I've heard it more than once that one shouldn't cut baby's hair in the first year. The explanation when I ask why seems flimsy to me; along the lines of the hair structure not being settled yet.

My understanding is that hair (and nails) is more or less dead material; it shouldn't make any difference whether the hair is trimmed to a shorter length or not, as long as the hair roots aren't damaged.

Morah mentioned in her answer to a related question that not cutting can be based on religious beliefs, but that doesn't apply here. Even so, I'd like to understand whether the statement is true or just an old wives' tale.

  • FYI: We faced the opposite issue - our daughter had very fine hair and we were told if we shave it, it will grow back thicker. Lots of old wives' tales flying back and forth. In the end, we let it be and it naturally got thicker.
    – dave
    Mar 18, 2013 at 5:48
  • FWIW: We first cut my son's hair when he was six months old. He's five now and he has plenty of hair. Other than a cowlick that makes it stick up in the back, there's nothing wrong with his hair. I am 100% sure that the cow-lick had nothing to do with getting it cut @ 6 months.
    – Meg Coates
    Mar 18, 2013 at 12:48
  • Related (from skeptics.se).
    – user420
    Mar 19, 2013 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


It is an old wives tale, there's no reason not to cut an infant's hair. As you say it is inert, cutting it makes no difference to hair being grown. I don't think it is a question that comes up often because infants generally have so little of it in the first place that cutting it is unnecessary.

  • I realize my question might have been better suited to Skeptics.SE - My son looks funny from behind because lying on the back has worn off most of his back hair except for the outermost fringes which are as long as my fingers. Mar 17, 2013 at 18:51

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