While some babies are born bald, others come out with nearly a full head of dark, wavy or curly hair. Just because your baby has a great deal of hair doesn’t mean you should treat it as you would your own or even an older child’s. Avoid using styling products on his hair, and only shampoo a few times a week. Use gentle products so that you do not irritate baby’s eyes or skin.
Most baby shampoos are formulated differently from adult shampoos, so that they will not sting as much if you accidentally get shampoo in your baby’s eyes. Most baby shampoos contain sodium trideceth sulfate, a salt that cleans the hair. The Environmental Working Group gives sodium trideceth sulfate a hazard score of 0, the lowest possible. The best shampoos for baby will not have potentially dangerous ingredients, such as sodium laurel sulfate or added fragrances, which can irritate the baby. Even though baby shampoo is mild, you should still avoid washing his hair every day. Washing it twice a week should suffice for many babies, unless your baby has cradle cap, a type of seborrheic dermatitis common in infants. Wash his hair daily until the cradle cap clears up. If his hair is very dry, you should only wash it once a week.
Not every baby needs to condition his hair, but some do. A natural, botanical oil is the best type of conditioner to use for babies with dry or kinky hair. Pour a small amount of coconut, avocado or olive oil on your fingers and massage it into your baby’s hair and scalp about once a week or so to keep the hair soft. Be careful when choosing an oil to use. Baby oil may seem like a good idea, but it can clog your baby’s pores. Your baby may also have an allergic reaction to some oils. If his skin looks irritated after you condition it, switch to a different oil.
Soft Bristled Brush
Keep your baby’s hair neat with a brush with soft, natural bristles. You definitely do not want to run a brush with hard plastic bristles through your baby’s hair, especially if it is prone to tangling. Soft bristles help your baby’s hair stay smooth and silky. If your baby suffers from cradle cap, you can use the brush to gently loosen the scaly skin before washing his hair and scalp, according to MayoClinic.com.
Babies with a lot of hair get plenty of tangles. A wide-toothed comb is the most pain-free way to get rid of you baby’s tangles. Be gentle while pulling the comb through her hair. Don’t tug when you reach the tangle, and try to avoid combing through dry hair. You may find that putting a dab of conditioner on the tangle as you work through it helps.
- baby image by Diane Stamatelatos from Fotolia.com