Baptism and hair

It is my understanding that during Baptism the water is to touch the skin of the one being baptized. For the sake of curiosity, I was wondering how this is normally done in the case of the baptism of adults who have a good quantity of hair (do the candidates normally part their hair?), or is the amount of water poured enough to go through the hair and flow upon the skin of the head.

Thanks you

It depends on the pastor. The baptismal candidate usually stands leaning forward, with head over the baptismal font – almost in the same position someone would have when drinking water from a water fountain. Some priests pour a lot of water over the top of the head; others pour a little bit of water of the person’s forehead. Towels are provided.

If they tilt their heads to the side the water will flow over their forehead. Some priests are more generous than others with the amount of water they pour. The last time we had an adult (well, ok, a 10 year old) there was more than enough water to flow down her face.

question. I was baptized by immersion at the Easter Vigil few years back. is there a reason the priest did not baptize in this manner? Is the pouring more traditional? Fr baptized an infant at Easter as well and immersion was the method there as well, I thought that was odd. any clarification on the two methods and baptizing adults and infants?

Just Curious


Some churches have baptismal pools (or build them just for Easter) instead of baptismal fonts. People can be baptized by immersion or by pouring of the water. Neither is more “right” than the other.

Baptism by immersion is the preferred method for the Church as it more clearly represents the concept of dying and being buried before rising as a “new creature.” Not all parishes have baptismal pools so they continue to use the baptismal font where infusion (pouring) is done. Both methods are perfectly acceptable.

Deacon Ed

Usually there is plenty of water used and usually it is when poured, poured on or across the forehead.

Not all, most actually do not have Baptismal pools.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit