Who chooses your DSC's hairstyles? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-06-2009, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is not an end-of-the-world problem. But I'd like to know how other families do it.

DSD (6.5 and going into second grade) has fairly long (past should length) hair at the moment. She has very pretty hair - straight, thick, but not too thick, shiny. She had long hair most of her life, except for a brief stretch around 3 or 4 when she had chin length hair. She looks lovely both ways.

One parent would like to cut DSD's hair back to chin length. The other says no. DSD wants to cut it because she is tired of dealing with brushing it and pulling it back during the school year.

I've kept my feelings out of it (even though I am the hair-doer at our house) except to say that it is a decision to be made between the three of them. DH and DSD's mom haven't actually had the conversation between themselves yet - DSD had the conversations with her parents individually.

Oh - and custody is 50/50 so there isn't actually a custodial parent. Only one parent of the two has ever taken DSD to get her hair cut/trimmed, though.

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Old 07-06-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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What eventually happened with us is this.

DSD's mom took care of the hair length/style etc. One day DSD complained about it, and decided she wanted shorter hair. She talked to her dad, I volunteered to take her if it was ok with both parents, he said sure. He called mom. Off we went.

I will now take DSD to the hairdresser (usually with me when I need to go) and sometimes she gets her hair cut, sometimes it's a trim. Sometimes when she comes over she has already had a hair trim. It doesn't seem to be a huge issue (unless no one is telling me about it!)

DSD will be in grade 4 next year, but this started happening around grade 2ish.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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I'd let the kid decide. She is 6, and she is not asking for her hair to be dyed and chemically messed with.

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Old 07-06-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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Yeah, what Oriole said.

I should add that when we go to the hairdressers, I always let DSD decide what she is getting done to her hair. I just make sure it's cool with dad first that we're going in the first place (he doesn't really care, though )

DSD gets a kick out of picking her hair style. She is 8.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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What does your stepdaughter want to do with her hair?

In my situation, my stepdaughter wants so badly to grow her hair down to her waist. Her Mother has been cutting it short for her entire life. My stepdaughter (8), finally put her foot down, complete rebellion, and refuses to let anyone cut more than a half inch at a time, so it's slowly growing out. We had a similar issue when my stepdaughter wanted to grow her bangs out when she was 5. It pretty much is, you can cut the hair before the other parent realizes it, but you can't grow it long without the other parent realizing it.

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Old 07-06-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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Dsd's mom (the CP) does all the hair cuts/decisions. Dp got yelled at for taking dsd for a trim (literally a 1/4 inch) the day before we did our Christmas card pictures.

Dsd has also wanted to grow her hair long for a long time, but up until a few months ago, her mom kept talking her into cutting it. It is not important enough to us the make a big deal, but I personally think that your dsd is old enough to make the decision. Now, if you guys are the ones who want to cut, I'm not sure if that is something you think it worth making her mom mad about or not...I guess it depends how strongly the other parent feels about it and/or how dramatic it would get/ how much it matters to your dsd

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Old 07-06-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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My DD (8) and DS (6) get to wear their hair as long or as short as they want. That doesn't mean that when DS decided to grow out his hair that he was immune to the attempts of X to get him to cut his hair short like his. DS eventually asked for a haircut, and I took him, telling him that it was his hair. DS was so upset that I could tell it wasn't really what he wanted but that he had succumbed to the desires of X. One day, I expect DS to come home with a buzz, and I'll probably be upset, but not as upset as the one who has to grow out his hair until he likes it again.

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Old 07-06-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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She's old enough to make that basic of a decision for herself. Both parents need to get over it.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the responses I am getting seem to be agreeing with my view on the subject. IMO, it is her head, and she is the one that has to deal with the maintenance of the hair and how she feels when she looks in the mirror. So I think that she should be able to cut it. I think that her mom likes the way it looks when it is long, but it isn't her head.

Plus, TBH, she doesn't have to deal with the maintenance of it. She seldom washes it or brushes it (it is always a task to get the snarls out when she gets back to our house) and does not get it trimmed. So maybe she doesn't realize how annoyed DSD has been with it lately? The other thing that occurred to me is that DSD's mom is engaged... maybe she wants it long so it can be put up for the wedding?

This will probably be a fun conversation for DH to have.

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Old 07-06-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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The other thing that occurred to me is that DSD's mom is engaged... maybe she wants it long so it can be put up for the wedding?
Teehee, you probably nailed it; anyway, there are so many adorable styles out there, I'm sure her hair will still look pretty for bio mom's wedding.

My DD used to come back from her father's house with impossible tangles in her long hair. I never told her that I was so relieved when SHE wanted to get it cut short (to look like Satsuki from My Neighbor Totoro ). Something I've learned about hair . . . it grows back.

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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IMO it's up to the kids, wedding coming up or not. My kids have been picking their haircuts since they were much younger than DSD.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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The kids decide how they want their hair...DH and I are the ones that do haircuts so we just schedule time to do it every 6-8 weeks unless one of the boys asks to get their hair cut sooner. To me, it's just hair...it grows back. It used to be an issue but the kids' mom does not keep up on their haircuts (or baths, or nail clipping or tooth-brushing or doctor visits but that's a whole other story!) even though she is the CP. So we do it on the weekends.

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Old 07-07-2009, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It used to be an issue but the kids' mom does not keep up on their haircuts (or baths, or nail clipping or tooth-brushing or doctor visits but that's a whole other story!) even though she is the CP. So we do it on the weekends.
Totally understand this one... this is how it goes for us, too. Back when she was younger and DH just had every other weekend, she had some really gnarly fingernails by the time she arrived - DH used to say that she could probably tell that it was time to come to Daddy's house based on fingernail length. It is much better now with 50/50, because I try to get those grooming things done before she leaves for the week so it isn't quite so bad when she returns.

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Old 07-07-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I always left it up to the kids. My daughter would tell me that stepMom kept after her to get it cut, but she didn't want to. So I'd tell her that it's her hair, so her choice.

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(or baths, or nail clipping or tooth-brushing or doctor visits but that's a whole other story!)
O/T, I guess. But at their ages, they are more than old enough to handle most of that (except doctor visits) themselves.
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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I always left it up to the kids. My daughter would tell me that stepMom kept after her to get it cut, but she didn't want to. So I'd tell her that it's her hair, so her choice.



O/T, I guess. But at their ages, they are more than old enough to handle most of that (except doctor visits) themselves.
Well unfortunately good hygiene is not being modeled for them 80% of their lives. So when Dad and Stepmom say "crazy" things like "you should make sure you brush your hair every day so it doesn't get so tangled" or "you should brush your teeth every day" it doesn't really sink in, you know? Plus when have you ever known an 8 yr old boy to voluntarily take a bath?

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Old 07-07-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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Well unfortunately good hygiene is not being modeled for them 80% of their lives. So when Dad and Stepmom say "crazy" things like "you should make sure you brush your hair every day so it doesn't get so tangled" or "you should brush your teeth every day" it doesn't really sink in, you know? Plus when have you ever known an 8 yr old boy to voluntarily take a bath?
A *bath*? Never. But a shower? Yeah - mine did. And 14yo is old enough to remind his siblings. He's at the age where hygiene matters.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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A *bath*? Never. But a shower? Yeah - mine did. And 14yo is old enough to remind his siblings. He's at the age where hygiene matters.
Bath, shower, anything involving water and soap...not going to happen from their own decision-making.

With regard to the 14 yr old reminding his siblings, that's where it gets super sticky. My DSC are already in the position of having to be "surrogate" parents to their two (almost three-baby due any day now) younger siblings at their mom's house. So asking him to step up and be even MORE of a grownup by reminding his siblings to take a shower when that is really his mom's job is not going to come from DH or myself. We've been working with this situation for over 4 years now and as she adds more babies, it just gets worse. I don't want to hijack this thread but I think there is a common theme back to the haircutting issue. Asking a child to remember when they need a trim (if they want to keep long hair) or speak up to an overbearing parent and ask for a haircut is pretty unreasonable in my opinion.

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Old 07-07-2009, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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O/T, I guess. But at their ages, they are more than old enough to handle most of that (except doctor visits) themselves.
She's just not quite old enough. She does still need assistance washing her hair (although if it does get cut, she might be more capable of managing that). A parent still needs to clip her nails. She can brush and floss herself, but needs a parent there to make sure that she is actually doing it correctly.

And none of these things would get done without prompting - personal hygiene isn't the most exciting activity in the world, and at 6 I don't really expect her to choose that over goofing around/playing. Like the PP mentioned, it is hard to get in the habit when you only do it consistently half the time. By the end of the week here, she'll be used to it, but then she spends a week at the other house where they do things differently.

I'll probably expect more out of the boys in this regard at an earlier age because they will be here all of the time and will most likely have shorter hair.

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Old 07-07-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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OP, just a thought but DSD 10 used to want to keep her hair long. If it went too long without a trim, brushing it was a painful experience. So we explained to her that getting it trimmed did not mean that it would be short but that it would be healthier and easier to brush. She was not very trusting of that the first couple of trims but we found a great stylist that she really likes and she would only take off the dead ends. She was 7 yrs old when we started that with her so I think your DSD should be able to get that concept. Do you think that would work?

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Old 07-07-2009, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She was 7 yrs old when we started that with her so I think your DSD should be able to get that concept. Do you think that would work?
This is what we do now - we take off the ends pretty regularly and it does help. She does ask to have her hair trimmed when she notices that it is getting more difficult to brush. I think she wants it short because it will be *a lot* easier to care for - no worrying about ponytails, faster drying and faster brushing.

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Old 07-07-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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Hair cuts became a big issue for us because DSD's mom (who had 50/50 custody) gave my step-daughter her very first haircut after having called my husband and not left a message, then saying she "tried to get in touch" with him first. It seems really minor, but it was part of a pattern of similar actions that really seemed to be aimed at making sure my husband knew she did NOT consider him equally important.

Anyway, since then haircuts have required consent from both parents. Even then it has been an issue... my husband and his ex went together to get her hair trimmed the next time and even though they'd agreed on a trim, mom okayed a much shorter cut while my husband was talking to his daughter.

We would be happy to leave it up to my step-daughter at this point, but mom says she always talks about wanting short "pixie" or "fairy" hair... and we only ever hear about her wanting long "princess" hair and never wanting to cut it. Both parents feel like they are trying to advocate for their daughter's wishes, but when those aren't consistent it is pretty hard to do... so for the moment I think it will remain "longish."

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