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What age does newborn hair change?

Newborn hair goes through several changes in color, texture, and amount during the first year of life. Understanding the timeline of these changes can help parents know what to expect as their baby’s hair develops.

Newborn Hair at Birth

Many newborns are born with some amount of hair on their head. However, the hair present at birth may look different than the hair that grows in later.

Newborn Hair at Birth Details
Color Often lighter than later hair, sometimes blondish or reddish
Texture Fine and soft, sometimes appears thin or sparse
Amount Variable, some babies born with full head and others with just peach fuzz

The hair present at birth is called lanugo. It serves to protect the baby’s head in utero and normally sheds off in the first weeks after birth as the permanent hair begins to grow in.

Newborn Hair Changes at 1-2 Months

Around 1-2 months of age, babies begin to lose their lanugo hair. The shedding phase lasts around 2 months. As the lanugo hair is shed, it is replaced by thicker, pigmented permanent hair.

Newborn Hair at 1-2 Months Details
Shedding Lanugo hair starts falling out, may leave bald patches
Color Permanent hair comes in with more pigment
Texture Coarser, thicker strands replace soft lanugo
Growth rate Hair grows about 1 cm per month

Don’t be concerned if your baby becomes bald or has thin patches of hair at this stage. This shedding phase is temporary as the new permanent hair comes in.

Newborn Hair at 3-5 Months

From 3-5 months, your baby’s hair will start to fill in and take on its more permanent color, texture, and thickness.

Newborn Hair at 3-5 Months Details
Color Permanent color becomes clear as lanugo sheds fully
Texture Hair is thicker and coarser
Amount Balding resolves as more hair grows in
Growth rate Still growing about 1 cm per month

At this stage, parents can clearly see their baby’s permanent hair color, texture, and density taking form.

Newborn Hair at 6-12 Months

Between 6-12 months of age, your baby’s hair will reach its full infant appearance and growth pattern.

Newborn Hair at 6-12 Months Details
Color Permanent color fully present
Texture Smooth, thick, and full
Amount Full head of hair for most babies
Growth rate Around 1 cm per month
Styling Hair long enough for bows, clips, etc.

During the second half of the first year, your baby’s hair will reach a length where it can be styled with accessories. Growth continues at the same rapid rate throughout infancy.

When Does Baby Hair Texture Change?

Your baby’s hair texture goes through two main transitions:

  • 2-4 months: Lanugo texture changes to permanent texture
  • 6-12 months: Gains full smooth, thick texture

The most significant texture change happens as the soft lanugo hair is replaced by thicker, coarser permanent hair around 2-4 months. Over the next several months, the texture continues to mature and fill in.

When Does Baby Hair Color Change?

There are two main phases of hair color change in the first year:

  • 1-2 months: Lanugo sheds and darker permanent hair comes in
  • 3-5 months: Permanent color fully shows as lanugo sheds out

As the blondish lanugo hair falls out starting around 1-2 months, it is replaced by pigmented permanent hair. By 3-5 months, the permanent color is fully visible as the last of the lanugo disappears.

When Does Baby Hair Thicken Up?

Your baby’s hair goes through two main stages of thickening:

  • 2-4 months: Permanent hair comes in thicker than lanugo
  • 6-12 months: Reaches full infant thickness and density

The permanent hair that starts growing around 2-4 months is coarser and thicker than the wispy lanugo. From 6-12 months, the hair reaches its full infant thickness and fills in to a full head of hair.

Common Hair Changes in the First Year

Some common newborn hair changes in the first year include:

Age Hair Changes
Birth Light colored lanugo present, sometimes just peach fuzz
1-2 months Lanugo shedding begins, bald patches occur
2-4 months Thicker permanent hair comes in, lanugo almost gone
3-5 months Permanent hair color visible as lanugo fully sheds
6-12 months Hair reaches full infant thickness and density

Remember, each baby’s hair development timeline is unique. But in general, the most rapid changes happen between 2-5 months as the lanugo sheds and permanent hair takes over.

Tips for Caring for Changing Newborn Hair

Here are some tips for taking care of your baby’s hair during the first year:

  • Shampoo 1-2 times per week with gentle baby shampoo
  • Comb gently with a soft baby brush to stimulate growth
  • Avoid products or tight accessories that could damage soft scalp
  • Check for cradle cap and treat with massage or baby oil
  • Know that shedding is normal as hair transitions
  • Talk to doctor if excessive shedding or balding occurs

With gentle care, your baby’s hair will progress through its changes during the first year. Enjoy watching the transformations unfold!


Newborn hair can go through dramatic changes in color, texture, thickness, and amount during the first year after birth. The most significant changes occur around 2-5 months as the lanugo hair is shed and replaced by permanent hair. But each baby follows their own timeline. Understanding the normal progression of newborn hair development can help parents know what to expect as their baby’s hair evolves in the first year.

With this overview of the phases of newborn hair changes in the first year, parents can anticipate and understand the transformations their baby will go through. From the fine lanugo at birth, to bald patches, and finally to a full head of smooth hair, newborn hair makes quite a journey! With proper care and grooming, parents can ensure their baby’s hair changes in a healthy way during the magical first year.