Why You’re Bald in Your Baby Photos

It seems criminal to shave off that feathery soft, newborn hair. But for many South Asians, it’s tradition.

ShavedHeadsIllo Horizontal final shaving baby heads
Shruti Ashok for The Juggernaut

Ayesha Le Breton


July 3, 2024


6 min

For many people, growing up comes with the fear of balding. They wince at the possibility of their naked heads. Day after day, they combat their anxieties with cosmetic pills, baseball caps, buzz cuts, different shampoos, and prayers. They sigh with nostalgia, looking back at their youth. Yet, for many from the subcontinent, baldness comes before, not after, growing up.

When we asked our followers whether they had their heads shaved as a baby, 73% of respondents said yes. “I look at my baby photos and I wish I had hair at the time,” said Amna Pervaiz, 29. Her parents shaved her head as a child not once, but thrice. And she’s not alone.

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