“Baby hairs” are the thin, wispy hairs that sometimes grow around your hairline. Also called “peach fuzz” or “vellus,” these hairs have a much different texture than the hair around the rest of your head.
This difference in texture often means that these hairs are hard to style, and they don’t lay flat. Baby hairs sometimes cause cowlicks, which are sections of hair that stick up and away from your head
Despite their name, baby hairs often stay with you past adolescence and late into adulthood.
Keep reading to better understand baby hairs as it relates to:
- why they happen
- how to style them
- how to finally get rid of them if they’re driving you nuts
Baby hairs are a type of vellus hair. This type of hair occurs all over your body, including your chest, arms, and legs. It tends to be softer and lighter than the “terminal hair” that grows out of your head.
Vellus hair that sprouts around your temples, your forehead, right above your ears and at the nape of your neck is what people typically mean when they talk about “baby hairs.”
Vellus that’s right next to your terminal hair creates an irregular hairline. It can also make styling your hair challenging, as these hairs tend to be somewhat resistant to a blow-dryer or straightening iron.
Since baby hairs are short and fine, they also have less weight than the rest of your hair, which makes it even more challenging.
Baby hairs grow in during your childhood. They’re meant to serve a purpose, including:
- protecting your skin from irritation
- wicking away sweat
- keeping your body warm
Vellus that grows on the rest of your body may not be as irritating as baby hairs.
But patches of vellus that grows right next to your terminal hair tends to really stand out. It can usually appear as a different texture and lighter color from the rest of your hair.
You can learn to live with your baby hairs by adopting styling strategies to make them work for you. You may also want to consider removing your baby hairs.
Here are some styling tips you can try:
- Go with the grain. If you’re trying to style your baby hairs, try to work with the direction that they grow instead of styling them to lie flat in another direction.
- You can use a small amount of hair gel, mouse, or even water teamed with a small, round barrel brush to bring hairs forward and comb them down.
- Create small ringlets that frame your face or gel baby hairs down so that they form a subtle crown around your hairline.
- Using bobby pins, try to twist small sections of your hair over your baby hairs to create a style that makes them less noticeable.
- If you’re aiming for a pin-straight hairstyle, style your baby hairs separately, using a small, round brush. You don’t want to dry or burn your baby hairs with too much heat from a straightener or curling iron. But you may be able to tame them carefully with some patience and your blow-dryer set on cool or low.
- If your hair is curly or porous, you may be able to create length in your baby hairs by using a fine-toothed comb to pull them down and together. Using your fingers and some hair product, you may be able to create curls that look more intentional instead of small ones that stick up or look bumpy under the rest of your hair.
- When you braid or plait your hair, don’t try to incorporate baby hairs. Pat them down and comb them out into a style of their own.
If you’re not able to style your baby hairs and just can’t stand having them anymore, you may want to consider removing them.
Waxing is one option, but when you’re working with hair on your forehead and nape of the neck, it can be hard to get a result that lasts and looks even.
Laser hair removal for your baby hair is another option. This will remove baby hair, changing the way your hairline appears permanently.
However, laser hair removal will only get rid of some of your baby hairs. Other baby hairs that are shorter, lighter, and finer may grow in to take their place.
Laser hair removal works best if you have dark hair and light skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists.
Baby hairs can be a source of irritation, but they do serve a function.
People who have a perfectly symmetrical hairline like you see in magazines are most likely the result of photo editing. For most of us, baby hairs are a part of life.
Learning to adapt to your baby hairs by making them part of your signature hairstyle is one way to rock what you’ve got. Another option is baby hair removal, which can have varying results.