Why do some newborns have so much hair and others have none? Do hairy babies really cause heartburn during pregnancy? You're in the right place to get these questions answered!
Baby hair may not seem all too interesting at first, but you may be surprised by how much you don't know about your little one's hair. We've rounded up some answers to the most interesting, if not a bit bizarre, questions regarding infant hair.
From growing hair in the womb to that precious new baby smell, these facts are sure to satisfy your curiosity.
10 Babies Grow Hair Called "Lanugo" While In The Womb
While it may seem a bit odd, there's a very good reason babies grow hair while still in the womb. This fine, thin hair is called "lanugo" and helps them regulate their body temperature as it keeps them warm. Because this hair typically falls out between 36 and 40 weeks gestation, most babies are not born with it.
However, premature babies may still have lanugo at birth. But don't worry! It will still fall out naturally and be replaced with finer hair within a few months.
9 Baby Hair Can Show Up On Ultrasounds
If an unborn baby has enough hair, it can show up on an ultrasound. This fact is strange, but true! Case in point, back in 2017 an expectant mom was informed her baby girl had quite a bit of hair at her 20-week ultrasound.
At just five months gestation, this baby had enough hair to show in the scan as you can see wisps of hair in the photo. At four months old, the baby had shoulder-length locks! While parent's genes dictate how much hair a baby will have, it's interesting to see some babies inexplicably have more hair than others.
8 Heartburn During Pregnancy Is Believed To Be Caused By Hairy Babies
There are several things that are said to contribute to the fact so many pregnant women experience heartburn, including pregnancy hormones relaxing the muscles between the stomach and esophagus. While hormones may seem like the logical answer, some people believe heartburn is a sign of a hairy baby.
Because estrogen is known to cause both the muscles to relax and be responsible for hair growth, this has lead some people to believe that hairy babies are to blame for heartburn. Of course, it only furthers the myth when a new mom delivers a baby with a full head of hair after suffering heartburn during her pregnancy.
7 A Mom's Hormones Can Impact How Much Hair The Baby Has
Hormones, such as estrogen, can cross the placenta during pregnancy and enter a baby's body. Because of this, the mother's hormones during pregnancy can impact how much or how little hair a baby has when born.
Estrogen is known to increase hair growth, meaning a baby may have a wild head of hair if enough of the hormone crosses the placenta!
6 Babies Typically Grow Their "Big Kid" Hair By Age 2
Don't worry if your 6-month-old or even if your one-year-old doesn't have hair yet. This is totally normal and will most likely change by the time your child turns two!
Sure, it may cause some concern to see your child not growing hair right after birth, but just know this is normal. It's not uncommon for babies to remain bald for the first year as their newborn hair falls out naturally and is replaced by big kid hair at a later time.
5 A Baby's Hair Is Not The Source Of The "New Baby Smell"
There's something about a new baby that's so appealing! In addition to their tiny noses and chubby cheeks, babies have a distinct "new" smell that adults love. This is why people may inhale the top of a baby's head, but it isn't because of their hair or shampoo.
This scent is believed to either be leftover from gestation or secreted from sweat glands. Either way, it's nature working to make sure adults take care of the baby by making them too cute not to love.
4 Baby Hair Care Does Matter
Your child may be too young to care about their hair, but that doesn't mean proper hair care isn't important. Baby hair will fall out, change over time, and grow back, but there are a few things to consider when it comes to hair health for babies.
Tight ponytails and headbands can cause damage, as well as combing through tangles too rough. Baby hair doesn't need to be washed every day, but it does need to be washed gently. Your baby may also lose hair in certain spots, such as the back, if they constantly lay in one position.
3 It's Okay To Shave Your Baby's Hair
Parents may have different reasons for shaving their little one's hair in the first few months of life, but shaving a baby's hair is not harmful. It may be due to unmanageable hair if a baby is born with a significant amount, cultural reasons, or to help it grow back healthier. Whatever the reasoning, it's not as uncommon as some people may believe to completely shave a new baby's hair.
2 Your Baby's Hair Will Change Over Time
Don't worry too much if your baby is born with frizzy hair or blonde hair while your entire family is brunette as a baby's hair is constantly changing.
As previously mentioned, a child typically doesn't get their "big kid" hair until around age two. So, until then don't be surprised to see your baby's hair changing color, texture, or thickness.
1 Shampooing Your Baby's Bald Head Is Recommended
While your baby may be born without hair, lose it in the first few months, or simply not start growing a significant amount of hair until later in life, it is recommended to still shampoo your baby's head.
It may seem strange to be shampooing a bald head, but it's important to stimulate the scalp and provide proper hair care to your baby even if there's nothing to lather.