Many parents have received good advice on their baby’s first haircut. Often times, that advice is delivered with apparent authority, but curiously it contradicts the next thing you’ll hear, which is expressed with an equally strong sense of conviction.
Are you surprised this is such a hot topic? There are many theories about when and why a baby should or should not have their hair cut for the first time. Some theories seem nonsensical, others seem somewhat credible, while others are still based on cultural traditions or even religious beliefs.
One certainly extreme approach is to shave your baby’s head in the first days of life.
Shave a baby’s head?
Shaving a baby’s head is a ritual in various cultures: Hindu babies, for example, shave to remove undesirable features associated with past lives. Muslims will shave the baby’s head on the seventh day after a ritual sacrifice. Shaving a baby’s head is traditional in Korean and Thai families, and probably other lesser-known cultures as well. Curiously, I have also read that it is a tradition in Hispanic culture. However, I am from Spain and had never heard of him. Internet, are you lying to me? Well, maybe not, maybe it’s a very old tradition, maybe not in Spain. Who knows? Did you know?
Others do it for apparently scientific reasons. A widely held belief is that shaving a baby’s head will make their hair grow thicker and stronger (or faster). However, the truth is that because hair grows from follicles below the surface of the skin on the head, cutting or shaving it will have no effect on hair follicle development. It may seem that way initially, but it’s not really growing faster or stronger.
That’s not the only seemingly scientific reason to shave a baby’s head. Another theory claims that this should be done for … cleaning? According to this theory, cutting a baby’s hair helps clear the head of any dirt or grease left on the head after birth. Honestly, how about using shampoo instead? That sounds a lot less traumatic. I think it’s safe to say that you can ignore another “scientific” claim that your baby is at risk for a speech delay if his hair is cut before the age of two. Those two issues couldn’t be more alien to each other.
In conclusion, there are no scientific reasons to shave your baby’s head. However, you may have other motivations, such as following religious or cultural traditions.
So if you don’t shave your baby’s head, when is he going to cut his hair for the first time?
In some cultures, the answer is clear. For example, if you are an Orthodox Jew, you will wait until the child is three years old and their hair will be cut in a ceremony called Upsherinish.
Another milestone that is frequently referred to as the proper age for a haircut is the one-year mark. Although considered by many to be a mandatory rule, it is as arbitrary as many others. We have heard that hair salon insurance in the United States does not cover children until they are one year old, so that may be one of the reasons; If you cut your baby’s hair during the first year, you will probably have to do it yourself. On the other hand, you should be able to do it well, and unless you have money to spare, you might as well.
We propose a different approach; Unless you are following a religious or cultural tradition, cut your baby’s hair for the first time based on the length of the hair, not the age of the baby. Basically when you need it, regardless of your age. Doesn’t that seem logical to you? Ask yourself questions like: Does it look really bad? Is their long hair getting into their eyes?
You’ve probably gotten this far in the article because you’ve decided it’s time to cut your baby’s hair for the first time. It is also the first time you have cut a baby’s hair. How do you do it?
Let’s start with two tips:
- Keep the technical bowl away, please. Bowls should not be used for this haircut. That is just cruel. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I mean the technique of putting a bowl on your child’s head and cutting the edges. Do not subject your child to this haircut!
- Timing is of the essence. Wait for your window of opportunity. If your baby falls asleep sitting upright, you’re in luck! It will never get easier than that. If you are not so lucky, find a time when you are more relaxed, perhaps watching a cartoon or calmly eating your favorite cookie.
You will not need many tools for this operation. Arm yourself with:
- Small hair scissors. The bigger the scissors, the more dangerous …
- Spray the bottle with water. Hair is easier to cut when wet and heavier.
- Hair comb
Start by stroking your baby’s head and stroking her hair while you moisten it with the spray bottle (or your wet hand if that works better). After that, everything will be ready for the cutting operation. The goal is to finish the actual cut in less than two minutes. Hopefully, he’ll think you’re still stroking his hair.
Focus on the strands that have grown too long. Pull sections of hair between fingers or comb and cut. Putting the comb or fingers between the scissors and the skin will avoid uneven cuts and, very importantly, cuts to the skin. Remember that you can always shorten it later. Too aggressive a haircut and you will have to wait months before you will like it again.
Good luck parents!