How to Wash Newborn Hair – When Can I Start Washing Baby’s Hair?

Let me make a small confession – I didn’t know I needed a tutorial on how to wash a newborn hair until my second child. My mum pretty much did everything for me after my first delivery – and I admit that was wrong of me.

Now that I have taken that out of my chest, let’s talk about when you can start washing your baby’s hair – and everything that comes with it. Yes, it is not as easy as it sounds; nothing that concerns a baby is as easy as it sounds.

When I knew my mom was not going to be around for my second baby, I had to carry out some research on how to take care of a newborn – especially in their first few weeks. You needed to see how surprised I was to find out that there are special precautions when it comes to washing a newborn baby’s hair.

In this article, we are going to highlight how to wash a newborn hair, when you should start washing the baby’s hair – yes, you cannot start immediately, the benefits, how to dry the hair, and many more.

Writing this article has got to be one of my best engagements yet. So, let us get it going and take one step further to equip ourselves with the best tips to care for our baby.


How to Wash Newborn Baby’s Hair

If you are already having an impression that washing a newborn baby’s hair does not take the same procedure as washing their hair when they get older, your impression is correct.

When it comes to hair, babies differ – and this is mostly as a result of hereditary traits. You can have a newborn baby with a full head, and there are some with very little or near to nothing on their head.

No matter the volume of hair on your newborn at birth, washing a newborn baby’s head is usually the same procedure. For the first set of washes for a baby’s hair, rinse with water only; after all, a baby’s hair is not too dirty for a serious wash.

However, as the baby gets a little bit older, you can gently massage the baby’s hair and scalp with a baby-care shampoo before rinsing. According to experts, taking special care of a baby’s hair can help prevent cradle cap and infections. It also helps to keep the baby’s hair moisturized.

When rinsing or washing with shampoo (when the baby is older), be sure to use lukewarm water. Support the baby’s hair with your palm and pour the water over the hair with a cup to rinse the hair or rinse the shampoo. Note that you should always pat the newborn baby’s hair dry after rinsing. Avoid leaving the water on the baby’s head to prevent the baby from catching a cold – especially during winter. In summer, leaving the water is fine though. [Also Read: How to Swaddle Your Baby In Summer]


When Can I start Washing Baby’s Hair?

A baby does not need to have a daily bath, so you will stay awhile without washing their hair. But I know every mother buzzes to give their baby a good bath, but when is the best time to start washing a baby’s hair?

You should start washing your baby’s hair with a mild shampoo after 2 months of age. By this time, the baby is old enough to handle the temperature of the water running around his or her body.

Yes, nurses and midwives bathe your baby immediately after birth, but they make sure that the baby does not spend too much time in the water. You are not trained to have that precision, so it is best to wait until the baby is about – or over two months of age.

When you want to give the baby a bath, make sure you raise the water to the perfect temperature. Like I always say, when it comes to a baby’s bathwater, lukewarm is always best because a baby’s skin is very tender and cannot handle the water if it is warm.

When bathing the baby, unlike in adults, do make sure you wash the baby’s hair last so as to prevent the baby from catching a cold. You can use a damp cloth to wipe the baby’s head or you can decide to wash the baby’s hair by gently massaging a handful of mild shampoo into his or her head before you rinse.

To rinse, support the baby’s head in your arm and use the other hand to pour water from a cup over the hair. Try your best to prevent the soapy water from getting into the baby’s eyes.

[Also Read: Cradle Cap Cause, Treatment And Prevention]


Benefits of Washing Baby’s Hair

Just like with adults, there are various benefits of washing a baby’s hair. One point you should keep to note is that you should wash your baby’s hair only once or twice weekly – no, not daily.

Your baby can have thick or thin hair – today, there seem to be different products for the difference in thickness available in the market. But, frankly speaking, there is nothing peculiar about thick or thin hair, as far as the shampoo is specially formulated for babies.

To be on the safer side, you should ask your medical adviser to prescribe a good product for your baby, rather than going with the promotional content on the labels of baby shampoo in a mall.

Before we get lost in talking about the right products for their hair wash, let us highlight the benefits of washing a baby’s hair.

Below, we have highlighted 7 benefits of washing your baby’s hair. Check them out:

7 Benefits of Washing Your Baby’s Hair

  • Washing your baby’s hair help to cleanse the baby’s scalp properly – better than what the damp towel will do.
  • Washing your baby’s hair helps to heal cradle cap or any reaction the baby may have on their head.
  • When you wash your baby’s hair with a good shampoo, it gives your baby a good lasting smell.
  • Washing your baby’s hair makes the baby feel refreshed and relaxed – just like you, every baby like a good bath – yeah, regardless of how loud they cry during the bath.
  • When you wash a baby’s hair, it keeps it soft, shiny, and attractive.
  • Washing your baby’s hair makes the baby’s hair healthier and makes it grow better.
  • When you wash your baby’s hair, it helps to regulate their overall body temperature.


Can I Dry My Baby’s Hair After Washing?

To respond to this question with a straightforward answer; my response is a yes! You can, and should dry your baby’s hair after washing to reduce the chances of making the baby catch a cold after washing.

Also, part of the things you need to do when taking care of a baby is to apply special ointment on the baby’s head regularly. Drying the baby’s hair after washing will allow you to do this conveniently.

However, depending on the weather and the reason for the wash or bath, you may decide to pat the hair down with a clean towel, but not fully dry the hair. But, as a general rule for your washing procedures, you should dry your baby’s hair after washing.

During hot seasons, after an afternoon shower, you can decide to leave the baby’s hair a little bit wet to enable the baby to retain some moisture for coolness. Also, you should do this if the baby has full locks of hair naturally. If the hair is scanty or thin, you should consider drying the baby’s hair at all times after wash.


How to Dry Baby’s Hair After Washing the Hair

After you have gently rinsed the shampoo off your baby’s hair, there are ways you can allow it dry. Like I stated earlier, if you do not want the hair to dry naturally, there are different ways you can choose to dry your baby’s hair.

You can use a soft baby towel to gently stroke the baby’s hair until it is dried. Also, many nursing mothers and caregivers use a soft brush if the baby has thin air. The soft brush will not only dry hair, but it will also style it.

Nowadays, many nursing mothers chose to use a blow dryer, but I do not advise this. Although it is good for germs prevention, blow dryers can be risky and I do not advise the use of anything that can put a baby at risk. When speaking to nursing mothers on how to wash newborn hair, I advise that you stick to using a baby’s towel or brush, even when the blow dryer expels cool air.



How to wash your newborn hair is one important aspect of baby care knowledge that every nursing mother or caregiver should pay attention to.

It is not only important to wash your baby’s hair to improve hygiene and cleanliness, washing their hair once or twice a week improves their overall well-being.

As I mentioned earlier in the article, take special precaution when you wash your baby’s hair and be sure to use the right shampoo – not soap, when doing so. What this entails is that, you will have to wash the hair separately when you bath the baby.