At What Age Did You Let Your Kid CHOOSE Their First Haircut?

Updated on July 08, 2018
8.W. asks from North Highlands, CA
22 answers

By that I mean get a haircut for style not necessity. Other than her ends and her bangs I've always denied my daughter's request to cut her hair. I don't know why but for some reason I have it in my head hair needs time to "mature" for lack of a better word. You know, figure out what it's going to do. Something like that. Growing up my hairdresser cousin said something like that to me and the message that stuck with me was 'Let your hair find it itself' lol
I don't know but reasoning aside I'm leery. She can make decisions about what she wears, how she wants her room designed, hair styled, I can't figure out why I'm so hung up on a haircut...
Anyone else feel apprehensive before letting their child make a decision they may come to regret? What did you ultimately end up doing?

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

you don't say how old she is, but i never wrestled with my kids over it. we buzzed 'em for ease when they were small. i suggested a mohawk for my older when he was in first grade (before they were endemic) and he loved it, and went back to it frequently until he was in his 20s.

my younger did the rattail thing, and then super shaggy hippy, and then short and sharp and stylin' which is where he is today.

and they had a rainbow of colors.

i mean- it's just hair.
khairete
S.

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

There are decisions that I am apprehensive about. Hair is not one of them. If she regrets getting it cut, it will grow back. My kids starting getting their hair cut how they wanted it when they started expressing an opinion about it (around age 6). Honestly, neither of them gets it cut the way I wish they would - but it's their hair, not mine.

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T.D.

answers from New York on

It was a beautiful spring day. One month after my daughter got a nice haircut, shoulder length hair with no bangs. she had just turned 5. She was sick of her hair, wanted short hair. She snuck the scissors outside and chopped it off. she snipped it close to the scalp just above her forehead. The back was closer to a bob.. I called her aunt who is the hairdresser for us. Had her do what she could to fix the child's hair. I will admit it was cute after auntie fixed it. But we made a pact with the 5 year old. As long as she does not cut her own hair she can choose her own hairstyles. She just has to ask her aunt to cut it how she wants it.
So far it's working. She talks to her aunt about all her hair wants and auntie helps her with it! (I help her with daily hair stuff, but with new styles it's been auntie all the way)

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

I let my son make decisions about his hair when he first expressed an opinion about his hair. Short of asking for a mohawk or wanting to color it, I can't imagine having a problem honoring his request ... though I always reserve the right, and he knows that.

I first read your post last night, and I still can't seem to figure out what 'Let your hair find it itself' could mean. My best guess is that some styles are better suited to thicker hair vs, thinner hair or naturally curly hair vs. straight hair. I just can't imagine she meant that one day your hair would "mature," and that a haircut you got when you were younger would somehow interfere with that process. I'm just really struggling to understand what it is that you think your cousin meant.

Who among us has not had a haircut that they regretted ... or at least that made us say, "Ok, I'm not going to ask for that again!" I have had short, short hair cuts before (once to the point that I thought it looked like a boy's haircut ... which I was not happy about). They've all grown out completely.

Other than my grey hair, nothing about my hair has ever changed or "matured," no matter how many hair cuts I've had. I really see no harm in letting your daughter at least have some say in how her hair looks.

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B.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

When they express an opinion about what they want. One daughter was starting school and the other was only 3 years old when she told me how she wanted her hair cut. Hair grows back so it’s a safe way to let them express their individuality. The person who is cutting can and should use discretion to make sure the cut isn’t too strange.

I think you visualize her with long hair and do not want to let that go. Come on mom, let her decide.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

It’s hair... it will grow back. My daughter was 10 when she asked if she could go to the hair dresser. We talked about what she wanted and the pros and cons of that. Then, I left it up to her.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I let them decide on their hair as soon as they said something.
It's their hair.
My daughter had hair down to her butt...and then she asked to cut it above her shoulders. Her hair.
My son had a lovely little boy haircut and then he asked for a mohawk. His hair.
My other son has this weird fluff thing going on in the front. His hair.
It's just hair.
Choose your battles. This isn't one I choose.

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E.G.

answers from New York on

My now 18 year old daughter always had fairly long straight hair that she usually kept pulled back. I always let her have input when it came to haircuts. Late in middle school, she gradually started having the length cut. She first had about 8 inches cut so she could donate the hair. After going gradually shorter with each haircut, she decided late in high school that she wanted to go really short - like almost shaved on one side and then a short curly bob on the other. I was DEAD SET against it, but I told her she was old enough to decide for herself. Well, she had it done and I have to say I love it. She was made for short hair and she's so happy with her decision. I've successfully talked her out of dying her hair for now. The truth is - it's hair, it will grow back - they might as well have it the way they want.

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D..

answers from Miami on

When my sister-in-law got fed up with her daughter chewing on her hair, she had it cut in a bob. That way her daughter couldn't get it in her mouth.

Would she have ever had it cut in a bob? Probably not. Was it terrible? No. It was better than the stringy wet mess it always was. As she got older, she let it grow and she didn't chew on it anymore. I think it taught my sister-in-law that her daughter could have different hair styles and it wouldn't be awful.

When I was 14, I had really long hair, down to the small of my back. My dad didn't want me to get it cut. He felt that he had the right to tell me that. I went to the hairdresser, had her cut it to my bra strap, and went home and lied to my dad and told him that I asked for a trim and she did this to my hair. I cried tears in front of my dad. I was deceptive because I hated my hair being that long and didn't want to fight with my dad about it. Instead I made it look like an accident and he couldn't do anything about it. My hair looked fine, he stopped fussing about my hair at that point and I didn't have to ask for permission anymore, and didn't have to lie.

I don't know how old your daughter is, but I do know that there comes a time that you need to let go and let her decide. Preferably before she pulls a stunt like I did.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

My kids ask for my input - but they started taking an interest in middle school.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

My sons started picking out haircuts as soon as they were old enough to tell the barber what they wanted so...age 4 or 5? My oldest got a mohawk t the end of first grade. The only times I made them look "normal" in terms of cut or color was if we were taking a holiday card photo or were nearing a family/formal occasion like a wedding, holiday, big birthday or anniversary party, etc. I didn't want my kids to draw attention to themselves i those situations with a crazy cut or color. Outside of that, they've been free to do what they want with their hair. It's just hair. It grows.

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T.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I hear you, I think we worry that our kids are gonna look funny or whatever, but yeah, you have to let it go! My daughter is 10 and has been choosing her own haircuts for years. Recently she told the stylist to keep cutting it and it's really short (it addition to just being a bad haircut, but that's beside the point) and she kinda flipped. But...she learned to maybe think before telling her to keep going and talking more about what she wants.

My son is 8 and has picking haircuts for a few years as well. He's been happy with all of his cuts and they don't vary much but he likes being in charge.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

I'd let her have a fair amount of choice if she wasn't talking about an expensive cut. I think hair grows, and it's the safest place for a kid to make a decision and have to live with it. That's a great life lesson. If she's 2, no. If she's 4, probably not. If she's 10 and it's the week before someone's wedding, then no, she has to wait. Chemical processing (perms, color) - no. But trying a style and seeing if she likes it, why not? Have a sit-down about living with it and there won't be a fix-it period or a fix-it budget. I'd experiment with other "I'm not made of money" examples before that, because 6-8 weeks is an eternity for a child. But at some point, learning her lesson and dealing with it is a good thing, and so is being a girl who takes risks and finds that it pays off. I think teaching our kids (particularly our daughters) that risk is okay and she will survive is a good thing.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

My 3yo granddaughter wanted a buzz cut just like her older brother. Her parents weren't sure that it was a good idea. They talked about how she might not like it for a couple of weeks. She still wanted a buzz cut so she got a buzz cut. She was self conscious for a week or so. Then she loved it. So did her parents.

When it grew out she wanted to keep the longer hair. That was OK. Recently, she wanted a buzz cut. OK. She turns 5 next week.

Perhaps letting hair mature is talking about how hair changes texture as one gets older. The change in texture affects how it's cut. Could what your cousin said be related to the style you wanted? Perhaps she's saying you have to wait for that style until the hair is thicker.

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

I let the kids decide when they were 7 or 8 yrs old. Its only hair.

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B.S.

answers from Lansing on

I let my children make their own decisions since they could start making them. I did have a rule on dying the hair as I don't agree allowing them to dye the hair at a young age as that can be damaging. I have a 12yo with very long hair and says she wants to grow it down to her waist. And I have a 10yo that has half a head shaved with shoulder cut hair. Both have gone shorter, longer, bangs and currently no bangs...etc. My only rule is they maintain the style they cut it. I've warned that long hair may be hard to brush, bangs get in your eyes and can get annoying, a half shaved head can draw attention...etc etc. But I've let them make their decisions. I also have always been in the belief that hair grows back.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My son never cared, other than the fact that he hated buzz cuts (and so did I!!!) so we never went that short. Both of my daughters wanted their hair long starting around 3 or 4 I kept it shoulder length until they could keep it brushed and tangle free on their own (and they knew this, it was good motivation for them to practice self care and it worked!)

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

I think they were 8 or so.

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E.K.

answers from Springfield on

My mother had my hair cut very short like my brothers and we looked so much alike that people thought we were twins! I couldn't wait until I was old enough to pay for my own hair cut...her reason for cutting my hair that way
Because my hair was too curly and too hard to comb. I finally got to choose my hair when I started earning my own wages. I cut it short except for the bangs and dyed them purple. If anything, my mothers lack of attention to my hair needs only made me more purpose bent and goal oriented.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

How old is your child?

Our son has had a brush cut since he was 2 years old.
He's 19 - almost 20 now - and still likes it.
We live in an area where there are many military families and brush cuts are common on guys of all ages.
Keeping it short he's never had any issues with lice - but maybe we've just been lucky.
If it starts getting shaggy it gets more of a bother for him to keep it washed and dried.
The longer his hair gets he tends to get more dandruff - so he loves it short.
It's just not something he likes to fuss with.
The longest he goes between cuts is 8 or 9 weeks.
I've been cutting his hair (and Hubby's too)- and he tells me when he wants me to cut it.

That being said - hair is relatively easy to play with.
What ever you do to it - it will grow out eventually.
I'd much rather have a kid with purple hair than have him show up with piercings and tattoos.
If they have something done that they don't like - it's a natural consequence and they'll think twice before they do that again.
It might be a very good learning opportunity.
I think middle school is a reasonable age to let them have more control over their hair choices.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

It was her hair. I allowed her to cut it or let it grow as she wished.

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R..

answers from San Antonio on

My DD wanted to cut of 6 to 8 inches of hair. I warned her that her super long hair set her apart as she is in theater and auditions for film. She was insistent and so she cut her hair about 8 inches shorter. This was when she was 9 years old.

The lead roles and supporting roles dried up and she was suddenly in chorus or ensemble. She was shocked and told me she didn't think I knew what I was talking about that her talent was enough not her looks. (I told her she was equally as talented as hundreds of other girls but your "look" is what gets your foot in the door, to get that lead in children's theater and the indie film circuit.) She has now two years later grown all her hair back out guess what she has just gotten several great roles...she had to learn that lesson on her own.

My DS has hair longer than his shoulders and is regularly confused for a girl. He loves his hair and it doesn't bother him. He takes the girl comments and eh, he is like whatever...

My theory is you can cut it off and it can grow back. Letting my DD learn that lesson was hard but so necessary for her to see. Hair is not a battle I'm going to fight...I will advise but in the end it is their head. Good luck!!