Can we cut hair on day of birth?

Quick Answers

There are differing cultural and religious beliefs surrounding cutting hair on the day of birth. Some believe it is inauspicious, while others see no issue with it. There is no scientific evidence showing harm in trimming hair on the day of birth. The choice is ultimately up to parental discretion and cultural/religious beliefs.

The birth of a child is a momentous occasion filled with joy and celebration. Families welcome their new bundle of joy into the world with great excitement. An age-old custom in many cultures and religions is to avoid cutting the newborn’s hair on the exact day they are born. This practice stems from beliefs that it is inauspicious to do so. However, others see no harm in trimming hair on the day of birth itself.

This article will examine the cultural and religious significance behind avoiding cutting hair on the day of birth. We will also analyze whether any scientific evidence supports potential harm. Finally, we will provide recommendations on whether the custom of waiting should be followed.

Cultural and Religious Beliefs on Cutting Hair at Birth

Here are some of the predominant cultural and religious beliefs surrounding cutting hair on the day of birth:


Hindus believe that cutting the baby’s hair on the day they are born brings bad luck. Therefore, they strongly avoid trimming on the exact day of birth. Most Hindus wait until the naming ceremony to trim the baby’s hair for the first time. This is an important religious milestone, taking place 11-41 days after birth.


In Sikhism, hair is sacred and should not be cut. Cutting hair on the day of birth is prohibited. Sikhs wait for several years before trimming a child’s hair for the first time.


Muslims often avoid cutting the hair of a newborn on the exact day of birth. Instead, they perform the ‘Aqiqah’ ritual, sacrificing an animal and shaving the baby’s head on the 7th day after birth.


There is no set prohibition in Judaism against cutting hair on the day of birth. However, some Jews have adopted the custom of waiting until the baby boy’s circumcision, which occurs 8 days after birth, for the first haircut.

Buddhism and East Asian Cultures

In Chinese, Korean, and Buddhist traditions, the first haircut ceremony represents a life milestone. It may occur between 1-3 years old. Cutting hair on the day of birth is avoided.


Christianity has no set rules about cutting hair on the day of birth. Practices vary across denominations and cultural groups.

Possible Explanations for Avoiding Hair Cutting on Day of Birth

Various symbolic meanings and superstitions may explain the cultural avoidance of cutting hair on the day of birth:

  • Cutting hair represents inflicting harm, pain, or shedding blood, which is seen as inauspicious on the day of birth.
  • Long uncut hair represents strength and luck. Cutting hair prematurely takes away the baby’s luck and power.
  • Hair contains vital energy. Cutting hair too early dissipates this energy.
  • The first haircut holds deep ceremonial meaning in many cultures. Doing it on the day of birth diminishes its significance.
  • Waiting to cut hair allows time to give thanks for the birth and pray for the baby’s prosperity.
  • Avoiding cutting shows care and protectiveness over the delicate newborn.

These symbolic explanations give cultural and spiritual meaning to the haircutting prohibition on the day of birth.

Scientific Perspectives

Is there any scientific merit to avoiding cutting hair on the exact day a baby is born? Research has not found evidence of potential medical harm.

No Link to Illness

There are no studies showing an association between trimming hair on the day of birth and increased illness. A newborn’s immune system is still underdeveloped regardless of hair length.

No Effect on Regulating Body Temperature

A newborn cannot yet regulate its own body temperature. However, there is no evidence that leaving hair longer for the first day has a meaningful impact on temperature regulation.

No Benefit to Bonding or Breastfeeding

Parent-child bonding and breastfeeding are critical right after birth. But no research indicates that delaying the first haircut supports bonding or nursing. Hair length does not appear to be a factor.

No Link to Vitamin D Synthesis

One theory is that cutting hair too soon may interfere with vitamin D production, as sunlight reacts with oils in hair to produce vitamin D. However, vitamin D levels are not determined by hair length in newborns. Rather, vitamin D is passed from mother to baby through the placenta during pregnancy and later through breastmilk.

Potential Benefits of Delayed Hair Cutting

While no hard scientific evidence supports prohibitions against cutting hair on the day of birth, some potential benefits may still exist:

  • Honoring cultural traditions brings meaning and comfort to families.
  • Delaying shows protectiveness over the fragile newborn.
  • Waiting allows families to spiritually bless the occasion of the first haircut.
  • It avoids overwhelming the newborn with too many post-birth rituals.
  • It gives parents time to make a deliberate decision on hairstyle.

Therefore, while no medical harm is proven, respecting the traditional prohibition can hold personal and cultural meaning.


Based on the analysis of cultural beliefs, scientific perspectives, and potential benefits, here are recommendations on cutting hair on the day of birth:

  • If your culture or religion prohibits it, avoid cutting hair on the day of birth to honor those traditions.
  • If you have no cultural or religious beliefs against it, trim hair if desired for ease of caretaking.
  • Consult with your religious leader if unsure of your faith’s stance.
  • Discuss wishes with family members to respect their views.
  • Do what feels personally meaningful, whether that is waiting or not.

If Deciding to Trim on Day of Birth

  • Be gentle and careful not to overwhelm the newborn.
  • Make it a special family moment instead of rushed caretaking.
  • Consider just a tiny trim instead of full haircutting.
  • Choose a hairstyle that honors your cultural heritage if applicable.


Cutting hair on the day of birth is prohibited in several cultures and religions, though others impose no restrictions. While scientific evidence does not support medical harm from trimming, reasonable benefits exist for respecting the traditional prohibition. However, each family must make their own decision based on cultural beliefs, advice from religious leaders, and personal values surrounding the spiritual significance of hair.

Religion/Culture Belief about Cutting Hair on Day of Birth
Hinduism Prohibited
Sikhism Prohibited
Islam Avoided; done on 7th day instead
Judaism No prohibition, but some wait until 8th day ritual
Buddhism, Chinese, Korean Avoided; done between 1-3 years instead
Christianity No set beliefs; practices vary

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