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Does Toddler Hair Get Thicker Over Time?


You may be wondering if your toddler’s hair will get thicker over time, and we have an answer to your question!

A toddler’s hair will get thicker over time. Their hair begins to thicken when they are two years of age. However, the time and rate of hair growth and thickness of every child’s hair primarily depends on genetics and nutrition.

Here, we will learn if a toddler’s hair thickens, how long it takes, and all the fun processes that go into growing out that gorgeous mane!

Does toddler hair get thicker?

The Science of Baby Hair

Fetuses become babies, and babies go on to become toddlers. In all of these stages, they have some form of hair.

In the womb, the fetus has its entire body covered in lanugo hair which begins to shed weeks before birth. Lanugo hair is fine and soft with almost no pigment and no medulla (source).

Most babies are born with tiny lanugo hairs left over, but it is soon shed off after birth.

A slightly different kind of baby hair pops up in the few months after birth– the vellus hair. The vellus is similar to the lanugo but has an upgrade –a medulla! This thin, fine hair covers most parts of the body.

During these transitions, the child’s follicles are slowly maturing and taking proper shape. After two years, the vellus hair on the scalp, eyebrows, and lashes eventually become replaced by terminal hair. Vellus hair, however, grows throughout life, even in regions like the scalp.

The terminal hair has pigment and medulla and takes on the texture and color that genetics dictates (source). This hair increases in volume and length, and in non-blonde children, darker hair fills up spaces and former bald spots at about two to three years of age.

What Is a Toddler’s Hair Like?

Toddlers usually have delicate, fine, and short hair. A toddler’s hair is often sparse, with spots where there may be very little hair compared to other parts. This may make their hair seem uneven and even scanty.

Usually, the hair thickens as the toddler approaches the second or third year of life (source).

Check with your pediatrician if you notice hair falling out around this age, to rule out nutritional deficiencies.

Toddler hair is fragile and should be handled as such; care should go into grooming and hair and scalp care.

Normal Hair Growth Speed of Toddlers

A toddler’s hair grows on average a half an inch (1.25 cm) every month. It could take up to a year for six inches (15 cm) of growth, give or take.

How To Make Toddler Hair Get Thicker

While it is normal for a toddler not to have a full head of hair, there are ways of facilitating an increase in the thickness of those strands.

Here are a few tips on how to make your toddler’s hair thicker:

  • Monitor their diets and ensure your toddler eats healthy. You are what you eat, after all–your hair included. Foods rich in vitamins A, B, and E, omega-3, and protein are your best bet. 
  • Keep your toddler hydrated. Most toddlers may not be fans of tasteless water, but you should encourage them to drink enough of it. No matter what they think their taste buds are telling them, water is always superior to any tasty drink.
  • Avoid over-manipulation and tight hairstyles. Your toddler’s follicles are still young and should be protected. Traction alopecia does not go easy on the young, so beware!
  • Shampoo hair as often as necessary. Avoid going overboard, as overdoing the shampoo will strip the hair of its precious oils, leaving it prone to breakage. It also helps to deep-condition your toddler’s hair often.
  • Use microfiber towels to dry your toddler’s hair. These velvety soft towels absorb moisture without snagging on strands, making them perfect to use on your toddler’s hair, regardless of the hair texture.
  • Choose hair care products free of dangerous chemicals. You may want to avoid substances like lye, parabens, or phthalates. Opt for products tagged ‘child-friendly’ (source).
  • Ingrain healthy hair habits into your child early. This will ensure your toddler grows into a teenager and then an adult with proper hair care habits and fabulous tresses to show for it (source).


Toddler hair will thicken in time, but the process only begins at roughly two years of age.

It’s natural to get impatient with the process, but there’s not much to do besides good nutrition, waiting, and grooming their hair properly.

While genetics largely controls hair thickness, these are proven and healthy tips that can help maintain and encourage healthy toddler hair growth.

Author Notes:
Teresa is a Registered Nurse in the State of Texas and the mother of two. Opinions and insights on childcare are based on professional knowledge, academic research, and personal experience.

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