What Are Baby Hairs and Why Do They Appear?
Who knew that pesky baby hairs would become one of the most successful hair trends of recent times? Those who have them know that mastering them has not been easy, but once you get the technique right, they look beautiful and can elevate any hairstyle.
These small strands of hair are characterized by having a different texture than the rest of the hair. But why do they appear and how do you style them? We’ll tell you all the details in this article.
What are baby hairs?
Baby hairs are those thin, wispy strands that are very visible on the contours of some people’s faces. Although they have the same growth pattern as normal hair, they are quite different from terminal hair.
For starters, the phases of their hair cycle are shorter and their sebaceous glands aren’t very active compared to the glands in the follicles of terminal hair. This is precisely why they don’t manage to exceed 2 millimeters in length in most cases.
Now, it’s necessary to differentiate baby hairs from terminal hair strands that have broken off. Hair breaks for different reasons, such as the following:
- Wearing very tight hairstyles
- Excessive use of hot irons and tongs
- Damage to the hair structure and weakness
- The use of chemicals such as hair dyes
In any case, these broken hairs stick out, but they are not the same as baby hairs, as they will grow normally.
Why do ‘baby hairs’ appear?
Simply because of genetics! If we refer to articles describing hair and its structure, humans have only three types of hair, and none of them are described as ‘baby hairs’. Let’s take a closer look at this concept.
Of the three types of hair, we find that the first is lanugo, which starts to grow when you’re a fetus and lasts until you’re three months old. After this age, adult hair begins to grow.
So, if baby hairs are to be placed in one of these categories, it’s lanuga, as their structure is very different from the terminal (adult) hairs. Their appearance – determined by the genetics of each person – occurs because there is a growth phase in which this type of hair is short.
That explains why some people have more or less concentration of these hairs. There are even those who have an abundant amount, not only in the contour of the face, but also above the ears and on the nape of the neck.
So you can use baby hairs to your advantage
If you’re one of those women who have baby hair and don’t know how to use them to your advantage, don’t worry! We’re going to tell you how to style them and wear them with pride and style.
- A toothbrush or very fine brush, but with stiff bristles
- Hairspray, gel, or any hairs fixating agent of your choice
Step by step
- Separate the baby hairs from the end strands to give them better manageability. You can do this with the fine tip of a comb or, if you don’t have a lot of experience with this, gather your hair and separate the little hairs that stick out around your contour.
- Wet these hairs well and apply the hairspray of your choice.
- With the toothbrush or fine comb, you will begin to comb them and give them the shape you want.
- You choose if you want to comb them in the direction of the hairstyle you have to hide, or if you want to wear them like a diva. You can make curves and circular shapes.
- Finish off with a little more hairspray; in this case, it’s better to use hairspray so as not to spoil your creation.
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The fringe style: A great option to style baby hairs
As we told you in the previous point, you choose how you want to style your baby hairs. A very interesting option is the fringe style. This proposal is not new; it’s actually very popular among women of African descent, but in the last few years, it has been more popular than ever.
It consists of not hiding your baby hairs, but making them part of the hairstyle you want to wear, almost making them the protagonist. This is achieved by styling these hairs with different patterns, usually curvilinear. They even allow you to disguise the use of wigs very well, as they make these accessories look more natural.
The risks of styling baby hair
Although the technique of styling baby hairs is safe, there are some aspects to consider. One of them, perhaps the most important, has to do with traction alopecia.
As described by experts, this condition is caused by a tightening action on the scalp caused by pulling the hair too much. Although this condition is reversible, in very advanced stages it can lead to permanent scarring alopecia, i.e., absence of hair in the affected area.
On the other hand, the continuous use of fixative products such as hairspray, waxes, mouses, and gels, among others, can have undesirable effects. It’s necessary to choose the best quality products to avoid any damage. When poor-quality formulas are used, damage to the hair strands, weakness, and lack of shine can occur.
So, it’s recommended to let your baby hairs rest regularly and try not to pull the follicles too much when combing them. Likewise, you need to clean your hair thoroughly to avoid product buildup in this area.
Remember to moisturize and care for your hair to keep it healthy.
Like this article? You may also like to read: Swimming and Beauty: Protect Your Hair, Skin, and Nails from Chlorine
Ready to enjoy your baby hairs?
Now you know where your baby hairs come from and why you have them. That said, it’s time to own them and show them off in the best style of Rosalia, Rihana, and even Jennifer Lopez. Don’t miss the opportunity to include them as part of your hairstyle and stop being bothered by their presence.
From now on, take care of your baby hairs, comb them and enjoy them because they’re there, they’re not going to go away, and they’re a wonderful way to enhance your look!
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Garrote, A. & Bonet, . (2004) Cosmética de estilo. Offarm. Vol. 23. Núm. 10.
- Pérez-Elizondo, AD, & Achenbach, RE. (2016). Alopecia por tracción: identificación de un motivo de consulta en dermatología. Revista argentina de dermatología, 97(2), 5-8. Recuperado en 10 de junio de 2023, de http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1851-300X2016000200002&lng=es&tlng=es.
- Suro RJÁ, Gutiérrez FLM, Ruiz ÁJ, et al. El pelo. Generalidades y funciones. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2007;5(4):218-223.