Not exactly sure how to care for your baby’s hair? New babies born with lots of hair often lose their locks during the first six months as the effects of pregnancy hormones wear off. New hair will grow in fairly quickly, but it may be totally different in both colour and texture from their first hair style.
Baby hair is easy to care for, but there are a few tips to keep in mind.
How to wash your baby’s hair
To wash hair, pour a cup of water over your baby’s head, making sure to shield her eyes with your hand or a washcloth. Alternately, tilt her back slightly, supporting her head and neck with your hand and forearm as you pour. Apply a few drops of cleanser to your hand or a soft wash cloth and gently wipe your baby’s head, neck and behind her ears. Rinse with cupfuls of clear water, taking the same care to avoid getting soap and water in her eyes, until all suds are gone.
If your babe has a long locks, use a soft-bristled brush or a wide-toothed comb to gently untangle any snarls. Baby hair is so fine, it doesn’t need a blowout—just blot your babe’s hair dry with a soft towel. Older tots will love bundling up in a cute hooded towel.
As far as we know, there’s no such thing as baby hair gel or volumizing mousse, but if your little Curlylocks’s ‘do is out of control, try rubbing a tiny dab of infant skin cream between your palms and use it to tame minor cow licks.
Avoiding hair and scalp problems
Many parents agonize over cradle cap (infantile seborrheic dermatitis), a common skin condition that can affect babies until their first birthday. The telltale bumpy, yellow, scaly crust is the result of overactive oil production, and can form across your baby’s head and behind their ears. It’s harmless and painless, but can look icky. Experts at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children suggest rubbing a dab of baby oil or olive oil across your baby’s scalp. Let it sit for an hour or so before washing it off, using a soft washcloth to gently rub away the scales as you rinse. Comb or brush away flakes from hair shafts after the rinse. If the area appears irritated, talk to your doctor, who may prescribe a hydrocortisone cream.
Resist the urge to deck your baby out with sweet barrettes. Small hair accessories can pose a choking hazard for babies and toddlers, and hairbands can damage her delicate scalp. Skip the blingy barrettes and too-tight headbands, and opt instead for a stylish trim to keep hair out of her eyes. You can do this yourself, or take your tot to a salon that specializes in children’s hairstyles.