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Why Some Babies Have Hair and Some Don’t

There’s an old wives’ tale that says a woman who experiences heartburn during pregnancy will have a baby with a full head of hair. In 2006, researchers looked into this and found that out of 28 women who had heartburn, 23 of them had babies with lots of hair. They believed that the hormones released during pregnancy could also control a baby’s hair growth. Regardless of whether or not it’s true, some babies come into the world with hair and some don’t, but they’re just as precious either way.

Bright Side is attempting to understand the reasons behind this curious phenomenon regarding our little ones.

A newborn’s hair may look different when they’re older.

Babies are born with all the hair follicles that they will ever have in their lives. However, a baby’s hair (or lack of it) could bear little resemblance to the hair they’ll have when they’re older. A baby born with a full mane could go bald a few months later, and a bald baby could grow thick hair after some time. Their new locks could even be very different from their first round of hair.

Genetics may play a role in this.

While experts aren’t 100% sure why some babies are born with hair and some aren’t, they believe that genes and DNA may have a hand in it. Usually, hair growth occurs around the thirtieth week of pregnancy. If a baby begins to grow hair in the womb, it’ll likely be born with hair on its head.

It could be due to maternal hormones.

Hormone levels are high inside the womb, so they may help to promote the baby’s hair growth as well. However, after delivery, hormone levels drop significantly. This slows down a newborn’s hair growth.

Bald babies aren’t necessarily lacking nutrients.

Since babies are born with different amounts of hair, some parents may worry that it’s because the mother didn’t have enough nutrients during pregnancy or that the baby didn’t get enough calcium. But these are actually not true, and it’s normal for babies to have scanty hair up until age 1. It’s only if the baby doesn’t have enough iron or suffers from diseases that their hair growth could be affected, but usually, there will be other signs that aren’t related to hair as well.

Some newborns have fine hair that will shed.

Lanugo is the hair that covers the body of some newborns. Fetuses develop lanugo around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy and shed it around the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. This means that it’s often gone before birth, but some premature babies may still be covered with this fine hair.

Babies having hair loss is normal.

Most newborns lose some or all of their hair in their first 6 months of life. It’s common for them to lose their hair as a result of their scalp rubbing against the mattress or if they have a habit of head-banging. There will be less of such friction once they begin to move more, sit up, or simply outgrow these habits.

What other reasons do you think babies are born with or without hair? Were you or your children born with a full head of hair or none at all?

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