Why Is Babies Hair Greasy? Reasons and Solutions

Babies’ hair is greasy because their sebaceous glands are more active than adults. This is because their bodies are growing and developing at a faster rate. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, which is an oily substance that helps to keep the skin and hair hydrated.

Babies also have more hair follicles than adults, which means that there is more surface area for the sebum to coat. This can make the hair appear greasy and can be difficult to manage.

As a new parent, you may wonder why babies’ hair is greasy. This is one of the most common questions parents frequently ask when they visit the clinic.

Newborns produce an oil called sebum that helps protect their skin and hair. Sebum is the waxy, oily substance that babies (and our) skin produces to keep it from drying out. 

Sebum, the natural oil that keeps your Baby’s skin lubricated, is responsible for its grease.

Especially in babies with a lot of hair, it is normal for them to produce more oil, making them look greasy even after just one hour after bathing. Babies usually grow out of this phase by around six months of age.

It is also essential to remember that sometimes oily/greasy hair can also cause cradle caps in newborns.

For example, a three-month-old baby’s hair may become greasy due to hormonal changes and the production of cradle cap oils.

However, if a five-month-old has oily hair, the cradle cap might still be responsible, or it could be caused by frequent touch or overwashing. 

Why Is My Baby’s Head So Greasy?

Your Baby’s head is so greasy because their scalps are not yet producing enough of the natural oils that help to protect and moisturize the scalp and hair. It’s normal for newborns to have a greasy head because they’re covered in vernix caseosa, a white substance that protects their skin during development in the womb.

The vernix will gradually disappear over the first few months of life as Baby’s skin becomes more oily. 

The sebaceous glands (which produce oil) usually start to have oil at around three months of age, but every Baby is different, so some may start making oil earlier, and some may start producing oil later.

Until the sebaceous glands start working correctly, you can help keep your Baby’s head clean and free of grease by gently washing it with a mild shampoo 2-3 times a week. Make sure to rinse all the shampoo out thoroughly, and then towel dry the hair gently – do not rub or brush it dry.

How Do You Get Rid Of Oily Baby Hair?

Oily hair won’t harm your Baby, and it will probably adjust as your Baby’s hormones level off and they find new activities that are more appealing than playing with her hair. However, if you don’t like how it looks or feels, you can do a few things to reduce the grease. Following are a few tips to get rid of oily baby hair. 

  • You should dry your Baby’s hair and scalp after washing to reduce the humidity levels, which can increase oil production. 
  • If you want to lower your Baby’s greasy appearance, you should not over brush or touch their hair often.
  • Always remember not to wash your Baby’s hair every day. Although you may be tempted to wash oily hair frequently, frequent washing will dry your Baby’s scalp and cause their sebaceous glands to produce too much oil to compensate. 

Does Baby Shampoo Help Greasy Hair?

Yes, baby shampoo does help to reduce greasy hair. However, baby shampoo is gentle and does not contain harsh chemicals, so it is suitable for greasy hair.

It will help remove the excess oil from your hair and scalp without over-drying them. However, it’s essential to use a baby shampoo designed specifically for this purpose. Unfortunately, many regular shampoos are too harsh and can worsen the problem.

Look for a shampoo that contains ingredients like tea tree oil or citrus extracts, which are known to help control oil production.

How Often Should I Wash My Baby’s Hair With A Cradle Cap?

Simply put, a cradle cap occurs when the sebaceous glands in a baby’s scalp produce excessive oil. It is a condition that causes scaling and flaking of the scalp. It would be best if you gently brushed your newborn’s scalp with a soft brush.

The Baby’s scalp gets crusty or scaly due to the cradle cap. It’s usually not itchy or painful and doesn’t bother the Baby. However, it can leave thick white or yellow scales that are hard to remove. 

The cradle cap typically goes away on its own in weeks or a few months without treatment, but some babies may need a little help to get rid of it. 

You should only wash your Baby’s hair with baby shampoo twice or three times a week if they have a cradle cap. You can apply castor oil, coconut oil, or petroleum jelly to your Baby’s scalp for an hour before bathing them to loosen up the dry skin cells.

Once that is done, gently brush their hair and then wash it with mild shampoo.

Remember to consult your Baby’s pediatrician before using any of the products. Don’t use chemicals or adult shampoos to treat cradle caps at home.

If the cradle cap does not go away in a few weeks, your doctor might suggest a mild steroid or antifungal cream. Until your pediatrician instructs you, do not purchase any over-the-counter products for your Baby.

Is greasy hair normal?

Yes, it is normal for your Baby to have greasy hair. It is caused by the sebaceous glands in the scalp producing too much oil. The good news is that it usually goes away within a few weeks or months.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the grease, like washing your Baby’s hair with a gentle shampoo and avoiding overbrushing or touching their hair.

If the cradle cap does not go away on its own, your pediatrician might suggest a mild steroid or antifungal cream. Until your pediatrician instructs you, do not purchase any over-the-counter products for your Baby.

Newborn greasy hair tips

Now you have got all the answers to the questions you were worried about; we have listed down a few essential tips that will help you with the greasy hair of your newborn.

Do not over-brush or touch:

If you want to reduce your Baby’s greasy appearance, you should not over brush or touch their hair often.

Wash less frequently:

Always remember not to wash your Baby’s hair every day. Although you may be tempted to wash oily hair frequently, frequent washing will dry your Baby’s scalp and cause their sebaceous glands to produce too much oil to compensate.

Choose the right shampoo:

When selecting a shampoo for your Baby, it is essential to choose one designed specifically for babies. Unfortunately, many regular shampoos are too harsh and can worsen the problem. Instead, look for a shampoo that contains ingredients like tea tree oil or citrus extracts, which are known to help control oil production.

Do not over shampoo:

It is not advisable to shampoo your Baby’s hair more than 2-3 times a week. Over-shampooing can dry out your Baby’s scalp and increase sebum production.

Apply oil before shampooing:

If you want to get rid of the cradle cap, apply castor oil, coconut oil, or petroleum jelly to your Baby’s scalp for an hour before bathing them. This will help to loosen up the dry skin cells. Once that is done, gently brush their hair and then wash it with a mild shampoo.

Remember to consult your Baby’s pediatrician before using any of these methods or products. Do not use chemicals or adult shampoos to treat cradle caps at home.

If the cradle cap does not go away in a few weeks, your doctor might suggest a mild steroid or antifungal cream. Until your pediatrician instructs you, do not purchase any over-the-counter products for your Baby.

Benefits of washing newborn’s hair

There are plenty of health benefits of washing your Baby’s hair regularly. We have listed some of the not-so-common benefits; here are some of them.

Prevents Skin Infection Ringworm:

It is common among young ones to have a fungal infection that causes the formation of an oval shape ring, the fungus called “tinea” causes a round or oval shape to form.

Reduces cradle cap:

As we know, sebum is the main culprit in cradle caps in babies. Washing your Baby’s hair regularly can help reduce cradle cap.

Stimulates blood circulation:

Gentle massage of the scalp during hair wash can help stimulate blood circulation. This is good for the overall health of your Baby’s scalp.

Prevents lice:

Another common issue among young ones is head lice. Washing your Baby’s hair with a medicated shampoo can help prevent lice.

Prevents dandruff:

Dandruff is another common issue you can prevent by washing your Baby’s hair regularly. So, these were some of the benefits of cleaning your newborn’s hair. Apart from these, there are many other benefits as well. For example, washing your Baby’s hair regularly can help keep their scalp healthy and free from infections.

Final Words

In the above post, we saw why is babies’ hair greasy and how can you get rid of oily baby hair? I hope you found this article helpful, and now you have a better understanding of why is babies’ hair greasy?

Baby’s greasy hair is due to the reason that they produce more sebum than adults. They also have a higher ratio of androgens to estrogens, which is why their skin may become oily or dry.

If your Baby’s scalp seems particularly dry or itchy, talk with your pediatrician about the best way to treat it.

Babies’ scalps are very delicate, so it’s best to wash their hair only as often as needed. For example, if your baby has a cradle cap, rinse their hair no more than once a week with mild baby shampoo. Washing too often can dry the scalp and worsen the cradle cap. 

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