OP here: I'm not going to touch the body image debate with a ten foot pole!
Truth be told I don't WANT to cut my daughter's hair (not when I'm well rested, well fed and feeling rational). I wasn't any of those when I posted! (And I've only chased her around the house with a scissors once!) I was really just having a mommy hissy fit.
FWIW, dd's got fine, but THICK hair. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but there's a ton of hair. That's part of the problem. There are layers and layers of it. (I know, it's the same kind of hair I have and ds has.) It's also a bit wavy, though when it's long, you don't see that as much. When shoulder length or shorter, it doesn't tangle nearly as easily. It must be something about where her hair starts to curl.
She likes it longer. It has nothing to do with 'body image', I don't think. She's got friends with long and short hair, so it's not like there's a norm in her life. she likes to play with her hair, she likes how she looks with it long. I don't want to give her a complex.
Thanks for the solutions. I'm seeing an upward trend here. I got some of the Fructis stuff suggested in an early post, and put it on last night on her dry hair. We braided it, and it was MUCH better this AM. I could get the tangles out (yes, I do start from the bottom and work my way up).
I was doing a few things wrong that I can remedy
- Washing her hair: I was rinsing her with bath water - we can stop that. I try not to pile her hair on her head to shampoo it, but SHE does that!
- I'll try a few of the conditioners mentioned over the next few months and see how they do (we're already using the detangler by the gallon)
- Braiding her hair before bed - she's let me do that the last 2 nights. She wanted a pony tail this AM, but I suspect tomorrow she'll want to wear it long. I'm OK with either.
- I've ordered an 'ouchless' comb online.
- I'll trim the ends this weekend (though honestly, they look OK). We've talked about trimming it about 1/2", and she's not thrilled but OK with it. I would NEVER cut more than that under the guise of a 'trim'. Ds needs a haircut anyway, so I'll do both of them at the same time.
- We've talked repeatedly about her options: Let me get the tangles out daily or cut it to a length where it doesn't tangle so easily.
She's my '04 kid and not able to care for it on her own. Her arms just aren't long enough. I don't mind helping her, but I do mind being screamed at. She's got an incredibly low pain threshold. So things that are minor irritations to others really HURT her.
So, I'll keep my fingers crossed and see how it goes.