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Many parents have received strong advice about their baby’s first haircut. Often that advice is conveyed with apparent authority, but curiously contradicts the very next thing you’ll hear which is expressed with an equally strong sense of conviction.

Surprised that this is such a hot topic? There are many theories on when and why a baby should or should not have his/her first haircut. Some theories seem non-sensical, others seem somewhat credible, while others still, are based on cultural traditions or even religious beliefs.

One admittedly extreme approach is to shave your baby’s head in her first days of life.

Shaving a baby’s head?

Shaving a baby’s head is a ritual in a number of cultures: Hindu babies, for example, are shaved to remove undesirable traits associated with past lives. Muslims will shave the head of the infant on the seventh day after a ritual sacrifice. Shaving the head of an infant is traditional in Korean and Thai families, and surely in other less well-known cultures as well. Curiously I have also read it is a tradition in Hispanic culture. However, I am from Spain and had never heard of it. Internet, are you lying to me? Well, maybe not, maybe it’s a very old tradition, maybe not in Spain. Who knows? Do you know?

Others do it for seemingly scientific reasons. A well-spread belief is that shaving a baby’s head will make her hair grow thicker and stronger (or faster).  The truth is, however, that because hair grows from follicles that are under the head skin surface, cutting or shaving it will have no effect on the development of hair follicle. It may appear that way initially, but in reality it is not growing faster or stronger. 

That’s not the only apparently scientific reason for shaving a baby’s head. Another theory claims this should be done for ... cleanliness? According to this theory, cutting a baby’s hair helps to clean the head from any muck or fat remaining on the head after birth. Honestly, how about shampooing instead? That sounds much less traumatic. I think it is safe to say that you can disregard another “scientific” claim that the baby is at risk of suffering a speech delay if her hair is cut before the age of two. Those two matters could not be more unrelated to each other.

We’re not done. Please click here for the second part of this article.

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Showing 2 comments.

  • Pablo said ...
    almost 4 years ago
    Desde luego que sí. Por eso menciono que quizás sea una tradición hispana, pero no en España. Muchas gracias por tu comentario.
  • Amalia said ...
    about 6 years ago
    Cultura HISPANA no tiene porque ser española, sino tambien SUDAMERICANA, y alli SI cortan el pelo a los recien nacidos...
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