If, like many women, you find yourself suffering from heartburn during pregnancy you might have been told that it’s a sign that your baby will be born with a full head of hair. Unlike most old wives tales, even though it seems farfetched, this one was somewhat bolstered by a small 2006 study published in Birth, which found an association between the severity of heartburn during pregnancy and the amount of hair a newborn had. There still hasn’t been a definitive cause and effect relationship proven, but some experts hypothesize that the same hormones that cause heartburn in pregnancy may also cause baby hair to grow. That said, the reason why some babies are born with a full head of hair is related to genetics.
“We know that hair has two different distributions: hormonal and genetic,” says Dr. Ariel Revel, MD, an OBGYN and the medical affairs manager at Kadimastem.”A baby may have some hair resulting from the mother’s hormones which go to the baby, but such cases could be temporary. A baby may also have hair inside of the womb, but then it could vanish or change colour following birth. Hormones are also the reason why children don’t grow beards. It’s important to note, however, that sometimes a baby’s hair has to do with genetics and can be dependent on the parent’s background. It’s interesting to note that some populations have more of a tendency to grow hair.”
Broadly speaking, Dr. Revel notes that if a baby comes from a family with more hair, then you can expect that baby to have more hair as he or she grows. There’s a wide spectrum of what is considered normal, however, and there’s no reason to worry that just because your child is born bald that he or she will remain that way at a year or beyond. It’s also worth underlining that hair texture and/or colour may change, so don’t get too attached to those angelic golden curls! It’s normal for your baby to lose hair during the first months of life, thanks to a drop in hormone levels. So even if your tot is born with thick hair, he may go bald shortly afterward. Kind of like some dads!