When Do Babies’ Hair Start To Curl

When Do Babies’ Hair Start To Curl


Welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting time for parents, and often, one of the first things they’ll notice is the little one’s hair. From straight to curly, baby hair comes in various textures and styles.

But when do babies’ hair start to curl? In this article, we’ll explore the factors that contribute to a baby’s hair texture, the stages of hair growth, and when you can expect those adorable curls to emerge.

Baby Hair Types

There are generally three types of baby hair:

Straight Hair:

This hair type lies flat on the head and doesn’t have any noticeable curls or waves.

Wavy Hair:

This hair type has a slight bend or wave to it, but not as much as curly hair.

Curly Hair:

This hair type has a defined curl pattern, ranging from loose curls to tight coils.

Genetics and Baby Hair Types

Genetics plays a crucial role in determining a baby’s hair type, including its texture, color, and growth patterns. Both parents contribute to the genetic makeup of their child, and several genes are responsible for the characteristics of hair. Understanding how genetics influence hair types can help you anticipate what your baby’s hair might look like and how it may change over time.

  • The Curly Hair Gene: The gene responsible for curly hair is dominant, meaning that if at least one parent has curly hair, there is a greater chance the baby will also have curly hair.
  • Incomplete Dominance: In some cases, the curly hair gene may not be fully dominant. This can result in a baby having wavy hair, which is a blend of straight and curly hair traits.
  1. Hair Texture: Hair texture, whether straight hair, wavy hair, or curly, is predominantly determined by genetics. Specific genes control the shape of hair follicles, which in turn influences the hair’s texture. Straight hair has round follicles, wavy hair has oval follicles, and curly hair has more flattened follicles.
  2. The curly hair gene is dominant, meaning that if one parent has curly hair and the other has straight hair, the child is more likely to inherit the curly hair gene. However, incomplete dominance can result in wavy hair, which is an intermediate texture between straight and curly hair.
  3. Hair Color: Hair color is determined by the presence and distribution of pigments called melanin. There are two types of melanin found in hair: eumelanin, which is responsible for darker hair shades, and pheomelanin, which gives hair a lighter or reddish hue.
  4. The specific combination and concentration of these pigments in a person’s hair are determined by multiple genes inherited from both parents. Hair color can also change over time as the production of melanin decreases with age, leading to gray or white hair.
  5. Hair Density and Thickness: The density of hair, or the number of hair follicles per square inch of the scalp, is also genetically determined. Some individuals are born with a higher density of hair follicles, resulting in thicker hair, while others may have fewer follicles, leading to thinner hair.
  6. The thickness of individual hair strands is also influenced by genetics. Some people inherit genes that produce thicker hair strands, while others have thinner strands.
  7. Hair Growth Patterns: Genetics also influence hair growth patterns, such as the rate at which hair grows, the age at which hair loss may begin, and the pattern of hair loss. Some individuals may inherit genes that lead to faster or slower hair growth, while others may be more prone to hair loss due to genetic factors.

In conclusion, genetics play a significant role in determining a baby’s hair type, texture, color, and growth patterns. While it’s not always possible to predict with certainty how a baby’s hair will look or change over time, understanding the role of genetics can provide some insight into what to expect as your child grows.

Keep in mind that environmental factors and hair care practices can also influence your baby’s hair, so it’s essential to provide proper care and attention to maintain their hair’s health and appearance

Factors Influencing Baby Hair Texture

Factors Influencing Baby Hair Texture

Various factors can influence a baby’s hair texture, including genetics, hormones, and environmental factors. Understanding these factors can help you better predict when your baby’s hair may start to curl or change in other ways.

  1. Genetics: A baby’s genetic makeup, inherited from both parents, plays a significant role in determining hair texture. The curly hair gene is dominant, meaning that if one parent has curly hair, there’s a higher chance the baby will have naturally curly hair as well. However, incomplete dominance can also occur, resulting in wavy hair if one parent has straight hair and the other has curly hair.
  2. Hormones: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect a baby’s hair texture. Some old wives’ tales suggest that severe heartburn during pregnancy signifies the baby will have lush locks or curly hair, but there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that hormonal fluctuations can influence hair growth and texture in both the mother and the baby.
  3. Baby and Toddler Hair Growth Stages: A child’s hair goes through several stages of growth, starting from the womb and continuing throughout its early years. It’s not uncommon for a baby’s hair texture to change during these stages. For instance, a baby born with straight hair may develop curls as they grow older or vice versa.
  4. Environmental Factors: A baby’s hair can also be affected by external factors such as humidity, temperature, and exposure to chemicals or harsh hair care products. These factors can cause temporary changes in the hair’s texture, like frizzy hair in humid conditions, but generally won’t have a long-term impact on the hair’s natural texture.
  5. Hair Care Practices: How you care for your baby’s hair can also influence its texture. For example, allowing your baby’s hair to air dry naturally can help encourage natural curls, while brushing wet hair can make it appear straighter. It’s essential to use gentle hair care products and practices to maintain your baby’s hair texture and overall hair health.

As your baby grows and develops, it’s possible that its hair texture will change, especially in the first few months and years of life. This is due to a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors.

So, if you’re a new parent wondering when your baby’s hair will start to curl, or her hair will change in other ways, keep in mind that there are many stages and factors at play, and each child’s hair journey is unique.

Hair Growth Stages in Babies

Babies go through several stages of hair growth, and their hair texture may change as they grow:

  1. Newborn Stage: Babies are often born with a soft, downy layer of hair called lanugo, which typically falls out within the first few weeks of life. most newborns usually have little or no hair
  2. Infancy Stage: After the lanugo falls out, a baby’s true hair begins to grow. This stage may last anywhere from a few months to a year, and the baby’s hair texture may change during this time.
  3. Toddler Stage: As babies become toddlers, their hair continues to grow and mature, and its final texture begins to set in.

When Does a Baby’s Hair Start to Curl?

As mentioned earlier, babies’ hair texture may change as they grow. Here’s when you can expect curls to develop in your little one:

Newborn Stage: Some babies are born with naturally curly or wavy hair, which can be seen immediately after birth. However, this initial hair may not be their permanent texture, as it can change in the coming months.

Infancy Stage: During the first few months of a baby’s life, its hair may start to show signs of curliness as it grows. This is when you may begin to see those adorable curls taking shape. Keep in mind that hair texture can still change during this stage, so your baby’s hair may become straighter or curlier as time goes on.

Toddler Stage: By the time your child reaches the toddler stage, their hair has likely gone through most of its significant changes. At this point, you can expect their hair texture to be more stable, whether it’s straight, wavy, or curly.

Caring for Your Baby’s Hair

Taking care of your baby’s hair, regardless of its texture, is essential to maintaining its health and appearance. Here are some tips for keeping your little one’s locks in top shape:

Proper Washing Techniques: Use a gentle, tear-free shampoo to cleanse your baby’s hair, and avoid washing it too frequently to prevent drying it out.

Moisturizing and Detangling: For curly or frizzy hair, apply a baby-safe conditioner or moisturizer to help keep the hair hydrated and easier to detangle. Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to gently remove any knots.

Styling Tips: Avoid using tight hair accessories or pulling your baby’s hair too tightly, as this can cause breakage and discomfort. Instead, opt for soft headbands, loose ponytails, or cute clips to keep hair out of their face.


In conclusion, babies’ hair can start to curl at any stage, from newborn to toddlerhood, and is influenced by genetics, environmental factors, and growth stages. As your baby grows, keep an eye on their hair texture, and adjust your care routine accordingly to ensure their locks stay healthy and beautiful.



At what age does baby hair texture change?

Baby hair texture can change at various stages throughout childhood, but significant changes are most commonly observed between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. As a child grows, the hair’s texture can become more defined or shift entirely due to genetic and hormonal factors. It’s essential to remember that each child’s hair development is unique and physical changes may occur at different rates.

How do I keep my newborn curls?

To maintain your newborn’s curls, gently cleanse their hair using a mild, sulfate-free shampoo designed for babies. Avoid overwashing; 1-2 times a week is usually sufficient. After washing, use a soft, absorbent towel to pat the hair dry, avoiding rubbing or tugging.

Apply a light, leave-in conditioner or baby-safe hair oil to keep the curls moisturized and detangle any knots using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers.

Can a baby with straight hair eventually develop curly hair?

Yes, it’s possible for a baby with straight hair to develop curls as they grow, particularly during the infancy stage when hair texture can change significantly.

Will my baby’s curly hair become straight over time?

While it’s possible for a baby’s hair texture to change, it’s more common for curly hair to remain curly as the child grows older. However, the curl pattern may loosen or tighten over time.

How can I tell if my baby will have curly or straight hair?

Genetics plays a significant role in determining hair texture, so looking at both parents’ hair can give you some indication of what to expect. However, since hair texture can change during infancy, it may take some time to determine your baby’s final hair type.

Do hair care products for babies differ based on hair texture?

While some hair care products are specifically designed for certain hair types, most baby shampoos and conditioners are gentle and suitable for all hair textures.

Is it normal for a baby’s hair to be frizzy?

Frizziness can occur in all hair types but is more common in curly or wavy hair. To combat frizz, keep your baby’s hair moisturized and gently detangle it with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers.



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.