Have you ever wondered why some babies might experience hair loss or thinning hair at such a young age? Some babies are born with little or no hair, while others are born with a thick head of hair. Many babies born with hair lose it within the months following birth, so the baby might have less hair at 6 or 12 months than they did when they were born. Other babies born with little or no hair might have thicker hair when they reach the 6 or 12 month mark, and some babies may appear bald throughout infancy and into early childhood.
The first thing to remember is that your baby's thinning hair (or lack of hair) is rarely a cause for concern, unless the baby's scalp or hair shafts look abnormal. Talk to your pediatrician and ask questions to give you peace of mind, but remember: it is completely normal for babies to lose their hair soon after birth, or to be born bald.
Next, it is important to understand that all human hair naturally goes through a growth cycle, including baby hair. At the end of this growth cycle, old hair sheds to make room for new hair. Sometimes, the shedding occurs before new hair begins to show, while in other cases, the new hair pushes the hair out of the follicle as it grows.
This growth cycle is the primary reason why some babies are born with hair and lose it, as well as why some babies are born with no hair. Simply put, the hair on a newborn's head starts going through the growth cycle before the baby is born. Babies born with a full head of hair have hair that is farther along in the growth cycle. Most of those babies begin to lose that hair soon after birth because the hair sheds to make room for new hair. The new hair may take several months to grow back, which can cause some parents to be concerned over why their new baby, who was born with a lot of hair, is now suddenly bald. Again, this is a common situation, but consult your pediatrician if you are concerned.
Babies born bald might have hair follicles that have not yet entered the phase of the hair growth cycle when hair appears on top of the head. Or, they might have already shed some hair while still in the womb.
Pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene indicates that most babies go through two hair cycles during the first year. For some babies, the old hair sheds at the same time the new hair begins to grow, so it appears as though they never lose any hair. When the cycles are spread out longer over time, the baby appears bald in between the two cycles. However, some baby hair takes longer to enter the second cycle—sometimes as long as 18 months—meaning the baby might not grow visible hair until he or she is a toddler.
Genetics and ethnicity also play a role in a baby's head of hair. They affect the amount of hair a baby has when born and during infancy, the timing of the hair growth cycles, and the texture of the baby's hair. The bottom line is, hair cycles in babies vary significantly, and periodic baldness throughout the first few years of life are rarely a cause for concern.
Photo Courtesy of Infantcrisis.org