In most cultures, there is a belief that shaving a baby’s hair makes them grow faster and thicker. Is there truth to that common belief? This article debunks the common beliefs and puts facts straight. It’s important that mothers understand the biological process as much as they cherish the cultural aspect of shaving the baby’s hair.
The baby’s hair doesn’t change after shaving meaning it doesn’t become thicker or healthier. Genetics and hair follicles determine the hair type. The hair follicles are found underneath the skin and are made of protein cells.
The follicles are fed by the blood which carries nutrients necessary for the cells to multiply and grow. The baby’s hair grows as the cells multiply. The more rapid the multiplication the faster the hair growth. The crowing hair strands pass through the oil gland making them look soft and shiny. Sometimes the oil causes cradle crap.
Hair strands go through the growing phase and the resting phase. The timings are different which explains why the baby’s hair growth fluctuates. If you read between the lines below then you will come to know many things about your cute baby!
Why do people shave baby’s hair?
Shaving the baby’s hair is a common thing worldwide. However, the stage of shaving the baby’s hair varies from culture to culture. Some cultures like Latin America shave the baby’s hair immediately after birth while some cultures shave a few months after birth.
Some practices are due to religious reasons. For instance, Hindu mundane culture believes that shaving the baby’s hair makes it grow back quicker and thicker. It’s not always the case because hair growth is a process.
At birth, babies have light and thin hair. As the hair grows out these changes are significant like the texture and color. Shaving the baby’s hair ensures the new hair grows with mature locks earlier than if you had left it to mother nature.
It explains why some cultures believe the hair grows back thicker after shaving. What they don’t know is that it would have happened anyway without shaving, only that it will happen after a while.
How long does it take before a baby’s hair grows after shaving?
It depends on the hair follicles. Generally, the baby’s hair will grow back within 4 weeks. It requires patience. Genetics, hair follicles, and after shaving care determine how quickly the hair grows back. However, don’t expect the baby’s hair to be thicker or healthier when growing because you shaved.
At birth, some babies have sparse hair covering their heads while others have a head full of hair. Besides, infants experience complete hair loss in the first six months after birth. Most importantly, ethnicity plays a vital role. For example, caucasian babies are more likely to experience hair loss than Asians.
The process is biological but some people promote faster hair growth by using the following tips.
- Using a moisturizer shampoo
A moisturizer shampoo hydrates the scalp which helps remove extra oil that can cause dandruff or cradle crap. Only use the moisturizing shampoo once or twice a week.
- Always be gentle with the hair
Handle the baby’s hair gently to protect the hair follicles from damage or stress. Lather the shampoo gently and don’t rub hard.
- Avoid ponytails
It’s tempting as a new mother to want to style your baby’s hair when they grow long. If the hair is blocking their eyes, trim or use a small clip to keep the hair from their face.
- Healthy diet
Good nutrition is vital to a healthy baby and hair growth. Eat and feed your baby with healthy foods when they are old enough to take solid foods. Otherwise, eat healthy diets to ensure you pass vital nutrients to the baby through breastmilk.
If your baby is over six months old and eating solid foods, ensure that you are eating a healthy diet. Specifically, make sure the foods are rich in iron, protein, zinc, vitamins A, B, and D. These foods help carry oxygen and blood to the hair follicles to stimulate hair growth.
- Apply coconut oil
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants beneficial to the skin. The oil promotes quick hair growth by improving the circulation of blood in the scalp.
Besides, it adds shine to the baby’s hair and prevents hair loss. Apply the coconut oil two or three times a week to stimulate fuller and thicker hair. It also eliminates cradle crap or dandruff.
However, use unrefined or organic coconut oil. Apply a small amount on the scalp and leave it there for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
- Gently brush the baby’s scalp
Brushing or bombing the baby’s scalp gently stimulates hair growth and detangles the hair. It ensures the hairs don’t break off making your baby lose hair. Regular grooming helps loosen cradle crap and eliminates dead skin.
Besides, regular brushing improves blood circulation to the hair follicles and scalp. Alternatively, regularly massage the baby’s scalp with your fingers after you apply oil. Do this for a few minutes.
Moreover, massaging the scalp using your fingers relaxes the baby and helps them fall asleep faster.
- Apply gelatin to the baby’s scalp
Gelatin stimulates hair growth. It consists of amino acids and you can add a teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey to the teaspoon of gelatin powder then add water. Honey is a common antioxidant that restores nutrients to the scalp and hair. Apple cider vinegar promotes hair growth. Apply this mixture and leave it to settle on the baby’s scalp for 10 minutes before rinsing it off and shampooing the baby’s hair normally.
How can I safely shave my baby’s hair?
Shaving your baby’s hair is a big decision. But first, you need the right tools and take the necessary precautions. How do I go about it?
Start by picking a good location and someone to help you with the baby as you shave. Also, ensure you have baby oil, moisturizer, trimmer or clipper, and two towels.
- Trim all the hair
Pick a time when your baby is calm and happiest like in the morning hours because the baby has enjoyed a good rest from the night sleep. Place one towel on the floor as your partner holds the baby. Use toys to distract the baby. Slightly dampen the hair before starting.
Start trimming from the back of their head and shaving from the neck upwards. Cut along the natural direction of the hair. Afterward, shave the top of the head starting with the front towards the back. Use toys for distraction if the baby’s irritated or a short break.
- Remove loose hair
Remove stuck looser hair after trimming. Wash the baby with warm water to complete the job and ensure there is no more loose hair.
- Massage the scalp
Massage the scalp with your fingers to keep the baby happy and improve blood circulation. Use a moisturizer and some baby oil on the scalp. Baby oil and the moisturizer prevents itchiness and protects the skin from dryness.
Why do some babies have strong and healthy hair at birth?
It’s something that puzzles many mothers. However, the answer lies in hormones. The surge of hormones from the mother’s body affects the baby causing the baby’s hair to grow strong and healthy.
If you look closer, you will notice that the mother too has glossy, thinker, and fast-growing hair. However, after birth, the hormone surge drops and both the baby and mother shed some hair.
Shaving the baby’s hair makes them grow back up uniformly. However, you need to stimulate hair growth by eating healthy foods and feeding your baby healthy foods depending on how old the baby is when you shave their hair.
Also, embrace the tips discussed above to ensure the hair growth is fast and the baby has healthy hair. Don’t hesitate to consult us if you need clarification or want advice.