Advice about Baby's Hair

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Shave baby's head to promote hair growth?

Dec 2006

Hello, It is a common practice in certain Asian communities to shave a babies head in order to promote thicker hair growth. My daughter's hair hasn't grown much since birth and she is 4 mos old now. Does anyone out there have any experience/recommendations for this? Where does one go to shave a babies head? Thanks! Karen

Some babies take longer than others for their hair to fill out. My friend's daughter was almost completely bald until nearly three; soon after, she grew a thick head of hair. Shaving the baby's head is harmless (other than making them look funny for a while), but will not affect hair growth. Hair is dead keratin pushed out by hair follicles under the skin. Cutting/shaving hair does not affect the hair follicles--the dead hair has no mechanism for sending a message to the hair follicles saying, ''I just got cut! Grow more!'' Hair can't talk

My dad shaved my head when I was about a year old (we still laugh over the photos). My hair is not thicker than any of my sister's -- none of whom got the head shave! So, I personally don't think shaving a baby's head promotes thicker hair growth. Also, my daughter had no hair at all until she was 2 years old and now she has gorgeous thick hair. Just FYI. :-) Bald-headed baby

Shaving one's hair with the intent/fear that it will grow back thicker is a myth, just as it applies to shaving one's leg or armpit hair. I shaved my baby's hair when he was a few months old, mainly because it was falling out/growing back unevenly, and it looked better to see a beautiful round baby head than a hair-patchy one. Shaving is easy. Get some electric hair clippers (from Target, Walgreens, etc.) and give your baby a buzz cut Asian American mom

Hi Karen, This is a very common misconception, that hair will grow back more and/or thicker if shaven. It's actually physically impossible. Hair can only be altered at the roots. Shaving just cuts the hair and then the same hair grows back. Many Asian babies are fortunate to have a lot of hair. Sorry Anon

Hi, I would not shave your baby's head. Our youngest daughter, now 3, was adopted from China and came to us at the age of 1 with her head shaved. At 3, she still has very little hair, and the hair she has is very thin. I know that shaving her head did not help. She is still beautiful and I wouldn't change a hair on her head Susan

Lots of kids are bald until they're 2 years old. 4 months old is really young. Don't shave your kids head. Or, you can, but I don't think it's going to make a difference. Hair will grow eventually Curly

Our baby was born with a pretty thick head of hair, but lost almost all of it by the time she was 4 or 5 months old! It began to grow back when she was around 8 or 9 months old, and is getting thicker slowly over the months. I know some babies keep the hair they are born with, but since ours lost hers, I would recommend that you NOT shave your baby's head to promote thicker hair. I think no matter what, the hair will come in naturally, when it is time. Also, baby hair is so fine, that I don't think having bluntly-cut ends will really have that much of an impact on hair thickness (as opposed to naturally tapering ends of new hairs) Tracy

Leave that baby's head alone. Her hair will grow as it's meant to when it's supposed to Cheryl

Be careful what you wish for! -- Carrie & family with LOTS OF HAIR

Hello to Susan who has the 3yr old from China with fine hair. I have a 9yr old also from China who arrived at 10 months with a shaved head. Like your little one, she has fine and thin hair (beautiful and silky, too!). Have you ever tried Redkin Extreme Anti- Snap? It is a fabulous product! ck

Hairclips for babies?

March 2006

My 9-month-old's hair is getting in her eyes. I'd rather not cut it again, because it's sweet-looking and will be nice when she's a little older. In the meantime, I'm worried she'll pull hairclips out and choke on them. How old should babies be before you use barrettes? What about rubber bands to make a pigtail on the top? Should I just get over it and cut her hair? Jessica

I started using the plastic barrettes at about 12 months. Our baby does not put a lot of random stuff in her mouth. If yours does, I would hold off on the barettes because they are obviously a big choking hazard. If you go buy some you will see that they have a big frowny baby face on the package next to the words 3 and up! But we risk it. I take them out before she goes to sleep. She does sometimes pull them out (along with some hair!) but has not tried to eat them, like I said. It helps to put them as far back on her head as works. If your baby has kind of curly hair, you can probably make a tight enough little pebbles flintstone ponytail that she can't pull it out, but it is not going to work with fine hair. I am with you on not cutting her hair. I have spent most of my adult life growing out my bangs and I think that that is another decision she can make when she is old enough to decide for herself! mom of a barette wearing baby

A really cute and easy looking thing that I have seen is twist ties, like the ones that come with plastic bags. I think that you can just cut them if they are too long and they are easy to put in. Joan

We just love the No Slippy Hair Clippy. Our daughter is 9 months old and we've been using them for 3 months, at least. They are easy and don't pull the baby's hair at all. So much better and easier than regular barettes and ponytail holders. Their website lists locations. I found them at Cotton & Company and Baby World on College Avenue in Oakland. Mary

Hair loss in 1 month old

Nov 2004

Our ~1-month old son has been losing his hair with alarming regularity this week -- if I even lightly brush my palm against his head, a few wispy strands of hair come off in my hands. Is this normal? When does ''real'' hair begin growing? He has been nursing well and has been gaining weight (not too much, but there is a consistent increase). He wasn't born with very much hair, but it *is* worrisome that he is losing what little he WAS born with. UVR

When my now 4 year old son was about a month old, I was giving him a bath, and put baby shampoo in his hair. When I started to rinse the shampoo out, big clumps of his beautiful curls came out in my hands, leaving him with a perfect coiffed mohawk. I cried until my husband's aunt reassured me that I hadn't done anything wrong, that this was perfectly normal for some kids, and that his hair would grow back. (I also had a 2 year old daughter at the time, and her hair had only gotten thicker over time, but had never fallen out). Sure enough, within 3-4 months, he had grown a beautiful little Afro. Traumatized though I was, he and his hair survived just fine. Lisa

my daughter was born with quite a bit of hair, and lost all of the hair on top of her head over the course of the first 4 months. She grew it all back and more, but she looked a bit like a monk for a few months. You could always ask your pediatrician, but I bet it's normal infant hair loss. molly

You might as well ask your pediatrician about it, but I doubt there's anything to worry about. I've known a couple of babies who were born with dark hair, promptly lost it, and grew in a head of blond curls. Sara

totally normal. could start coming in from 4 mos.-12 mos. and actually is unrelated to how thick the hair will be. try not worry. Chris

You'll probably be flooded with responses. . . It is TOTALLY NORMAL for your baby to lose all of the hair he was born with. Our daughter had thick black hair and it all fell out. Now, over a year later, she still doesn't have all of her hair back. don't worry

Don't worry about it! My son also lost most of his birth hair at 4-6 weeks, and a new head of hair slowly grew in over many subsequent months. His birth hair was dark, almost black, and the new hair was (is) light brown. He is 3 now and has never lost hair after that initial period. Congratulations on your baby! Cheri

While it doesn't happen to every baby, losing hair is normal. The ''real'' hair will come in, and for every baby it's different. For example, if you baby was (or will be) fair haired, it's possible there won't be anything of substance until after a year. Some blonde friends of mine have said that in their 1-year old pics they had about 5 random straggly hairs. anon

As I'm sure many people will reassure you, hair loss in a baby is nothing to worry about--it's quite common. My son was born with brown hair, which then proceeded to fall out (following a male-pattern-baldness order) and be replaced by blond hair. Hair today...

My daughter, born with hair, looked like a bald little man by 6 weeks. I remember seeing hair on all her blankets, sheets, etc. But new hair started to grow back and by 4 months I think she wasn't bald anymore. So I think this is completely normal, don't worry. it'll grow back

Baby's Unruly Hair

I am a new mother with a daughter that was born with a head full of hair. Now that she is 6 months old, her hair is already about 3 1/2 inches long and growing. When my daughter gets her hair done, she often wiggles and pulls her hair in frustration. I try to keep the whole ordeal down to 15 minutes a day. Sometimes she cries which puts me in a difficult situation because I have housemates. I brush and comb her hair everyday (in that order) to keep it manageable and lint free. I typically put barrettes in her hair to keep it out of her eyes, but she does pull them out too. I was wondering if anyone dealt with a similar situation and has suggestions/ advice for me. The doctor told me to cut her hair, but I am superstitious and feel uncomfortable cutting her hair before she is a year old.

This is for the parent who wrote a couple of weeks ago asking for help with their 6-month-old daughter's daily hair-do. I don't have direct experience, so I've been waiting to see if others who have would reply. Since there has been silence on the topic, as far as I've noticed, here goes nothing: I've been able to get non-squirmy tasks accomplished--like nail cutting--by doing them while my daughter is alseep. I've heard of people giving haircuts while their child slept, although we haven't had enough hair yet to need it. Maybe you could do gentle hair-dos while your daughter sleeps. Or perhaps use a big-time distractor--such as the TV, especially of hair- do time is the only time she gets to watch it.

But I also wanted to share my experience that my daughter has gotten only more squirmy and less liking to hold still, even on my lap, from the age of 7 months up till the present 20 months. She is just now starting to comply with verbal requests, so in the past week I have clipped her nails while she sits in her high chair and I ask her to hold still for a minute. But even then, two or three minutes is the absolute max for her--you described a 15-minute process. Without wanting to be disrespectful...maybe since you realize that not cutting the hair during the first year is just a superstition, you could let it go in favor of the realities of your daughter's needs (happens to have a lot of hair) and enjoyment, and household peace. I offer this just in case you yourself were wanting to cut the hair but needed more support because of family pressures or something.

I missed the initial entry on this topic, but I think I get the jist from the first reply. Here's what I did when my toddler needed a haircut: I put him in a high chair and placed on the tray my treasured music box which holds all sorts of treasured things from my childhood... coins, bracelets, chains, polished rocks, etc. He loved going through all the goodies and listening to the music play; he would sit there for the 30 minutes while I cut his hair and wound the music box every few minutes. Some hair ended up inside the music (jewelry) box, but that was easily dealt with. I used this trick when my son was age 1 to 2 and it would still work (he's 3 now) if I needed it. It might work for you if you want to style or cut your daughter's hair. (make sure there is nothing in the box that is dangerous for a small child to handle). I saved the curly locks of my child's first haircut! Made cutting it for the first time a little easier....