For whatever reason, a child’s hair is something that parents sometimes focus on and fixate themselves upon.
We want to see the baby hair come in thick and long so we can style it, put it in bows, brush it, and so on.
Waiting for the baby’s head to produce more hair growth is something that some parents lose patience over.
So they ask around or put their thinking caps on and sometimes come up with what they have heard of or thought of as a solution: shave the baby’s hair so it will come back as thick hair that’s mature and more substantial.
Find out why shouldn’t you cut a baby’s hair before 1. You may be putting baby at risk.
If you’re cutting your infant’s hair or shaving a baby’s head before the age of one, chances are, it’s not going to make your child’s head produce fuller, more mature hair any faster than if you’d left it alone.
It’s one of those old wives’ tales that gets passed around and nothing more.
Read on to before you decide to shave off baby’s head.
Reasons why others cut baby’s hair
Some cultures, like certain Asian cultures, shave the hair close to the baby’s scalp immediately after birth.
This has nothing to do with making a baby’s hair grow faster. Instead, it’s an ancient cultural practice that takes its root in firmly held beliefs that have nothing to do with how much hair the child may end up with if it’s cut early.
Another reason some babies get a haircut early in life is religious beliefs.
The Mundan ceremony, held in the Hindu religion, administers the first haircut to a baby at around four months of age for religious purposes. This has nothing to do with future hair growth but humility and faith.
If cutting the loose hair away from your little one’s head has to do with your culture or your religion, then there is no harm in it since you’re not doing it to try to get a full head of hair to grow in its place.
However, cutting little ones’ hair when they are under a year of age so that the hair grows faster and thicker will most likely yield no results.
Why shouldn’t you cut a baby’s hair before 1
A baby’s hair grows in two stages.
First, there is the fine hair that most babies are born with.
There may be some long hair on the top that is wispy and some thicker hair around the ears and on the back of the head along the neckline, but even this is not the hair type your child will end up with.
Eventually, your baby will lose most of this baby hair, and thicker, fuller hair will grow in its place.
This is called mature hair, which can be a different texture or color than your child’s birth.
Making a baby’s first haircut happen before the age of one isn’t going to make the mature hair come in any faster, thicker, or more luscious.
Many parents, however, think that trimmed hair and a first haircut early on will speed up the process.
However, hair is hair, so let’s follow the logic. If you shave your chin tonight, you’re not going to wake up in the morning with a full beard.
So why would you cut your baby’s hair with the logic that you’ll have a full head of hair sooner?
Risks when you cut baby’s hair as an infant
There are also risks associated with administering a baby’s first haircut before the age of one, especially if you’re going to cut the hair yourself instead of taking your child to a salon, professional barber, or stylist.
Cradle cap occurs on a baby’s scalp when the oil from the head becomes scaly.
It can trap little baby hairs underneath the scales and can dry out the scalp.
Giving your baby their first haircut to attempt to eradicate cradle cap is a bad idea and can end up making things worse.
Irritation to the scalp can occur, primarily if you use electric clippers that can scrape away the buildup and irritate the skin on the baby’s head.
Picking at a cradle cap or cutting baby hair to get rid of it can also lead to an infection requiring antibiotics and treatment.
If your child has a cradle cap, it is best to use shampoo regularly and wash the baby’s hair, then use a soft brush to exfoliate the scalp gently.
Baby oil or gels made explicitly for cradle cap removal can also help. But baby’s first haircut isn’t going to make this affliction disappear.
Babies have soft spots on their heads called fontanelles. This is where the skull remains open and has not fused together yet.
As your baby gets older, these openings start to close, and the skull fuses together. This is why you can sometimes see a pulsating spot on the top of a baby’s head when their crying.
Giving babies their first haircut before these soft spots are able to close can be damaging. Pressure on these areas should be avoided, and using a trimmer or your hand to manipulate the hair to cut it can put too much pressure on these spots.
Deciding to cut your baby’s hair before their first birthday increases the risk of damage to these delicate and fragile areas.
Baby’s first haircut
There is no need to cut your baby’s hair before turning one. If the only reason you’re considering it is to give your child a less goofy-looking head of hair and promote hair growth, then you’re probably disappointed in the results of your labor.
Just wait it out
Some parents give their babies a haircut in the first few months of life for aesthetic purposes.
However, it may do you well to remember that hair is no big deal. It will grow in its own time, and once the mature hair starts to come in, it will most likely come in fast, and you’ll get to a point where you feel like you’re visiting the salon or barber every other month.
Soon, you will be looking our for hair products that will suite their hair type.
Much like parents who can’t wait for their child to start walking, and then wonder a month into their child pilfering through every single thing they can get to and climbing every surface they can reach, wonder why they ever asked for this to come early, children grow and develop on their own time.
Pushing something that will naturally occur is a fool’s endeavor and there’s no need for it.
Rather than jumping the gun, pulling out the scissors, and then trying to wrangle your baby for a haircut, wait it out until after the first birthday.
It can be a fun way to celebrate the first year of life!
How to give your baby their first haircut
Your baby’s hair may be wild, grow in several directions, and be of various lengths on different head parts.
While it’s always best to trust a baby’s first haircut to the capable hands of a professional stylist at a salon, if you are set on cutting your child’s hair yourself, the following are some tips to simplify the task for you and your child.
Consider just a trim
The first time you cut your child’s hair, have them sit in front of you (just another reason it’s easier than trying to cut the hair of infants) and use sharp, clean scissors meant for haircuts. Regular scissors are not meant for a hair trim.
There is no need to shave the head entirely if you can get away with a simple trim. Shaving the head requires using a sharp razor, which can cut or damage a baby’s delicate skin, and electric clippers make noise and can startle children, making it a chore to get them to sit.
Get the hair wet first
A strong piece of advice is to wet the hair before cutting. Then decide how you want to cut the hair.
Mom can start cutting the child’s hair while dad or a partner distracts the child.
Explain what you’re doing, and stay calm rather than getting flustered. This process involves a pair of scissors close to the baby’s neck, ears, and skin, so remaining calm will play a significant part in your success.
Use a cape or a button-down shirt
The first time you cut your child’s hair, use a hair-cutting cape or a shirt that can easily come off your toddler.
Then go straight to the bath or shower to eliminate the irritation of trimmed hair locks on your kid’s skin.
Let them play with small toys that they can hold easily in their hands to make the process go more smoothly and keep their hands busy.
You don’t want to add worry that they’ll reach up and grab the scissors in the process.
Baby’s first haircut: the final word
As the parent, only you can decide when the right time is to cut your child’s hair.
When it’s time, a professional salon with experience cutting babies’ hair or small children is the best option.
However, shaving or cutting your little one’s locks at birth will not make the hair thicker or longer. Babies develop and grow at their own pace.
You can’t make them get taller faster, you can’t make them eat from a spoon before they’re ready, and you can’t make their hair grow faster.
To promote growth, keep their hair clean, brushed, or combed, and their scalps nourished and moisturized. The health of your baby is the most important consideration.
Whether they have wild hair or not, your infant is cute, and when it’s the right time for a cut, heed the advice of friends, stylists, and other moms. Stay calm and take it slow.