There’s nothing sweeter looking than an itty bitty baby. Their cute rosy cheeks, their tiny hands and feet and yes sometimes, their crown of hair will make your heart melt. Did you know that there are old wives tales’ that allude to the fact that women who experience heart burns while pregnant give birth to babies with a head full of hair? How strange is that! There are a variety of reasons why some babies come into this world with a lot of hair on their heads and some don’t. It could be hormones, genes or specific food habits. But Justin Beiber hair or no, babies are precious either way. However, if you’d like to find out why some newborns have hair while some don’t, we’ve got some answers for you. Read on to know more!
1. It Could Be Due To Good Old Maternal Hormones
Guess what, the old wives tales might actually have some truth to them! In 2006, a few researchers looked into the heartburn theory and found out that out of 28 women who experienced heartburns during their pregnancy, 23 of them gave birth to babies with hair on their heads (1). But why? They believe that this is due to the numerous hormones released into the body when a woman goes through pregnancy. There are high hormone levels present in the womb and this could affect the baby’s hair growth (2). However, after the delivery, hormone levels drop significantly which could slow down the newborn’s hair growth.
2. Genetics May Play A Role In It
While experts are not sure exactly why some babies are born with hair and other’s simply aren’t, they do believe that genes and DNA have a role to play in it. Hair growth on your baby happens in the 30th week of pregnancy (3). So, if a baby starts to grow hair on their head in the womb, they are likely to be born with a significant amount of hair on their head.
3. A Newborn Baby’s Hair Looks Different When They Are Older
Here’s a fun and shocking fact, newborn babies are born with all of the hair follicles they will ever have for the rest of their lives (4)! Isn’t that wild? However, this doesn’t mean that the amount of hair stays the same. Your baby’s hair or lack of it, shows no resemblance to what it could potentially look like in the future. Babies can look drastically different from what they looked like as newborns and this applies to hair as well. This means a baby born with a full mane of hair can go bald in a span of a few short months and a bald baby can grow thick just as quickly. Their new locks might even be different from their old scanty strands of hair.
4. A Bald Baby Doesn’t Denote A Lack Of Nutrients
Some parents worry about their baby’s lack of hair, assuming that a lack of nutrients are to blame. The mother fears that they didn’t consume enough calcium during the pregnancy. But a lack of hair or scanty hair is normal for babies until the age of 1 (5). It doesn’t indicate that your baby is not getting the nutrients they need, so don’t panic! It is only when your child has an iron deficiency or suffers from diseases will their hair growth be affected. But this will come with other signs that are unrelated to hair growth too. All you need to know is that having a bald baby is perfectly normal.
5. Some Newborns Have Fine Hair That Will Shed
Lanugo is the hair that covers the body of some newborns, even the top of their heads (6). Fetuses sometimes develop lanugo very early on, around the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy and shed it around the 6th or 7th month. This indicates that it is usually gone before the baby is even born! But sometimes, premature babies are still covered with this hair which shed’s over time.
6. Babies Experience Hair Loss And It’s Completely Normal
No, your baby did not turn into a grumpy old man overnight, they are just starting to lose hair and that’s okay! In fact it’s very common. Most newborns lose some or all of their hair in their first 6 months of life. You can expect the hairfal to be a result of their scalp rubbing against the mattress for long periods of time or if they have a habit of head-banging. The hair loss will eventually stop as the friction experienced has lessened. This usually occurs after they reach 6 months as they will be able to move around more freely, sit up and stop disrupting their hair.
Babies are cute and adorable no matter how much hair they have when they are born. So, did your baby have hair on their head at birth? Let us know in the comments section!