When new mother Mackenzie shared this picture with her two and a half month old daughter Isabelle, it was instant love. The little one's impressive mane garnered instant attention when her mother uploaded this picture online. And then other moms came forward to share photos of their own little babies with lots of hair...
Beautiful, right? And this brings up the inevitable question: why are some babies born with a full head of hair, while some are born bald or with sparse hair? Before you worry yourself sick about why your baby does not have much or any hair, here's what you need to know.
A baby's hair type (thick or thin, straight or curly) and hair color are determined by his parents' genes and ethnicity. So if you and your husband both have fine, straight hair, chances are high that your baby will also have fine, straight hair. Or if you have thick, straight hair and your husband has thin, curly hair, your baby's hair type could be either like you or your husband. According to pediatrician Bud Zukow, “It’s a genetic thing, or even an ethnic thing. Just like any other characteristic some babies have more hair than others.”
Watch: This Cutie Pie Has a White Streak in Her Hair EXACTLY Like Her Mommy!
- Baby MilliAnna was born with a unique birthmark: hair with a striking white section in it!
- Her story lends further credence to the genetic basis of hair - she shares this unique similarity with her mommy
- The texture and colour of hair may also have genetic foundations along with the amount of hair at birth
And although many experts agree with him, there are cases when they are proved wrong. There have been numerous cases wherein couples with thin hair are surprised by babies with a lot of hair, and couples with dark hair have babies with blonde hair. So here's what you must remember: it's not going to look like this forever! Regardless of how your baby's hair is at birth, it is not going to look this way forever. In fact, newborns shed all their hair in the first six months of life. Fret not, they do regrow it at around 9-12 months of age. However, this new hair tends to be distinctly different from the previous hair, in terms of both color and texture. Even if your baby is bald, you have to take care of his scalp. And if he has some or a lot of hair, you have to take care of his hair too. Both scalp and hair care is a must to prevent cradle cap, a common scalp problem in babies.Watch: This Newborn Baby's Reaction To Her First Hair Wash Is The Happiest Thing You'll See Today
Baby Hair Growth Tips
Well, now that you know why your baby's hair is the way it is, here's how you can take care of it and ensure better growth:
- Gently wash baby's hair with a mild baby shampoo a couple of times a week. If his hair is dry or tends to get tangled up, you can use a baby conditioner as well. Do not wash your baby's hair every day, especially if he is a newborn.
- Regularly comb baby's hair with a baby brush or comb. Makle sure the bristles of the brush are soft, and the comb is wide-toothed and has rounded edges.
- Avoid using uncomfortable hair accessories like tight headbands and rubberbands. Opt for accessories that hold your baby's hair in place and are comfortable too! Tight accessories will damage your baby's hair and will also cause him discomfort.
- If needed, give baby's hair a trim. Do this at a time when baby is likely to cooperate, such as after a good nap or a meal. And of course, use baby-safe scissors instead of adult scissors.
- Although it is a common Indian practice to promote hair growth, avoid oiling your newborn's hair. Contrary to common knowledge, the oil actually dries up baby's gentle scalp, and can even cause cradle cap. However, oil does work well for some babies, so give it a shot before writing it off. Go for baby oil as it is light and easy to wash off. If you don't want to go for oil, apply baby lotion on your baby's hair and scalp.
- Give your baby the nutrition she needs. Baby will have healthy hair only if she eats healthy.
Did You Know Babies with Lot of Hair can Cause Pregnancy Heartburns?
During your pregnancy, you may have been told this -"Getting heartburn? Your baby will definitely be very hairy!" Till now, this was dismissed as an old wives' tale. However, turns out, scientists have actually found that this is TRUE! According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University
, there could actually be a link between heartburn during pregnancy and the amount of hair your baby will have at birth. The researchers tracked the severity of heartburn in 64 pregnant women and, after delivery, 28 women who had moderate to severe heartburn had babies with average or above-average amounts of hair! Wait, there's more - 10 of the 12 women who had no heartburn had babies with little or no hair!
So, what is behind this curious connection? One theory is that it is oestrogen that is responsible for hair growth in the baby. It is also oestrogen that causes the oesophageal sphincter to relax, which leads to heartburn.
Phew, who would have thought baby hair could be such a dense subject, eh? Ultimately, genetics is largely responsible for how your baby's hair will look and feel. That being said, you can always enhance your baby's hair if you groom and take good care of it.
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