To Shave or Not to Shave? That is the question…

For those who have babies approaching the one month mark, this may be a question on your minds, “Should I shave my baby’s head?” This may seem like a strange question to some, but in some Asian circles like in Chinese cultures this is often a question that needs answering. There is this traditional practice, sometimes recommended by the older generation, of cutting or shaving off the first hair that a baby has when the baby turns one month old. It is believed that doing so would encourage the baby’s hair to grow out again much quicker and thicker, resulting in a thicker mop of hair later on in life. In western cultures though, shaving off a baby’s first head of hair is just not common practice.

I asked many of those around me, and got lots of different opinions and advice from others’ experiences. One friend (who had worked as a hairdresser) said I absolutely shouldn’t do it! She had tried this on her first daughter and as the baby slept on her back for most of the first few months, a ‘bald’ spot developed in the back of the head because the hair was unable to grow back as quickly there compared to the rest of the head. Apparently it took 3 years before the hair grew back completely (the mom ended up letting the baby’s hair above grow out to cover that spot since she was a girl). Others have said it was because they had shaved their babies’ hair multiple times when young that their children now have so much hair.

Well, here are my two cent’s worth to this debate. When my little one turned one month old, I decided to take the plunge. I took her to a baby hair salon (there are quite a few in Singapore!) to have her head completely shaved. She had been born with a fair amount of fine hair but it was in patchy spots on the top of her head, so I figured, even if her hair didn’t grow back much thicker, at least it might grow back more evenly (and at least I can tell my daughter I had tried this method to improve her chances of having a lusher head of hair)! She really looked quite funny for a few months—like a boy—and it took about 5 or 6 more months before her hair grew out completely all around, especially that ‘bald-like’ spot on the back of her head. In the end, I’m not sure if this really helped to give her a thicker mop of hair, but everyone who sees her definitely comment on how much hair she has!