For whatever reasons you intend to shave your baby’s head, it is better to wait until his head becomes firm. Not cutting a baby’s hair before one year old is not a superstition but purely science. An infant’s skull is tender and will not harden until around his first birthday, when the bones fuse. Thus, one year is the safe age for infants to sport a clean-shaven head look. It is also ideal and more manageable since, by that time, babies can already sit unsupported.
Why shave a baby’s head?
There are a few reasons why some parents may choose to shave off their baby’s hair. Some parents may do it out of cultural practice and invite good luck.
Other parents think removing the baby’s hair will ultimately cure cradle cap or eczema. It is also believed that shaving a baby’s head will encourage thicker hair growth.
1. Religious and cultural belief
Mundan, or Tonsure, is a Hindu tradition of shaving the baby’s birth hair with medical and religious relevance. Accordingly, a shaved baby’s head can absorb Vitamin D better during sunlight exposure. It also relives inner heat, keeps the baby cool, and stimulates nerve and brain function.
Shaving birth hair is also believed to be a form of purification and a symbol of good luck. Tonsure is also practiced by Muslims and some countries in Asia and Latin America.
The age of babies shaved off varies in every tradition. In Hindu for example, boys are tonsured at their odd age like 3, 5, 7, or 9 months. Girls have their hair shaved off at their even age months.
2. Hair growth
Infants tend to lose all of their baby hair and grow new ones until they are about six months old. If the child suffers from cradle cap or eczema, hair fall is inevitable.
You probably hear about it often, but hair growth after shaving is just a myth. Whether you remove their hair in infancy or not, babies will grow their mature hair.
The volume and hair growth is still dependent on genes and nutrition. Thus, attempting to shave a baby’s head to achieve thicker locks may seem a bit futile.
When to shave a baby’s hair?
The right age for shaving your little one’s hair is when they reach one year old. Some parents may insist on the 6th month, but the safest is after his first birthday.
Infants are born with a soft skull that will gradually fuse and harden. That is why some babies born with a flat head, for some reasons, can still be corrected. If your baby has a head that soft, running a razor over is not a very good idea.
If you really need to, wait until your baby’s head is firm and hard. He should also be able to sit properly in the chair while having his hair clipped.
Tips on shaving a baby’s hair
Whatever the baby’s age, a haircut can be a traumatic experience. It is especially true for baby boys who are about to get their heads shaved. And no barber will tell you it is easy, maybe more if you do it yourself.
To get through the ordeal, you need to arm yourself with some helpful tips for shaving to go smoothly.
- Do the haircut when your baby is in a happy and good mood. Cranky babies are worse when cutting the hair, and a slight movement may cause him a cut.
- Role-play shaving before the actual activity to let your baby accustomed and excited for his first haircut.
- Make your baby feel comfortable; some barbershops will have seats specially designed for children. You may also have him sit in your lap or somebody he is comfortable with if you are doing the shaving yourself.
- Bring ample distractions like toys and things that your baby loves and keep him calm.
- While snacks may be helpful, they can also get messy and unsafe with all the trimmings. If you are bottle-feeding, giving your baby a bottle while shaving his hair may help.
- Talk or sing to your little one to keep him distracted.
- Give him a break if he is feeling overwhelmed.
After you have successfully shaved off your baby’s locks, aftercare is also important. Clean and brush off all the hair clippings and give your baby a warm bath.
You may apply non-comedogenic baby hair oil and gently massage his scalp. It will help moisturize your baby’s head and prevent any dryness and irritation.
If you want to freshen your baby for the summer, the decision is up to you. It would be best to seek a professional barber or stylist who can handle little children. And if possible, choose home service to make your child more at ease.
If shaving a baby’s head is a myth, why do some children develop thicker locks after shaving their head off?
It is merely an illusion of thicker hair as it regrows evenly and with blunt edges, compared to infancy hair.
Will shaving my baby’s head cure his cradle cap?
The flaking and scaling on your baby’s scalp will usually clear up after a few months. It may look gross, but it is harmless for infants. Shaving the hair may only irritate the scalp from hair clippings that will set into the flakes.
Should I worry about my baby’s hair falling?
All babies will lose some or all of their hair in infancy. There is no need to freak out seeing those bits in your little one’s pillow. The terminal or mature hair will replace their soft vellus hair until babies are around four to six months old.
Shaving a baby’s hair is the parent’s personal choice, but the practice is not always necessary. There is no reason why parents should unless deemed by their cultural beliefs.
If you want to shave his head in hopes of getting thicker locks, you may need to rethink your decision. A child’s hair growth is determined by genetics, and there is little you can do about it.