Hair today, gone tomorrow.

A couple of weeks ago while we were still in London, our 3 month old baby Aidan developed a particular liking to making bubbles with his drool and blowing raspberries. While this was all very cute (and messy!) my mum said, “the old folks say if your baby is blowing bubbles, that means you’re going to lose your hair soon”. I laughed at her and was like, “what??” and left it at that.

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Sure enough, Mother was right. As soon as I arrived in KL I noticed that my hair was shedding in clumps. Apparently, post partum hair loss affects mums between 3 and 6 months after they give birth. So I guess there was some logic behind the old folks’ saying, because babies start to make bubbles at about the 3 month mark!

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This came out after running my fingers through my hair 3 times 😦

Here’s what BabyCentre had to say about it:

Postpartum Hair Loss — What Causes It

Normally, the average head loses 100 hairs a day — but not all at once, so you don’t notice them. Your pregnancy hormones keep those hairs from falling out (which is why your hair looks as lush as a supermodel’s, or is so thick you can barely get a brush through it). But all good things must come to an end, and that includes your awesome new ‘do. When those hormones drop back to normal, the extra hairs drop, too.

 A note to new moms with long hair: Strands of hair can end up tightly wrapped around your baby’s tiny appendages, including his fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, and penis. This is called a hair tourniquet, and it can be quite painful for your little one. If you find him crying for no apparent reason, check carefully for tight bands of hair.

Postpartum Hair Loss — What You Need to Know

Don’t freak: You’re not going bald, you’re just getting back to normal. If you’re breastfeeding, some of your extra hair may hang on to your scalp until you wean or start to supplement with formula or solids. But nursing or not, take comfort in knowing that by the time your baby is ready to blow out the candles on that first birthday cake (and has a full head of hair of his or her own, possibly), your catch-up hair loss will be finished, and your locks should be back to normal, too.

And it isn’t just me who is losing hair- Aidan’s head was also recently shaved bald at his Aqiqah ceremony in London. Before I had a baby, I was one of the many who got religion confused with culture and thought that certain rituals were cultural, when in fact they were actually based on the Islamic Sunnah. So I will just share here a bit of what I have since found out.

When a baby is born in Islam, 7 seems to be the magic number of days that certain things should be done by. As soon as the baby enters the world, the father should recite the Azhaan (prayer call) in his/her ears. Then the baby should be named and this is ideally only revealed 7 days after the birth. Circumcision is also ideally performed on the 7th day (but we did Aidan’s on the 3rd day; whoops!). Same with the Aqiqah/Aqeeqah- which is the offering sacrificed in conjunction with a baby’s birth- also on the 7th day, ideally. 2 goats/camels/cows/sheep for a boy and only 1 for a girl. Choice of animal is based on the parents’ preference and what they can afford. Ideally, the Aqiqah meat should be divided into 3, with 1/3 going to charity and 2/3 shared between friends and family. (But we and our guests finished all the meat on the same day-whoops again!)

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Some reasons for performing the Aqiqah:

1. “Until the aqeeqah is performed, the child remains an open target to calamities, misfortune and is also deprived from virtue and blessings. After the aqeeqah the child is safeguarded from anything detrimental and anything provoking pain”.

2. “A child is a blessing from the Almighty Allah. Aqeeqah is performed as a thanksgiving for this blessing”.

3. “Until the aqeeqah is performed the child shall not be safeguarded against calamities but instead will grow up to be disobedient and rude to his parents.”

4. “When the hair is shaven on the 7th day and aqeeqah is completed, the child is cleansed from all impurities, (Allah knows best).”

And then, there’s the shaving of the head. I was reluctant at first, fearing that it will not grow back nicely but I feel a bit silly now after knowing the reasons why we should do it.

“Ibn Al-Qayem (Allah’s mercy upon him) said about the benefit of shaving the newborn’s hair: Shaving his head removes the harm from him, removes the weak hair so that stronger and firmer hair replaces it and it is beneficial for the head. In addition, it comforts the newborn and opens the head’s skin openings… And along with this is a strengthening of his eye sight, his sense of smell and hearing. Refer to Ahkamul Tifl: Ahmad Al-Eesawee 192”

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For me, the best thing about shaving Aidan’s hair is the fact that we are supposed to give to charity the same value of the hair’s equivalent weight in gold. So Aidan’s hair weighed 3 grams in total, and today’s gold value is RM150 per gram, therefore we must give RM450 to charity. The trouble now is choosing which one to give to!

After the hair has been shaved one should strictly refrain from disposing it in a filthy atmosphere, as this invites illness. The hair should be carefully buried in a safe area or disposed of in a flowing stream/river. We still have Aidan’s hair in a little plastic bag and we’re planning to bury it next to where his placenta is buried.

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Here’s Aidan freshly shaved head 🙂

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One thought on “Hair today, gone tomorrow.

  1. This is my favourite article from you,, we can be modern, international and evolved but we are Muslims. Islam and culture should not be buried just because we are par as those mentioned..particularly to the next generation. our offspring. I am proud of you my darling God daughter. As an educated Londoner, you did not lose your identity, your religion, your faith and your culture. You were well bred by Mama and Abah.

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