Alison Sweeney Tests Old Wives' Tale on Megan

10/15/2009 at 03:00 PM ET

Move over Angel, Cruz and Kingston, there’s a new mohawk in town! Or — at least — there was ever so briefly for 9-month-old Megan Hope, daughter of Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney. During a Wednesday visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 33-year-old actress flashed a photograph of her mohawked baby girl and said that she was acting on the advice of her hairdresser.

“In Latin American cultures they have a thing where they shave babies heads because when their hair’s so fine, it grows back thicker,” Alison explained. “It’s an old wives’ tale.”

After having “a glass of champagne or two” with her own mom, Alison said the duo decided to take action. “We shaved her head,” Alison laughed before adding,

“So of course if you’re going to do it, you have to do the mohawk first! But it’s grown back thicker! It really has! It’s cute and thick and blonde. It’s a bit of a Chia Pet sort of thing.”

In addition to Megan, Alison is mom to 4 ½-year-old Benjamin Edward with husband David Sanov.

Screencap courtesy Ellen for use on CBB

Source: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Erika on

I think that’s a good idea. I have a feeling this will start a debate, but there’s no reason for it, Megan’s to little to realize, and when she’s older, she’ll probably appreciate it!

g!na on

aaw! she’s cute! her hair looks more red than blonde! i’ve seen other pics and it was red! hmm!

Brandi on

Her children look exactly alike! That is Ben’s face hahaha. I am Cuban and haven’t heard of that old wives tale but I will ask my mother and aunts about it.

marilyn on

i dont find this funny or cute but thats just my personal opinion

Blue on

Worked for me. I had very fine peach fuzz as a baby (as did all my siblings). My Mom shaved mine and I’ve got the thickest head of hair out of all of us kids. Its pretty crazy but this is one “Old Wives Tale” I believe actually works.

jessjess on

AWW!! she is ADORABLE!!!


I shaved my daughters hair when she was about 7-8 months…it grew back thicker and so pretty. It is a tradition in our family to do it to all babies!

Megan is so so cute!!!!

marfmom on

Well, isn’t that what happens with our legs? The hair is initially fine, but once we start shaving our legs it comes in, uh, not as fine haha. So it makes sense that it could work for a baby’s hair. I’d be to nervous to take a razor to my baby’s head though!

Drew & Mia's Mommy on

My daughter is the same age as Megan and she has the most gorgeous curly hair. I couldn’t imagine shaving it! However, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Most of the girl babies in my family ended up with their hair shaved off as babies but I think it was because it started falling out and was patchy…not for thicker hair!

Momto5 on

I have complete faith in this theory. I did it to all 5 of my children and they each have gorgeous thick hair. The theory is that when buzzing the hair you irritate or nick open the follicles that are already existing and therefore the hair pokes through. If the follicles are not there then obviously you can’t create “thicker” hair. Those follicles are already there and eventually, when the child is older, may poke through on their own but by buzzing the hair you are speeding up the process. Good for Alison! As a mother of 3 daughters who all had nice long “buckwheat” hair, which was so cute to clip and pony, it was incredibly hard to buzz it off, but in the long run I knew I was doing them a favor. Megan is absolutely beautiful!

Names4Real on

I’ve never heard that one. Interesting.

Beverley on

I think I am missing the point. What is wrong with baby hair that would need to be shaved to start over? I remember my kids’ hair as beautiful, fine, easy to care for and smelling wonderful. What’s wrong with it that is requires shaving?

lauren on

I’ve actually not heard of it being a latino tradition but an asian one. My head was shaved when I was 3 and a half months old and my hair is incredibly thick.

Allie-Rose on

Like marfmom said, it’s the same process as shaving your legs: you shave it, it grows back thicker. I’m not quite sure I’d try it on my baby when I have one, though

Forever Moore on

I think this is awesome….I have traveled throughout Southeast Asia and it is customary for little children of all ages of have shaved heads. I’m not sure I would necessarily do it myself, but very cool for Alison to have an open mind and spirit.

Sarah on

In my experience it’s been the asian culture who tend to do this.. Everyone told me to do it to my daughters but my first was bald as a cueball till she was two so there was barely any hair to bic off of her lol…

Nanny-Emma on

It’s true, mine was shaved and I have Super thick hair!

J.D. on

I’ve also only heard this as an Asian tradition. I do believe it works though.

melania on

My mother did it with my sister and me. Her mother did it with her too. I always thought it was a middle eastern thing. lol. I guess it’s wide-spread. My hair grew back thick and wavy and still is. My sister’s is thick and straight. I think my sister had hers shaved a few times as a baby, though.

Mira on

No, it’s an Eastern European thing. Hahaha.

Mom23Boyz on

I’ve never heard of this either. But speaking of Old Wives Tales, I think I did hear somewhere though that it was bad luck to cut a baby’s hair before their first birthday. If one were superstitious, that is. 🙂

Nicole on

This isn’t true at all. Your hair is going to be what it’s going to be, regardless what you do to it.

Lola Marie on

C-U-T-E!!! She looks just like mommy. I’m glad Alison had a girl this time around.

Megan on

I didn’t have hair for the first 2 years of life and when it did finally start growing in, my mom was told to shave it so it would grow back thicker. I am so glad she DIDN’T take that advice. If my hair was any thicker, it’d stand up on it’s own. In the past, we’ve actually taken thinning shears to it. Hope this works out for them.

meghan on

I rememer Salma Hayek talking about her grandmother or mother doing this when she was a baby.

danigirl on

My mother-in-law used to babysit Alison Sweeney and I wonder if she popped that idea into her head!

JMO on

I know someone who did this to her child however she did it when the child was 2!!! The little girl had some wacky hair growing so the mom buzzed it. She looked hideous! Then her hair grew back but she had a major calic! I can see doing it when they’re babies. We did it to my nephews so they too would have thicker hair but as a 2 year old I found it a bit too odd!

I didn’t have hair until I was over a year old. My hair is very thin. My mom is a hairdresser and agrees it works but she never did it to me….kinda wish she did. My hair is really fine!

urbanadventurertales on

I tend to think that hair thickness is just genetics, but I think you can get away with doing it to babies since most are bald until they are around 1.

fay on

it must be good everywhere except america, because i’m west african and it’s what we do too… lol… cut the hair so it will grow…

my girls hair is growing in kind of patchy, i may send her over to my aunts and let her cut it, cuz i dont think i’ll be able to watch…

lizzie on

Shaving your legs doesn’t make the hair grow back thicker. That’s just a myth.

Finnaryn on

It is also an Indian tradition. One of my former co-workers did it for both of his kids, but I can’t remember what age. They then weigh the hair and donate that amount in silver to a charity. I think it might be partly religious because there is a whole celebration and a goat sacrifice.

But I have also heard that Native American’s don’t cut their childrens hair for a period of time due to their culture.

Kim on

My Mom is 65 and a German Russian Born. We have a Picture of her at 3 years old with a shaved head. They shaved her head every birthday for 3 years and you should see her hair…..OMG it is like corn silk, seriously. Just GORGEOUS! Not just Latin / Hispanic Wives Tale I guess! Goes WAY back. She never did it to my hair and it is so fine I can not even keep a child’s barett in it. 😦

Mary on

I’m reading all these posts about people shaving their babies heads and I’m so confused!! Why would anyone with half a brain do this? What do you care if your child’s hair grows thick or not? My hair is super thick (no, my mother didn’t shave my head and I was bald until I was 2) and I hate it!!!! Baby hair is so sweet, thin or not and I couldn’t imagine shaving a babies head, am I being punked???

sarah on

It’s bad luck to cut your babys hair before their first birthday.

emilyc on

I’m going to have to agree with Mary and Beverley here. I love baby hair! It’s just perfect as is! I can’t understand why someone would want to shave it off! I find it hard to beleive that it would work anyway. I think genes are more likely the reason for hair thickness!

Trinh on

I’m offended by the half a brain/puke comment. I’m Vietnamese, and my parents did it w/ all of us kids – boys and girls. I think many Asian ppl believe it will make hair grow back thicker. It’s no big deal. Hair grows back. If it’s part of some old wives’ tale, so be it. Who cares. For the record, we all have super thick hair- we always get charged more at hair salons. And if we would have had thick hair anyway, so what? What did I feel at one month? It doesn’t hurt to shave hair. omg.

J.D. on

That was really insensitive for so many reasons. It’s a cultural thing to some people, which is why someone with more than “half a brain” would do it.

Lorus on

It’s just shaven around the time that other hair follicles start producing hair so when you make it all the one length it appears that the child grows more hair because of the shaving but it’s not true. My daughter has wonderful long wisps of hair and then around the hair line edge she has pieces that are about 1.5 inches as they started growing later.

KD on

I shaved my youngest head as a baby because her hair was very very fine and very patchy. She still has fine hair, but it came it healthier and I make sure (she is six now) that we trim the ends every few weeks and take care of it. It did not hurt her she was a BABY and she doesn’t know the difference now. I did it for my own sanity because her fine patchy hair was difficult to take care of with three other children at home. I am happy to see Allison open to other cultural beliefs and instilling a global view for her family.
Another good tip for moms, something my grandmother taught me, do not wash a child’s hair daily or even every other day. Allow the natural oils to grease the child’s head. Of course, wash it if your child gets something in it, but twice per week should be fine. In fact, I still only wash my hair two to three times per week depending on what I have been doing and I have very healthy hair with no split ends. My grandmother learned this from African-American women in Alabame when my grandfather was stationed there in the 1960s:) So, it is a good tip for mom’s too:)

Jen K on

@Megan, I’m exactly the same! I didn’t have any hair till two. My mom used to have to tape bows to my head so I looked more like a girl! haha. Now it’s super thick and I HATE it.

Lisa on

I’m from Southeast Asia and we shave the babies’ heads in our culture as well. My parents did it to all of us kids when we were just a few months old and yes, every single one of my siblings and I have thick hair.

I doubt the thickness of our hair is due to the shaving but who cares? *shrugs* I wasn’t hurt by it either, and I’m not embarrassed or whatever when I see my baby pics. All babies in my culture have to wear these hand-made hats anyway that are gender-specific to help others tell whether you’re a boy or a girl (kind of like having babies wear pink and blue here in the West).

Sarah M. on

I believe it. Hair that is too thin to do anything with is beyond annoying to deal with. My sister and I have super thick hair. We have to scrub our heads for what seems like forever to get even a small amount of shampoo/conditioner out, it takes forever to dry and it has to be thinned EVERY time we get it cut, it’s hot and it’s heavy. But I’d rather have all this and be able to actually do stuff with it than have it be so thin that I could never do anything with it.

I nannied for a little girl who at 4 or 5 months could have her hair in a big ponytail or pigtails. I think it depends on the kid on if it should be done. If they already have thick hair, it’s not necessary. If they have really thin hair, it won’t do any harm or cause irreparable damage. And I think mohawks are adorable on babies!

Micheley on

I don’t see what the problem is. Whether someone were to do it for a cultural reason or not it is their choice and I don’t see how it is anyones business and I don’t see how it would effect the child at all. The only thing I would be concerned about here is the fact that Allison had a “glass or two” of wine before cutting her babies hair lol.

TC on

It’s 100% a myth people.

When I was 19 I had to have ear surgery and they had to shave almost half of my head. It did grow back but it didn’t grow back any different than the rest of my hair.

If you want to do it because of a cultural reason than so be it but please please please don’t think your child’s hair is going to grow back thicker because it’s simply not true.

Annalee on

Wow… I’m surprised nobody has started a debate about how Alison and her mom were drinking alcohol while taking care of baby Megan!

Ella on

Gee, thanks for telling me it’s a myth. If someone wants to do it for whatever belief- true or not- leave them alone. Just as some people avoid opening umbrellas indoors or going under a ladder- it’s harmless. I can’t believe this comments on this site sometimes. Since you say it’s a myth, I believe you, and I will not follow a century old tradition from my family. I’m dripping w/ sarcasm. omg.

Babymam on

I could care less if she shaved her kid’s hair off. What I’m more concerned with is the facts he mentioned that she shaved her baby’s head after several glasses of wine. I’m surprised no one’s mentioned that yet!

Bea's momma on

That’s weird.

TV on

TC – The differnce between you and Megan is that you were a teenager and Megan is a baby. The whole theory is that if shave a baby’s hair while it’s still fine it will grow back thicker. It has nothing to do with teenagers having their hair shaved for medical reasons or fun.

As far as people saying they’re concerned Allison shaved her daughter’s hair after consuming ‘a glass or two’ of wine I really want to know what the big deal is. It’s not like she was drunk off her ass and all of a sudden decided it would be fun to shave her kid’s head. You were not there and don’t know long it took her to consume the wine. From my experience you aren’t considered intoxicated from two glasses of wine unless you slam them down really fast on an empty stomach. Also, wine is something to be savored so it takes a while for real wine drinkers to finish a glass.

mel on

OK. listen up.
its her baby not yours, and her hair will grow back!
people need to mind their business. don’t do it to yours if you don’t want to. but its not a myth. it can happen to some people but not ALL.
Calm down people, its just hair, it’ll grow.

CelebBabyLover on

TV- I agree! She said she had one or two glasses of wine, not several!

Anna on

I know it is also tradition in Afghanistan and around those regions. Our neighbours did it to their 4 year old! It was a strange sight, but it grew back easily. It’s just hair not like punching a hole in your child’s ear!!

Sophia on

Up til when I was four I had very fine golden hair with curly tips, then at four my parents got my hair cut very short and ever since then it’s been crazy thick. I don’t see anything wrong with Alison’s actions although personally I would be a little bit uneasy about taking a razor to a baby’s soft head.

wavybrains on

To each her own, but I find this a little sad. Babies are perfect just as they are. At two my DD is still pretty darn bald, but I wouldn’t dream of shaving what little fuzz she has. She has the whole rest of her life to grow hair. She also has the whole rest of her life to try to conform to societal beautiful standards. Many not-so-nice things are done to babies in the name of religion, and it makes me sad because the baby doesn’t have any choice in the matter. I’d rather save the head shaving for a fit of teenage rebellion. Not to mention that at the rate my DD is growing hair it would be months and months of growing to gain it back 🙂

Rachel-Jane on

Hair on your legs only appears to be thicker and darker because when it grows it tapers to a fine tip, but when you cut it you cut the hair at a thicker part, which then becomes the end of the hair.

Sarah on

It’s not only in Latin American cultures. My husband is from Iran and they shaved the babies’ heads too. I don’t know if it’s still done there, but it was like that when he was young in the early 1960’s.

Kristi on

The same thing happened to me Sophia! I had poker straight, thin hair until I was about 6 and then I got it cut. Now my hair is very thick and curly. I have no idea if it had anything to do with getting my hair cut when I was 6 but it seems like a strange coincedence. Also, there was a little girl at the day care I worked at who was Indian who had her head shaved on her first birthday for cultural reasons. I didn’t know her as a baby but as a toddler she had wavy, thick hair 🙂

Stephanie on

Oh, for heaven’s sake, people. It’s hair! Cut it, shave it, color it blue. Every culture/family has its own set of traditions, whether they’re old wives’ tales, myths, or proven remedies. My African-American best friend hot-irons her 4 year old’s hair, and rubbed olive oil into her newborn daughter’s skin for the first month of her life rather than give her a bath. Just because I don’t do those things with my daughter doesn’t make what my friend does crazy or wrong.

If Allison was adventurous enough to see if the rumor about shaving your child’s hair to make it grow back thicker was true, and she had the good humor to know that if it wasn’t, it was just hair, then SO WHAT? Get off your pedestal and find something more important to worry about.

And BTW, I think the comment about “after a couple glasses of champagne” may have been more of a reference to Allison working up the courage to actually shave her daughter’s head.

momof4 on

Old wives tales are meant to be fun. I’m really surprised so many believe that shaving or cutting hair actually changes hair. It doesn’t.

wavybrains, I agree. I wish more mothers would embrace their children as they are and not try to change them. They are perfect the way they are. I think bald babies or babies with peach fuzz are adorable!

Alicia on

I don’t know about a mohawk, but I did shave my kids heads when they were babies. Actually I did not do it myself personally, I had my daughters godfather and godmother to do it. They are both professional hair dressers. And both my kids, (my daughter and son) have wonderful and healthy hair. by the way my kids are now 31 and 28. And yes, it is a hispanic/latin american thing. I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina

sarah on

I have never heard of this one before but I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments on it… its definitely something to consider doing but something I would ONLY do to a baby

Stephanie on

My hair was falling out by the handful as an infant. My mom shaved my head and my hair is now so thick it’s ridiculous! Megan will be fine and the world will live to see another day!!!

mulattamarks on

It’s also a Polynesian thing. My husband is Samoan and they shave their kids’ hair to make it come back thicker (and sometimes for disciplinary reasons…but that’s a whole different topic). We’re expecting our first and although it wasn’t something I was raised to understand…why not? Have you seen how gorgeous Polynesian hair is? I might just give it a try. Most babies are bald anyway.

Dee on

Thats interesting….its good to learn about different cultures and their beliefs. In my culture you never cut the child’s hair until after their 1st or 2nd birthday.

So for little boys their hair would be braided or cornrowed and then on the big day they go to the barbershop for that cut.

Ali has gorgeous kids 🙂

Liz on

I don’t believe shaving the head has anything to do with the hair growing back thick or thin. My daughter was born w/birth defects so she had to have surgery, by the time everything has been said and done she has had 76 surgeries & is 25 years old,had head shaved maybe 19 times. Her hair is no thicker than normal or thinner than normal. Her hair is just like her sisters hair,and mine. So it doesn’t make any difference how many times you shave your baby head.Her 1st head shave was 7 days old.

Whitney Sterk on

I think it can go both ways – my brother had curls in his hair and once he had his first hair cut – curls no more….. where as I babysat for a woman who was Indian and she shaved her younger girls hair and it grew in thick and curly and beautiful! I don’t think its the same as hair on your legs…

Nat on

I gew up in south america and we do it there too! i live in the uk now and i am plannig to do it with my baby when she’s born! ( well after a few weeks…)

Sheilz on

Hmm. I’ve never heard of this, but my youngest son must have. He got a hold of daddy’s clippers and “buzzed” himself right through the middle! He had a reverse mohawk. Needless to say, took him to the salon and had to shave his entire head! His hair is back to it’s normal length and no difference in thickness, texture or color…he’s still a white-haired little towhead! LOL

Terri on

I’ve never heard of that. Very interesting. Wonder if it would work on this 31 year old’s hair? LOL