Hair, hair, hair….

Each person has several types of hair during his or her life. Before birth, in the mother’s womb, a baby has very soft smooth hair usually without any pigmentation. If a child is born on its due date the hair usually falls out before birth.

You can see some of the hair on prematurely born babies or in a newborn within the first few days of their life. Majority of children have children’s “veluse” hair after birth, they are very fine and short (less then 2cm) without core and usually with no pigmentation (that is why most babies appear to be blond). In some rare cases babies have thick hair layer, where others can be completely bold or even some can have fine thin hair that last for three years.

 

A COLOUR AND THE QUALITIY OF HAIR CAN RADICALY CHANGE EVEN TWICE BEFORE THE CHILD REACHES PUBERTY.

 

In the first year of life majority of hair fall out. Later these hairs grow back thicker. Intermediate hair layer covers the head gradually, this type of hair are the intermediate stage of hair grow between the child and adult hair. In some children you may not even notice the gradual change of the “old” hair for new. Some baby can be born with a thick dark curly “mane” and within the next six month lose all of it. And then later fair smooth hair may grow in their place instead. In majority cases the script of hair-grow is so: all first “veluse” hair are similar length and at one point their growth stops (usually between the 4th and 7th month) and all the hair then fall out. The intermediate layer of hair starts growing by the end of the first year they also become thicker. Between the ages of 9 to 12 years (just before puberty) the baby’s hair and the intermediate hair will change into the adult/ terminal hair under the influence of the hormonal changes. Before this period the terminal hair are only present on the eye brows and the eye lashes. The change can be radical – a blond boy with straight hair may over the course of 6 month become a dark haired boy with many curls. Blond hairs have the highest density. And ginger-red hairs are the thickest with the lowest density.

 

DENSITY, STRENGTH AND QUALITY OF HAIR IS A GENETICAL AND AN INDIVIDUAL MATTER.

 

The above is the reason why it is impossible to increase the number of hair follicles during one’s life apart from a surgical hair implantation. You cannot increase the density of hair by cutting it not even according to the advice of your grandmother. It is a myth. The truth is that when you cut your hair to a similar straight length it will look better a kept well. It is also a myth that when you cut your child’s curls it will grow straight. It is possible to meet some mums that might say: “My little one had looked like an angel. He had such beautiful blond curls but they had grown out of control and the summer was too hot so my husband took him to cut it, although, I didn’t agree. I was worried that he will lose his curls and so it happened his hair is now dark and straight.“  Was the mother wrong? No, the reality is that the quality of hair didn’t change by cutting. It was just the time of development where the original curls started to fall out and new dark straight hairs were ready to replace them. The cut caused only a radical perception instead of the gradual change. It is good to consider what is more important – a good well kept look and comfort or the beautifully looking angel curls. Of course not all children will lose their curls in time. Do look around your family, your parents and grandparents, and check their hair to see what you may expect your child’s hair to be if the quality is dominantly a genetic matter.

 

CARING FOR CHILD’S HAIR

For the sensitive children’s skin we use a baby-soap at first. Later we start using baby shampoo. All to a point – most shampoos are at high concentration so before using it on baby’s hair dilute it at one-to-one ratio in a cup. It is enough to use the shampoo just once per wash and rinse it well with water. Well rinsed hair will lower the development of dandruff. It is also not necessary to wash your baby’s hair daily. If you need to do so use just water. Baby’s hair is very sensitive to chemicals so limit the use of shampoo to a minimum in the first years.

 

IT’S NOT GOOD TO COMB WET HAIR

 

When you comb wet hair the hair become damaged by friction they stretch and break. They can also break more easily after drying.  An excessive combing of dry hair is also damaging and especially using a hairdryer. Same goes for adult hair.

 

PROTECT YOUR HAIR IN THE SUMMER

 

Particularly children with dryer sensitive skin need to be protected from chemicals in swimming pools. Make sure you wash their hair well after that. Do protect your child scalp and hair in excessive sun and wind and also on dirty environment.

 

CRADLE CAP – A COMMON ISSUE

 

Majority of toddlers have on their scalp greasy well attached brownish scabs. It is neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis. In more serious cases is can also affect other parts of body with higher number of sebaceous glands or skin folds. There are two forms: dry, where there is small white flakes present in the area of hair with no inflammation. Usually comes out with combing and makes small visible particles on the clothing; the second form is the greasy type with yellow-brown scales or scabs on inflamed skin. We can also see red rush in the affected area or weeping. The cause of it isn’t well known; some genetics preposition or hormonal misbalance can affect it. Also an excessive production of sebaceous glands or outbreak of yeast cell can cause it. Higher number of skin cells is produced; they stick in layers and form scabs and flakes on the skin. It also affects the acidic protective coat of skin. This illness affects children usually between 3rd month and 2nd year. It isn’t generally chronicle. It can also happen in adulthood (particularly in men) but it usually disappears within the 2nd year of child’s life.

 

FOLLOW THESE MEASURES:

 

  • Limit the use of shampoos (a change of brand can sometimes help)
  • Rinse hair well after using soap or shampoo
  • Use cotton, or breathable clothing, hat
  • Feed your child a healthy diet without spices, chocolate, sweets (should not be in toddlers diet anyway)
  • Use food rich in vitamin B (a pediatrician can prescribe supplements in older children)

 

WHAT TO DO WITH THE SCABS

 

Never comb it out with force or scrape it off! In not so serious case use natural olive oil, massage it into the scalp and leave for 24 hours. Then brush the scabs out with soft brush. Wash hair out with baby soap. You may need to carry out this process several times within a few weeks. In more serious case contact your pediatrician to help you.

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