image001There are many myths surrounding the shaving of a baby’s head (mostly the baby’s first haircut), and most of them are influenced by traditions. Some communities believe that a baby’s hair should be done by an elderly person from the same community until the baby is a certain age, while others believe that shaving the baby’s first head of hair will make it grow faster and thicker. However, there are people who do not believe in shaving the head at all. So, should you shave your baby’s hair or just leave it as it is? Read on to find out.

Does Shaving a Baby’s Head Make the Hair Grow Thicker?

What the Experts Say

Shaving a baby’s head has no effect on the hair’s thickness or how it grows. The reason being, hair grows from follicles that are beneath the scalp’s surface. Whatever is done to the hair on the outside does not affect the hair that is developing inside the follicles.

It is not uncommon for babies to lose some or all the hair they had during birth. This loss of hair normally takes place when the baby is about 4 months old. The hair that grows afterwards may take longer to grow, and when it does it is usually curlier or thicker or might even have a different color. Overall, whether you trim, brush or shave the baby’s hair, know that it won’t affect the hair that grows in. That is all dependent on genes.

The Controversy

Advocates say: Just like it is with your hair, when you trim a baby’s hair it tends to appear thicker. Below is the example of the effects of shaving baby’s head:

There is an American family she knows that had twin girls and decided to give this myth a try. They shaved off one of the twin’s hair and did not shave off the hair of the other twin. The twin who had had a shave ended up having a head full of thick hair while the twin whose hair was not shaved was far less thick than the other’s.

                                                                                         Posted by katydavis108, 9/28/2011

The Conclusion

The reasons for shaving baby’s head vary. Many do it for cultural reasons while some are just out to try their luck. In the end, the decision to do it depends on the parent’s personal choice. One thing is for sure, there is no scientific proof that shows that shaving a baby’s hair off will make it grow thicker or faster because, as earlier mentioned, the outside does not really affect what is happening inside the follicles.

Tips for Shaving a Baby’s Head

Your best bet would to have a professional shave your baby’s head to avoid any hassles. However, if you feel better doing it yourself, take extra care so that you do not nick the baby’s scalp. Here are some tips that will help you shave your baby’s hair with ease:

  • Make sure that you do it during the day because most children are less upset and cranky during daytime.
  • Make sure that the baby is comfortable, and you have items that will distract him/her.
  • Lather the baby’s head with soap before you start shaving the hair off.
  • When shaving a baby’s head, it is advisable that you do not use a razor because it can easily cut the scalp or worse still, remove some skin. Instead, you can use a trimmer. Unless your tradition calls for you to remove all the hair, a short buzz is good enough.
  • Use clippers if you want to cut your baby’s hair short.
  • Shave the hair in small parts and be sure that you complete each section before moving forward.
  • To distract the baby, keep on a conversation with him/her. This will also make it easy for you to carry out the shaving process without interruptions. If the baby is not calm, try feeding him every now and then.
  • Once you are through with the shaving, give the baby a warm bath so that all the fallen hair is washed off.
  • Apply disinfectant on your baby’s head and afterwards, a moisturizer on the shaven head. This will keep the scalp from itching and drying.

What’s Up with the Chinese Tradition of Shaving Baby’s Head at First Month?

Shaving baby’s birth hair among the Chinese is a symbolic act that has been there for decades. The Chinese shave their babes after birth and store the hair for protection and good luck. Some bundle the hair with a red string and keep safe while others make a memorial brush and pass it on to other family members. Others chose to keep it under the baby’s pillow for them to sleep well.

In the old days, they used to shave and leave some hair at the top of the head, but that has changed. Nowadays, some just shave all the hair while others shave just a bit for the sake of their rituals.

Do I Need to Shave baby’s Head if He Has Cradle Cap?

While some people do believe that shaving the head is the solution, it is not the only option. Since cradle cap is dead and/or dry skin, some home remedies and shampoo might just help to get rid of them.

1. Natural Oil

When your baby has cradle cap, you can take some natural oil like coconut or olive oil, a soft bristled brush and brush the cradle cap out.

2. Shampoo

Your pediatrician might prescribe T-Gel shampoo. You should also try gently scratching them using your fingers. This helps to scrape those dead cells off. Using T-Gel should see the cradle cap clear after a month or so.

3. Taking Preventive Measures

Humidify your home. Infants that have cradle cap often also have other symptoms such as easily-irritated, dry skin. When you humidify your home and the baby’s room, the air remains humid and moist and this helps prevent the baby’s skin from drying too much.

You should also moisturize your baby’s scalp after each bath because that is when the scalp is still warm and slightly damp and is therefore able to trap moisture in the skin. This results to a less scaly and dry scalp. You can also use ointment or lotion that has been specially formulated for a baby’s sensitive skin.