Hair Care Tips For Your Baby's Gentle Hair And Scalp: Here's A Complete Guide For Parents
Baby hair care: Establishing a good hair care routine is important for newborns. Here are some tips that can help parents take care of their newborn's hair.
Use a gentle shampoo to wash you baby's hair
A lot of attention is paid to clothing of babies and taking care of their skin and health. But babies also need special hair care. A newborn is delicate and needs to be handled with care. Despite spending a lot of their early weeks asleep, babies' heads and hair are prone to getting very dirty, tangled and occasionally a little smelly too, so establishing a good hair care routine is important. Here are some hair care tips for babies that can help new parents.
Tips for taking care of your baby's hair
1. A good hair wash routine
Some babies might not have much hair, but using a gentle shampoo to wash what they do have plays a vital role in caring for the sensitive skin on their scalp. It helps them get used to having water around their head, especially for newborn babies. Also, babies often develop tangles from rolling their head around when lying on their back and a good hair care routine will help.
Using a shampoo designed especially for babies is a must as a baby's hair is five times thinner than adults. A clinically proven mild shampoo that is free of parabens, sulphates and dyes, is hypoallergenic and pH balanced should be used during bath time to gently clean the hair and scalp.
Often parents try to shield their baby's eyes with the hand to prevent shampoo from entering the eyes while rinsing. While bathing with care is important, there are shampoos that are designed only with purposeful ingredients and prevent redness or irritation to the eye. Always ensure that the water to wash the baby's hair should be warm. One can begin the hair wash by making the hair wet, applying shampoo, gently letting it lather in, and rinsing. One can avoid getting water into the eyes of the baby by gently leaning the head of the baby backwards towards yourself.
A good mild shampoo will not only cleanse gently but also rinse easily and will not irritate the baby's eye. New parents are often afraid to wash their little one's hair but with the right shampoo which gently cleanses the hair, is mild to the eyes, this routine can become snuggly, fun-filled and worry-free, leaving the baby's hair soft, shiny, manageable and clean while maintaining a fresh smell.
2. Oiling your baby's hair
A baby's first emotional bonds are built from physical contact, and these serve as the foundation for emotional and intellectual development later in life. Using a baby hair oil can be beneficial in caring for the baby's scalp and also helps in stimulating the senses which are critical for the baby's happy and healthy development. The parent can apply a sufficient amount of oil on the baby's scalp and massage in a circular motion but without applying pressure. This ritual when paired with the parent's gentle loving touch helps not only to bond but also calms the baby and eases the sleep process.
Always choose oil that is gentle for daily usage and is clinically proven to be mild as it should not cause any irritation to the baby's tender scalp. Oil that is light and non-sticky is best. There are also baby hair oils enriched with avocado and Pro-Vitamin B5 that make the hair soft and healthy.
As we understand baby has delicate hair and a tender scalp, it needs gentle yet effective care. How and when to oil the baby's scalp and hair is also important. Using baby hair oil before bath is ideal, it can also be anytime the baby has a dry scalp. One should massage over the scalp to soften the baby's dry scalp.
If the baby has dense and curly hair, it can get tangled. To minimize knots and tangles, gently comb the baby's hair using a large tooth, a soft-bristled comb at least once a day. Make sure to be gentle on the scalp as it is sensitive. Combing is best done after shampooing the baby when the hair is still wet.
Parents these days often use hair accessories and clips for styling purpose. One should be mindful to use them safely and sensibly.
The above-mentioned rituals when followed well will keep the baby's scalp and hair clean and healthy and also avoid issues like cradle cap which often occurs in babies.
(Dr Rashna Dass Hazarika, Pediatrician & Neonatologist, Member of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP))
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