Will your baby have curly hair? And how do those curls change as your baby grows?
Babies , kids and curls... Looking back at some of those baby photos, you may notice that your curls, coils or waves looked a little different than they do now. Over the years your hair may have gone through some more drastic changes, especially when you were a younger child.
Naturally curly hair is determined genetically. Some genes are said to be dominant over others; this means that, when an individual inherits two different genes for the same trait, one is more likely to express itself rather than the other. The gene for curly hair is said to have incomplete dominance over that for straight, so an individual inheriting one straight and one curly gene may have intermediate, wavy hair.
It's impossible to tell which genes your baby will inherit when it is in the womb, but you've probably heard the common old wives' tale that says that heartburn during pregnancy signifies a thick head of hair. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions actually surveyed a group of mothers and found that 82 percent of those who'd had moderate or severe heartburn during pregnancy gave birth to a baby with an average or above-average crop of hair, while most of the women who didn't have heartburn had a baby with little or no hair. But the head of hair they're born with is not necessarily the hairtype they will have in adulthood.
As a child grows, the size of the hair, by diameter, changes and grows as well. Therefore, babies may start off with fine, straight hair, or even thick, lush locks, and after just a few months or a year, their “inherited” curls may begin to pop up! Just like adults, changes and growth make changes in our skin and hair as well. However, babies grow at a rapid rate, and by the time they are adolescents, the major changes begin to slow down. When growth slows down, so do the physical changes.
“Sometimes these changes can be extreme, says Jonathan Torch, creator of Curly Hair Solutions. Jonathan has witnessed many clients go from curly to straight and straight to curly. "I can’t prove anything medically,” he says. “But I have a philosophy that genetically, the muscles are changing. And this changes the shape of the follicle.”
Protect Their Curls
If you have a little girl with curls, it’s hard not to want to dress her up with cute clips and headbands. However, it’s best to wait until your little princess is a bit older, with stronger hair. Pulling hair into braids and ponytails can lead to headaches or irritated skin and scalp. You also don’t want to risk the clips being swallowed.
Your little one may have lots of little cowlicks or funky natural mohawks. This is usually due to the fact that the chemical bonds, creating the hair texture, are still being formed. Therefore, let your wild child - aka, baby - wear their hair au natural. Avoid putting products or clips to guide hair into submission, by year one, your child’s hair will mostly likely be more self contained.
Enjoy the many stages of baby and toddler hair, as there are usually quite a few to pass through. Know that as your child grows, so does his or her hair. Embrace the moments, take lots of photos so they can embrace and enjoy their many hair dos years later.