Are you asking “is it normal for a newborn to experience hair loss” or “how can I make my newborn’s hair grow faster?”
You’ve probably also heard other parents discussing using breast milk for baby hair growth.
But does this really work?
Is it safe?
Does breastmilk prevent baby hair loss? And if so, should mothers put breastmilk on a newborn’s hair after birth?
We’re here to answer all these questions and more, to get you started on a path to helping your baby have a full head of hair in no time in the weeks after giving birth.
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Normal Hair Growth Cycle
The hair growth cycle of newborn babies is fascinating.
During the newborn phase, babies are born with hair follicles, but not all hair follicles are active.
During the hair growth cycle, there are three distinct phases: the anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase.
During the first few months of life, babies experience a period of rapid hair growth known as the anagen phase.
This is followed by a shorter period of rest, or the telogen phase. After several months, the cycle begins again and hair growth resumes.
Hair growth can be affected by a number of things, including diet and hormones. Research has shown that babies who are breastfed have a higher rate than those who are not breastfed.
Why Do Babies Lose Their Hair?
It’s completely normal for babies to lose hair in the first few months of life. In fact, it’s part of the hair growth cycle.
The beautiful hair on a baby’s head is usually in the growth phase, which is why they have such soft, downy hair.
As they get older, the hair follicles start to go into the resting phase, and that’s when hair loss occurs.
There are many factors that contribute to a baby’s hair loss. This process is accelerated by the hormones in breastmilk, which is why hair loss is more common in breastfed babies.
Because so much hair falls out at once, new mothers worry when their baby starts to lose hair. It’s a perfectly normal process that happens to all babies.
Does Breastmilk Make Hair Grow?
There’s a lot of talk on the internet about breastmilk as a great home remedy to make your baby’s hair grow.
First of all, yes, it is safe for your baby to put breastmilk on their hair.
Breastmilk contains lots of proteins that are good for babies’ skin.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “breastmilk may help promote healthy hair growth.”
The nutrients in breastmilk can help to nourish hair follicles and promote cell growth.
Let’s break down the science behind this claim—and get some great tips on how to use breastmilk in your baby’s bath or shampoo routine.
Breastmilk Nutrients That Stimulate Hair Growth in Babies
It’s no secret that breastmilk is packed with nutrients and benefits for babies. But did you know that it can also be used to prevent that precious hair fall? Yes, that’s right!
Breastmilk is packed with antibacterial properties and immune-boosting antibodies, which are just two of the reasons it can be an effective remedy against cradle cap and dry skin.
It also contains key vitamins and minerals like selenium, zinc, folic acid, Vitamin A, and E in coconut oil—all of which help support healthy hair.
The academy cites a study that found that hair follicles treated with breastmilk had “increased hair shaft elongation.”
In addition, the study found that hair follicles treated with breastmilk were less likely to be in the resting phase.
So, does breast milk help hair growth? The answer is probably, yes! And a whole lot more too- check out our post on everything you need to know about Breastfeeding.
How to Care for Your Baby’s Hair When It Starts Growing?
When it comes to hair, there’s no need to turn to expensive and potentially harmful chemicals. In fact, the natural way is always best.
Do Not Scrub Your Baby’s Head Too Hard
Never scrub your baby’s scalp too hard with a rough towel or use any harsh chemicals. Instead, use a soft towel and lightly rub your baby’s wet hair.
The skin on a baby’s head is delicate – you do not want to damage the baby’s hair.
Massage Your Baby’s Head With Natural Oils
Natural oils such as coconut oil and botanical or essential oils for a healthy massage are the best way to keep your baby’s head cool and moisturized.
This will help keep the moisture in the hair which reduces breakage so the hair can grow faster.
Brushing your child’s hair (after you’ve washed the coconut oil out) can also help them fall asleep.
Rinse Your Baby’s Hair After Washing It With Lukewarm Water
Washing your baby’s hair with lukewarm water and then rinsing it afterward is essential for keeping their hair and scalp healthy.
When you rinse your baby’s hair, you help to close their hair shafts.
This in turn helps to protect their hair from damage and keeps their hair follicles healthy, promoting hair growth.
Wash Your Baby’s Hair Just 2-3 Times a Week
Keep your baby’s hair washed every other day to make the scalp clean or so to avoid excess dirt build-up that can cause scalp problems down the line.
Brush the scalp lightly afterwards to loosen scaly skin.
Use Natural, Kid-friendly Conditioner and Baby Shampoo
During bath time, you can use a kid-friendly conditioner and baby shampoo (not body soap) to help stimulate hair growth by increasing blood circulation.
Avoid using shampoo with so many chemicals on your baby’s head.
Give Baby Hair Cut
Give your baby a trim. It will make their fine hairs stand up straight and look more full.
Yes we know baby’s don’t like to have their hair cut, but it will help!
Take Vitamins and Maintain Healthy Foods
A balanced, healthy diet is crucial which will help hair regrowth.
Proper nutrition is great for both mommy and baby’s growth as well as helping to grow strong healthy hair.
There are a few peer-reviewed studies that suggest that certain foods thicken and get the appearance of fuller hair after hair loss.
We’ve also compiled a list of perfect foods for the breastfeeding mom
For example, baby-friendly vitamin A foods include:
- butternut squash
Healthy food rich in B vitamins include:
- whole grains
Essential amino acids
Use Apple Cider Vinegar or Gelatin Powder
Pour some apple cider vinegar over your baby’s head and massage it into their skin for a soothing, astringent effect that will help remove any dirt or other impurities.
Gelatin is an amino acid that can stimulate baby hair growth when applied to a baby’s scalp. Mix 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder with water.
Avoid Using Rubber Bands or Clips Which Can Damage Hair Follicles
Rather than use a ponytail holder that can cause hair damage to your baby’s hair, use a silk headband — it’s gentle on the hair.
Is It Safe to Use Breast Milk for Baby Hair Growth?
Yes, it is safe to put breastmilk on your baby’s hair. Breastmilk contains many nutrients that are good for your baby’s skin and hair.
If you have a baby with a cradle cap or another scalp condition, putting a little breastmilk on her scalp may help improve the condition.
- Moisturizer: Your breastmilk is a natural moisturizer that can help fight infections on the scalp and reduce dryness and flaking of the dry scalp.
- Safe: Applying breastmilk to your baby’s head is not likely to cause any problems since the milk comes from you, so it is safe for your child. Unlike medications or other remedies, there are no side effects of using breastmilk on your child’s head.
In addition, breastmilk also contains antibodies that can help to protect hair follicles from infection.
How to Put Breast Milk in Your Baby’s Hair?
Breastmilk has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which makes it ideal for treating cradle cap and other common scalp problems.
First, collect some breastmilk. You can use either fresh or frozen breastmilk for this purpose. Your breastmilk should be no older than 5 days old before using it on your baby’s hair.
Put some breastmilk on the baby’s scalp, leave it in for 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Massage the scalp gently as you rinse to stimulate growth.
Putting breastmilk in your baby’s hair may sound like an odd thing to do, but according to some parents, it has worked wonders for them.
What Can I Do to Make My Baby’s Hair Grow Faster?
There are several natural remedies that you can try to speed hair growth.
Some of these remedies are:
- Egg yolks contain large amounts of protein and fats. These nutrients promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.
- Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes which remove dead skin cells from the scalp. This helps in the regrowth of new hair.
- Olive oil is a great natural moisturizer for your baby’s hair. It also prevents dandruff and dry scalp.
- Coconut oil gives hair a natural shine.
How to Massage Your Baby’s Scalp to Encourage Hair Growth
Massaging your baby’s scalp can help in blood circulation, which then stimulates hair follicles to produce thick, long, and healthy hair growth.
To do this, use your fingertips to:
- Make sure she’s in a comfortable place where she can lie flat on her back
- Gently massage your baby’s head in a circular motion for at least 10 minutes per day. This can be done as soon as the baby is born and should ideally be performed every single day if possible.
- Run your fingertips gently over her entire head, making small circles at the temples and around the crown.
Massage stimulates the scalp and may help promote hair growth by reducing inflammation, slowing down, or stopping the shedding phase between new hairs growing in and old hairs falling out.
Takeaway: Natural Steps to Promote Hair Growth
While there are a number of products available that claim to promote hair growth, many of these are expensive and may not be safe for your baby.
It is safe to say that breastmilk works wonders as it has a variety of benefits for babies including promoting hair growth.
While there are many home remedies that can help speed up hair growth, like coconut oil, baby shampoo, and hair conditioner, using breastmilk is one of the simplest and most effective methods.
In addition to its many nutrients, breastmilk also contains lauric acid, which has been shown to promote hair growth.
So if you’re looking for a natural way to make your child’s hair grow faster, using breastmilk is a great option.
This article was written by Sandra Baker – full time writer and the mother of four amazing kids (including twins!)
She’s also a breastfeeding counselor and has spent years helping new parents learn how to care for their children. When she’s not writing or caring for her children, Sandra likes to spend time reading and taking walks with her husband.