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MoonRabbit
May 3rd, 2019, 02:01 PM
I was scrolling through Instagram last night and came across a video of a woman shaving her newborn baby's head. She explained that she is Muslim and in her culture it is a custom to shave a newborn's head at 7 days old, as a Cleansing Ritual. It also helps promote thicker and coarse hair growth rather than baby soft hair they are usually born with.

It was very interesting to read in the comments that many other religions and cultures do this. So I was wondering if anyone here practices this ritual. Did you have it done as a baby? Did you do it to your baby? What is the name of it in your culture? What is the symbolic meaning?

Would love to hear your stories. I never heard of this before and I just found it to be really cool to learn.

Lady Stardust
May 3rd, 2019, 02:46 PM
I haven’t heard of this but I just wanted to comment on the baby hair thing. My daughter is 3 and her length has never been cut (just her fringe). I expected it to be baby fine and delicate until she was school age. I can’t believe how strong it is! You know when you pull shed hair to test whether it needs moisture or protein? I can’t break hers.

There was a baby on the maternity ward with the thickest hair I have ever seen on anyone, and it was 2 or 3 inches long, at birth. Shiny, black, glossy, gorgeous.

ETA: I have heard of ritualistic hair cutting in adults, when undertaking a pilgrimage. Sorry to be vague, I can’t remember the specifics, someone I met told me about it once. I think he was Hindu and was going to India (from the UK) but I can’t be sure.

amiraaah
May 3rd, 2019, 02:57 PM
Iím a muslim too and my mom did this to my sister. She shaved my sisterís head because she believed that this will result in thicker and straight hair. She didnít do this to me though because i had very thick hair as a baby. Funny thing my sisterís hair has always been thin so nothing helped her out to achieve fuller hair but she has bone straight hair and iím the complete opposite.
Not only shaving your babyís hair but also keeping your kidís hair very short in the begginning of their life is believed in the arab world to help your kid have thicker hair on the long run and this makes sense(which wasnít also the case for me my mom left my hair alone to grow without cutting at all and i had classic hair by the age of 5) but the shaving thing doesnít make sense to me .
Add something: my mom shaved my sisterís head when she was 40 days old not 7 this is what they do in morocco

lapushka
May 3rd, 2019, 04:47 PM
I never heard of this at all. Interesting.

My mom just left my head alone, bar the cradle cap that she gently soaked off with some sweet almond oil (the bits that were loose enough).

Knightly
May 3rd, 2019, 05:02 PM
Yes I've heard of this before!
I'm not muslim or anything but I live in Mexico and I've heard about some ladies who do that to their kids/ babies, including relatives. They do that in their early years to promote thicker hair for babies who don't have a lot of hair. I guess it works like shaving your legs.
They do other similar stuff to babies' hair, like lightening it with chamomile or curling for it to start growing naturally like that.
When I was barely a toddler my hair didn't really grow so my mum shaved my head to make it grow.
I don't really know how it works but I'm guessing it's because baby hair is more malleable
I'd love to know the scientific reason to this tho

littlestarface
May 3rd, 2019, 05:20 PM
Yea its silly superstition tbh its my religion and half of one culture to do it but I never did that to my kids, never. I never shaved my boys hair and the youngest has the thickest strongest hair I ever seen, you should've seen him when he was born! He had long hair to his shoulders and thick and black it was crazy. The other kid has the prettiest curliest hair..

its all genetics and no amount of shaving or cutting is going to change a hair type of make it grow faster lmao. I really wish we could grow mentally and get past these superstitions. We even have a "ritual" in my culture that says to cut the hair when the baby turns like 1, Why tho? cuz someone from a crap long time ago said to do it? yea no, I never understood it and never did it either to my kids.

amiraaah
May 3rd, 2019, 05:38 PM
Yea its silly superstition tbh its my religion and half of one culture to do it but I never did that to my kids, never. I never shaved my boys hair and the youngest has the thickest strongest hair I ever seen, you should've seen him when he was born! He had long hair to his shoulders and thick and black it was crazy. The other kid has the prettiest curliest hair..

its all genetics and no amount of shaving or cutting is going to change a hair type of make it grow faster lmao. I really wish we could grow mentally and get past these superstitions. We even have a "ritual" in my culture that says to cut the hair when the baby turns like 1, Why tho? cuz someone from a crap long time ago said to do it? yea no, I never understood it and never did it either to my kids.

i agree but i think it has nothing to do with islam. it's weird that someone do it for religious reasons because i think it's more of an arab thing but i'm not sure about that.my mom did it as i said to my sister only because she wanted to give it a try and my sister had few hairs on her head.i think i may do it if my kid doesn't have a lot of hair just to see what can happen.you know it's like when you shave your legs on the long run you feel that your leg's hair is getting coarse and it's just child who cares? of course if my kid has thick hair i'm not going to shave his head just to see what will happen.

Dark40
May 3rd, 2019, 05:46 PM
Yeah, I've heard of them doing this in Indian cultures as well. But I've never heard of anyone doing it in my country. That is interesting!

littlestarface
May 3rd, 2019, 05:47 PM
i agree but i think it has nothing to do with islam. it's weird that someone do it for religious reasons because i think it's more of an arab thing but i'm not sure about that.my mom did it as i said to my sister only because she wanted to give it a try and my sister had few hairs on her head.i think i may do it if my kid doesn't have a lot of hair just to see what can happen.you know it's like when you shave your legs on the long run you feel that your leg's hair is getting coarse and it's just child who cares? of course if my kid has thick hair i'm not going to shave his head just to see what will happen.

Yea I agree, it all started from culture and moved in and try to make it in religion as you see it in alot of other cultures in east too. I dunno why it has stuck around so long but I guess people just copy and keep copying.

You know its funny I been shaving my legs and other parts ;) since I was like 7 years old and my hair is still very light and thin, that's how I know its not true it grows coarser from shaving. Now that i'm getting old I see my head hair getting coarser and i'm so sad about it its getting so white and duller. I have white hairs that are so thick and white they look like christmas tree tinsel! I have been using black seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil for years and years and none of those have ever kept my hair black. All these things are fake! :wail: :boohoo:

blackgothicdoll
May 3rd, 2019, 06:20 PM
Never heard of it. According to pics and my mom I had about 8 hours worth of silky baby hair before kraken arrived. My oldest sis was bald until she was maybe 2 or 3 so there wasn't any shaving her. :rollin:

Natalia_A00
May 3rd, 2019, 06:58 PM
My grandma convinced my mother to shave my head when I was a newborn. It wasn't anything spiritual to her, she just believed hair grew stronger after this. Not really sure if this did something for me though. My mother, when she remembers it, gets very angry because she thinks it was an unnecessary and ridiculous myth.

MoonRabbit
May 3rd, 2019, 07:00 PM
Yea its silly superstition tbh its my religion and half of one culture to do it but I never did that to my kids, never. I never shaved my boys hair and the youngest has the thickest strongest hair I ever seen, you should've seen him when he was born! He had long hair to his shoulders and thick and black it was crazy. The other kid has the prettiest curliest hair..

its all genetics and no amount of shaving or cutting is going to change a hair type of make it grow faster lmao. I really wish we could grow mentally and get past these superstitions. We even have a "ritual" in my culture that says to cut the hair when the baby turns like 1, Why tho? cuz someone from a crap long time ago said to do it? yea no, I never understood it and never did it either to my kids.

I don't believe it does anything, scientifically speaking, it really is genetic. But I do find these customs interesting. I guess growing up American with zero idea of my heritage. I kinda wish I had some customs.

I think it's probably used as a way to remain connected to your past. Some people still want to incorporate that in modern life. As long as it doesn't hurt, I don't see a problem.

Though I remember being told, once you shave you got to keep shaving or else it will be SUPER dark and thick. Lmao.

littlestarface
May 3rd, 2019, 07:02 PM
I don't believe it does anything, scientifically speaking, it really is genetic. But I do find these customs interesting. I guess growing up American with zero idea of my heritage. I kinda wish I had some customs.

I think it's probably used as a way to remain connected to your past. Some people still want to incorporate that in modern life. As long as it doesn't hurt, I don't see a problem.

Though I remember being told, once you shave you got to keep shaving or else it will be SUPER dark and thick. Lmao.

Well i'm american too but some things just stick around and it aint fun when your being harassed to do it so I guess thats why to me its silly cuz I heard all of the "reasons" for it.

MusicalSpoons
May 3rd, 2019, 07:05 PM
Though I remember being told, once you shave you got to keep shaving or else it will be SUPER dark and thick. Lmao.

The reason for that is the end of the hairs that grow after shaving will be squared off / blunted (a cross-section of hair) rather than the tapered end of a hair regrowing after the previous one was shed. So it can *look* darker and thicker, but it's because there's more surface area to see at the end of the hairs than if it were completely new growth with a tapered end.

[Either that or previous shaving really is what gave me long, dark, dense leg hair :rollin: I'm pretty certain it was genes from my Dad though!!]

Other than that I have nothing to contribute to this thread, but maybe the above explanation is relevant for why people think it helps to shave babies' heads?

MoonRabbit
May 3rd, 2019, 07:07 PM
Iím a muslim too and my mom did this to my sister. She shaved my sisterís head because she believed that this will result in thicker and straight hair. She didnít do this to me though because i had very thick hair as a baby. Funny thing my sisterís hair has always been thin so nothing helped her out to achieve fuller hair but she has bone straight hair and iím the complete opposite.
Not only shaving your babyís hair but also keeping your kidís hair very short in the begginning of their life is believed in the arab world to help your kid have thicker hair on the long run and this makes sense(which wasnít also the case for me my mom left my hair alone to grow without cutting at all and i had classic hair by the age of 5) but the shaving thing doesnít make sense to me .
Add something: my mom shaved my sisterís head when she was 40 days old not 7 this is what they do in morocco

That's really interesting. Many people in the comments believed it completely changed their texture. One Hispanic girl said she had really curly hair as a babe then her mom shaved it and now she has straight hair ever since.

I mean, I also had really curly hair then it turned wavy as I got older.


Yeah, I've heard of them doing this in Indian cultures as well. But I've never heard of anyone doing it in my country. That is interesting!

Yeah I was just reading about that. I guess in some Hindu customs. It is believed that the hair holds negatively from past lives so they have to cut the 'string' that connects them to all the negativity.

I love reading and learning about myths and legends from a variety of cultures.

Deborah
May 3rd, 2019, 10:49 PM
I knew a couple from the Ukraine who cut off their one year old's hair to make it grow in thicker and better. I don't know if all Ukrainians do this; maybe it was a regional practice. They were Christians, not Muslims.

Spikey
May 3rd, 2019, 11:32 PM
That's really interesting. Many people in the comments believed it completely changed their texture. One Hispanic girl said she had really curly hair as a babe then her mom shaved it and now she has straight hair ever since.

I mean, I also had really curly hair then it turned wavy as I got older.




I think it would be pretty easy to chalk up a change in texture to one's head being shaved. It takes a while for hair to grow back to its former length, years and years if you started with long hair, so by the time your hair reached it's original length your curl pattern could have changed due to natural hormones/growing up, etc.

Ritualistic hair cutting is prevalent in plenty of cultures and societies. Tonsure, the medieval monk shaving-everything-except-that wierd-halo-of-hair-above-your-ears thing, and Upsherin, the jewish practice of cutting a boy's hair at 3 years old come to mind. I think in a lot of ancient societies a shaved head indicated that you were a slave too. Sort of off topic, sorry.

sumidha
May 3rd, 2019, 11:53 PM
Baby and small toddler's hair often changes regardless of what you do to it; my son was born with fine near black curly hair, when he was about six months old it literally changed color and started growing in blonde (as in he had blonde roots and dark ends) and is now at four years old coarse wavy medium brown. :laugh:

Aerya
May 4th, 2019, 03:37 AM
Why would cutting off hair make it grow back in thicker and straighter? Baby hair often changes a lot regardless of what you do. I had black hair when I was born, but it quickly became light brown without any interference. That's just how hair works sometimes.

Joules
May 4th, 2019, 07:12 AM
Here in Russia some parents shave their toddlers' hair to promote thicker hair. There's a superstition that you're not supposed to cut your baby's hair at all until it turns 1 (because a child acquires knowledge from past generations via its hair, believe it or not), and then just shave it all off. There's absolutely no science behind it and I'm glad my parents didn't believe in this kind of thing, otherwise it would have made a few very embarrassing childhood pictures. There's a whole lot of hair superstitions here, like for example if you cut your own hair you cut your life, or that if a pregnant woman gets a haircut she cuts her baby's life or its cosmic connection to the ancestors, you get the idea.

I can see why it may seem to parents that shaving off their kid's hair mage it grow back stronger, because it was probably already coming in stronger anyway.

Hexen
May 4th, 2019, 07:26 AM
I guess you could say that the alteration of the physical body has been a way of life for many cultures going back thousands of years. From the bound feet in China, and the ring necked women of the Kayan, to the elongated skulls of Peru, and more. Something like this would seem less permanent and more symbolic and traditional, than physiological though. Part of my own ancestry comes from a people that embraces cultural hair growth in fact. Differing from a kind of follically induced brit milah. Besides, it gives me super powers and helps me contact extraterrestrials. :gabigrin:

MoonRabbit
May 4th, 2019, 12:16 PM
I think it would be pretty easy to chalk up a change in texture to one's head being shaved. It takes a while for hair to grow back to its former length, years and years if you started with long hair, so by the time your hair reached it's original length your curl pattern could have changed due to natural hormones/growing up, etc.

Ritualistic hair cutting is prevalent in plenty of cultures and societies. Tonsure, the medieval monk shaving-everything-except-that wierd-halo-of-hair-above-your-ears thing, and Upsherin, the jewish practice of cutting a boy's hair at 3 years old come to mind. I think in a lot of ancient societies a shaved head indicated that you were a slave too. Sort of off topic, sorry.

That's super interesting! Thanks for the information. I'll have to do some more reading on the history of them.


Here in Russia some parents shave their toddlers' hair to promote thicker hair. There's a superstition that you're not supposed to cut your baby's hair at all until it turns 1 (because a child acquires knowledge from past generations via its hair, believe it or not), and then just shave it all off. There's absolutely no science behind it and I'm glad my parents didn't believe in this kind of thing, otherwise it would have made a few very embarrassing childhood pictures. There's a whole lot of hair superstitions here, like for example if you cut your own hair you cut your life, or that if a pregnant woman gets a haircut she cuts her baby's life or its cosmic connection to the ancestors, you get the idea.

I can see why it may seem to parents that shaving off their kid's hair mage it grow back stronger, because it was probably already coming in stronger anyway.

I find it so interesting that it spans so many counties, cultures and religions.


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My partner told me that his grandpa was delivered by a midwife, and she would come back from time to time and rub his head with oils not only to stimulate his hair but to make his head round. And let me tell you his Paps head is very round lol. Next time I see him, Ill have to get more information about the practice and if it had any cultural significance.

Begemot
May 5th, 2019, 05:15 AM
This article had some really interesting information :)

https://www.indigenousgoddessgang.com/a-tribe-called-beauty-2/2019/1/6/the-traditions-of-long-hair

Hairkay
May 5th, 2019, 05:21 AM
I have heard that there are some who believe shaving a baby's hair will make the new growth come back thicker but I do not know anyone personally who did that. I did have one classmate who was hindu who talked about having her head shaved around the age of 7 as part of a funeral mourning rite. You see the youngest in the family shaves their head when a member of their family dies. She hadn't been thrilled about it and was quite relieved when her hair grew back.

Babies hair does change anyway with or without hair cuts. I went from straight to tight curls. Once cousin went from blonde to jet black hair.

enting
May 5th, 2019, 10:55 AM
I haven't heard of specifically shaving a baby's hair to come in thicker as a religious/ritual thing, but culturally I have heard people say that a person with thin hair should shave their head to make their hair grow thicker. (and the one about once you start shaving your legs you have to keep doing it because it grows in thicker/darker.)

I have heard of ritualistic shaving or cutting of hair unrelated to hair thickness though. As mentioned above, tonsure, cutting of women's hair in India at shrines... Upsherin is more about *not* cutting hair until a certain age and then the first haircut is a ritual. If I recall correctly, someone on the LHC mentioned something about it being common for boys in the Caribbean to not cut their hair when very young? I may be getting that wrong. And I don't know if there's any ritual attached to either the not cutting or the cutting when they do cut their hair.