Hair Loss in the Newborn: Everything You Need to Know
Many parents worry about hair loss in newborns. Hair loss in children is a completely normal process during the first six months.
Why do babies lose hair?
Each hair has a growth stage and a resting stage, in which the hair remains in the follicle until a new one appears. The period of growth lasts about three years, while the resting stage usually takes three months.
Most of the time, 5% to 15% of the hair is kept in the resting stage so that the hair can be regenerated without the appearance of obvious alopecia. In these cases, as the hair falls, it starts to come out again, so that the transition is just noticeable.
When should you worry?
Hair loss in the baby is a completely natural process, but sometimes it can be due to other health problems. For example, if your baby has a reddish peeling in areas with baldness, it may be a fungal infection known as ringworm of the scalp or dermatophytosis. Seborrheic dermatitis, a skin condition that causes thick scales, can also cause hair loss.
Also, some medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, a disorder of the thyroid gland or hypopituitarism, the deficient activity of the pituitary gland, can cause widespread hair loss in the first month of life.
In these cases, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist who determines if the hair loss is natural or due to a specific cause, in which case it is convenient to start as quickly as possible with the most appropriate treatment.
3 Tips to Stimulate Hair Growth in the Baby
There is nothing you can do about your baby's hair loss, except waiting for the new one to come out. However, there are some measures you can take preventing the baby from losing hair irregularly, as well as stimulating hair growth.
1. Wash your baby's head regularly, whether or not you have hair. In this way, you make sure that the follicles can “breathe” properly, which will ensure proper hair growth.
2. Alternate the position of the baby at bedtime, in this way you will always avoid exerting pressure on the same side of the head, one of the most frequent causes of newborn hair loss.
3. Avoid cutting the baby's hair, at least until the final one comes out since this prevents you from losing body heat through the head, one of the body's heat release points.
Washing Baby Hair
Washing hair is important not only for cleanliness but also for stimulating the scalp. Since baby hair is usually very fine in the first months, it is sufficient to clean the little head with lukewarm water or a damp soft sponge. If the hair is fuller, you can use a mild baby shampoo without fragrances. When caring for baby hair, always make sure not to put pressure on the baby's head. The skull is not closed in babies and therefore very sensitive.
Since many children do not like it when they have water in their face, keep your baby shampooing so that the water runs backward. If bathing is a problem for your baby anyway, you can wrap your little one wrapped in a towel over the tub and dab the fluff gently with a soft sponge.
Watch for lukewarm water temperature. After shampooing, gently wipe your baby off with a fluffy towel so it does not catch a cold. Please do not use a hairdryer, because the warm airflow for the sensitive baby skin can get too hot. After shampooing, your baby will enjoy a gentle massage with the soft baby brush, as well as preventing head gnats.
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