Newborn baby hair loss is a normal phenomenon. It is also known as telogen effluvium. This is usually observed in the first six months of the baby’s life.
Human hair has a growth stage and a resting stage. The growth stage lasts for about 3 years and the resting state duration is about 3 months. During the rest phase, the hair remains in the follicle until the growth phase resumes.
Less than 20 percent of the hair on the scalp is in the resting phase at any one time. Stress, fever, or hormonal fluctuations can cause large numbers of hair to stop growing at the same time. Hair starts shedding when the next growth phase resumes about three months after.
For newborns, hormonal levels drop right after birth which can cause the baby to lose the hair they were born with. Many times a baby’s birth hair differs from the hair that replaces it when a newly grown spurt starts 6 months after. For my first son John, we were remarkably surprised to find his hair turn kinky brown from the rich dark curly head of hair he came with.
There are conditions that cause hair loss. Among them are patchy bald spots caused by contagious fungal infections (ringworm). Sometimes it can be due to dandruff (called cradle cap in babies). Other times it may be because your baby pulls his/her hair compulsively. It can also be caused by the baby’s sitting or sleeping positions.
What can you do about hair loss?
Treatments can be carried out for fungal infections. Cradle cap usually disappears after 12 months (sometimes more). For the hormonal hair loss, there is nothing much you can do about it.
However, there’s good news for hair loss caused by the baby’s sitting or sleeping positions. You can alter sitting/sleeping positions to reduce this. Essential tummy time (sleeping on his stomach) can also help.