Baby Hair and Scalp Concerns

5 common hair and scalp concerns for baby. Learn what is normal, what to watch for, and when you should contact your baby’s doctor.

Baby getting hair combed

The book Baby Body Signs (affiliate link) is full of information to help you know what to worry abut and what not to worry about for all things baby.

Here is a tid-bit from the chapter on Hair and Scalp issues.

Baby Hair and Scalp Concerns

Below are some concerns or questions you might have surrounding your baby’s hair or scalp.

Hair Color

Hair color at birth is not necessarily the color of hair baby will have when older. During the first 5-10 years of life, the hair continually darkens (page 30). Sudden hair color change is something to tell your child’s doctor about.

Hair Texture

Hair texture is based on genetics. If the texture is very different from the rest of the family’s, it can be due to styling or due to a medical problem. Though I would guess if the two parents are very different, the children could be very different from each other.

Bald or Balding

Some babies are born without hair. Others lose it withing the first few months of life. All three of my children had significant hair loss. Brayden’s was at 6 weeks. Kaitlyn’s was around two months. McKenna’s was closer to four months.

While common, there can be hairloss that points to a problem. If there is redness, swelling, scaling, or pus, bring it to the attention of your doctor.

There will also be a bald spot that happens if baby is laying in a certain position often–like sleeping on his back. It happens, but it grows back.

Hair loss in toddlers is not common, so be sure to point any extreme loss out to your pediatrician.

Do talk to your doctor is your child’s hair is hard to comb or breaks when you comb it.


Missing skin from the scalp should be looked at. Black dots on the scalp can be a sign of ring-worm. Ring-worm is very contagious, so get it looked at right away.

A bump on the head when born (like a goose-egg) is usually not a concern. Goose-eggs after birth are of course signs of head injury.

White Flakes

Cradle cap, dandruff, whatever you call it, I know us moms don’t like to see it. There seems to be some people who think cradle cap is due to poor hygiene, but it is not ( page 44). This is usually caused by oil secretions and a yeast infection (or other type of infection). This usually clears on its own by 6-12 months old.

Kaitlyn got this as a baby, and she is also my baby who fought thrush until she was 7 months old, so I found this information to be very interesting.

There is of course much more in the book than this. See the book for more.

Something to note is that many moms find great luck with cradle cap shampoos, so you can always look into those if you are having issues.

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5 common baby hair and scalp concerns