Some babies are born with luscious locks, while others are born without much hair, if any. Many mothers of bald babies long for the day when they can pick up a brush rather than plunk a hat on their baby’s head. They may have to wait quite a while — some babies remain relatively thin on top until well into their toddler months.
Genetics play a large part in the amount and type of hair your toddler has. Genetics also determine the rate of growth. In general, if you have thin, slow-growing hair, it is likely that your baby will also, according to Parents. In fact, if you were a bald baby, expect the same for your child. Don’t worry — he won’t be the only one. About a third of all babies are born bald, but most grow at least some hair by the age of 12 months.
Changes Are Good
If your baby was born with hair, you may have been dismayed to find that it fell out. Not only that, but your toddler might have hair that is much different than what she was born with. This is normal. Most babies lose their hair around the age of 2 or 3 months due to hormonal changes. The new hair that grows in is the hair your child will have until she hits puberty. So your toddler’s hair will likely stay the same color and thickness it is now until she reaches her teen years. At that point, hormones will begin to take their toll on your child’s hair once again.
Check the Scalp
Parents of toddlers with thin or slow-growing hair may worry that their child may have an underlying medical problem. Checking your toddler’s scalp might provide some clues to his condition. Toddlers can suffer from allergies that cause itchy scalps, lice or even cradle cap. Cradle cap is a crusty, scaly rash on the scalp caused by hormonal changes that occur just before birth. An excess of the mother’s hormones in the baby can cause the sebaceous glands to become hyperactive. They produce a substance that mixes with dead skin cells, which causes the greasy, scaly patches so distinctive of cradle cap. All of these things can cause a toddler to pull at his hair. If your child’s scalp looks red and irritated, is oozing or has scabs, see a doctor to determine the cause.
Hair care practices can affect the health of a toddler’s hair. Be gentle when shampooing and styling your child’s hair. Tight braids and ponytails can break and damage hair. Implements such as barrettes that are always placed in the same spot can cause the hair to fall out at that location. Keep it simple, and limit shampoos to every other day, or only when needed. In addition, use mild shampoos formulated for babies and toddlers.
When to Worry
Toddlers should have a full head of hair — even if it’s thin — by the age of 2. If your toddler is still suffering from a lack of hair or is still having hair loss by the time her second birthday rolls around, see a doctor to determine the cause.