Why Is My Child Losing Hair?

It is distressing to watch your child lose their hair at such a young age. It is certainly not normal to see bald patches on your child’s scalp.

Worst yet, your child may not know or understand what’s happening to them. So, how do you figure out what’s wrong?

Surgeons at Longevita Hair Transplant have outlined the causes of hair loss in children.  

Before anything, you should know that it is okay for a newborn to not have any hair or a full head of hair.

Most babies lose the hair on their heads a few weeks or months after being born. This may be the result of hormonal changes.

However, this kind of hair loss is nothing to worry about as your baby will start growing their hair in some time.

Bear in mind that the new hair that your baby grows may be different from the one that they were born with. 

Friction Alopecia 

This happens as a result of the baby rubbing its head against various surfaces when lying down.

As a result of their weak muscles and lack of motor control, they are unable to adequately support their head. 

The mattress of the cot/playpen and the fabric of the stroller and car seat all cause hair loss on the back and sides of the head due to friction.

This kind of hair loss usually lasts up to 6 months. Normal hair growth will resume once the baby starts to sit up. Friction alopecia can occur at any age. 

Prevention Tip: 

To prevent friction hair loss from occurring, you can give your baby more tummy time under your supervision.

It will help in the development of their body. However, if the baby’s younger than one, he/she should always sleep on their back as it can increase the risk of SIDS. 

Ringworm

This results in the formation of bald, scaly patches on the child’s head. It is a result of a highly contagious fungal infection and can spread to the eyebrows and eyelashes.

Fortunately, this hair loss is temporary. The small black dots you see in the bald patch are probably the hair roots. Your child will have to take oral medication for it. 

Prevention Tip: 

Since it can spread by hairbrushes, hats, and other hair accessories, you can tell your child not to share these things with anyone else. 

Traction Alopecia 

If your child’s hair is bound too tightly, it will weaken the hair strands and cause breakage. This is known as traction alopecia and can occur at any age. 

Prevention Tip: 

You can try different hairstyles on your child, but make sure that they’re loose. If your child likes to braid their hair, you can try making different styles with a loose braid and see which one works best for them! 

Trichotillomania 

It’s a compulsive habit of plucking hair out from different parts of the body, such as eyelashes, scalp hair, and eyebrows.

It can result in bald patches. Your child may do this out of boredom, anxiety, or loneliness.

They may need to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy for this. It often occurs in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

Prevention Tip: 

Unfortunately, you cannot prevent it. However, once you learn about the behaviours that trigger it, you can better deal with your child in preventing this kind of hair loss in the future. 

Telogen Effluvium 

It’s stress hair loss and can result from physical and emotional triggers. Injury, sickness (its treatment), even a high fever can result in hair loss.

Hair will start falling a few months after the stressful event has passed. Fortunately, your child’s hair will grow back in less than a year. 

Prevention Tip: 

Unfortunately, some of the events that can cause it are hard to prevent. You can only make sure that your child’s hair is well looked after and they’re eating well for healthy hair growth. 

Alopecia Areata 

This kind of hair loss occurs due to an autoimmune condition where the healthy cells are attacked by the body’s own immune system.

This can affect the hair follicles and result in shedding. Your child will end up with bald, circular patches on the scalp. It can also occur in other areas of the body. 

Prevention Tip: 

There’s no way to prevent alopecia areata. Your child will need a topical steroid to suppress the immune system and stop hair loss. 

Conclusion 

It’s not normal for your child to lose their hair. So, if you do notice anything wrong with the hair on their head or anywhere else on their body, you should immediately get in touch with a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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