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How often should you wash your baby's hair?

How often should you wash your baby's hair?

By Parasol Team

Well, it turns out no answer fits all, and there is no golden rule. It's 2024, why aren't baby's born with a manual yet?! According to a quick google search, you're not the only one searching for some clarity on this topic. How often should you wash your baby's hair? That's totally up to you, but there are some things to consider, here's what we found.

Newborn Phase       

Chances are your baby's first hair wash was after he or she was born. Likely by a nurse in the labor and delivery suite. The purpose of this initial wash is to remove vernix, meconium, and other birth things. Nice…but that newborn smell though!

After this initial wash, shampooing your baby's hair daily isn't doing that delicate skin on the scalp any favors. Daily washing is unnecessary both for babies with lots of hair and those lacking in the hair department.

If nightly baths are part of your routine, it's best to skip washing their hair every night.

That being said, you want to wash your baby's hair enough to prevent oil and skin build-up on the scalp, which can lead to cradle cap. According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of cradle cap is unknown, but it's likely due to the overproduction of oil (sebum) in the hair follicles from hormones passed from mother to baby.

The Mayo Clinic also recommends washing your baby's hair every few days with a mild baby shampoo to help prevent cradle cap.

Toddler Phase

The toddler hair washing phase is usually associated with tangles and wrestling a small land mammal into the bath.

Toddler's hair will need to be washed more frequently than during the newborn phase. We know this to be accurate, not by some scientific study, but just by observation of random toddler activities such as: rolling around on the floors at target mid-tantrum, sweat from summer soccer shots, and wearing yogurt cups as hats. The point is, a toddler's hair gets dirty.

Most experts agree: wash your baby's hair two to three times a week, and add extra washes only when needed.

Toddler eating.

Photo credit Elyse Mallay

But what about shampoo?

The type of shampoo you choose for these tiny sensitive scalps is important. You want to choose a shampoo that is free of all the nasties like parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances.

To sum it up, wash your baby's hair less than you think and use a shampoo that's gentle with quality ingredients that do not strip hair of its natural oils. And as for the toddlers, well, good luck and take in a deep inhale of that lavender, chamomile, and candela scent.

 

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