Babies are beautiful and wonderful little humans. When we decide to start a family, we make so many plans and imagine every possible scenario in our minds of how things will be.
Mostly, we imagine that our babies will look like we see in magazines and advertisements. But the truth is that every baby is different and beautiful in its own way.
Some will be born with a full head of dark hair, long lashes, and defined eyebrows, while other babies are born bald with tiny blonde hairs instead of eyebrows. As time passes, their features will change and become more distinct, which is all part of the process and development of a child.
As time goes by, some parents may become antsy if their baby’s eyebrows are not prominent and begin questioning whether an underlying issue is preventing hair growth.
So, when do babies get eyebrows? Let’s explore the different aspects that play a part in eyebrow growth and a baby’s development to understand it better.
Do babies have eyebrows?
The answer to this question is: yes. Babies are born with eyebrows, whether you can see them or not. Newborn baby eyebrows may be visible and dark, but they also may be very light hair that, at first sight, seems invisible.
You can try looking at your baby’s face so that the light shines on their delicate skin, and you may notice tiny fine blond eyebrows that otherwise seem invisible.
A baby begins to develop hair follicles by the 14th week of gestation. Hair starts to sprout from the follicles on the eyebrows, upper lip, and chin at around 20 weeks, and by week 22 it may be visible on the back, shoulders, ears, and forehead.
This first peach fuzz baby hair is called ‘Lanugo’, and it’s usually lost before birth, although preemie babies can be born with lots of lanugo since they’re born before shedding it.
The point is that hair follicles form during the gestational period, and children are born with all the follicles they’ll ever have. So, don’t worry if you can’t see your baby’s eyebrows yet. If the follicles are there, they will eventually become more noticeable as the baby grows.
The ethnicity and hair characteristics (thickness, color, etc.) of the parents will define the result for the baby’s eyebrow color, so if, for example, your baby has Nordic genes, they will probably have very fine, almost white hair that seems invisible until they become older, but most likely they’ll always have blonde eyebrows.
Compared to Latin American and European genes, which tend to have darker, thicker, and more abundant hair. In such cases, you can expect your baby’s eyebrows to grow and thicken earlier as brown hair and black hair tend to be more prominent on little eyebrows.
The hair texture also depends on ethnicity and DNA. You’ll notice that up until their second birthday, your baby’s hair will experience many changes, including hair color, thickness, and texture.
When should eyebrows begin to show?
Sometimes it only takes a few weeks after a baby’s born to start noticing eyebrows, but in most cases, by the 2nd or 3rd month, your baby should have more distinct eyebrows because the hair will have thickened, making the eyebrow line more noticeable.
Remember, this will all depend on many factors, and there’s nothing wrong if it takes a bit longer in your case to grow hair. This is just an estimated time frame, and in some cases, you’ll have to wait a full year before the baby’s eyebrows grow.
Babies born prematurely could also take more time to develop visible eyebrows. Although they might be growing healthy pace, you have to consider the gestational age when they were born when calculating their age. Premature babies are not expected to accomplish milestones the same way a full-term baby is, and that’s ok.
Babies develop eyebrows in different colors depending on their DNA and ethnic background, and, usually, baby eyebrows change color with time. It’s understood that during the first two years of a child’s life, their hair can change color, reaching the ultimate shade and thickness by the two-year mark.
Can I stimulate eyebrow growth on a baby?
Some parents want to get things moving faster and there’re a lot of commercial products that promote hair growth. However, they are intended to be used by adults or older children, not on babies and especially not on newborns.
We’re not doctors, but as a basic safety rule when caring for a baby, if a product may be harmful to a person if accidentally ingested or gets in contact with eyes, then it’s best not to be used on small babies.
Newborns nearly constantly touch their faces, sometimes even scratch them, and suck their hands. So if you apply a product and the baby touches it and then drags it across their eyes or sucks it from their fingers, there’s a risk for the baby’s safety.
Also, the chemicals in products that stimulate hair growth are too harsh and can harm a baby’s delicate skin and cause reactions requiring medical intervention.
In conclusion, using commercial products to grow eyebrows is not advisable and should be first consulted with a medical professional.
There are natural alternatives that may be less harsh, but still should be approved by a pediatrician just in case.
- Aloe Vera: some people say that applying natural aloe Vera pulp on the eyebrow area and letting it sit for around 30 minutes before removing it helps to achieve fuller and darker eyebrow hair on babies.
- Coconut oil: massaging virgin, food-grade coconut oil on the eyebrows in the direction of the hair growth it’s a safer way to boost growth while strengthening and improving the baby’s skin. You can also try this with extra virgin olive oil.
Some parents have also tried drawing fake eyebrows on their babies, which can lead to harmful reactions. Remember, most babies have sensitive skin, and most cosmetic products are too harsh for a baby’s skin.
If you still want to play around with drawing fake eyebrows, or make them fuller, then try using makeup for sensitive skin and avoid using permanent marker at all cost (you will have a tough time trying to get that off and may cause more damage to their skin).
Naturally, the best way is to wait it out and be patient. Those eyebrows framing your baby’s cute eyes will eventually develop naturally so there’s no real need to become desperate.
What about if my baby’s eyebrows are falling out?
There are some cases where your baby’s eyebrows may fall out, which is usually caused by cradle cap, a very common condition among newborns.
Cradle cap is a skin disorder, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, which causes an itchy rash usually on the baby’s scalp, but it can spread to other areas, including their eyebrows, and cause temporary hair loss.
However, this condition can be easily treated at home, or you can consult with your pediatrician if you’re not getting results with home treatments.
And don’t worry, this is a transitory situation, and eventually, those pretty eyebrows will grow back.
Red eyebrows on babies
You may notice redness in the skin around your baby’s eyebrows, which may simply indicate that you’re dealing with an overtired baby. Sometimes babies don’t show obvious signs of tiredness, but if you pay close attention, you will notice subtle changes like redness around the eyebrows and take it as a cue to lay them down to sleep.
If the redness in the skin spreads to other areas, seems itchy and doesn’t go away after resting, check for allergy signs or maybe mild lactose intolerance. If your baby is breastfed, analyze what the mother’s been eating that may cause the baby to react badly and remove it from their diet. For more instructions and information, consult a medical professional.
Finally, is there a possibility that your baby has actual red hair? If you notice your baby’s eyebrows turning red and there’re red hair genes in the baby’s DNA, then maybe that’s what’s happening. Red hair is more common on facial areas, including the eyebrows, and sometimes the baby’s head hair may be darker while having red eyebrows.
What else can I do?
For a person to thrive, one of the main aspects is nourishment to ensure health and growth. Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to ensure you have a healthy and well-fed baby. Mothers that favor mineral-rich food provide better breast milk to babies and this, in turn, helps stimulate eyebrow growth.
If you’re breastfeeding, include iron-rich foods such as eggs, legumes, chicken, turkey, and fish. Also, have carrot juice and almonds for a boost in Vitamin E. To ensure a good Vitamin C supply for both mom and baby, including sprouts, broccoli, fresh orange juice, cabbage, peaches, and kiwi.
If you can’t breastfeed or are supplementing with formula, make sure the formula is packed full of nutrients and fortified with iron to have the same results as breastfed babies.
Your baby’s development is a journey full of changes. So don’t get antsy and desperate if your baby has sparse eyebrows or none at all. In time they will grow, so enjoy the process.