A video of a baby getting a haircut has gained a lot of attention online, sparking controversy among commenters. Harlem–based barber Rico London took to Instagram yesterday to share a video of his youngest customer: a one-week-old newborn. In his post, he alleges that the baby's mother requested a haircut for her son, to which he responded: "You're not supposed to cut your child's hair until your child can talk." London attests that the mother insisted that it was her religion, prompting him to oblige and trim the infant's fine hairs with a buzzer. The video, which has since been deleted but reposted on the popular Instagram account The Shade Room, shows London cutting the baby's hair while he cries in his mother's arms.

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The comment section of London's video took on a life of its own, with users debating whether or not the barber made the right decision. "That baby is in pain, hence the crying," one user wrote, describing the action as child abuse. Another user worried about what could happen if the buzzer cut the baby's skin, speculating that it might lead to infection. But other people came to London's defense, shutting down the critics as "know-it-alls."

For what it's worth, there are some cultures where shaving a newborn's head is considered the norm. Both the Muslim and Hindi religions contain practices related to the removal of an infant's hair. Daniel Summers, a pediatrician at a private practice in New England, told Allure that he always tries to be careful when weighing cultural or religious practices with medical advice, and that there are some traditions that coincide with London's video. However, Summers also noted that this isn't something he would necessarily recommend, explaining that "[pediatricians] tend to be very careful with newborns, particularly when it comes to risk of infection."

Summers also viewed London's video and shared his thoughts with Allure. "Watching the video, I was concerned about the potential for the clippers to damage the baby's scalp, which would then create a potential source of infection," he explained. "Any infection in a newborn, whose immune system is very immature, requires close medical attention, and I usually advise new parents to avoid anything that might increase risk."

That said, Summers noted that the issue of a baby's first haircut might fall under the umbrella of parental preference rather than a clear-cut medical rule. "But were a parent to ask me about this, I would advise them to wait," he added. Ultimately, it's up to parents to use their best judgment in situations like these, but you should always check with a doctor before making decisions that could impact your baby's safety.

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