Does Shaving Your Child’s Head Encourage Hair Growth?
Shaving your childs head does not promote hair growth, according to most experts. In fact, shaving your head can cause irritation to the scalp, potentially leading to hair loss. Although there is some evidence that shaving can stimulate hair follicles, this effect is only temporary and likely will not lead to long-term hair growth.
Women are so obsessed with hair, they want their kids to grow full heads. In some eastern cultures, it’s customary to shave your baby’s first head hairs because it’s believed to encourage hair growth. Some people even attribute the practice to religious beliefs; perhaps this gives them more reason to give up on hairy heads. Regardless, they say that shaving increases the size, health, and thickness of the head. We’ll soon find out if that’s true or not.
How many follicles are there at birth?
Hair follicles are a sac-like structure that produces hair. Hair follicles not only determine the hair’s structure, density and whether it’ll curl, wave or straight, but they also determine the amount of hair we produce throughout our lives.
Your baby’s hair follicles are determined by genes, not by your hair cut.
“Hair follicles are a natural part of the scalp,” says Leonika Kei, Director and Senior Trichologist at Philip Kingsley, Singapore. “You can’t change the amount of hair follicle.”
Some babies are born with “undetectable hair”. Vellus hair has poor pigmentation, is fine and short, and changes between the third to seventh month postpartum.
By the time your baby’s second birthday rolls around, all the vellus will be replaced by thick, mature, terminal hair.
So, it seems unlikely that your little one’s hair will grow fast after a haircut. Your baby’s growth and development are totally dependent on the follicles on his scalp.
But you can’t deny that hair health depends on things like diet.
If your baby has good genes and good nutrition, is it necessary to shave them? No! Another reason to avoid or delay shaving your baby’s head is that scalp is sensitive and can easily get injured. According to Kei’s theory, the top of the baby’s scalp is soft because the skull bones haven’t fused yet.
Maintaining scalp and hair cleanliness is essential for healthy hair growth. Wash baby’s hair regularly to prevent the natural scalp secretion from turning into cradle cap (yellow-brown, oily flakes). While cradle cap is not a life-threatening condition, it’s certainly unpleasant and looks like an adult’s dandruff. You can treat it with a mild medicated shampoo, or loosen the flakes.