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How to Care for Your Baby’s Hair

No one gives you a handbook after having a baby. Everything is totally new, and if you’re a certain type of person, the world stops for every spit up and burp. No matter how far in advance you’ve planned for the arrival of your little one, certain details will slip through the wayside until they are in your arms. For many, that means a guessing game when it comes to how to care for their baby’s hair.

While some babies have barely any tresses, a layer of peach fuzz, or are just plain bald, others arrive already in need of a cut. As it turns out, the wild mane baby doesn’t fall too far from the wild mane tree, (hint, I’m the tree), and needless to say, my baby has quite the head of hair—which at least justifies all that heartburn. Since I’m on a first-time parent learning curve, I decide to reach out to celebrity stylist and mother, Laura Polko, for the basics on baby haircare.

Comb or Brush?

The most important thing to remember when styling a baby’s hair is to “be super gentle,” stresses Laura. She notes that the key products to tackle an unruly baby mane include a detangler and brush. Laura recommends the Conair Baby Shark Hairbrush “to get hair clean and brushed,” which are both key in all stages of life.

I have been using a small comb that came in a first-aid/grooming kit, though the shark option is much cuter. Also, maybe I shouldn’t be using a comb?

“I always use a detangler brush and never a comb. I start at the very ends and work my way up using Baby Bums’ Detangler to make sure you can brush through,” Laura continues.


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A post shared by Laura Polko (@laurapolko)

Washing the Hair

My next question is about washing baby’s hair. Bathing a baby has its own set of rules, and sudsing up their tiny tresses is no exception. Babies don’t need an actual bath until they are at least four weeks. Before that, you can wipe them down with a wet baby washcloth, and even after that date, baths on the daily don’t have to be a thing. It’s all about your discretion till they get a bit older. Washing the hair is pretty much in the same boat.

When to wash “all depends on how much hair your kid has, but generally around six to 12 months,” advises Laura. Since most shampoos double as body wash in baby world, you can get away with a “baby” wash, which is what it sounds like—drizzling soap and water over their heads so that any smells are washed away minus a full on lather. After all, it’s not like you have to add in shine or moisture. Baby hair is a truly lustrous thing.

According to Laura, you want to shampoo your baby’s hair every day or every other day once they’ve reached the six month to one year mark.


When you give your child their first haircut depends on them. You can first cut your child’s hair as needed,  there’s no exact recommended date, apparently. “Every kid is so different and it’s the only time that parents get to pick the cut,” she remarks.

Getting It Wrong

Surely, I can’t be the only one getting baby haircare wrong, so I ask Laura what’s the most common issue among first-timers. “Not using the right products,” she assures me. “I love Baby Bums Shampoo and Detangler. For my daughter with her curly hair, I now use Sun Bums Curls and Waves Shampoo and Conditioner and Leave-In. Also, when brushing start at the bottom working your way up. Don’t start at the top and brush down because it will create a big mess of knots and time is of the essence when brushing little kids.”


Have Fun

Like all things baby, it’s better if you have fun with it. “Try accessories if you have a girl. Scünci makes awesome ones,” she says. Here, and here are some of her favorites. For boys, you can do whatever. Style with Sun Bum Surf Paste and then you can use that with a gentle toothbrush for baby hairs. It’s so cute!”

 Go ahead, use a baby shampoo, we won’t judge. Our picks live HERE!

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