Will Cornrowing or Braiding My 5-Month-Old’s Hair Cause Damage?

Trichologist Dr. Kari Williams is a fan of Baby and Blog and has agreed to answer your hair questions as they arrive! If you have a baby/child hair related question that you want answered, email leila@babyandblog.com and I will pass it along! Here’s a question from Cleo in London.

My 5 month old has ALOT of hair which is really thick. I didn’t want to start styling it as I was worried about putting too much stress on her hair and scalp. However I have recently started to braid it as there is so much of it and it was just getting knotty. My question is is it ok to continue to braid and cornrow her hair or is it better for her if its loose?



Also she has an extremely dry patch of hair in the middle that will not be moisturised with olive oil, coconut oil or Shea butter. I moisturise it daily to no avail and only wash her hair once a week with a sulphate free shampoo (original sprout). Any suggestions?

Dr. Kari;

Your little one is absolutely adorable! I would recommend that you refrain from braiding and cornrowing her hair. At this age, the hair and scalp is so fragile and you do not want to cause any permanent hair loss or damage to the hair follicle. Instead, twist her hair in the same pattern you do the braids to prevent the knotting. The dry patch in her scalp is probably a seborrhea patch caused by the excessive production of sebum (the natural oily substance our scalps produce). An infant’s scalp produces a lot of sebum the first 3-6 months and then it normalizes. The oils wont help because its not dry scalp. It should normalize very soon, so I would encourage you to be patient. If you notice it does not go away in the next couple of months or there are signs of hair loss in the area, I recommend you see your pediatrician.

Mommies, how did you manage your child’s hair during infancy?

Dr. Kari Williams is a Trichologist and Licensed Stylist. She is the owner of Mahogany Hair Revolution in Beverly Hills. She teaches Mahogany Baby Workshops for parents and is the author of the E-book Mini Tresses. For more information visit:www.drkariwilliams.com