Should I cut my baby’s hair, or should I just let it grow at its own pace?
Is there anything I can do to speed up the hair growth???
New parents often struggle with these dilemmas regarding their baby’s hair.
So the good news is – my research on this subject should help clear things up once and for all.
So, without further ado, let me share some basic baby hair growth facts and debunk 4 common hair growth myths.
Busting 4 Common Myths About My Baby Hair Growth
Baby hair growth and whether they are destined for baldness in later life is determined by their genes primarily. But also by their gender and gender-related hormones. So, whether you cut your baby’s hair or shave it down will not change your baby’s hair texture or thickness and certainly won’t make it grow faster. Neither will it prevent baldness. Brushing your baby’s hair will make it look nice and healthy, but won’t boost the growth rate either. That’s because brushing cannot change the hair growth cycle, which determines whether the hair is in an active growth phase or resting and falling out.
1. If I Cut My Baby’s Hair Short Will It Grow Faster and Thicker?
It is a common belief that our hair will grow faster, thicker and stronger after a haircut.
We’re always told that by our hair stylists, isn’t it?
So, if you want your hair to grow faster and look healthy, you need a regular trim. Every few weeks (depending on the texture, thickness, and chemical treatments you may have).
Even though it sounds counterintuitive to cut the hair if you want it to grow faster by regular cuts, you prevent the hair from splitting at the end.
And that’s because the split end may extend further down the hair.
Which will weaken the hair strand and result in a break-off.
Once damaged, there is no way to repair it. The damaged hair needs to be cut off drastically.
And to grow it back to the length you had before the cut – will take long months. Hence our perception is that hair grows faster if we trim it often and at a short length.
And how does that apply to babies?
Well – it doesn’t.
Babies, don’t need to stop the spread of split ends. They simply don’t have split ends…
Their hair may be tangled if they always sleep in the same position. That’s probably the worst thing that can happen to your newborn’s curls.
Otherwise, they have perfectly healthy, soft feathery hair that certainly won’t grow faster if you trim it or shave it off completely.
And if your little one has a cradle cap – shaving may irritate their delicate scalp, worsening the condition. So better avoid the cut for the time being!
…Because haircuts will not stimulate hair growth.
There I said it!
It does, however, make the hair grow evenly across the head and at the same length.
And when you touch it, it may be perceived as thicker and stronger.
So, even if you noticed rapid hair growth on a baby after the cut – it may as well coincide with one (of many) growth spurts. And not related to the haircut.
2. Frequent Brushing Will Boost My Baby’s Hair Growth
Yet another piece of advice hair stylists frequently gives us.
And don’t get me wrong – it is perfectly good advice.
But it won’t stimulate hair growth.
What it does is:
- It keeps the hair free from knots and tangles,
- Stimulate blood flow,
- Distribute the scalp’s natural oil evenly and
- Deliver nutrients to follicles,
- Makes hair look healthy, smooth, and shiny.
So it is a good habit indeed.
(These are the resting period, and not the actively growing and shedding phases, respectively).
So, even massaging the head will not change the natural hair growth cycle. Genetics, hormonal changes, and ageing all contribute to this.
Furthermore, brushing, if done excessively or with the wrong brush (like a metal or wire brush) can weaken the hair strands and lead to hair damage and hair loss.
For babies, it might be even riskier, since their skin is much thinner than that one of adults, and excessive brushing can have the opposite effect than expected.
10 Effective Tips for Baby Hair Care
3. Shaving the Baby’s Head Prevents Baldness
Simply put – no you can’t prevent baldness in adolescence and adulthood by shaving your baby’s hair.
That’s because baldness is a hereditary trait and cannot be prevented.
With the right treatment, you can slow down its progress and control it.
Nevertheless, if you decide to shave your baby’s hair to avoid future baldness – well, that won’t work, I am afraid.
Genes are determined at conception – you can’t change them.
However, some other factors may influence hair loss and baldness, that can be controlled. These factors include the level of stress, menopause, pregnancy, smoking, and poor diet.
These factors don’t apply to babies, except for maintaining a healthy diet that promotes hair growth.
4. Coconut oil helps your baby’s hair grow faster
We have all heard about the benefits of unrefined, pure, organic coconut oil.
Most people love it because it not only tastes great – but also offers a wide range of personal care and grooming applications for adults and babies.
Most commonly, coconut oil is a natural skin and hair moisturiser due to its high content of vitamin E, antioxidants and fatty acids.
Furthermore, it has been scientifically confirmed that the lauric acid found in coconut oil has this amazing ability to penetrate hair inside the shaft and reduce protein loss.
This, by the way, is a unique feature of coconut oil in comparison to other types of oil, such as sunflower, mineral oil, or Vaseline (petroleum oil).
This means that whilst the oil may prevent the hair from damage will make it look nice, shiny and well-nourished. It may also help get rid of the cradle cap.
What it won’t do, however, is speed up the process of growing.
***As a side note, just to complete the list of other things that are deemed to boost hair growth rate in babies are also “special shampoos”.
There are no shampoos that will speed up hair growth. Not for babies, anyway.
Final Few Lines
The bottom line is – there is no magical way to speed up hair growth in babies.
Healthy growth can be promoted by maintaining a well-balanced diet, brushing your baby’s scalp regularly with a soft bristle brush, and applying coconut oil regularly.
But this will make no difference to hair growth rate and its health.
And that’s because the hair growth speed depends on your baby’s genes, baby gender (male and female hormones), and which phase of hair growth your baby is currently in.