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Newborn and Infant Care

Hair loss

02/08/2005

Question:

my 2 1/2 month old is losing alot of her hair and i notice that she sheds alot of it on her sheet in her crib. we have no pets but it looks loke a cat was laying in her crib. thats what it looks like. is this normal to see shedding hair in her bed.

Answer:

I am happy to tell you that this is absolutely a normal process. As you likely know, before the baby is born, as a young fetus, the baby is covered with fine hair called lanugo. During late pregnancy, much, but not all, of the lanugo is lost, including that on the baby's scalp. Very soft,fine hair, called vellous hair, replaces the lanugo on the scalp. The newborn, then, has a mixture of lanugo and vellous hair on both the scalp and in the eyebrows. At 2-3 months of age, this hair and the last of the lanugo are shed and replaced with coarser hair called terminal hair. The finer the hair's texture inherited from both parents, the longer it will take for the terminal hair to appear.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University