Baby Hair Loss

Many new parents are worried when they take a look at their baby and realize that they are losing hair. The good news is that it is common for babies to lose some or a lot of their hair and in most cases this is not anything to worry about. There are several serious conditions, however, that could be causing the problem so it is important to be aware. If your baby is losing his hair, there are some things you can do both to help and to make yourself feel better.

Is Hair Loss in Newborn Normal?

The Answer

If your newborn baby is losing his hair, there is probably no reason to worry as this is completely normal. In fact, many babies will lose their hair within the first six months and this is because of the process of hair growth.

When a baby is born, his hormone levels will drop immediately after birth and this means that it is common to lose the hair that he had when born. (This is also why new moms will sometimes lose a lot of hair as well). One very interesting thing is that sometimes when a newborn’s hair grows back in it will be a completely different texture or color.

If you notice that your baby has bald patches, try to pay attention to how he sleeps and sits. It is possible that if he is always in the same position, his head constantly rests against objects. In this case, a bald spot may develop in that area. It is also possible that he is rubbing part of his head against his mattress leading to a bald spot.

Other Serious Conditions that Cause Baby Hair Loss

Despite the fact that hair loss in babies is completely normal, it can sometimes be caused by a serious condition. This is rare, however, as most of these conditions are incredibly rare in children less than a year old. Some possible conditions that could lead to hair loss include:

  • Ringworm (or tinea capitis) is a fungal infection that can cause hair loss. In this condition there will be patchy bald spots that have flaky, red scaling. In addition, there may be black dots in locations where the hair broke off.
  • Physical damage such as tight ponytails may lead to traction alopecia, a type of hair loss.
  • Trichotillomania can occur if an older baby pulls or twirls his hair compulsively and this may lead to irregular patches falling out.
  • It is possible for your baby to have alopecia areata if there are smooth round areas that are completely bald. In this condition the immune system will attack the hair follicles and this drastically slows down hair growth. Although this condition can affect the entire body it is usually only in isolate patches.
  • Certain medical conditions including hypopituitarism or hypothyroidism may lead to hair loss on all areas of your baby’s head.

How to Deal with Hair Loss in Babies

How you deal with your baby’s hair loss depends on the cause behind it:


How to Deal with It

Hormonal Changes

In most cases it is because of hormonal changes and if this is the case you simply have to wait and wonder what the new hair will grow in like.

Sleeping in the Same Position

If the hair loss is due to your baby staying in the same position, the best solution is to encourage him to try other ways of sitting or sleeping. For example, if you usually put him down facing one side of the crib, then you could try putting him down with the head at the other end. Chances are your baby will want to look out the crib, meaning he’ll put the weight on the opposite side of his head from normal.

Sleeping in a Sleep Wedge

If you use a sleep wedge that stops your baby from going onto his stomach, try changing his position every night. Have him on his left side one night, then on his back the next and finally on his right side.

Time on Tummy

You should also make an effort to make sure your baby spends part of each day on his tummy. This will help his overall physical development and give a break to the back of his head.


If you are concerned, you should talk to your doctor about your baby’s hair loss but chances are that they will not find any underlying conditions. If there is a condition causing the hair loss, your doctor will prescribe treatment (such as an antifungal for ringworm).

Alopecia Areata

If your doctor thinks the hair loss is due to alopecia areata it is likely she will recommend a dermatologist but in some cases children will grow out of this problem without receiving any treatment.


In cases where the hair loss is because of breakage, you need to be more careful with both the hair and scalp. This means that you should always brush gently and go with natural hair styles.

The good news is that most of the time baby hair loss is temporary and your child will have a full head with hair in a year or less.

Even if your baby is completely bald, you shouldn’t be concerned as this is common as well. In most cases there will be at least some down, extra-fine hair on the scalp and this may last until your baby is a year old. If your child is almost bald, don’t worry as the hair will eventually grow in and in the meantime you don’t have to worry about maintaining it.

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