Whether it’s full of laughs or full of tears, a baby’s first haircut is a milestone that has significance for parents around the world. My children’s hair salons in New York City host many, many first haircut “ceremonies” every year, and the question I get the most from new parents is: “When should I bring my baby in for the first haircut?”When to Cut Your Baby’s Hair?
There is no universally “right” age for a baby’s first haircut. We have done a first haircut for a child as young as 10 days old (!) and many who are 3 years old or older. It depends on a number of factors, from the type of hair the baby is born with, to the parents’ feelings about “babyhood,” to style ideas and cultural tradition. But if you’re wondering when to schedule this momentous “first” for your baby, here are some tips:
Baby is ready for the first haircut when:
- The hair starts to get in his/her eyes
- The hair is so long that you have to shampoo after every meal
- The hair is bothering him or her, especially on hot days
- The “flyaways” on the sides start to look like wings
- People start confusing your boy for a girl!
The hair that your baby is born with is often a different texture than the new hair that is growing in. Sometimes the birth hair is even curly and the new hair is straight. Some parents want to keep the newborn hair as long as possible, feeling that when it’s gone, babyhood is gone, too. But at some point, it’s going to have to come off because as it gets longer, it can get damaged and even develop split ends!
An “old-wives tale” says that hair grows-in faster after the first haircut. I can’t say with confidence that is true, but I have observed (even with my own children) that baby’s new hair is thicker and more lustrous than birth hair. Babies look a lot cleaner and neater with it trimmed off, but they still look like babies.
And, some babies are born with massive amounts of hair and need a cut within days/months after birth. When this happens we have a system set up where mom or dad holds the baby and our stylist gently trims and shapes. Our stylists are specially trained to work with babies and their wobbly heads!
There are many religions and cultures that have their own traditions about a baby’s first haircut. In the Muslim and Hindu faiths, a baby’s head is often shaved at a very early age. In China it’s customary for baby to have a haircut at 1 month old (for good luck). Religious Jewish people wait until the child is 3 years old before the first haircut.
No matter whether you trim your tot’s hair at home or make a family outing out of it, the first haircut is a wonderful milestone, like all the other firsts, that add to the joy of raising children.
Note: At Cozy’s we make a big deal out of a baby’s first haircut by presenting the proud parents with a “diploma” and a snippet of baby’s hair as a keepsake.
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