Baby Hair -myths and traditions

“What foods help with baby hair growth?” That was me desperately searching on Google for a solution! When I first held my Ivannah, I ran my fingers through her hair and damn……… she had beautiful beautiful hair. When we found out that we were going to have a baby girl, in our list of do’s and don’ts was no shaving her hair.

So many myths exist about baby hair; that you have to shave off baby hair otherwise the baby will have weak hair; the baby has to have their hair shaved by their grandmas(cucu); that there needs to be some elaborate ceremony around shaving the baby’s hair and keeping the first locks as a sign of goodwill etc. Well… I never shaved Ivannah’s hair at all. It has been growing perfectly until some months ago when we noticed the hair at the back had no growth.

The back of her head was bald

There are many different theories about back hair and why it doesn’t grow. It is said that because babies often sleep on their backs, growth of the hair at the back of their heads gets stunted. Well… my Ivannah was no exception. The back of her head was bald and the hair in front wasn’t doing too well either, so I decided to have it plaited to see if that would improve the situation and bring about change. Our little doll Ivannah hates it when anyone tries to touch her hair. So you can just imagine how it took us three whole hours to plait the tiny hair at the front of her head! 3 whole hours…..hehehe story of another day……..

Her hair was shaved off and she looked like a lovely cartoon

I held up her hair at the front and it looked like a wanna-be Mohawk, and I thought hmmmm….. not too bad. On taking another look I wondered – what if we completely go bald on the back?? So I jumped onto doing research and took her to a baby salon. Some say that it is advisable to always have a machine for your baby in the house. We however were comfortable and the baby salon worked well for us. Her hair was shaved off and she looked like a lovely cartoon. We loved it! I told her “Mama hiyo ndio style yako till nywele grows at the back’’ As we walk with her in streets I see people staring in wonderment. Some expressions indicating shock and disbelief wondering “Aiiiiiiii umefanya nini mtoto?” “What on earth have you done to your child?”

Hair is just hair, it will grow

She looks good with her new hairstyle and we’re loving it. My hubby who is always very encouraging tells me that hair is just hair, it will grow as she is still a baby. And sure enough I have met very many children with really beautiful hair and when we start the hair discussion, their parents share that some of their cases were significantly worse off than Ivannah, and I feel duly comforted.
What have you experienced with regards to your baby’s hair? Did it fall off at the back like my Ivannah’s ? Did you have to honour some of the traditions and cultures from your community? Do you feel that sometimes we as parents take hair too seriously and we should just take things easy? Please share and let’s have a good laugh over our baby hair stories………….


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