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Child has rough hair on back of head. Will it be improved after shaving?

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Practicing since : 1998
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Hello Doctor

My daughter will turn 3 next month. Hair at back of her head are very rough and remain tangled while rest of hair are good. We have tried oiling and shampooing them but to no effect. Is there any thing we can do?

Should we shave her head again to improve this? She had her head shaved when she was 11 months old.

Also, she does not eat too well and weighs just 12.5 kg at almost 3 years. What can we do to improve her weight? Her height is about 2ft 11 inches.

Posted Wed, 20 Mar 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 41 hours later

Thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

It’s a difficult task to deal with your baby's tangled hair.

It requires a lot of patience and effort from your part.

You are doing most of it any way.
Shampoo your baby's head. Post shampooing, apply hair oil. Use a wide toothed comb and start combing from the bottom of the hair. If the strangles is tightly fixed use your fingers gently and try to remove the tangles. Be careful not to hurt the baby.

Preventive measures are important. They include regular shampooing, regular combing with a wide toothed soft comb, not allowing any spill over to dry on the scalp, using soft silky cloth on the pillow to reduce friction while sleeping, regularly oiling the baby's hair etc.

If you cannot go through all that, you may go ahead and shave her head once again. However, even after post shaving I advise you to follow regular preventive measures I already described to prevent further tangles.

Your baby is growing normally. Her weight and height are within normal ranges. (Her past weight and height records will help me to comment further)

I advise a complete balanced diet rather than measures to improve her weight.

Fat and calorie XXXXXXX diet may improve weight but we do not want to just improve weight. That is not at all good for your kid.

Children sometimes do not accept some food items. Sometimes they may not accept any food item and there will be decreased appetite for some time. This is absolutely normal. (If the child is otherwise active and playful). Do not try to force-feed the child during such episodes. This will result in food problems.

Eat together as a family and provide example to the child. This can be done by consuming the right things like fruits, vegetables etc and telling the kid how tasty, yummy and good they are.

Hope this helps you and I hope I answered your query.

I request you to ask further questions (you are also allowed few follow up questions) and I will answer them in detail.

Waiting for your queries.

You may contact me with further details later after the follow up questions on the following URL...........
In such scenario, the questions are directly forwarded to me.............. and I can answer your queries regarding your kid online regularly.

Hope this helps.
Take care

Dr Y V Siva Sankara Murty
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has rough hair on back of head. Will it be improved after shaving? 38 hours later
Hello Doctor

Thanks for your reply. Another question I have is that she starts coughing badly when she runs for some time or keeps jumping. I am not sure if this is normal or not.

I used to have allergic asthama in childhood which was triggered by dust and smoke. Now however, I have no such problem.

What can we do to ensure that she does not have this problem?

Answered by Dr. Y V Siva Sankara Murty 7 hours later

Thanks for writing to me.

There is a condition called exercise induced bronchial asthma. Your bronchial asthma during childhood is a supporting point.

In exercise induced asthma the child starts coughing after a exercise.

Does your child have any abnormal sounds like wheezing after exercise?
Is there any chest retractions (indrawing of chest after exercise) or rapid breathing noticed?

We confirm the diagnosis by taking a small test (like PEFR) after the exercise and ruling out other diagnosis if physical examination is suggestive of.

After confirmation we start with salbutamol given by meter dose inhaler given 15 min before exercise. Normally problem gets controlled with this. If symptoms still persist we start on inhaled steroid.

Hope this helps.
Take care
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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