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What Causes a Toddler's Hair Not to Grow?

author image Juniper Russo
Juniper Russo, an eclectic autodidact, has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has appeared in several online and print-based publications, including Animal Wellness. Russo regularly publishes health-related content and advocates an evidence-based, naturopathic approach to health care.
What Causes a Toddler's Hair Not to Grow?
Sold children develop long locks before entering the toddler years. Photo Credit: Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images

Some children are born with a full head of thick locks, but others retain a sleek, bald scalp well into their toddler years. In most cases, toddlers with little or no hair are perfectly healthy, but persistent baldness may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. A qualified health care provider should evaluate any toddler who is experiencing persistent hair loss or no hair growth. If the pediatrician suspects that a medical condition is responsible, the child may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation.

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Some toddlers are genetically predisposed to slow hair growth. Dr. Bud Zukow, author of "Baby: An Owner's Manual," reports that Caucasian babies are particularly prone to prolonged baldness. Many babies of European descent will have little or no hair until age two or later.

Infant Hair Loss

Dr. Alan Greene notes on that most children will have two "crops" of hair during infancy. In some children, the second crop may not arrive until early toddlerhood.

Fungal Infection

According to, the website of a support group for people suffering from significant hair loss or failed hair growth, fungal infections may cause hair loss in children. Tinea capitis, a form of ringworm, can cause a toddler to lose much of the hair on the back of her scalp. Severe cases of seborrhea, or cradle cap, can also contribute to hair loss in toddlers.

Alopecia Areata

This autoimmune disorder causes children to lose circular patches of hair on the scalp; it ultimately leads to total baldness. Children with alopecia areata may begin displaying symptoms during infancy or toddlerhood. Alopecia areata is untreatable, but hair may regrow within one year. Children with this rare condition generally wear wigs to obscure baldness.

Traction Alopecia reports that traction alopecia is a very common cause of hair loss in toddlers, particularly girls. Frequent styling can cause a toddler's hair to fall out, leading to baldness and poor hair growth. Parents should avoid styling or brushing a toddler's hair frequently.

Nutritional Deficiences

Dr. Alan Greene notes that severe nutritional deficiencies can sometimes cause baldness or poor hair growth in babies and toddlers. Severe cases of iron, zinc and protein deficiency may be responsible for baldness in toddlers, but these problems are rare in the developed world.

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