Giving My Daughter The Haircut She Wants- Revisited

It isn't perfect but that's the best part about mom haircuts,
we can snip off the little bits we missed later.

Those of you who have been long time readers of my blog may remember a post from nearly six years ago to the day (no kidding, I just looked up that post and it legit was posted on August 3, 2015, I did not plan it this way!!!) when my daughter Anneliese, then 3, wanted me to cut her hair and give her a pixie cut. I talked then about how she had begged me to give her a short, and in her words "boy" haircut, and it was difficult emotionally for me because I loved her longer hair and wasn't a fan of short hair on girls. However, I decided to respect her bodily autonomy and when she said she wanted short hair, it was something that was her choice at the end of the day, her body, and it affected no one but herself and hurt no one, so I was willing to go along with it. I did find it cute in the end, even if it wasn't my first choice.

How apt that this same exact situation came up exactly at this time and it was on the table yet again. My ex told me today that he wanted to cut Anneliese's hair short into a pixie cut because he felt long hair was too difficult to take care of. He tried to convince her that that was what she wanted for her hair, that it would be simple to take care of, and she looked good like that years ago, and he nearly had her convinced. 

But I knew my daughter better, to be honest, and I knew how much fun she had playing with her hair, making various hairstyles, and in general really enjoys experimenting with various beauty trends and hacks. If she'd have a pixie cut she wouldn't be able to play with her hair much, definitely not style it the way she does now, and if she'd regret it, it would take at least a year, if not more, to undo. 

Before picture, from earlier today.

If she'd want a pixie cut, and it was actually her idea, not someone telling her how to cut her hair, and she thought about it for a while and still wanted it, I'd respect it. When I cut my daughter's hair like that before it was after she'd been begging me to do so for a while. I don't want to listen to a passing whim if it isn't easily reversible. If it is something she still wanted in a month I'd be willing to do it, even though I didn't like the idea.

So then later on today Anneliese started telling me how everyone she knows seem to be getting bangs- her best friend, her cousin, another girl she's close with, and she really wants bangs. She's long been obsessed with the a certain type of look, with cutesy hairstyles, and she wanted to have a similar type of look. She showed me lots of pictures of the type of look she wanted, and all those pictures had bangs. She wanted bangs. "Please Mommy, please Mommy, can you give me bangs?" 

Now let me tell you something.

I personally hate bangs. Like big time. They, to be honest, are somewhat of a trigger for me for reasons that I won't get into here, but I cringe at the thought of bangs. Ok, sometimes bangs are pretty necessary for someone- for a while my daughter Rose had bangs because she wasn't capable of keeping her hair out of her mouth and food so her hair would constantly get gross, and she was happy to have bangs and it made her hair much easier to care for. She had them for a few years but now is growing them out, her choice. But as a look? Not into bangs.

She's happy, she's just posing.

But Anneliese really wanted them. I called her dad to make sure he was ok with me giving them to her (in my opinion, for big haircut changes in kids it is important for divorced parents to be on the same page since it isn't something that you can just undo) and once he got the go ahead, I clarified with Anneliese again what exactly she was looking for. She showed me pictures of how exactly she wanted her hair. She wanted her bangs to go down to below her eyebrows. She wanted thick bangs. She wanted them to be straight across. And she wanted the area of the bangs to be a specific shape and size.

Okay then. If that's what she wants...

Every step of the way I checked with her if that was what she wanted. If that was how much, if that was where she wanted it to be, how high she wanted me to cut it, etc... At first I cut the bangs much longer so that I could go up shorter, because you can always cut more but you can't uncut what was cut. I had her hold up something to give me a straight line to use as a reference when cutting her bangs. Eventually, I got it to how she liked it, the right length and all, and then I perfected it, leveled it off, etc...

Ooo, can't you see how happy she is with that?

She was so excited, she practically was twirling around in excitement (ok, not literally, but from her exuberant reaction I could picture that in my mind). "I love it, Mommy, I love it!" again and again and again. She kept on thanking me, telling me I'm the best hair cutter ever, and was so filled with glee.

With a kid that happy with her new do, how could I not be thrilled for her, even if I don't love bangs?

She kept on asking me "Mommy, do you think I look cute?" and when I told her she did, she asked me if I think she looks cuter than before, to which I would answer that I always think she looks cute. "But Mommy, do you like how I look with bangs more than I did without bangs?"

Don't ask me, this is how she likes to pose.

Here's the thing. I'm all for being supportive of kids, but our relationship is based on trust and I try not to lie to them if I can help it, so I told her straight out "Listen, I'm not a fan of bangs, but you are. The fact that you are thrilled with this haircut is what matters the most. It is your hair and you get to choose what you like best and I'm so happy you're happy. Do I love bangs? No. Do I love that you love your new haircut? Absolutely! Do I think you look cute? Definitely."

I think she understood. No, I don't have to have the same taste as her. (And if I did that would be weird as I'm 33 and she's 9.) But I support her in her choices as long as they are healthy choices. And if she wants bangs? Then bangs it is. 

She asked me to put this pigtail hairstyle into her hair and she loved her haircut even more. Once it was in she asked me if I could take a bunch of pictures of her, and then she ran off beaming, excited to show her sister.

Do you let your kids choose what type of hairstyle they want, or if you don't like it do you not allow it? Do you cut your kids' own hair?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. What a great Mom you are! I think she looks lovely. Maybe the bangs emphasize her pretty eyes?

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