Newborn hair varies among babies. Some babies are born totally bald, some hair a little hair and bald spots, and some are born with a luxurious head of hair. Don't fret - even if your baby is born without any hair, the hair follicles have already been developed beginning around week 14 of pregnancy, setting the stage for your baby's hair to grow over time.

How much hair your baby is born with can't really be determined before they are born. Most babies are born with small amounts of hair, and most babies experience hair loss between 2 and 3 months of age.

Whether your baby was born with bald patches or a full head of hair, try not to worry. Hair grows eventually. If your baby's hair is thin and sparse, it doesn't predict that they'll have thin hair when they grow up. A child's hair can change a lot in the first years of their life.

2. Why Do Babies Lose Their Hair?

Hair growth for babies varies widely, and many babies actually lose hair within the first few months of life. Even if your baby was born with a full head of hair, it's possible that much of that will fall out (and then grow back!) over the course of the first year. Infant hair loss is usually nothing to be concerned about.

The "exogenous phase" of baby hair

Hair growth and hair loss is perfectly normal for babies. Sometimes, hair loss is connected to the dramatic decrease of pregnancy hormones in a baby's body. This change in hormone levels can cause the exogenous phase of the scalp, causing hair to fall out. Parents can rest assured that most experts agree that infant hair loss is not a major issue.

The exogenous phase is typically followed by new hair growth, which can be encouraged through using baby products that promote new hair. Some parents might even notice that the new hair that begins to grow isn't the same color or texture as their newborn's hair they were born with.

You might notice that the new hair that appears on your baby's scalp is much different than the hair they were born with. Thick hair can turn thin, blonde hair can darken, and baby curls might turn into straight locks. The early years are unpredictable!

When Can I Start Washing My Baby's Hair?

You can start washing your baby's hair right after birth, but it can be helpful for hair health to wash infrequently. Your baby's hair is extra sensitive, so try to only wash it when you notice it's dirty or needs a cleaning! Infants deal with many different skin conditions, including cradle cap, throughout the first months, but thankfully, many of these clear up on their own as your baby grows.

3. Keep your baby off of their back when they're awake. 

Smiling baby tummy time

It's normal, and common, for newborns and young babies to develop bald patches on the back of their heads, especially because infants should be placed on their backs to sleep. Parents should always help their baby sleep on their back (per SIDS prevention guidelines), but during the baby's awake times, they can encourage their child to keep their head up, off of the floor.

Tummy time can and holding a baby upright can help prevent the development of bald patches at young age. Parents can also play with their baby in their lap, or sitting them upright while reading stories, protecting their little one's hair by keeping the back of their head off of the floor.

4. Avoid over-brushing your baby's hair.

Just like your baby's skin is ultra-sensitive in the early months, your baby's hair is also delicate. Don't overbrush your baby's hair - this can cause damage and breakage. Gently brush your baby's hair to whatever style you please, and then leave them be!

Avoid brushing your baby's hair while it's wet.

Brushing your baby's wet hair can damage it. Even if your little one has thick, healthy hair, encourage hair growth by brushing with a comb instead of a brush with harsh bristles.

5. Try to avoid tight hairstyles. 

Baby girl on her stomach

If your baby has long hair and you're tempted to style it, just try to avoid pulling it back tightly and using harsh hair bows and clips. Protect your baby's scalp and hair by using soft bands and clips that won't pull at the hair. 

Beautiful Baby in white bedding with blue eye

Avoid using headbands and ponytails that pull the hair too tightly, which can cause damage. Many parents have effectively dealt with their baby's wild hair by using cute baseball caps, soft headbands, or bows that don't pull at the strands of hair.

6. Eat healthy food. 

baby eating solid food

In order to promote a baby's hair growth, they should eat a balanced diet full of whole foods if they are old enough to eat solids. If your baby is younger than six months, they can rely on breast milk or formula to help give them the essential nutrients that they need for healthy hair.

Once the baby is old enough to eat solid food, focus on foods that promote healthy hair and skin, taking into consideration protein, calcium, carbohydrates, whole grains, healthy fats, iron, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.

7. Use coconut oil to help soothe baby hair. 

Coconut oil and fresh coconuts

Parents can use coconut oil to help their baby's scalp and soothe cradle cap. If you notice dry, red patches on your baby, coconut oil can be used to alleviate this very common skin condition. Gently wash your baby's hair after massaging coconut oil into their scalp, and then keep the scalp clean with baby shampoo, warm water, and a gentle soft brush.

Coconut oil can be used on a baby's scalp after bath time. Research shows that certain properties of coconut oil can soothe a dry scalp and combat hair damage. Massaging the oil into your baby's scalp and hair can help improve blood circulation as well.

8. You don't need to wash your baby's hair every day. 

mother and a child with KeaBabies hooded towel

Your little one's hair can remain healthy even without being washed every single day. Frequent washing can disrupt the natural oils in your baby's hair. Parents can quickly shampoo their baby's hair every few days or just a couple of times each week, or whenever the hair is dirty.

Gently pat baby's hair dry with a soft towel after each wash.

9. Use proper hair care products for infants. 

baby bath time

Parents should only use gentle shampoo at bath time. Speed hair growth by using products made specifically for babies, without harsh chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Baby hair is different than adult hair, and they need products like a gentle baby shampoo as part of their washing routine.

Don't be too hard with the scalp massage for your baby. Scratching and pulling at the scalp can cause stress to the hair follicles and speed up hair loss. Gently massage a gentle shampoo onto your baby's hair, and then wash and rinse without scrubbing too hard. You can wash your baby's hair a few times each week for the best results and least damage.

10. Use a soft-bristle brush or a wide-toothed comb 

brushing baby's hair with KeaBabies hairbrush

Parents should only use a soft brush or a wide-toothed comb that won't catch on tangles and knots, or pull at their baby's hair. Practicing good hair care techniques at such a young age can help their baby's hair stay healthy as they grow up.

Baby hair is usually soft and thin, which means it doesn't easily tangle. Using a tear free shampoo and lukewarm water, and then doing regular brushing with a wide toothed comb or soft bristle brush can help ensure that your baby's permanent hair will be healthy and strong.

The KeaBabies Baby Hair Brush and Comb Set is an excellent option for parents.

The KeaBabies Baby Hair Brush and Comb Set is the perfect choice for parents. This 3-in-1 baby scalp and hair care set includes a bamboo bristle brush, a pearwood comb, and a natural beech wood soft bristle brush.

This brush set promotes healthy hair growth and prevents cradle cap. Using a soft bristle brush to gently scrub at your baby's scalp when you notice dry patches can help cradle cap heal faster. It is also best for cradle cap to use a soft brush, not one with harsh bristles that can scratch a baby's head.

Taking care of a baby's hair isn't complicated. 

cute baby wearing a soft headband and holding KeaBabies hairbrush

By following these 10 tips for caring for your newborn's hair or infant's hair, you can help your little one's hair grow strong and healthy throughout their first year. Always consult with your baby's pediatrician before trying any new hair products on your baby. 

Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez

I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.

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