Family Magazine

Is Mundan Effective for Hair Growth in Babies?

By Sangeetha
is mundan effective for hair growth in babiesCan hair growth in babies increase with mundan? Well let’s see in this post. I am a person who loves to keep up our traditions. I follow most traditions in a way that it does not cause any harm for my family, society or me. I always try to find the positive side of these traditions.In today’s post I would like to tell you readers about my take on the traditional mundan ceremony, whether it has effects on the hair growth in babies and how I felt like after performing the mundan ceremony of our son Rithvik.Before heading into discussion I wish to say that I am not here for a debate. I am just expressing my opinion and not forcing my views on anyone. So I hope there is no need of heated discussion about this ritual as everyone has their own reasons to do it/ not to do it. What is mundan/chudakarma sanskar/ chudakarana /tonsuring?Chudakarma sanska/ mundan/ chudakarana or tonsuring is the ceremony of cutting a child’s hair for the first time. It is performed usually when the baby turns one year or three year of age. By this age, the skull bones of the baby would have come together.Belief and significance of mundan:The hair on child’s head is formed in the womb of the mother.In ancient times it was believed that hair on baby’s head has bad influences on his development as he grows. Mundan was performed in a belief of eliminating the negativities from the previous life.The significance is to draw attention of parents towards the mental and spiritual development of the child and to keep the society informed about the progress that the child is making.Ayurveda behind Mundan:Ayurveda recommends shaving hair as a remedy to cure ringworm and head lice. Parents feared that shaving might cause head injuries, cuts or wounds in babies.So both necessity and fear gave rise to mundan ceremony seeking divine blessings and it became an important ceremony in many Hindu traditions.Myths about mundan ceremony:There are quite a lot of interesting myths about mundan that I have heard from my grandma and others. I do wonder how a haircut can do these much magic on babies.Kids will get a long lifeHelpful if a child is going through teething stage, making them less cranky and relaxedBetter hair growth of the childImprove the strength of the nerves in the brainBetter blood circulationProtection from the evil eye of othersHow mundan is performed?Every community has their own ways of performing the mundan ceremony. Some perform it at home, some at temple, some at holy riversides and nowadays it’s even performed at salons or beauty parlors.Traditionally a priest fixes an auspicious date for mundan and on that date the baby’s hair is shaved off.Once the hair is shaved off a paste of turmeric and sandalwood is applied on the head of the child. This cools the head and heals the cuts on the head if any. This paste acts as a natural antiseptic.Some families have a custom of offering the cut hair to a holy river. I haven’t found the exact reason for this custom yet but this is something not everyone does. In olden days Hindu life revolved around temple premises. The barbers usually do their work on the riversides and throw the cut off hair into the running water. Maybe this practice is followed even now.Some people offer the cut hair to the temples.Mantra recited during chudakarma:The following mantra is recited for blessing the child either by grandfather or maternal uncle or family priest as follows:Nivartta –yaamyaause-annaadyaaya prajananaaya | Raays-poshaaya suprajaatvaaya suveeryaaya || (Yajurveda)Meaning:Oh Child! I perform the shaving ritual so that you may be blessed with long life! I perform the ritual so that you may be able to digest the food you eat! May you be productive in what you do! May you be blessed with a happy family and children in your life! May you be meritorious wherever you go!How we performed Rithvik’s mundan ceremony?Mundan ceremony was performed for Rithvik when he was around 1.5 years of age. It was during the summer. My father in law is good in astrology and so he fixed an auspicious date for the ceremony.Since my hubby’s native place is Tirunelveli, we opted to do mundan at Tiruchendur temple because of less travel time. Just before the ritual I fed Rithvik well. Mundan was performed in a building near the temple.The experienced barbers sat there in a line alongside each other and carried on with the shaving. We provided the barber with a new set of razor.My little one was made to sit on my brother’s lap as per our tradition to do the shaving but Rithvik cried like anything. We tried everything to calm him but nothing worked. So in between the shavings, he was transferred to my hubby’s lap.The professional barber finished up his work within 5 minutes. There was not even a single cut or wound after the shave.Near to the building a nali kinaru (small well) is there for devotees where we gave Rithvik a quick bath after the hair cut. After that turmeric and sandalwood paste was applied on his head. Then he wore a new dress and a chain gifted by his grandparents. We visited the temple, had a sumptuous lunch and shopping after that.Is mundan really effective to promote hair growth in babies?From my experience before and after mundan, my baby’s hair growth is good. It is scientifically proven that the hair follicles don’t really multiply even when the head is shaved.Though mundan doesn’t help to boost hair growth in babies, let us see the advantages of mundan for babies.1. Comfortable for babies in warm months:My little one had a good growth of dark black hair before his first haircut. His head sweats a lot.Shaving the hair during the summer months made my little one’s life more comfortable. No sweating and stingy smell of sweat.2. Head bath made easierNo need of shampooing after shaving off, so no more crying and tears from babies during head bath. Thus made my task easier for a few days.3. Happiness of parents and grandparentsMy parents and inlaws never insist us to follow any traditions or customs that is followed in our family. That is the best part we love in them.Mundan was completely my own decision. I felt deep in my heart that our parents are longing to see their grandson’s mundan ceremony.Our parents and grandparents will really feel very happy that we listen to their heart. We will be always their babies, no matter how old we grow!!!4. Family bondingAs I stay abroad, the family get together is very rare. So ceremonies are always an opportunity to meet together, have fun and make decisions together as a whole family.5. Developing communication skill for babiesBig family outing includes lots of talks, plays and songs. This will definitely help in developing good communication skills of our babies.6. RelaxationWhole family will be with us. So you can guess how our loved ones will pamper the little ones.You can just relax in your traditional attire. Try not to stress about every little thing and enjoy the moment.7. Traditional toysI found a lot of our good old-fashioned toys near shops in temple premises that we won’t ever get in big shopping malls. Rithvik was loaded with those traditional toys by his grandparents.8. PhotoshootWe took lots of solo and family pictures with normal and fun poses. Memories cherished for a lifetime.The one and only negative thing I found in the whole ceremony was that Rithvik cried while getting his head shaved. This made us really sad.It depends. Some babies won’t cry. I noticed many babies smiling during this ceremony. If you are lucky enough your little one won’t cry during the ceremony.Things to keep in mind if you choose to perform chudakarana or mundan:It is best to perform mundan during summerIf planning to do in temple or other holy places, try to find a nearby place so that you can avoid long travel with the babyIf traveling long distance, prefer a neat and good hotel to stayKeep all baby things handy (towel, feeding bottles, drinking water, banana, wipes, tissues, napkins etc )Ensure that the child is fed before the ceremonyTry to keep the baby engaged with his favourite toy or play when the barber does his workGive the barber a new pair of razor for mundanThe child must be given a good bath just after ceremony to wash away all the hair from his or her bodyThe paste of turmeric and sandalwood can be very effective after shavingLast but not least keep your cameras ready for the ceremonyDid you do mundan for your baby? Did he or she cry?Did it help in boosting hair growth in babies? How was the whole experience? Kindly share with us in comments.Further reading:How we celebrated our daughter’s annaprashan or annaprashanam?5 medicinal uses of silverware for babies How I named my baby?Kindly share this article in your Facebook and Twitter. Remember sharing is caring :)If you want to stay updated on many more articles like these, please subscribe to the newsletters of Bumps n Baby.

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