Seeking Advice for Ex's New Wife Who Cut My 5 Year Old's Hair Without Permission

Updated on January 16, 2015
J.L. asks from Lubbock, TX
41 answers

My daughter went to Alabama with my ex for his wedding during Christmas break. He and his at the time fiance left on Christmas day, and my daughter and her grandparents left three days later. I gave instructions on what medications she was on, how she was feeling, and whatnot. And one thing I mentioned to her grandmother was to NOT cut my daughter's hair. Biggest reason - my daughter had long hair, down to the middle of her back, and wanted it kept long until the wedding was over and she was home. I was going to get it trimmed and layered, this way it could still be long, and she could still braid it and pretend she is Elsa from Frozen. Her grandmother said, no problem. They get to Alabama, and I thought everything was fine. On New Years, I get a text message from the grandmother and she said that my ex's fiance had cut my daughter's hair. But she didn't tell me how short until I got the picture....... It is up to her ears. And the back is shorter than the sides, and the back has four different layers. It looks terrible. That woman wasn't legally a guaurdian and did it without my permission. Not to mention that I said not to cut her hair. And now she is getting bullied at school for her haircut. She's 5. And now she is refusing to go and begging me not to let her go. And get this: I asked the grandmother why it was so short, and she said it was because they were going to donate her hair to Locks of Love. My daughter was not told that her "family" was going to give away her hair. They told her that it was because they didn't want her to have tangles. They wouldn't be able to donate it to Locks of Love anyway, because the hair was becoming dead and it was not done at a salon. It was done at her mother's house. I am at my wits end. I don't know what to do anymore. I messaged the grandmother a few days ago after finally getting up the nerve and told her I was upset about the cut and so was my daughter. I did not say anything cruel or hateful. I was very adult about my words. She hasn't responded at all, but she sure has posted all over facebook... What do I do? Please help

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So What Happened?

To respond to one comment, I'm not whining. I'm frustrated and venting. A difference. And I don't post this on facebook. I do know what to put on facebook and what should stay private. And the only way to fix the cut is to actually make it into a pixie cut. Not to mention, this woman is supposed to have her cosmetology license. They always do something against my wishes, including taking her to his new apartment with a cat around. My daughter is severely allergic to cats. And her father knows this!!!! I've mentioned that she shouldn't be at his apartment until they get rid of the cat, because it sets off her asthma. And I do not let her know my frustration. Yes I tell her she looks cute. And I apologize if that came out wrong. Yes, I'm angry and frustrated. I didn't talk to her father until today because he made it clear not to disturb him while he was on his honeymoon. He just got back yesterday. I messaged him today and told him he and I needed to talk and it is important. So we will be meeting up tomorrow.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm calling troll, because I don't believe a 5 year old would get "bullied" for her haircut.

Also, hair doesn't become "dead." Hair is already technically "dead," if you want to put it that way, once it leaves the scalp.

If this is real, let it go. It's hair. It grows. Maybe dad okayed the hair cut.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

For all of you who doubt bullying over a haircut, just Google it. Back in October an Ohio girl got terribly bullied for donating her hair. While that particular girl was 10 yrs old, it starts as early as kindergarten because parents don't seem to think it happens and don't bother to correct their children. It is not as uncommon as you might think.

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answers from Austin on

As a child of divorced parents, I am on your side. Many times when I was with my dad and one of his girlfriends or a wife was around, it was very difficult to make my feelings heard.

I was raised to always be obedient and polite, especially to my parents and any adults.

I was reluctant to say no or to state my true feelings. This hair cutting was an issue for my sister. She LOVED her long hair. It was a pain to wash, to brush etc. But she never wanted it cut.

It was amazing how many of these women in my fathers life always insisted it be cut. As the big sister I felt responsible for protecting my sisters wishes. So there were times, I had to be the one to tell these women, they better not cut my sisters hair.

The moment I got home, I would tell my mom, and all hell would break out between her and my dad.

This was just one of many issues, I had to report, but then the guilt of causing so much strife between my parents, oy vey..

Men do not communicate as we do. You will need to sit your ex down and tell him directly your expectations. Include a email message and a hard copy along with this. Let him know if he cannot follow your expectations in these matters your attorney can make it clear.

I highly encourage you and your ex to go to counseling with your child. She needs to learn how to speak with both of you, and what her rights are at each of your homes.

You need to speak with your ex about his new wife and what decisions she is allowed to make and not make.

I am sending you strength.

15 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

It is hair, it will grow.

I find your whole story so very odd. When I am sending my kids away for two weeks their hair is the last thing on my mind. My daughter has always had very long hair, my ex dated a stylist for a while, never once occurred to me to tell him she can't cut her hair.

Furthermore, you do not own that child, she is his daughter as well and has just as much right to cut her hair as you do. The stylist you were going to take her to for her layers, is she legally a guardian? I doubt it so why do you think you have any control over who her father lets cut the child's hair?

In the end, it will grow, get over it so your daughter can get over it.

Oh, and just an FYI, my ex has had my daughter's hair cut, didn't really like it but never reacted like you. Even if I said not one word my reaction would have harmed my child because she would have picked up on it.
After reading some of the answers I would like to point out why I didn't lose my mind when my ex cut my daughter's hair. First as I pointed out, it is hair, it grows. Even me and my girls have created regrettable hair cuts, bangs anyone?, what do you tell them, it grows. Still the biggest thing that kept me calm is how many times do I have my daughter's hair cut and I never call my ex. I can assure you after eight years of divorce I have never called my ex to ask him if it is okay if my daughter gets a bob!

So right or wrong, I do not think I have any right to be angry at my ex for doing once what I do every couple of months, just seems too hypocritical for my blood.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It is hair... you can't undo the haircut.. Her hair will grow back, she is only 5 for goodness sake.

Take her to a professional who will clean it up and make her feel beautiful.

What is done, is done and there is no need to continue to re-hash your feelings with your ex MIL, and your ex.

I don't understand why you made the "don't cut her hair" statement to begin with to the MIL when they started out on the trip. That is very odd to me.

Lastly, you had this child with your ex. This child is not your property nor his... she is to be co-parented, hopefully by 2 adults who can act like adults and it sounds like she is in an unfortunate situation where her bio parents are tit for tat against each other for everything and forgetting there is a child involved here.

I have a hard time "buying" that a haircut would make your child dislike school and most certainly does not cause bullying to occur. The term bully is used so loosely that people are beginning to ignore it now. Some parents throw that term out there if little Johnny does not hold a door open for little Susie.. It is crazy how some people are claiming bullying.

Get over this and work with your daughter. Maybe if you didn't act so hurt and upset about the cut, she wouldn't be so upset. Even if you don't verbalize your feelings to your child, rest assured, she picks up on it. Children are not stupid.

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answers from Columbia on

Oh my goodness. I would be SO angry. I think that you've taken a far higher road than I would have. I don't think you should be nice about this at ALL. The more shame you send your ex's fiancee's way, the less likely she'll be to do it again.

First, I would call your ex and communicate to him, not his mother, not your ex's fiancee, that you do not want her cutting your daughter's hair ever again. Tell him the truth about how his little girl is being bullied, doesn't want to go to school, and the cut looks awful. If his fiancee was trying to make a point, the only point she made was that she stinks at cutting hair.

I would take your daughter to an excellent salon, with amazing reviews, and have her hair cut, even if it's a pixiecut, in a style that will flatter her face. I wouldn't care a bit about the cost. Where ever you have to go to get an AMAZING haircut and give her a good experience, go there.

I'd take a before (with her bad haircut) and after photo (with her new pretty cut) and post them on facebook for all to see. I'd say "Thank goodness we found Miss Smith at Really Nice Salon to fix this TERRIBLE haircut! DD is no longer crying and begging me not to send her to school. Thank you Really Nice Salon for giving DD her confidence back!"

Is this mean? Maybe. But I don't think your ex's fiancee will be cutting your DD's hair again.

Fueling the fire? So what? I know if I were a cosmetologist and butchered a haircut on someone else's kid, I'd be positively mortified. She SHOULD be mortified and apologetic, but apparently she's neither. It takes a special type of narcissist to think it's okay to do that to someone else's kid and then offer no apology AND act offended that the child's mother is upset. Narcissists require a very heavy hand to get the point. It may fuel the fire, but do you think she'll do it again? I think the goal here isn't to kiss a$$, it's to ensure that there isn't a repeat performance.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Well, J., I'm on your side girl, I think this sucks.

It's no help, I know, but it WILL grow back.

Sounds like you and ex have a few things to work out, all of which need to be addressed officially, in a legal agreement if you really want them to change.

I'm sorry, I'd be mad too.


8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Well the first thing you do is stop complaining because all you are doing is stressing out your 5 yr old. Yes they were wrong for cutting your child's hair but there's nothing you can do about it now. Take her to a salon and have them fix the chop job the new wife did on your daughter's hair and just drop it. Keep all whining off facebook and away from your child. When someone asks just say that her new step mom decided to play hair dresser unsuccessfully and now your daughter will be able to grow her hair out all over again.

Really at this point there's nothing that can be done. You can't undo the hair cut so move forward and put it as a lesson learned.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You should ONLY be discussing this with your daughter's father. Not with your former MIL, your ex's new wife, or any stylist. That's the first thing.

Next, take your daughter to a stylist, as some have suggested. But DO NOT discuss with the stylist the events surrounding the haircut. You could, I suppose, mention to the stylist ahead of time that the cut was done poorly at home without your permission, but only if the stylist understands that he or she is not to wail and go on a rant. "Oh poor baby! What happened to your hair!? Where did you have this cut, at Home Depot?" The stylist should say something like "oh, pixie cuts are what all the famous actresses are wearing now" or "this will make your eyes really pop" or "you'll love not having any tangles, and being able to do your hair in just minutes!" or some such encouragement. And the stylist should keep any negative thoughts and comments to him or herself.

If you had to mention not cutting her hair as part of a quick trip, perhaps there has been an ongoing hair issue. It's time to have a mature talk with your ex or his attorney and make some decisions about how to approach these things in the future. There will be other decisions, about schools, camps, medical procedures, etc., and you and your daughter's father must have some plan in place to discuss what's best for your daughter. No more going through MILs and new wives. If your ex isn't in agreement and wants his new wife to have significant input, go back to your attorney for guidance.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would be mad too. I agree with the majority of women on here that said there's nothing you can do except be positive with your daughter and wait for the hair to grow back.

ETA: Honestly, I had more sympathy with you until I read your SWH. You need to chill out a bit. If you're yelling at strangers on the internet after you asked them for advice, I doubt you've been calm and collected when dealing with family (or as you called them, her "family").

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

Sounds like you've made your feelings known. Beyond that, what do you expect to be able to do? She's his daughter, too. He has a say over what happens. Sounds like a power play from both of you. Over a child's haircut. This is what they mean when they say don't put the kids in the middle.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

To start with take her to a salon and have a professional fix it!!

The only thing that can be done now is getting your daughters self esteem back where it should be. Short cuts are cute too and a professional can certainly help with that.


7 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on


I'd be SO MAD!!!!!!

What a completely nasty, terrible thing for her step mom to do. ANY NORMAL WOMAN would understand that a girl's hair is somewhat sacred to her and her mom (sorry if that sounds crazy, but am I right?). When you EXPRESSLY ASKED for it not to be cut....this is just CRAZY. My kids also went to the nutty in laws with my ex over break, and I asked them not to cut my oldest's hair, and THANK GOD they didn't. I was worried they would pull a stunt like that (because they've taken other inappropriate liberties so I feel your pain) so I SPECIFICALLY SAID not to do it. At least they listened.

I feel for you.

But obviously it's too late to get the hair back. You know who I would be dealing with though? The woman who cut it, and YOUR EX. Leave granny alone.

Even though they acted horribly, to keep your power you HAVE to be the bigger person, BUT NOT A PUSHOVER. So stand up to them, but do it calmly and firmly and with NO anger or temper. Because that would only be used against you. But do not let it go or things like this will ALWAYS HAPPEN. Sorry but step-mom sounds like trouble so be prepared to be very firm with her. But calm. But firm. Do not be scared to address her directly if she is going to be having your daughter with her at times.

To the cutter:
"Hey, Darla, as I told your mom, and Darrel also knew, I did not want Lulu's hair cut. For you to cut it anyway was extremely disrespectful to me, and she is being bullied at school due to the hair cut you gave her. We have to go to a salon to have it fixed. I hope we can move forward on good terms, but this was very wrong behavior on your part. Do not cut my child's hair ever again without my permission."

To your ex, "Wow, Darrel. Classy move. Please don't go against me like that again if we are going to be amicable co-parents. your daughter is miserable with this hair cut."

Sorry but I would absolutely address the step mom, and if I had step kids, I would NEVER EVER do this to a child's hair that was not my own child. And I would expect the mother's wrath if I did.

Watch these people. If they don't take you seriously, things will be nasty forever more...

Ignore their Facebook behavior completely. They'll make themselves look bad enough there, no need for you to get involved.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Here's the thing - it's hair and it will grow back. You can be as mad as you want, but you need to talk to him about it, and tell him that she's so upset she doesn't want to go to school. Make it about how SHE reacts to her hair vs that you are mad about his wife doing it. Make it all about the kid. My DH's ex did the same to us - took SD out for a short cut just before our wedding. The result in the end was that SD didn't want her mother near her head for years. We never said anything to SD directly that indicated how peeved we were, but we knew it was absolutely retaliatory for our wedding.

As far as your DD, you can tell her that if anyone (even you) wants to cut her hair and she doesn't want to, she can say no. Same goes for earrings or anything else. And I would go out and get her pretty headbands or hair accessories that will help her feel better til it grows longer. Anne of Green Gables and all that (remember the scene where Anne dyed her hair green?). I would focus on your DD and how to make this less traumatic for her. You might also take her to a salon and get it evened out, even if it makes it a little shorter.

ETA: I do not think you are going to go on FB to complain about it. But I see suggestions to "out" him on social media - why? It will make the mother look petty and foolish and childish. Why do people do that? It just shames the child. In stepfamily situations in particular, people need to remember that the child is the innocent and using him/her as a pawn is hurting the child more than the ex. Please, please, people - don't do that! Even if the grandmother is talking about it on FB, you should discuss things offline. Getting into an argument on FB is basically airing your dirty laundry for all to see and why stoop to that? Deal with the father, IMO, who can deal with his in-laws.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

you have a lot of good advice here. I would have steam coming out of my ears if this happened to me. So I just want to approach this from another aspect. I keep my girls' hair short. One has an A-line, the other a 20's flapper bob. I love these cuts and they get complimented all the time. Its so easy to maintain. When you are done being angry (and boy do you have the right to be), see if you cannot enjoy one of those hair cuts on her. I don't recommend taking it to a pixy only because they are hard to grow out. Strive for a very short bob, even it its so short, they have to shave the neck. Think 1920's flapper. The bob styles grow out easily.

When you've cooled down a bit, this deserves a phone call to dad. Try and keep your emotions out of it, that won't help your cause.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think you should tell your Ex how upset she is...nicely.
Maybe he never got the message that there was not supposed to be a haircut. Give him the benefit of the doubt unless you know otherwise.

Bottom line, you can't do anything now. Just clean up the cut and make it look cute. It's hair, it'll grow back.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think you should let your ex husband know how upset you are that this happened on HIS watch.
I wouldn't even bother talking to the new wife or her mother, this is HIS child after all, not theirs.
Then you should take a deep breath and move on.
It sucks but what's done is done and there's nothing you can do about it now.
Remind your daughter that it will grow back, and in the mean time show her some photos of cute short haircuts on little girls, short hair can be so adorable! Have her pick out a style she likes and take her to a salon so it can be fixed.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Just a quick note. I would be very upset too. I'm guessing her father said it was OK and he has the legal right to do that. I suggest you deal with him. Put in writing that he is not to make major changes with his and your daughter without consulting you.

Of course the grandmother allowed this to happen. He is her son and cannot tell her son what to do. She had no authority in this situation. I'd apologize to her and talk with her father.

I urge you to take her to get a salon cut to even it out into an attractive cut. Such salons as Super Cuts are inexpensive.

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answers from Danville on

I would do as some have suggested below! Take her to a salon, and have them 're do' it. Play up how cute it is, how the hair will grow back, and what a wonderful gift her hair will be for a child who needs hair.

BTW, hair does not need to be cut in a salon in order to donate. There are sites in line that describe what needs to be done and how/where to ship it.

I get that you are pissed, but I suggest that your daughter may be picking up on YOUR pissed off ed ness...ya know?

You have many years ahead with co parenting with your ex and his new wife. I would be careful in picking my battles. There will be bigger ones along the way!

Just my opinion (as a divorced mom of 7 kiddos).


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I agree that this is a done deal. I would now focus far more on the very serious thing you included almost as an afterthought in the SWH addition: If your child is severely allergic to cats, yet your child's father exposes her to a cat frequently without regard for her allergy, your ex and you need a mediator -- some objective third party, maybe one appointed by a court -- to talk with you both and impress on dad AND new stepmom that this child could become seriously ill due to their disregard for her medical condition. Get her pediatrician, and preferably also a pediatric allergist, to provide letters detailing her allergy and what will occur if she is exposed to cats. If medication does minimal good, or meds for long periods of her visits to dad's place are not good for her, this is an issue to address with doctors, a mediator, maybe the court.

This all applies IF the allergy is serious. Frankly it's hard to tell how serious things are when "they always do something against my wishes." If the allergy is just another thing on a long list of irritations, that's one thing, but if your child will actually have asthma attacks around a cat or otherwise get really ill -- you need to focus on THAT now, not the haircut that is already done and will grow out.

Priorities, right?

And once again Facebook rears its ugly head. If you go on there with "before and after" photos dissing the cruddy haircut and showing how you fixed it, that will only add fuel to stepmom's Facebook fire. Just don't.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hair will grow back. The health of your daughter and exposure to the cat in Dad's apartment is a bigger issue especially if she does have severe allergies to cat which trigger her asthma. There are other important things here -- learning to co-parent and communicate with your spouse and learning about what battles to fight.

It was wrong for them (the fiancé /now wife's mother) to cut her hair when you specifically asked them not to, but are you sure that they got the word from grandma? Perhaps they felt that her hair did not look attractive for the wedding ( you said it was long and needed trimming) and they decided to trim it. Then someone suggested locks for love and the haircut became major. You don't know what your daughter was doing this time and whether she was agreeable to getting the haircut. It just made you mad (because they went against your request) and although you say you are keeping it to yourself, your unhappiness is probably reflecting on her. Get her hair professionally trimmed and get her a few cute bows and she will be fine in Kindergarten. If she is getting teased or bullied, give the teacher a chance to address it.
Follow the advice below about getting medical necessities put into the shared custody agreements so your daughter can be protected when she is not in your care.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Why are you dealing with your ex MIL and not your ex's wife or your ex directly?
What can you really do?
Take her to a salon & get it fixed. Yesterday!
Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

I would have been extremely upset too.

Do you have an attorney? Can you talk with him/her about post-judgment concerns that you have? Are there guidelines in your state for the non-primary parent? Do you have decision-making powers?

I'm glad to see that you keep this frustration from your daughter. Maybe some counseling for you would help too.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

You are wrong about the hair not being able to be donated. Here's what I got from their website:

Where do I go to get my hair cut?
A. You can go anywhere to get your hair cut as long as the donation guidelines listed on our website are followed. We encourage our donors to go to a salon they are already familiar with so they will be comfortable when making their donation. View Donation Guidelines.

How do I package my donation?
A. Ponytails need to be completely dry before they are mailed. Place the ponytail in a Ziploc bag, and then inside of a padded envelope. Be sure to include the donor’s name and address on a separate sheet of paper so we can send out an acknowledgement card.

What if I can’t download the hair donation form?
A. The hair donation form is not required to donate. If you cannot download the form, we ask that you include your name and e-mail address or your mailing address on a separate sheet of paper so we can send out an acknowledgement.

How many ponytails does it take to make one hairpiece?
A. Six to 10 donated ponytails go into one hairpiece.

They need 10 inches - your daughter's hair sounds longer than that. They take grey and colored hair, just not bleached hair. If her hair is dry and not moldy, they will take your daughter's hair.

IF this is a true story (the dead hair thing you said makes no sense whatsoever), then they had no right to do it.

Your daughter isn't getting bullied at school. No one bullies a 5 year old for a haircut. If she doesn't want to go to school, it's because she KNOWS you hate this haircut - you cannot hide your feelings no matter how much you tell her that she looks cute. If she doesn't want to go to school, it's because SHE hates her hair.

Does your ex have visitation rights? If he does, I would go to court over this and have it written in the court documents that they cannot cut her hair again. I'd also deal with the issue of the CAT... that's pretty darn serious.

What do you mean about the grandmother posting this over facebook? The grandmother is standing by this, is this what you are saying? What is she saying on facebook? That you don't like the haircut? Well, maybe you ought to answer those posts and tell her that the haircut has upset your daughter - they took away her hair. She can talk about it on Facebook, but you can't??

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Step 1 - go to a salon and get a cut your daughter likes. It's hair, it will grow. Talk about how adorable she looks, and stop getting her more upset by how upset you are. There is nothing you can do other than deal with it. The long-on-the-sides, short-in-back style is very in with some adults now, although it's completely uncommon in kids. So someone decided to make her "fashionable". Let it go, it will grow. She needs to move on.

Step 2 - deal with her father, not the grandmother or the stepmother/fiancee. This is HIS daughter, and any/all parenting decisions are between you and him. Let him know she is being bullied at school and is incredibly upset, and what does he recommend for now and plan for the future. Do it as a co-parenting discussion, not as a blame thing or you will completely alienate him. But do get him involved in the parenting. I don't think he needs your permission to cut her hair, but of course he should have discussed such a drastic change with you ahead of time. If I sent my child to be with other family, it would never occur to me to say, "Oh and by the way, don't cut the hair." So there must have been something that made you say that - I'd go back and look at what occurred ahead of time, and go from there about why the haircuts even entered the picture. Also, what is the reason you had your conversation with the grandmother to begin with, and not with your ex husband? If he has checked out as a father, he needs to check back in and not defer all parenting questions to the women in his family.

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answers from Boston on

The issue is with you ex, who allowed this to happen. Take it up with him! And get her to a salon to have the hack job fixed so that she's not embarrassed about it, and send your ex the bill. I know you're upset and I would be too, but when she's with you ex, it's his job to take responsibility for her and own this. He allowed it. You deal with him, he apologizes to your daughter and deals with his wife.

FWIW, my SD showed up for one of her visits - the day before a holiday that we spend with my extended family - with parts of her beautiful blond hair dyed a horrible shade of red (like Kool Aid red). Her mother thought it would be fun to dye her bangs and the color ended up everywhere in random patches. It took more than 4 hours at the salon and $250 to correct the color. I wanted to send her mother the bill but she wouldn't have paid it so we just fixed the problem, got her looking presentable for our family holiday event, and moved on.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm wondering why you are having all these conversations with the grandma instead of her dad. What does he have to say? He's the one I'd tell that she's crying over the haircut.

The hair is now water under the bridge. But as a symptom of a long term issue - Do you have joint custody with her dad? If so, you two need to figure out a way to communicate.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

If you are unhappy with her hair, let it go. If SHE is unhappy with her hair then look at short styles with her and help her pick out one she does like and then take her someplace to get it done. I am glad that you have not let the child know there is an issue with the fact her hair was cut, she does not need to know about any fighting that happens between her parents.

Have you talked to your ex about this? Are you sure that your mother has the whole story and this cut was not the result of her cutting her own hair first? (I don't think I know of a girl child who did not try to cut their own hair at some point around that age). Just be sure you have the facts is all I am saying. I would be mad as well (unless it was the child who asked for the cut in the first place, although it still would have been nice to have the full time guardian's permission) but other then letting them know you are unhappy there really is nothing to be done at this point except accept the cut or have it fixed to a style she likes more. Pixies are in and can look very cute on a little girl, like a fairy princess (one way to spin it if she is unhappy).

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answers from Phoenix on

I would be beyond pissed, I definitely get where you are coming from. I agree with others who say you may want to put something in writing about making major changes without the other parent's input. Both my boys have long hair that I ADORE. My older son cut a big chunk out of his hair on my husband's watch a couple of years ago and I was really pissed. At the husband, not the kiddo :) So I truly feel for you!
Sure, it will grow back, but it will take a long time and she is feeling bad about it at the moment.

In the meantime, maybe let your daughter color her hair, or at least get streaks, in any color she wants, even pink or blue! And maybe check around for some online stories from recipients of wigs through Locks of Love.

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answers from Santa Fe on

Wow, that's awful. I personally would be really upset. Did they ask your daughter if she wanted this? Did she tell them no and they did it anyway? Did she tell them she was upset afterwards and did they ignore her? Did grandma actually relay the message to please not cut your daughter's hair or did she never mention it? If she did, then this was most likely done to bother you...and it worked. Your ex's new wife must be a jerk and was really trying to spite you. I really don't know what you can do about it though. It's done and now you have to do damage control...get your daughter to a salon for a cute pixie cut and maybe something special like pierced ears or a new beautiful outfit and sparkly shoes. Get her a cute sparkly headband and send her off to school feeling great. I'm sorry you have to deal with people like this in your life...and how low to purposely affect your daughter like this in order to get to you.

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answers from Washington DC on

You talk to your ex about it, not anyone else. You tell your daughter she looks beautiful and could be bald and still look beautiful. Hair grows back.

Yes, I would be upset. Even more so if it were my daughter because she is mixed (with my husband's hair) and her hair has never been cut (just trimmed) and it's still not very long. Certain types of hair take a lot of work to grow, but if hers was that long at 5, I'm guessing her hair grows fine.

Talk your daughter up to be confident on her new look and tell her how beautiful she is. Then deal with your ex, respectfully, about decisions like this.

I'm also thinking this has been an issue for some time since you had to mention it to the grandma to for them to not cut it in the first place.

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answers from Washington DC on

why haven't you taken her to a salon and got the bad haircut fixed? i don't get the 'bullying.' most 5 year olds are not fashion mavens. unless you're redefining 'hey, your hair looks really different! i liked it better long' as 'bullying.'
i'd be plenty pissed at the new wife, but i'm not sure what can happen to make it better now.
not sure why you think the hair can't be donated. you don't have to have the hair cut at a salon, and all hair is technically 'dead.' all she has to do is fill out the simple form and send the hair in.
i suggest you stop making it into a big deal around your daughter. your reaction is probably making a miserable situation worse, and there's really nothing to be done to fix it. help your daughter cope, and try not to send her there any more than you have to. the problem is more your ex than his wife. he's a jerk for letting this happen.
ETA please don't listen to the looney advice to 'out' the new wife on FB and actually precipitate courtroom drama. i can't think of a better way to permanently traumatize your daughter than to have her at the center of a sordid sleezefest.

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answers from San Antonio on

Well, really the only thing to be done now (because you can't cry over split milk or cut hair) is to get your daughter acclimated to her new haircut.

Go buy her some cute headbands, barrettes, clips, etc...with sparkles, rhinestones, and ribbons...very very girly. So she can start wearing them as her hair grows out

If it is the cut that is so bad that is what they are making fun of take her to a professional that specializes in children's hair and have the cut fixed. And still get her some cool hair bling.

There is nothing you can do to change what they did...and I am sure it is because step-mom didn't want to deal with washing, combing and drying her long hair. It is quite an ordeal, I know my daughters hair is almost to her waist. Some days I want to cut it all off...but I am the mom and so I deal with it.

I am so sorry this happened!! Work with your daughter to start liking her hair and just start to expect the unexpected when it comes to visitation.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I would take pictures of it and post it on fb and let everyone know how it's effecting your child. This person needs to be outed.

Ex let it happen. He knew your wishes right? Then he needs to be accountable for this. I'd be livid, beyond livid. If there was any loop hole in the custody/visitation where she could stay home and not go visit him I'd use it until he took me to court.

Then I'd show the judge the pictures and FB posts about how traumatized she was from the hair cut and that she was terrified to go back to dad's in case the step mom cut her hair again.

Ex would be raked over the coals for allowing it. He is the parent.

I'd also let grandma know kiddo wouldn't be allowed back to her home since she had specifically known your wishes and done it anyway.

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answers from Glens Falls on

Gosh, I feel for you. If it was a trim, that would be no big deal, but to cut off her hair up to her ears? That is a big deal considering they didn't even consult you about it first, and it wasn't a haircut your daughter wanted either.

For those saying, "Get over it, hair grows back." How would YOU feel if someone hacked off all your hair against your wishes? I don't think you would just shrug and tell yourself to "get over it."

If I was in your position, I would be angry as well, and I would kick up dirt and make such a fuss about it to all who were involved (not just your ex, because he probably wasn't a big part of this decision if he's a typical male) to make sure it didn't happen again. I am a polite person by nature, but if this happened, I wouldn't be polite. I wouldn't care if they thought I was a little crazy lol, it would make them think twice before making these kinds of inappropriate decisions about my child in the future.

I just can't imagine the reasoning someone would have in justifying cutting someone else's child's hair off....She may have even sold it for some extra cash. Who knows.

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answers from Seattle on

I'm sorry, this is horrible. I can't imagine sending my child to be cared for by someone else and have them returned home looking so drastically different without my knowledge. I really feel for you. I hope she WANTED to do this and it wasn't something they convinced her to do. Of course the dad has the "legal" right to do that, but come on! Mom would want to be involved in the discussion, especially if a special occasion was coming up!! You have every right to be upset over this and who cares about the grandma. It's her fault for not listening to your request.

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answers from Kansas City on

Sorry. Nobody should drastically alter the appearance of a 5 year old--especially out of spite.

Unfortunately, this is one of the challenges of co-parenting. Dad lets them drink soda or mom lets them stay up late on weekends, etc. Like the other posters said, ONLY communicate with dad.

New wife sounds like she's on a power trip and being spiteful to hurt you...sorry. Don't know how to change that.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Sorry that happened. That was way out of line for them to do that without your permission. To the person that said she doesn't believe her daughter is being bullied at 5: I do believe that kids can get bullied at 5 for their hair. My daughter is 6 and was just telling me last night that her best friend told her "your hairdo is not nice and your mommy doesn't do hair good". Also, someone else in her class said "your hair looks weird". Bullying starts early people. Maybe those were just mean comments (not technically bullying, but where do you draw the line) If you don't stop the mean comments early, it turns into bullying. Btw, my daughter's hair did look good. I think my daughter walked into those comments because she was probably asking her friends "what do you think of my braid?". She has a tendency to do that. I am trying to tell her not to ask kids what they think of her hairdo so much.

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answers from Dallas on

I would be very upset but you need to make sure you are controlling your emotions around your daughter. Make sure she knows you know how she is feeling. I would take pictures just for your files and note what happened, who cut it, what your daughter said, etc. You may need that in the future. Then go to a salon and get them to trim her hair into a cute hairstyle - even if it has to go a little shorter. No reason for her to have a hair cut that looks bad or is choppy. I would not get into this over Facebook and I would not involve the grandma in this anymore. Ultimately it is between you and your ex. And I would keep it to what your daughter is saying about her hair and not wanting it cut. I know you are upset but he may not care about that. Oh - and I would definitely talk to him about the cat issue when you meet up with him. That is ridiculous that he is bringing her around a cat if she is that allergic !

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answers from Sacramento on

I will assume your What Happened follow up was written when you were angry and hopefully doesn't reflect your normal personality (all caps is yelling at us readers ... ugh).

Anyway, I agree with others on finding a good stylist who can help and make positive comments while creating a new style. Also, another option is to consider hair extensions if there isn't a good alternative cut. A friend of mine had those put in when she wasn't happy with a short cut and you really couldn't tell it wasn't her real hair. I don't know anything about cost or maintenance though, but just an idea to throw out there to help with the bullying situation.

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answers from Detroit on

This brought back memories! My best friend's sister used to come back with short hair after visiting her dad and stepmom out of state every summer. And not by her choice.
The only problem I se is this: if her dad gave permission he IS her father. I still think that he should have respected your request, but I think a big difference is if the fiancé did it on her own or with her permission.
I would keep it focused on how upset your daughter is, not you. But remember, that what is done is done and you still have to co-parent with him for the rest of her life, so while it IS a big deal (or would be to me at least) you are going to have to remember to not let it become too big. Just make sure it is clear that in the future you want to be involved in decisions like that (ear piercing, etc. too!).

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