Long-haired BOYS...talk to me about them! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 12-02-2011, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am the mother of two beautiful toddler boys, one a 23-month-old with gorgeous, softly curly hair, and the other a 13 month old with an edgy natural fauxhawk.

 

I've started to get looks and judgement about leaving their hair long.  To be clear, YDS' hair isn't even particularly long yet, and ODS' is about to his cheekbones in the front and the nape of his neck in the back.  ODS has a small collection of felt-covered hairclips in grey, blue, red, and purple with skulls, stars, stripes, and dots on them because his hair needs to be clipped over one temple in order to stay out of his eyes.

 

I am letting their hair grow until I know how it looks long and short and can make an informed decision about what length, or whether, to cut it.  People do not seem to understand this.  I have gotten all kinds of neutral to negative responses to their appearance, from the easily-shrugged-off "Oh really!  I thought he was a girl with that hair!" to comments about long hair "turning" them homosexual.

 

I want to hear from other parents of long-haired boys about their experiences, their reasons, and any feedback they may have from now-older kids about this choice.  I also want to know what you do/did with your boy's long hair to keep it out of his face and whether you think it looks too girly.  What crosses the line for you?  Is there even a line?

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#2 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 08:57 AM
 
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I love long hair on little boys!  Long hair ought to be standard up to age six or seven!  wink1.gif  How could anyone cut off those soft baby curls??? 


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#3 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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My dd goes to progressive, arts-centered elementary school. Most of the boys have "shaggy" hair at the very least and many, many boys have very long hair (past the shoulders or further down the back). Most of the long-haired boys just leave it down and loose. If your kid likes it/isn't complaining about it, then I don't see any reason to change it. 

 

Honestly, I really don't think it's anyone's business how your child wears his hair. As for people saying that long will "turn your son gay"--that's so ridiculous and offensive that I hardly know how to address it.

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#4 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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What part of the country do you live in, OP?  (I know that has to be the US because I really don't think people would be that way elsewhere.) I cannot believe that people would come out and suggest that it might turn them gay.  I know that's what people always think, but aren't we to the point yet where we know it should be totally shameful to say it out loud?  But if I lived in a place like that, I've gotta say, I would cut my child's hair and try to make them look like everyone else.  If there's no peer pressure there to act like a normal decent human being, then I wouldn't want to attract attention to my child that way, kwim?

 

I let Milo's hair grow out pretty long before we cut it, I think when he was about 3 1/2.  I loved it long, but everyone was mistaking him for a girl all the time.  I didn't really care myself.  I was fine either correcting them or smiling and moving on, but I didn't want him to wonder why everyone thought that or why his mommy wasn't correcting people.  I just didn't want it to be an issue for him.  But it did make me sad and I really wish that we had a more accepting and open culture.  I know everyone here probably thinks it will "turn them gay," too, but at least they know better than to say it.  So, I cut Augie's before it ever became an issue at all.  I think he was probably just barely two.


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#5 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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I'm married to a man with long hair, so it's definitely not an issue for me. There are plenty of people out there who will say dumb things. I say, if you like it long, then leave it alone!

 

I have a little girl, and the only reason why we cut her hair at all is that it starts to tangle way too much after awhile.


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#6 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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I adore long hair on boys. My 2y DS has hair in the back that is to the back of his neck, the front is growing out after a butchered hair cut. I took him last spring for a tiny trim and they hacked his hair off. irked.gif I'll probably let it go to shoulder length and then maintain. I don't let my girls hair get really long either because it is just such a PIA. I want to know where to get the barrettes with skulls on them! DS1 is rocking a plain metal one I found today but usually it is some assorted more "girlish" color since I do have two girls, I have lots of pink barrettes! That really doesn't help with the confusion when people call him a girl and I say he isn't one. lol.gif


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#7 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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This is my DSS last winter. He has always had long hair. DH and I both have hair down to the middle of our backs. We LOVE long hair. Trims are acceptable but not hair cuts in our house until he asks for it. 

 

DSS just pushes his hair out of his face and we let his bangs grow until he is complaining, then we get them trimmed.

 

We do have a lot of people in public assume he is a girl, he is drop dead gorgeous imo. Which is now funny because he says, "I'm a little boy!" It's never bothered DH and I much. We're pretty nonchalant about it.

 

We have had family members tell us to "get that boy's hair cut!" I just smile and say, "How about no? My son is a handsome little man."

 

 


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#8 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I live in a fairly small town in NY.  I grew up in a much larger, much more progressive city on the west coast, and my DH has long hair, so it never really occurred to me that it would be a problem.  It also never occurred to me that anyone would be upset about little boys having baby dolls almost 40 years after "Free to Be...You and Me", though, so clearly I was giving society too much credit.  Hope springs eternal, I guess.

 

There is a small (very small) community of parents in my town who make similar child-rearing choices to ours, so I'm not too worried about the children feeling "different" from other kids or losing friends or being teased by their peers...it doesn't bother any of the other families we socialize with.  But evidently it's a huge affront to people at the grocery store and in public parks, especially in combination with the baby doll in the little wrap and the purple clothing (I think that a deep, rich purple is gender-neutral, but people disagree).  I just don't want to gender my kids, you know?  People around here seem to believe that boys should be kept from nurturing, that it's wrong to teach them that crying is the natural response when they're hurt, that they aren't allowed to love their friends, that they shouldn't bake or sew or dance, and I refuse to raise children who are restricted from doing things because of their sex.

 

When people mistake our kids for girls, we don't freak, we just respond politely with emphasis on the male pronoun ("Oh, your daughter is so pretty!"  "Thank you, we think *he's* beautiful, too!").  It's no big deal to me that people think they're girls, but I want to be sure that the fact that they aren't is clear, mostly for the children's sake.  They are male, they are also Anglophones, and Americans, and mixed race-- these are facts about them, but I don't associate value judgements or restrictions with those facts.

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#9 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View PostI want to know where to get the barrettes with skulls on them! DS1 is rocking a plain metal one I found today but usually it is some assorted more "girlish" color since I do have two girls, I have lots of pink barrettes! That really doesn't help with the confusion when people call him a girl and I say he isn't one. lol.gif


I made them, actually.  Very, very easy!  I had bought some wool felt on Etsy for something else (birthday crowns, I think), and had some little scraps lying around.  I clipped the clips all the way onto the felt, flipped the fabric back over the top of the clip and trimmed it so that it fit the sides closely (1/8" or less) and had a lip of about 1/3" over the joint of the clip.  Then I unfolded the felt, embellished the top side with tiny shapes cut from other colors (the skulls are cream-colored and have an embroidered grid for teeth and holepunched eyes) and wrapped the clip back up and blanket-stitched the whole thing together all around the edge.  It took me maybe an hour's work for 12.

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#10 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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My boys have mostly had long hair. My eldest didn't get more than a trim until he was 7 and it was waist length. He had been wanting it cut for a while, but I couldn't bare to do it myself. Now as a young adult he keeps it long styled. My next had long ringlets till he was 6 and decided to cut his hair himself (hello Supercuts, goodbye ringlets); he keeps his Beatle-esque. My 3rd was 5 or 6, and had fabulous Robert Plant hair. I cut it a little, but it has gotten progressively shorter with each haircut. He has the shortest hair of the 4, though it still has never been as short as most little boys'. My 5yo has never had very long hair, i was just over keeping it out of the eyes and tangle free, but it it still long by most peoples standards (as long as shorter girls hair).

Yes, my boys got called girls. Even when my eldest was 10, people thought I had 3 girls (Hahahaha!) but they are also very pretty for boys. They only started to look more boyish with puberty. OTOH, my little guy has never been mistaken for a girl, there has always been something boyish about him even when his hair was at it's longest.


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#11 of 26 Old 12-03-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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My ds has only had 1 hair cut, and it was just a minor trim.  His hair is super curly, when you pull the curls, it goes down just past his chin, but usually it sticks up all over the place!  He is also "pretty" so 99% of the time strangers call him a girl.  But people that know him well don't see "girl" in him at all.   I just ignore it, and don't bother to correct it.  Occasionally he will correct people, but usually he doesn't bother.  Its kind of funny to see at what point in the conversation people finally realize he is a boy!  (sometimes they never do, and that even happens when Levi has announced he is a boy!)

 

My dad wants his hair cut, he doesn't want it cut so I will leave it alone unless he asks to get it cut, and when he does, the style will be up to him.  He gets tones of compliments on his hair, and I like him just the way he is!

 

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His curls are usually a bit more defined than this, but here is a recent pic of him modeling the new outfit I made him

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#12 of 26 Old 12-04-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post


I want to hear from other parents of long-haired boys about their experiences, their reasons, and any feedback they may have from now-older kids about this choice.  I also want to know what you do/did with your boy's long hair to keep it out of his face and whether you think it looks too girly.  What crosses the line for you?  Is there even a line?



Our 28 month old son has longer hair than any girl his age, truly gorgeous.  We live on the west coast, have friends that have long hair, maybe it is a tad more accepted here.  My husband has long hair as well (me too!).  He donates his every couple years, last cut was the day our son was born. 

 

Ditto on the comments on how "beautiful your princess is", "why is his hair so long", etc.  I also reply with the emphasis on "he", "buddy", etc.  Even when his hair is completely under a hat, tucked in his coat, he still is called a girl.  He is just a beautiful little one.  We haven't cut it because it does not pose a problem for him.  For eating, put it in a pony or just tuck it behind his ears and have taught him to do the same.  I have to say, these comments taught me when asking another about their child, I say "How old is your baby" instead of trying gender typing on what I believe they are. 

 

I do not think there are any lines, my son knows he is a boy, for sure. 

 

 


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#13 of 26 Old 12-05-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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My 8 year old son has decided he wants dreadlocks and is taking the natural approach like I am with mine. His hair is shaggy, hippie-esque-skater-boy and nearly to his shoulders now. (about a half inch from shoulders) Its a look that really compliments his personality and Ive found the kids his age really dont mind it...in fact...it seems little girls like it. ;) I have always allowed my kids to do what they wish with their hair. Its the adults who make ignorant remarks sadly. "Dont you think its time you got him a haircut?" Like Im so blind as a mother that I simply hadnt REALIZED his hair was so long. Ugh.

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#14 of 26 Old 12-05-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Take it from a mother of long hair teenagers, girls DEFINITELY like it! winky.gif


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#15 of 26 Old 12-05-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I'm going to award this one CUTEST BOY I've seen all year!  Holy heck he's adorable!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post

My ds has only had 1 hair cut, and it was just a minor trim.  His hair is super curly, when you pull the curls, it goes down just past his chin, but usually it sticks up all over the place!  He is also "pretty" so 99% of the time strangers call him a girl.  But people that know him well don't see "girl" in him at all.   I just ignore it, and don't bother to correct it.  Occasionally he will correct people, but usually he doesn't bother.  Its kind of funny to see at what point in the conversation people finally realize he is a boy!  (sometimes they never do, and that even happens when Levi has announced he is a boy!)

 

My dad wants his hair cut, he doesn't want it cut so I will leave it alone unless he asks to get it cut, and when he does, the style will be up to him.  He gets tones of compliments on his hair, and I like him just the way he is!

 

100_2144.jpg  

His curls are usually a bit more defined than this, but here is a recent pic of him modeling the new outfit I made him



 

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#16 of 26 Old 12-05-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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I had the opposite 'problem'... DS & DD played hairdresser when she was about 3 years old, and the only way to fix her hair was to get her a 'little boy' hair cut. To make matters worse, around the same time she decided she hated underwear, and DS helped me resolve that issue by giving her the Bob the Builder underwear he'd outgrown, which she loved and didn't hesitate to wear... under skirts, which she also loved. Off we'd go to the playground and needless to say, people would get an eyeful of Bob peeking out from under this short haired... boy's? Girl's? *shakes head* kid's skirt. I got a lot of funny looks and strange comments, and I'm in a pretty progressive area... people just love to share their disapproval. Three year olds are probably the least gender-confused people in the world, and we could learn a lot from them. Really, as long as he's happy and comfortable, that's all that matters. I am probably one of the people who might mistake a long haired boy for a girl... I liked keeping my kids hair short just because it was easier for me to take care of... but it's not a judgement, just me being unobservant.


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#17 of 26 Old 12-05-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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Good HEAVENS...your son is gorgeous! Love his shirt, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leighi123 View Post

My ds has only had 1 hair cut, and it was just a minor trim.  His hair is super curly, when you pull the curls, it goes down just past his chin, but usually it sticks up all over the place!  He is also "pretty" so 99% of the time strangers call him a girl.  But people that know him well don't see "girl" in him at all.   I just ignore it, and don't bother to correct it.  Occasionally he will correct people, but usually he doesn't bother.  Its kind of funny to see at what point in the conversation people finally realize he is a boy!  (sometimes they never do, and that even happens when Levi has announced he is a boy!)

 

My dad wants his hair cut, he doesn't want it cut so I will leave it alone unless he asks to get it cut, and when he does, the style will be up to him.  He gets tones of compliments on his hair, and I like him just the way he is!

 

100_2144.jpg  

His curls are usually a bit more defined than this, but here is a recent pic of him modeling the new outfit I made him



 


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#18 of 26 Old 12-05-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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My ds had long hair til he was close to four, and everyone thought he was a girl. The only person it bothered was his older sister. She got tired of correcting people. We ended up cutting it, mostly because my stepdad wanted to take him for a haircut at his barber, almost like a rite of passage that he wanted to go through with him (he has no bio kids of his own). My step dad was beaming with pride when he brought back our son with his little boy haircut. Totally worth shedding the locks for.

 

 DS is now 7, and has just recently decided that he wants to grow his hair out. YAY! I am happy, but to be honest, he looks like a little dirtbaggy right now. It stands straight up on the top, is growing out instead of down, kinda like a tennis ball, and for now it just looks like I can't be bothered to take him for a hair cut.wink1.gif

 

I've always loved long hair on boys and men. I think it's silly to cut boys' hair short just because you're supposed to. It is one of the social norms I have never understood.

 


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#19 of 26 Old 12-05-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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For barrettes, check out www.boyrettes.com

My 8yo son has long hair. I am all about the neatness. Before we cut bangs, he put it back with clips. Now that he has bangs, it's just a ponytail. I love the long, free and shaggy look, but the tantrums over snarls don't allow that to happen here. So it's ponytail all the way.


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#20 of 26 Old 12-06-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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My 2 year old son has had his bangs trimmed once and hasn't had the rest of his hair cut at all.  We did trim his bangs and are gearing up to do it again, because they just stuck/stick in his eyes too much and you can't see his face well.  His hair is very fluffy/curly and so it doesn't look super long when it's dry (though it hangs pretty far down his back when it's wet) but I'd say it's longer than that of most boys his age.  I don't know when we'll cut it-- obviously if he gets to the age where HE wants it cut shorter, then we'll do it, but for now, my kid/my choice and my choice is based on how I think it looks.  It's freakin' adorable how it is. 

 

We have gotten comments at times from various people, and people do sometimes mistake him for a girl.  Oh well.  Like I said-- I think it's cute and he's at the age where it's still my decision to make.  My husband hasn't cut his hair in about 20 years (he has lovely long straight hair) and looks good with it, so I guess I don't think there really is a line.

 

I had the opposite experience as a kid-- my grandmother cut my hair VERY short all the time and people mistook me for a boy all the time.  I remember being horrified by that when I was kindergarten-first grade sort of age and people would tell her what a cute little boy she had with her.  She did NOT respond to my requests to grow my hair out, which made it worse for me emotionally.  I don't think I'd even remember it if it hadn't been an ongoing battle between us.

 

 


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#21 of 26 Old 12-06-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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At this point DS, 10, has shaggy but not overly long hair.  He had his first hair cut (his choice) around 2.75 years.  He went from having long, slightly curly fairly blond hair to having a light brown buzz cut (he got it cut to be in a wedding--- he went to the on-base hair place with his uncle).  DD had her 1st hair cut at 3.75 years.  She's older, so I'm not surprised that she waited longer.

 

Since his first cut, DS has had a variety of hair styles.  A few times he has grown it out to what I would consider long for a boy (past the shoulders, significantly longer than a shag).  He's also been buzzed and had a mowhawk in that time.  We're pretty open with our kids about people, so while we allow them to choose their own "look" we do make it clear that other people might say or think something about it.    At different times that has played a bigger or smaller part in their decisions.

 

Quote:
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I'm married to a man with long hair, so it's definitely not an issue for me. There are plenty of people out there who will say dumb things. I say, if you like it long, then leave it alone!

 


It's funny you mention that (about your DH having long hair).  During DS's time where he most adamanatly wanted long hair (he was 4) he was also very into painting his tonails and wearing kilts.  These (hair, toenails, kilts) were all things DP does.  It was funny to see a little boy making these choices he saw as really identifiying him with the male gender which most people really don't consider to be "male".
 

 


 

 

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#22 of 26 Old 12-17-2011, 06:09 PM
 
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We occasionally have someone think DS is a girl in public. Especially if I have a barrette in his hair to keep it out of his eyes. Its almost long enough to tuck behind his ears though!

 

Most of the drama actually comes from my mom. She likes his hair long, but she wants me to cut his bangs. I dont know how many times she has made passive aggressive remarks about me needing to cut his bangs, or how she should cut his bangs.. on and on and on and on.... irked.gif I've explained I am waiting for it to be long enough in the front to tuck behind his ears, but it just doesnt register.

 

I just cant cut his hair though, I love it too much. If he decides he wants it cut later on, then we will cut it then. Although the longer it gets, the less curly it gets greensad.gif When it was a bit shorter, it would dry into ringlets.

 

DS at 2 years.

 

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#23 of 26 Old 12-20-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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My son also had long hair until he was about 4. I loved it, and no negative comments from anyone. However when we cut it (he wanted it short), some people said, that it looked much better short :( I miss his long curls.

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#24 of 26 Old 12-24-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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It's your business how you style your son's hair. The truth is, most boys have short hair, so it's just a fact that people will think he's a girl.  There's no reason to be upset about it.   One of my boys had longish hair until he was about 3 because he had wavy hair that I thought was too cute to cut.  People always thought he was a girl because he had long hair and his eyelashes are really long, too!  (He was adorable.) But he's cute with short hair too.

 

His brother had thin, fine hair as a baby, so we kept it short.   But by 1st grade his hair was thick and wavy.  He's 9 now and has been insisting on long hair since he was 6.  Fortunately, he agrees to a trim occassionally and it's about shoulder length (maybe longer) with no bangs and a few layers.  I don't think I'd like it if his hair was straight, but it's curly/wavy so I think it looks pretty good.   It's a style high school kids have, which is why my precocious boy wants to wear it long.  It's unusual for boys at his school to have long hair and those that do, usually don't have stylish long hair.   I agree with pp that the girls love it; it makes him very popular.

 

He does get confused as a girl sometimes, but since it's his choice to wear his hair long, it doesn't bother him.    Just this week someone said, "Would your son or daughter want a sucker?" when we were at a store. We laughed about it   :)    He also told me a funny story that one of his friends copied down his phone number when he was telling a different friend his phone number.  When asked why, the 1st friend said, "cause I wanted a girl's phone number." They all laughed about it.  The boys tease my son for having long hair, but I think it's because they want it, too.  

 

If I were you, I wouldn't worry what other people think. 

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#25 of 26 Old 12-24-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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My DS (nearly 17 months) has longish hair, and he does get mistaken for a girl, but he always has. He was born with a full head of hair. DD was born bald (and remained that way until she was 2), and people constantly mistaked her for a boy. shrug.gif I remember taking her to the store once in a pink dress, wrapped in a pink blanket, with a pink headband and a woman gushed about what a precious little boy I had. It aggravated me then, but I've since mellowed. It doesn't bug me when people mistake DS for a girl. One of our friends (his substitute grandma) gets really indignant about it and insists "He is a boy! He's handsome not pretty!" But he really is a pretty little guy. We haven't had any truly negative comments, though. Mostly just someone telling me how pretty my little girl is, then getting very apologetic and explaining that he's just so pretty, at which point I agree that he is very pretty and shrug it off.

 

As for keeping the hair out of his eyes, when we're out, he's usually in the mei tai, so I just move it out of his face myself. It gives me an excuse to run my fingers through his hair more. lol It has just gotten long enough to tuck behind his ears now, though, so it isn't often necessary anymore. At home, I leave it unless it's bothering him (he'll come up to me swatting at his hair when he wants something done with it), and then I'll either clip it back, or put it in a pony tail. I'll cut it when/if he asks for it to be cut. In the mean time, I like it long, I think his hair is adorable, and I don't feel that anyone else's opinion should matter when it comes to my baby's appearance. Until he's old enough to have an opinion one way or the other, it's my business. Once he has an opinion, it's his business.

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#26 of 26 Old 12-24-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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both of my sons have long hair, but it's super curly so you can't really tell the length unless i put their hair in cornrows. kid1's hair is past his shoulder blades when wet, and kid2's hair is just past shoulder length. they've both been mistaken for girls more times than i can count. it causes more discomfort for the people that we correct than it ever has for us.

 

dh and i agreed long before we had kids that no hair-cutting would happen until and unless the child asks for it. kid1 is starting to get impatient with the upkeep of his hair, and has asked to have it cut, so we'll do it as soon as we find someone with experience in dealing with super-curly bi-racial hair.

 

christina


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