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Mundan Ceremony – How effective is it for baby’s hair growth?

Published on: 9 October , 2019 | Ekta

India is a land of traditions & rituals. Different communities have a different set of traditions and practices, but there are a couple of them which are followed commonly across most of the communities. And that being the tonsuring ceremony, or commonly known as mundan, or Chudakarma or chudakarna sanskar. It is a ceremony where the family gets involved in shaving the hair of the baby for the very first time from the roots itself. It is considered to be very auspicious and a necessary ceremony for years not possible, then the well-being of the baby. The recommended age is 1 year or 3 years of completion for the baby. If then 8 years or 16 years is the next option. It should not be done before 1 year as the skull bones of the baby are not fully strengthened.

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The logic:

It is believed that the hair of the baby signifies negativity and unwanted memories related to his/her past life. Thus, it becomes a necessity to get the baby rid of all these, so that he/she could start with a new beginning filled with positivity and good health. The underlying objective being that the parents wish for the mental and spiritual development of the child.

Pre-requisites of a Mundan Ceremony:

Before the family decides to perform the tonsuring ceremony for their kid, they have to consider a few factors. Namely:- the place of ceremony – temple, home or a barber shop, the auspicious date, day and timings, astrological factors (optional),  the guest list, and of course the ideal age. All these need to be matched into to derive at the best date and time.

Common myths about Mundan:

Mundan ceremony is said to be having multiple benefits like it helps the child to stay cool (especially during hot summers), keeps head lice at bay, improves blood circulation in the head, relieves teething issues and promotes better hair growth. While the other benefits could be true to a great extent, the lastly mentioned one has always been a matter of debate. This is a field where tradition confronts the scientific facts.

According to a scientific study by Lynfield and Macwilliams, exclusively on the relevance of tonturing for effective hair growth in babies has brought to light some important aspects. It has concluded that tonturing has absolutely nothing to do with hair growth and quality. To support their findings, they have provided us with these important facts:

  • The hair that grows after mundan only appear thicker because the tip of the hair become blunt. The roots remain the same even after shaving the head. Thus, hair follicles remain untouched, which is why hair growth is seemingly not possible. Neither there could be a change in the quality and texture of the hair.
  • The hair growth is purely a result of an increase in the number of hair follicles, as well as the circulation in the scalp area.
  • The child’s genes play a pivotal role, as well as a nutritious diet and hygienic hair care – all of them contribute to lustrous, super strong and shiny hair.

Now that we have these facts before us, it is the personal choice of every family to follow or not to follow this tradition. All set and done, Mundan has no effect on the hair growth or quality of the baby’s hair.

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How is Mundan Ceremony performed?

After you decide upon the auspicious date and time, in consultation with the priest, you hire a barber for the job. After shaving the hair, he applies a paste of turmeric and sandalwood on the scalp and leave it on for a few minutes. Sandalwood is supposed to provide a cooling effect for the scalp and turmeric as it is known for its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties, helps to heal any cuts or wounds which may have occurred during the tonturing process. Different communities believe in various practices – like some offer a part of the cut hair to a holy river, some believe in offering it to temples like The Tirupati Balaji temple has a separate Hundi for hair offerings.

Tips for after Pre –care & Post-care:

  • Greasy hair is difficult to cut, thus better to give a mild shampoo bath so that the barber finds it convenient to handle the scissors.
  • Baby’s convenience is of utmost importance, so choose a time which you feel your baby’s mood  is elevated.
  • Opt for a zero trimmer over a razor  (blade) as it is a safer option as well as performs the job quicker too.
  • After the procedure, the immediate step to be taken is to apply a paste of turmeric and sandalwood on the scalp of the baby. It helps to soothe the skin and help in any cuts and wounds which may have accidentally been inflicted on the baby.
  • Give a thorough bath to ensure that all the hair has been completely washed off.
  • Do not apply shampoo for 2-3 days on the baby’s scalp as it would be sensitive. The best option would be to use milk combined water, or water mixed with mild antiseptic liquid.

Conclusion: To put it in a nutshell, your hair is an exact reflection of your food intake and hygiene habits, in addition to your genes, which plays the most important role. It is these factors which help in hair growth, and not tonsuring. Following diligently a simple routine for your kids goes a long way in ensuring their good health and longevity. Shiny, lustrous, long, strong and super healthy hair is close to becoming possible. To look at it from a general viewpoint, trimming hair helps in relieving from split ends, dryness which in turn helps in proper growth of hair. No way helps in increasing the hair growth.

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A doting mom to an angel, Social Media Specialist & Professional Blogger. She loves to share her thoughts with other parents in the same turbulent boat. She absolutely loves & adores her family & is learning to strike a good work-life balance. When she is not writing, cooking or busy taking care of her toddler, she probably is dancing to some good desi music!

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