All babies are unique and the loss or growth of hair occurs differently for each infant. All newborns are born with intact eyebrow hair follicles yet the initial hair may not be visible for the first few months.
Eyebrows are a confusing facial feature that has parents questioning whether their child will ever have normal eyebrows
Some babies are born with a healthy head of hair but no eyebrows, yet at closer inspection, there is a visible yet faint eyebrow outline with a few very light small hairs that do not match the dark locks on the baby’s head.
This scenario is all too common when it comes to an infant’s eyebrows and parents are left wondering if the lack of eyebrows is a birth defect.
Infant eyebrows or the lack thereof can be a contentious subject but it is in fact rather simple to grasp.
Let’s unravel the mystery of your little ones’ almost non-existent eyebrows.
Eyebrow milestones in the womb and beyond
Hair follicles develop in the womb and include eyebrow hair follicles.
Hair growth may begin in the womb but without pigment irrespective of the baby’s ethnicity. Pigmentation occurs later and is more prominent among infants with dark hair.
Although some babies are born with a good-looking head of hair, it will still be very fine and silky, and the eyebrows may appear lighter than the hair on your baby’s head.
It’s not really wise to assume anything from this newborn look as hair color and texture may change in the first few months.
Some babies are born with almost invisible eyebrows which can unsettle some parents but this is perfectly natural and there is no cause for alarm.
Early eyebrow growth of a newborn
The first two to three months of your baby’s life is a time of extreme growth and development.
Body hair including eyebrows will grow if your little one was born without a trace of a hairline of sorts.
This initial growth stage is followed by an intermediate stage where hair begins to look thicker and more visible due to the change in color and texture.
It may seem like your baby’s eyebrows are taking an eternity to finally define your little one’s face and this is a normal reaction because you literally focus on your baby’s eyebrows every time to look at him or her.
You may not notice any changes but someone who might only see your bundle of love once a week or less will definitely notice the many changes in your baby’s appearance.
Eyebrow color and texture may change a few times in the first two years but at about two years old the color and texture of your baby eyelashes and brows will pretty much be set for life.
Premature baby growth milestones take a bit more time
Premature babies may be born with what seems like a disadvantage due to their size and being behind with normal growth and development.
Yes, this does pose a challenge for some parents but premature birth is not a disability.
Normal development still continues be it with external support structures.
Development milestones are set back with time and preemie babies will still develop normally be it to a different milestone schedule than full-term babies.
Some premature babies will be born without eyebrows or eyelashes but the hair follicles are already developed and it’s just a matter of time before hair growth begins.
Set your clock back a little and shower your little one with love because before you know it, your baby will be just as hairy and capable as other children.
Your baby’s eyebrows are part of their communication tools
Communication with your little one can be a noisy affair but it remains non-verbal in the beginning.
The baby-talk you’re so proficient at is simply a gurgle of pleasing tones to your little one that is delivered with exciting facial expressions (yours).
Likewise, your baby uses cues to get your attention and crying is one cue that usually draws immediate attention.
Research indicates that infants have the ability to express some emotions from birth that include showing interest, happiness, distress, and sadness.
While paying interest in someone or something, your baby will raise their eyebrows and may look furrowed.
Distress is displayed by scrunching up the eyes and forehead which displays a few wrinkles.
Expressing sadness is your baby raises their eyebrows slightly and brings them together in the middle forming a furrowed brow and is normally accompanied with a frown.
The area around your baby’s eyes and eyebrows may look red and irritated which is a sign that your little one is tired and in need of sleep.
Even if your baby doesn’t have visible eyebrows yet, it will not make the use of eyebrows in communication any more difficult.
There are normally a number of other gestures that support the use of eyebrows in non-verbal communication. Besides, you don’t need hair to speak with your eyes.
Mothers learn very fast to read their baby’s cues and there are no mothers on record who have complained about the lack of visible eyebrows making communication more difficult.
Factors that influence eyebrow growth
Your baby’s eyebrow visibility, color, thickness, and length at birth depend on several factors that include:
- The time of birth relative to a normal full-term pregnancy. (premature, on time, or late).
- The ethnicity of the baby.
- The genetic factors of both parents define their hair characteristics like color and thickness.
Although it appears as though some babies have no eyelashes and eyebrows at birth, there will still be very light and fine hair that may not openly visible at a glance.
It’s rare for a baby to be born with absolutely no eyelashes or eyebrows at all.
In the event of super-fine eyelashes and eyebrows that are barely visible, you will begin seeing a remarkable improvement within three months.
Some common conditions that cause early hair loss
Cradle cap can cause eyebrow hairs to fall out.
It is a common skin disorder that mainly affects the scalp where glands release oil that develops into scales and becomes itchy.
It can spread to other areas of the body including the eyebrows and the accompanying rash may cause temporary hair loss.
There are treatments, both home remedies and prescribed medication that will help to alleviate the condition.
Other conditions like birth-related stress, sudden hormone changes, eczema, ringworm, the mother’s diet if breastfeeding, and an overactive immune system all contribute to early hair loss in infants.
How to help your baby stimulate new hair growth
There are some home treatments that are said to stimulate hair growth but there is little scientific evidence that the treatments actually work.
It’s advisable to speak with your pediatrician before you attempt any home remedies as an infant’s skin is very fragile and will absorb anything on the skin into the bloodstream which could give rise to serious health issues.
Here are a few treatments you can consider:
1. Coconut oil
Massage your baby’s eyebrows with coconut nut oil. Always massage in the direction of the hair growth. Food-grade coconut oil is the safest option.
The slow gentle massage will stimulate blood flow and help with hair growth.
2. Aloe vera
The pulp can be applied to the eyebrow area and left on for half an hour before washing off.
Aloe vera is known to be good for skin repair but avoid using commercial products as they may contain harmful chemicals.
3. A healthy diet
Mothers who breastfeed should have a healthy well-balanced diet to ensure optimum nutrition is passed to their little ones through their breastmilk.
Rest assured that your baby will develop normal eyebrows in time.
Every child develops differently and this fact is what makes each of us so unique.
Can I use makeup to draw eyebrows on my baby?
This question is laughable but seeing how social media trends are taking hold of society, it is cause for concern.
It is not recommended to apply makeup to your baby’s face or body even if it’s FDA approved for sensitive skin.
If there is no approved medical reason to do so then rather refrain from the practice for your baby’s wellbeing.
Can I pluck my baby’s unibrow?
It is best to avoid putting your baby through unnecessary pain that may result in infection setting in.
If you feel strongly about your baby’s unibrow, speak with your doctor for professional medical advice about the appropriate time for treatment and if it will necessary at all.
Do baby lotions affect hair growth?
Baby lotions are very mild and keep the skin moist which actually helps to prevent dry skin that may lead to hair loss.
Baby lotions do not promote hair growth as such but they do contribute to healthy skin which is important for normal hair growth.
All your baby’s hair follicles develop in the womb and many babies are born with a beautiful head of hair and eyebrows to match.
Newborn hair is very fine and hair loss is a normal process in the first few months.
There is usually an overlap of newborn hair falling out and new hair growth which may bring about changes in color and texture.
Eyebrows are usually lighter than head hair but this depends on genetics.
A baby will have full eyebrows at about two years old but until then it’s a waiting game for some parents.
Nature always comes through in the end and stressing about baby eyebrows is a futile exercise. Enjoy your baby’s unique beauty and shower them with love.