to cut or not to cut? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-30-2009, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I know a lot of you do not get your LOs hair cut until they can consent. I understand that viewpoint, however... I think that while I am the one taking care of the hair (and while he's not really old enough to understand or even make that choice), that it's okay for me to decide to get his haircut or not. Of course as develops the ability to really decide for himself, I will certainly be respectful of his wishes.

So aside from basic philosophy, I am floundering on whether or not to get his hair cut. He has loose curls on the back of his head that are really cute if I have time to spritz them down and scrunch them up. However, it usually looks pretty darn shaggy and the curls in the back have a tendency to mat and tangle pretty badly... and it hurts him to comb out the tangles. So I'm thinking its about time for a haircut (he's had 2 haircuts already and they have REALLY helped with the matting problem). However, when I have time to actually work with his hair (and when he lets me), the curls look so darn cute. So I'm going back and forth on getting his haircut. When I'm off work for the holidays, getting his curls looking cute isn't a big deal... but most of the time, there isn't time in the mornings before I have to get him to day care--nor is it worth it to fight the tangles and make him that upset.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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honestly if its causing a comfort issue, and tangled hair can hurt, I would cut it. Two of my sons had beautiful curls so I know how you feel I didnt want to "cut them off" but it got to the point where i couldnt keep with it enough to keep it manageable and untangled.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:30 PM
 
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I cut my DDs' hair because of that very reason. They didn't want to deal with the tangles, and cried when I combed out their hair. DD2 (5) is always getting stuff in her hair (peanut butter, honey, gum, etc.) when it is long, so I like to keep it chin length. At first she didn't want it cut, but I told her I was tired of dealing with the issue, and then her friend got her hair cut. After that, she was ok with it. DD1 (8) thought it was a wonderful idea, and couldn't wait to get hers cut short. I figure when they get a few years older and can really take care of it on their own, they can do whatever they want with it. Until then, if I have to comb it, wash it, put it up, etc., I get the final say.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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Wow, I have never heard of someone waiting for a child to be ble to consent to having a hair cut.

You momma's are so repectful. I am in awe.

(I consented to someone cutting open my child's head and drilling in her skull!)
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:15 PM
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Another vote for cut it. However, since you really like the curls, is is possible to cut without cutting all the curls off?

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Old 12-30-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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My rule is I am in charge of hair decisions until the child can care for his hair himself. Then he is free to do with it as he wishes.

My husband just took our son to the barber because the back of his head was a disaster. The barber did a great job-all he did was trim the back and do some snipping all over and it looks really cute and much neater. I could barely tell he even got a cut.

He also got a little certificate commerating his first hair cut.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by fairejour View Post
Wow, I have never heard of someone waiting for a child to be ble to consent to having a hair cut.

You momma's are so repectful. I am in awe.

(I consented to someone cutting open my child's head and drilling in her skull!)
Some mamas feel that since hair is a part of their child's body, that it is up to the child when and if they want to have it cut (it's along the lines of bodliy integrity). While I respect that Pview and people who hold that it, I personally do not hold that viewpoint. Although I do feel that when DS is old enough to say whether or not he wants it cut, then we will have a discussion about taking care of it... and if he CAN'T take care of it long, then he will have to let me do it or consent to getting it cut.

(and I consented to having someone cut open my child's chest and saw through his sternum, but that's really a whole other topic and different from moms not wanting to cut their child's hair before their child can give consent)

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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If he's crying when you cut his hair, and he is unable to tell you that he does NOT want it cut, I'd go ahead and get it evened out. The curls may not have to totally go to get an easier combing job.

I have a mop-top 3 year old DD, who hates having her hair combed, but also has expressly told me many times that she does not want it cut. The curls are adorable when we get a comb through them and scrunch.

However, if I had to get her to daycare on a daily basis, we would try very hard to convince her to allow us to trim the stragglies that cause all the tangles.

It's not even his first haircut! Just get a trim, and you'll thank yourself every morning for one less struggle.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fairejour View Post
(I consented to someone cutting open my child's head and drilling in her skull!)
I hope everything is OK.

To the OP: I'd cut.

Edited to add that I would not make any permanent changes to a child's body, but I will cut hair and trim nails. And bathe. And feed.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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Wow! I have never heard of the concept of not cutting a childs hair until they can consent! Interesting. What would a mother who wanted to breast feed do who subscribed to that philosophy but had a baby with a tongue tie, I wonder?

Anyway, I would cut.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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Personally, I'd trim it up a bit. A trim can do alot for tangles. Also, conditioner and an apple cider vinegar rinse help out too.

I'm one of the weird ones who leaves all hair decisions up to my child. My 3.5 year old got his haircut for the first time today and I'm still a little sad over it. But it was his choice and he loves it.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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Well, DD's got a head full of curls, and honestly, sometimes if the morning is too rushed, we just let the curls stay in that cottony out-of bed look. I find it's easier to comb the curls if we leave conditioner in her hair, but we never comb her hair dry, always wet. It doesn't take too long (or wouldn't if she didnt' protest any comb/brush anywhere in her range of vision ). Not sure how you do your son's hair. I don't plan on cutting DD's hair anytime soon. She does fuss if we comb out her hair, but I figure getting used to hair combing is a part of life.

Any holy gracious, ShannieSue, how did I miss that your boy had surgery? To you and that little guy.

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Old 12-30-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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I'd cut it too. My mom kept my hair long when I was wee and to this day I remember screaming through every brushing. I *hated* it.

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Old 12-30-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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I cut for the very same reason you did...he was starting to get tangles back there. I loved my DS's curls--but in all honesty, he looked much cuter after I got his hair cut for the first time (at 2 yo). I didn't realize this until I looked at the pics with some perspective a few months or a year later. At the time I was just sad that most of his curls got cut off.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we did it. The curls are pretty much gone... although if you tossle it in the back, you can tell that he's supposed to have curly hair. And it does look cute... it makes him look like a little boy instead of a babyish toddler.

And I know that the growing out stage is actually a good stage for his hair because we can get it curly without the mats (we just haven't found anyone so far who can cut it just the right length--short enough to lose the tangles and long enough to keep the curls).

But now no one in the house has curls... I just got a haircut that ended up not working with my curls (so I'm currently styling with my flat iron) and now DS's curls are gone for a while. *sigh* I guess if loss of curls is the worst thing in my life right now, I have a lot to be thankful for


Warning, OT: And yeah, Teeny... DS had open heart surgery in September... but the DDC threads are so overwhelming for me to keep up with so I don't frequent ours, which is probably why you missed that news. He's doing great now, though.

mommy to Christopher 2/29/08
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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i used to leave my daughters hair long, but it was always such a struggle, same as other parents, so out of frustration , when she fell in love with tinkerbelle at 4 we cut it short, now she has a shoulder length flip , and its so much easir to take care of , my son wore his long, his choice till he was 15 , now he keeps it pretty short



i guess, it depends on the kid ...

did you all see the article on the PRESCHOOLER in dallas suburb who was on suspension because his hair was longer than the school rules???

http://www.3news.co.nz/4-year-old-ba...6/Default.aspx

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Old 12-30-2009, 09:45 PM
 
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A child has to be old enough to express an opinion about hair before I'll cut/not cut. At 2, I think the pain/reward ratio is too low to keep it long. All he knows is that it hurts to have the tangles combed out and he's mad at you. Unless he's expressed a desire for long hair, I'd keep it short. It's so much easier to care for.

We started to grow dd's hair when she was 4 and expressed a definite desire for long hair. I can hardly wait until she's either old enough to care for it herself properly or wants to have it cut shorter. Twice I've stood over her with a comb and a scissors giving her the choice - "either let me comb it or I'm going to cut it now." It' not done wonders for our relationship!

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Old 12-30-2009, 09:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post
Some mamas feel that since hair is a part of their child's body, that it is up to the child when and if they want to have it cut (it's along the lines of bodliy integrity). While I respect that Pview and people who hold that it, I personally do not hold that viewpoint. Although I do feel that when DS is old enough to say whether or not he wants it cut, then we will have a discussion about taking care of it... and if he CAN'T take care of it long, then he will have to let me do it or consent to getting it cut.

(and I consented to having someone cut open my child's chest and saw through his sternum, but that's really a whole other topic and different from moms not wanting to cut their child's hair before their child can give consent)
I really respect that view. I know it would never cross the "average" person's mind. I personally believe it is my job to make that decision for my child before she can decide, but wow, that is so respectful.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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I have to wait about 3 years before there is enough hair to even think of cutting it with my children , but I would cut to keep it pain-free and manageable; just like I feed them and trim nails to keep them comfy too

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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i figure this. it's hair it grows. now where i draw the line is traumatizing a kid when it is really really long and forcing them to get it cut really really short. I have been cutting my daughters hair since she was around 18 months. It was longer in the back and finer on the top. So we always kept the back neat and trimmed. As she has gotten older and it has thickened up, we have kept her fine, curly hair in a chin length bob. she wants to grow it out, but when she realizes that her curls go away, she ends back up with her bob. My MIL hates that I cut it. But honestly, she won't keep clips in her hair, yet hates her hair in her face. So why torture her. Honestly, I think that this whole hair thing is more about the parents feelings toward their kids hair than the kids.

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Old 12-31-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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Honestly, I think that this whole hair thing is more about the parents feelings toward their kids hair than the kids.
It isn't. At least in my case. It's about not making a choice for someone else. My son having long hair didn't really effect me in any way. I washed it and combed it and put it in a ponytail when he asked. I'd do that if it was long or short. It wasn't traumatic for him in any way. Hair is not something I put a lot of worry into. If he doesn't want it cut, I'm certainly not going to force it. If he does, we cut it.

But then again, I leave alot of choices up to my kids that alot of people don't agree with.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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Whilst I do think that my sons hair is part of his body and his choice (after all, he decided a few years ago that he hated having his hair cut and didn't want it cut so he now has beautiful long blond hair! hehe) ....I don't think babies really care!

My son was 11 months old when he had his first cut. Really more for the fact that he didn't care - so doing it wouldn't have been a problem...added to the fact I just didn't like it as it was as it was all different lengths depending on which part of his head you looked at and it was very thing and wispy. Cutting it certainly helped it grow in more thick and proper ...if that makes any sense.

Id be surprsied if this baby is a baldy. DS was born with so much hair as was DH and I. I have yet to see a bald baby in either of our families. So this baby will also probably get at least one first hair cut in the first year of their life - just to even things out and promote thick/proper growth. As soon as they show a dislike to their hair being cut though - we stop.

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Old 12-31-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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I cut my son's hair on Christmas morning into a cute little bowl cut. I wasn't going to cut it, but this summer it was getting in his eyes, so I gave him bangs. Then I kept cutting them, and it started to look like a mullet. I eventually bit the bullet and bought hair clips to keep his bangs out of his eyes so they could grow out. He now has the little head flip to swing his bangs out of his eyes, which makes me a little nutty to watch, but is actually pretty cute.

Anyway, his best friend got a little bowl cut by his mama, and I realized that I as going to have to cut the back to catch it up with his bangs eventually, so I cut it off and am going to grow it all out the same length from here on out. I will have to trip up the back again probably one more time to get it all the same length, but I definitely subscribe to the "it is his body, and he can cut it if he wants to", so once it is all the same length, I am just going to let it go until he wants to cut it off.

I will admit that I love his little bowl cut though.

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Old 12-31-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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I don't care about bodily integrity when it comes to hair. It's exactly the same to me as cutting fingernails. (This fingernails thing just became extremely important to me as I am still recovering from a deep corneal scratch after DS poked me in the eye two days ago).

Hair is not "body" alteration, IMO. It's temporary, painless, and sometimes a comfort issue as the OP mentioned. So you see what side I'm on, I guess!
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