My Baby's Going Bald?!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

day-old Joaquin's thick patch o' hair
Joaquin was born with an abundant patch of black hair. Coming from a family who were all born bald, this thrilled me. So when my mom pointed out that his hair seemed to be thinning, all humor went out the window. I tried shrugging off the comment, thinking my mom was simply teasing. But that single comment sprung paranoia like a huge mushroom. I actually started noticing fine hairs in his crib, pillow, and blankie, which I previously thought were just dog fur (we have 2 Chinese shar-peis that shed fur like crazy). Imagine my horror! I mean, what in the world would cause a 4 month-old to lose hair, when he's been chugging down the same breastmilk, using the same bath products, and basically doing the same things since birth?

2 month-old baby J
My mom & in-laws claimed that what's on Joaquin's head is still buhok tiyan, so they did try to comfort me by saying it's perfectly natural to shed them for more permanent locks; the same way that he lost all those tiny hair on his back & shoulders. But my instinct, as always, was to hop on to Google. I let out a huge sigh of relief to find out that it's a pretty normal occurrence. According to BabyCenter.com, this hair loss is usually associated with hormonal changes, stress or fever, when a large percentage of the hair stop growing all at once. Because some months after birth, a newborn's hormone levels drop, this causes a significant amount of hair the hair he or she was born with to shed. Afterwards, new hair will start to come in and this is what's called as the growth phase, which typically lasts for up to 3 years. In 3 to 6 months of the hair staying in its follicles at what is known as the resting phase, new hair will start to come in again. At any one time, 5% - 15% of the hair stays in resting phase.
with that spot of thinning hair at
4 months old

I asked Joaquin's pedia about this during his most recent monthly check up, and she also told me to expect semi-bald spots on the areas of his scalp where he usually sleeps on. Those parts of his head are the ones that get rubbed on the most, so that would have explained those thin strands on his mattress cover. At around this this time, I was convinced that there's absolutely nothing to be worried about. The doctor did say that there are still some conditions beyond this normal shedding, so if you suspect anything, do not hesitate to consult your physicist. Some of the symptoms that should concern you include:

  • total hair loss, which may indicate hypothyridism
  • red, flaky scalp with black dots where the hair disappears - this may be caused by ringworm
  • patches of hair that fall out if your baby has a compulsion of pulling his or her hair

The story doesn't end there though. I, too, started heavy hair fall just around a week ago. No bald spots yet, but the increase in the strands that easily fall out when I undo my hair or comb ever so gently, is very, very noticeable. And yes, it did freak me out. But apparently, postpartum hair loss is also caused by mum's hormone levels normalizing and happens from about 3 - 6 months after giving birth, and usually subsides by the time baby hits his first year. While it is as normal as baby's hair saying bye-bye, too, it also can be helped:

  1. Maintain a balanced diet and make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need
  2. Take extra good care on your locks by shampooing gently, or skipping the shampoo once in a while if it isn't necessary and just go with conditioners, plus use a wide-toothed comb on tangles
  3. Steer clear of strong hair products and blow drying or ironing, in the meantime
If you're still uncomfortable with the amount of hair you're losing, do bring it up during your next visit to the doctor.

While my li'l chubster won't be sporting an Elvis 'do for now, I'm just glad to be assured I ca put this hair thing to rest and just look forward to putting that comb into use again!


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  1. it's just a phase for both of you and will soon pass! :-)
    you might want to look into this link for more info/tips about post-partum hairloss.



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