When Does Baby Hair Texture Change? 3 Phases Of Baby Hair

Your baby might or might not be born with lanugo (soft, fine hair), but eventually, their initial hair will fall out. This happens to make way for new stronger, darker, and textured hair, which is the “adult hair” or the permanent hair. From birth till they turn 2 years old, their hair changes with changes in hair texture too. The kind of wavy, straight, or curly hair depends on your family’s genes.

A lot of babies are born bald, with almost no hair at all. But a lot of them even come into this world with a head full of hair. Like any other body part, hair is also something that changes over time, from its texture to its length. If your baby is born with smooth, silky straight hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how it will remain.

Like any other stuff about your newborn, hair is also a part of them about which you can’t seem to curb your curiosity. So, let’s take a look at how newborn hair texture changes over time as your baby grows from a newborn to a toddler.

Newborn hair growth and loss

If your newborn is born with hair, you might notice that they have a very fine and soft texture. They continue to grow for some time, but they soon tend to fall out. This is normal for all babies as they tend to shed their old hair just like they tend to lose their milk teeth over time. Then, their mature hair starts coming.

When they start losing hair, you don’t need to panic or be concerned in any way. This hair is bound to be gone for better-textured hair to start growing on your baby’s scalp.

The growth rate might vary, but it will begin to grow sooner or later, somewhere around 6 months old.

3 phases of baby hair

Dad is comforting his newborn baby by holding his hand and rubbing his head.

To understand the whole process from beginning to end, we must understand the three important phases your baby’s scalp goes through.

Phase 1 (Lanugo)

This is the initial phase when your baby is born with the soft, thin hair you notice. This is called lanugo. This also includes hair that grows all over their body and is basically very fine in nature.

Usually, lanugo hair is lost during the later stages of gestation and absorbed into the amniotic fluid. But sometimes, your baby might be born with this hair. And for the next few weeks, it’s in the telogen phase and is bound to shed in that time.

Phase 2 (Vellus)

This lanugo hair is replaced with more fine and transparent body hair called vellus hair. This fine hair is found all over the body, such as your torso or back.

This is what starts growing on your baby’s scalp. These fine hairs constitute about 25% of your baby’s scalp hair. The rest will be lanugo or terminal hair, depending on their individual scalp and growth.

Phase 3 (Terminal)

Your baby’s hair follicles keep growing over time as they grow too. They develop in unique shapes and forms. And as your baby grows over the next two years, their hair only becomes stronger with each passing day.

This growth is a slow process, but usually, when your baby turns 2 years old, you can easily see how significantly the texture and quality of their hair had changed from when they were newborns.

The hair that you see then is stronger, thicker, and darker. This is the adult hair that will keep on growing and shedding as any other adult hair does.

Baby hair texture

Dad and his infant daughter are hanging out and playing on the bed.

Curiosity is a big maze, and by now, you might probably be wondering, but hair texture is determined on what basis? Genetics plays a significant role in deciding something like that.

Like any other thing that depends on genetics, such as height, hair texture also depends on that. Follicles, too, are determined based on one’s ancestry.

Baby hair follicles

As your baby grows and changes, so do their scalp and hair follicles. Over time the diameter of your child’s follicles enlarges as your child grows. Finally, the follicles develop into their adult form. These follicles are basically categorized into three different sizes.

ROUNDThe round follicles lead to having straight hair.
OVALThe oval-shaped follicles make the hair strand grow in a spiral effect, resulting in curly hair.
IN THE MIDDLEIf the follicle is not entirely of either shape, then it results in hair strands growing as wavy.

Baby hair care

A toddler girl is happily playing in the bath tub while she's having a bath.

Now that you know how the texture of your baby’s hair changes over two years since they come into this world, it’s time to learn how to take care of that hair. Hair is also a part of their body that needs equal consideration, and attention like you do for their skin.

  • When bathing your baby, don’t wash their hair every day. This means you can definitely clean their head with the bathing water, but don’t shampoo their hair more than twice a week. To be frank, they don’t need more than that.
  • Always pay attention to the kind of shampoo you’re investing in. it should definitely be a gentle, tearless shampoo. Even if a slight shampoo contacts their face, it doesn’t create any issues.
  • Massage their fine hair slowly in a clockwise direction 2-3 times and wash soon after. Remember, they don’t require a brisk massage as their scalp and hair are delicate and can lead to breakage and other issues.
  • When combing their hair, use a brush, especially for babies that come with soft bristles.
  • If your baby’s hair is slightly longer, don’t use rubber bands or any hair accessories. Their hair is not strong enough to bear any accessory’s force.  
  • If you think your baby needs a trim to even out their wild hair, then make sure they are fed and have had proper sleep before avoiding any crankiness.

Once their adult hair starts growing, you can slowly take care of it. You wouldn’t need to be as gentle or careful as you had to be with their delicate and soft hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What will my baby’s hair texture be?

The texture and hair colour your child is born with won’t necessarily remain the same as they grow up. The hair your baby is born with is soft and delicate in nature, but it soon changes to a stronger, darker and textured hair, curly, wavy, and straight overtime. This is because texture and hair colour depends on your family’s genes.

When do babies get their real hair?

As your baby turns 6 months old, their scalp starts to grow stronger hair, called “adult hair”. If your baby is not born with that sot hair, they start developing it around the time they turn 3 months old. Your baby’s permanent hair starts growing a little later after having that fine soft hair on its head.

Does hair texture change with age?

For babies, the initial change that happens to hair is the first two years of their life. First, they get that soft, thin hair replaced by stronger and more textured hair such as wavy, straight, or curly. This is permanent hair that remains the same over most of their life.

When do babies get a full head of hair in the womb?

During the week 14-15 of pregnancy, the hair follicles start appearing on your baby’s scalp and soon, hair starts appearing. In an ultrasound, you can easily recognize if your baby in the womb has hair on its head or not.

Why is my baby’s hair not growing?

If your baby is born with the bit of hair tuft or not, the initial hair they have on their scalp soon falls out. This hair fall is typical for all babies, as it paves the way for stronger hair. For a short period, it might seem to be a worry for parents because their baby’s hair isn’t growing, but you just need to be patient as follicles are working their way to produce their adult hair.

To summarize

Your baby’s hair is another thing you might be curious about. From their texture to wondering why their hair is falling out, the worries might be endless. But as new parents, you need not worry to that extent. Whether your baby is born with or without hair doesn’t affect their permanent hair growth at all.

The initial soft and fine hair they have will soon be replaced by stronger and more textured hair. This change takes place for over two years.

First, their original hair falls out, and then the adult hair grows, which might be completely different from their initial hair. This hair might be wavy, curly, or straight, which is affected by genes in your family. Sometimes their hair color changes entirely too.

Just enjoy your baby’s initial soft hair because it won’t be there for long, and while they are in that stage, don’t forget that even that hair needs care. So, following on hair care is vital to keep their heads clean and smelling fresh!

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