I Shaved My Daughter’s Hair

AellynshairEvery month my kids see their Daddy shave his head. Last week my younger son wanted his shaved off too. When Daddy was shaving Boston, Aellyn said she wanted him to shave her head too. Daddy said she’d have to ask mommy since I wasn’t home.

She asked if we could and I said sure. We weren’t home so it was easy to say yes. I decided I wouldn’t bring it up and maybe she would forget.

Wrong.

She talked about it the rest of the day and the next. So, last night, we shaved her damn near bald.

First, let’s talk about this from Aellyn’s perspective. This wasn’t a hard decision or even a big deal to her. She’s never been told how “girls are supposed to look/act” because we parent outside of sexist stereotypes whenever we can* (I wrote the book Gender Neutral Parenting if you are new here). We talk about sexism a lot and I told her the morning before we cut it that some people think girls shouldn’t have shaved heads. She said, “no way. Girls can have their hair anyway they want.” I said I know but some people might say something about it or call her a boy. She said, “That’s ok mom, I’ll just tell them I’m a girl.”

Look at this video I took during the cutting.

It’s amazing to see her nearly blasé attitude about it. Isn’t that how we should all be? I mean it is only fucking hair!

I, unfortunately, was very much indoctrinated by my culture to put great importance on my appearance and my hair in particular. I had very long blonde hair as a child. Other girls in my class would fight to stand next to me in line so they could play with my hair. The adults in my life always told me how beautiful my hair was.

For my tenth birthday I cut all my hair off. The stylist kept asking me over and over, “are you sure, honey?” As she began cutting I felt this nauseating sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. When she was done I bawled my eyes out.

No big deal. I’ve overcome much of the “laws of femininity” that society tried so hard to force on me. I’ve had many a pixie cut and just last year I buzzed my hair with a 1″ setting.

And yet my deep, gut feeling about my daughter shaving her head sounded something like this: “DEAR GOD NOOOOOOOO!”

Yep, really enlightened, huh?

That’s the thing about this cultural conditioning I talk so much about. It forms roots so deep in our psyche that I know I’ll never be completely free of them. But I can always try to observe my gut feelings and NOT MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THEM. To instead question my assumptions. Peak behind the curtain of cultural conditioning.

I really, really, REALLY wanted to talk her out of it. I wanted to fawn over how beautiful her hair is. In fact, I knew I had that power over my daughter. What I think – as her primary caregiver and friend – has a huge impact on her. I could have used just the right words to talk her out of it.

Or, maybe not. Maybe she would have put her foot down anyway and cut it.

Either way, I would have told her that her appearance is important TO ME and that she exists for the consumption of others. That how others view her is more important than her internal voice, sense of adventure, and inherent value. That her decisions should be made based on external “rules” and not her own sense of what is right or wrong for her.

Even worse, I would show my daughter that manipulation is something that people do to control someone else. That love means power.

Hell no. Not even remotely worth it. I will take the discomfort of seeing my daughter without hair over teaching her that she is a doll to be dressed up for others’ pleasure or that any future relationship she is in she should allow someone to manipulate her or dictate her appearance.

But, guess what?

She looks beautiful with her head shaved. Not just beautiful in the way of aesthetic beauty (although she’s that too. Have you seen eyes and cheek bones on a shaved head? Swoon.) but beautiful in her complete purity of self. She knows herself without the layers of rules, expectations, and worries that most of us carry around every day.

As Pete shaved her in sections I was so worried she’d hate it and regret it. I was waiting for her to experience that sinking feeling in her gut as the hair fell. I didn’t want her to experience the crippling fear of change or “being ugly” that plagued me as a child.

Nope. Not for her. The idea of regretting something as stupid as hair would probably never cross her mind. To her, this was FUN!

IMG_4397-2 Once again, these tiny people in my life teach me so much. Parenting has, bar none, been the best personal development class in my life. I try so hard to remove my conditioned sexism from my parenting and they remind me how easy it is. They show me who I am under my conditioning. What a gift!

I still hold worries about what others will say to my daughter about her hair. I’ll write more about our experience with her having a not-traditionally-feminine hair style in the coming weeks. I’ve already had one person tell me to “keep it private” and I was happy to tell her how marginalizing that is and how telling people to hide is how the status quo keeps its power. Would we tell gay people to “keep it hidden”? /facepalm. Well we shouldn’t.

We should encourage people to be true to themselves and who they feel they are authentically. Then no energy would be spend crying over cut hair in a beautician’s chair. Energy that can be spent making the world a better place for all.

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81 thoughts on “I Shaved My Daughter’s Hair

  1. As a woman that shaves her head regularly … thank you. While young, my mother always instilled that I was beautiful and special at all times. When I would come to her with a crazy hair or clothing request .. she would always oblige. It was only hair. It had no bearing on my worth as a female or human being. Now, here I am the mother of a 9 yr old daughter. She happens to wear her hair short. Not shoulder length but actually a short pixie. I am questioned regularly why? Why I make her do it? Why I don’t realize that “all little girls should have pig tails.” She chooses her hairstyle. It perfectly matches her personality. She has asked about shaving her head. Dad, mom, and older brother do. My response was “I would be happen too. Let me know when you are ready.” I will gladly do it. Support her. Let her know that her worth is more than physical.

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  2. Amazing! The conditioning is hard to fight but we have to if we want a better place for our kids to live. We have to teach them to create that better place!

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    • I don’t. My husband is the shaver. We did put half of it in a pony on top of her head first and did the bottom half. We also cut it with scissors first so we wouldn’t jam the clippers. I bet YouTube has some better videos on how to do it.

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  3. Great post. My four year old has asked on more than one occasion to shave her head like Daddy (me). My response was the same as your husband. “Ask Mommy.” My daughter’s hair is trimmed but not buzzed off like your daughter. If she asks again, I might suggest that we let her do it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. I first shaved my daughter’s head at about that age. Years later (she’s now 14), she still loves having it short. We do it as a family (my son, myself, and her), all of us getting our heads shaved at the same time every year, and everybody rubs each others’ fuzzy heads. It’s awesome.

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  5. On the other side of that I let my sons wear their hair long if they like. And they both have hair long enough to get called girls quite often. But, they are choosing to have long hair ’cause if girls can have short hair then boys can have long hair.

    Thank you for the post, it’s nice to be reminded that it goes both ways and lots of girls like short hair too.

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    • I have two sons and one is shaved. The other has the most luxurious blonde curls down his back!

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  6. “That’s the thing about this cultural conditioning I talk so much about. It forms roots so deep in our psyche that I know I’ll never be completely free of them. But I can always try to observe my gut feelings and NOT MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THEM. To instead question my assumptions. Peak behind the curtain of cultural conditioning.”

    YES!! I totally agree that our children are the greatest teachers and have the power to make us better humans…if we let them! Thank you for this.

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  7. I love this!

    My younger daughter actually had a mohawk for a while when she was 2. She asked for it and I figured – why not? Eventually she got tired of it and then we shaved it off so it would grow back evenly. During this period that she had a shaved head, she went through what I affectionately call her “black phase.”

    Picture if you will, a 3-year-old redheaded girl with an intense gaze who picked out black everything at every opportunity – black clothes, black bedsheets, coloring with only black crayons – everything. You see, black was, and I quote, “the prettiest color.”

    She grew out of that, too.

    Now she’s 9, her older sister is 12, and they come up with the most interesting outfits and hairstyles. They are generally interested in fitting in (and they are much better at it than I ever was!) but they do come up with some really cool outfits and hairstyles; I’m glad that they have the confidence to own their appearance.

    It’s so fun what kids will do when you give them free reign over their self-expression!

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  8. Well done. Many little girls like to get their heads shaved, but most of them do it for charity reasons (watch my google+ profile). I always thought, that some of them really want to stay bald, but their parents or society don’t let them. Please allow your daughter to stay bald if she wants to. Good luck!

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  9. My son has had really long hair for 5-6 years. It’s bleached blonde. It was blue for a while. He’s 6’2″ and you cannot miss him in a crowd! He wanted his ear pierced in 5th grade and I happily did it…then his other ear in the 6th grade. I’ve never cared how he’s wanted to look. I admire him for that because I have ALWAYS cared how I look, never whacked my hair off even when I think short would be cute, lots of self-demoralizing talk in my head because I’m overweight, and he will never have any of that! I’ve raised him to be very secure because I am very not secure! Funny thing is, I own a salon! I whack people’s hair off all the time and…yeah…go figure! LOL

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  10. This is like telling your kids they can dress however they like at a country club. They will be stopped at the door and told to dress by the guidelines. As liberating and free thought as you think you are, there is the harsh reality of cultural norms that tell you how to act and how to look.

    As far as gender neutrality, how could something as simple as anatomy tell you what sex you are. Thousands of years are wrong and the new research from a few psychologists outweighs nature and thousands of years of practice! (Judging from the comments here you may not sense the sarcasm).

    For me, I will prepare my kids for reality and not use them as a social experiment and post about them online for to push my personal agenda and to build my ego.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If my kids want to go to a country club when they are adults then they can decide to conform to the standards of that club. We, of course, would never attend a country club even as country clubs are historically places that enact classist and racist policies. The one walking distance from my house, for example, only allows members and guests who are heterosexual. That isn’t something my family would ever support.

      You are also conflating sex and gender. I know a good book on the topic 😉

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    • Cultural norms weren’t always norms. At one point they were taboo. Someone will always go against the grain and that’s a good thing. As a kid, I did everything I was supposed to but never fit in. It didn’t matter how much I dressed like the other girls or acted like them, they never accepted me. In fact, I got bullied and teased the more I tried to fit in. The more I acted like myself, the less I cared about what they thought and the less they began to care about me. This girl is gaining self-confidence at a young age and that’s more important than cultural norms.

      I’ve had people tell me I need to cut my son’s hair, because boys shouldn’t have long hair. They don’t care to listen to my reasons, they just see a kid with long hair. My son HATES getting his hair cut. He’s 2 and it’s a struggle. If he wants it long growing up, then that’s fine. If he wants it short, then we’ll cut it. But right now, he doesn’t have a say and his hair isn’t damaging him in any way. In fact, it makes it easier for me to find him on the playground.

      I honestly don’t see this as a social experiement, but as raising her child for the future. Confidence in a woman is an amazing thing and something more women need to face the world. Because let’s face it-some of these social and gender norms suck. My son is VERY active. He hardly sits still and he’s always running and exploring his world. He can climb playground equipment meant for 10 year olds like he’s been doing it forever. But he gets in trouble at story times because he can’t sit still. I’ve never forced him to and he doesn’t know how, mainly because he gets bored SOOOOO easily. We’ve had to leave because other parents tell us that if he can’t sit still, then we’re doing something wrong as parents.

      That’s reality. That forcing an active 2 year old to sit still is acceptable. That girls have to have long hair and boys have to have short hair. Those are false standards. They are based upon looks and not personality. That’s wrong. Kudos to these parents for listening to their children and trying to be good parents. They aren’t trying to force their kids to fit in to a world they may be meant to stand out in.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin, with all due respect, your comment seems almost willfully blind to the mutability of the very ‘social norms’ you so ardently extol… and, certainly, your comparison is more apt than you realize. Perhaps you consider yourself fortunate to have ‘come of age’ in an era when African-Americans were ‘stopped at the door(s)’ of your much adored country clubs? In any case, I think you’ll find that the social regulation of ‘gender’ — much like the social regulation of ‘race’ — is more changeable than you’d care to realize. Indeed, turn around twice — historically speaking — and they’re letting liquorice allsorts onto the fairway!! Whatever next!? ‘Ladies’ wearing trousers..!? Oh, wait…

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    • Megan, I appreciate your follow up. I agree with your points about cultural norms. What I am doing is isolating gender norms and treating them separately. I understand cultural norms change over time. I think that the new fad to lump in sex and gender into this conversation is just that, a fad…. one that will be long gone in a year or two when bloggers and news channels choose a new agenda topic to push. I do appreciate your response though.

      John, you missed the point completely but I commend your large vocabulary as exhibited with your use of over-complicated words to try to get your point across. You’re so smart!

      Anyways, I think it’s absolutely ludicrous to think that men and women are the same and should be treated the same. Women are very different with different skills than men. Men are by no means better and I think men and women should always be considered equally important, cherished, and respected. I however, think they are very different and will always be very different. These differences over thousands of years have built in gender norms. We are not talking about what new music is popular or what clothing is popular or how we teach. We are talking about norms that have been created over thousands of years based on the fact that women are more nurturing and men are hunters and gatherers (so to speak). For anyone to think that we should be blind to gender will only confuse their kids and lead them into some tough years ahead.

      The folks that find blogs like these are searching for other parents who parent the same way. “Building their confidence” by allowing them to do whatever they want and whatever they feel will never be an acceptable parenting technique for me and my wife.

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    • Again, Kevin, and with all due respect (again), what — precisely — is your point!?

      However strenuously you might object to the ponderousness of my self-expression, simply insisting that ‘cultural’ and ‘gender’ norms can be ‘separated’ doesn’t make it so… much like calling something as complex as the (ongoing) practice of sex and/or gender politics ‘a fad’ doesn’t make it so. Indeed, if ONLY it were so, eh!?

      Jokes aside, you seem awfully enamored with the idea that the ‘realities of history’ can somehow rationalize the excesses of the present. As I alluded to in my previous reply, slavery, serfdom, and indentured servitude also possess a long and ‘irrefutable’ historical reality… must we, therefore, honor their fundamental ‘rightness’?

      No, of course not. It’s the sheerest absurdity to reason in such reduced terms.

      Kevin, there are no ‘naked truths,’ no ‘undeniable facts’ to be found in history’s pages, and certainly no revelations so profound that they should inhibit our capacity to question the antecedents of inequality… in the PRESENT.

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    • Historically, femininity and masculinity have been as fluid as the ocean. There have been times where women all sported short hair (flapper, for example), where men sported long hair, men and women have worn makeup off and on through the centuries, some centuries men were fashionably quite “flaboyant” etc. Your argument does not really have any merit for how a woman or a man should wear there hair. In fact, what you are writing about has more to do with traditional duties aka gender roles. Those have zilch to do with how hair is worn on what gender, but also have very little merit in today’s society which is VERY far removed from our hunter/gatherer past. Women and men are indeed biologically very different, we are suited to different roles, you certainly can’t birth a child, I can’t impregnate a woman. Biological roles are, again, not an indicator of how one’s hair should be worn. I’m not sure where you’ve made that confusing connection but you’ve made it nonetheless. The only reason you’re uncomfortable with this little girl shaving her head is because it challenges these rigid ideals you have been conditioned to hold. When you learn to let go and let kids express themselves (within reasonable limits when necessary ie:no tattoos before legal, no self piercing etc) you in turn learn to let go of worrying about what the neighbors might think, or what church thinks, or whoever else you might worry would judge you. It’s empowering when you can step back and say, idgaf about the opinions of people I don’t really like anyway.

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  11. absolutely loved this! Go mom! Growing up my parents let me do whatever I wanted with my hair. I appreciated that. Even when growing up in the church they scolded my parents for allowing me to do such avant-garde colors and such. By you allowing her to do what she wants, and letting her be her is the greatest gift you could ever give her!

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  12. Fantastic! As a woman with a hot pink mohawk (and I have “gorgeous” hair when it’s long) and with kids that have brightly colored mohawks, it was great to read this. I love shaving my head bald or into a hawk and I let my kids do whatever they want with their hair. It’s theirs 😉

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  13. Pingback: Should I let my daughter shave her head? - First Vu Imaging | First Vu Imaging

  14. When Jeremy was 11 years old zie grew zir hair long to donate to Locks of Love. I brought zir to the hairdresser and she argued and pleaded with Jeremy not to cut it so short. Same with her colleague. As soon as we convinced them that zie was a boy they were fine. Either way zie was the same kid, only their perception changed. Girls shouldn’t need a five minute long debate in order to get “permission” from the hairdresser for a short cut.

    Your daughter looks good either way and very confident.

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  15. Pingback: Mom's Dilemma: Should I Let My 6 Year Old Daughter Shave Her Head?

  16. Pingback: What One Mom Did When Her Six-Year-Old Daughter Wanted To Shave Her Head | OK Fashion

  17. The thing that strikes me is your title seems off. You didn’t really shave your daughter’s head (in that that sounds like you enacted a choice on her) but you facilitated her decision. I think her empowerment is important (and clearly it is to you too.) I think “my daughter chose to shave her head” might be more apt, and empowers the right actor in the story.

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  18. My daughter started donating her hair when she was 5. Now 12 1/2, we both regularly cut and/or dye our hair dramatically/drastically whenever the mood strikes. It IS just hair. It grows back. Now is the time to enjoy it. She looks beautiful.

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  19. I say as long as it isn’t physically harming why not let them make decisions about themselves, it’s part of teaching them to be on there own one day, especially our daughters. I have always let my 5 children make decisions for themselves, none as extreme as your daughter. Except my 12 year old daughter just last week said she wanted to go blonde, she has brown hair. At first I was no way, no, no, and a triple no. She sulked and slammed the bedroom door. And I sat, sat by myself thinking, who am I to tell her what color hair she should have? It’s her hair. The next day I bought the bleach box and we turned her hair to blonde! She loves it! That’s all that matters! Im not gonna lie, I worried about what her school friends were going to say. She came home from school and told me some of the girls made fun of her, I asked what did she do? She said, “I handled it like a champ!” That’s all I needed to hear. That’s all she needed to say, to let me know that I’ve raised a fine, independant young lady who is not scared of the outside worlds’ opinions!

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  20. I wish I had a mom like you. It took me years to liberate myself from her narrow minded ideas of who I should be and what I should look like. I’m 28 years old and I finally found the confidence to be myself, regardless of what others have to say about it. Growing up I wasn’t allowed to cut or dye my hair, and if I moved while my mother brushed my hair, she’s smoke me over the head with the brush. I was always kind of a “tom boy”, and mom wanted a princess.. so there was quite a bit of struggle there. Now I simply don’t talk to her.. for many reasons, but there were some things she said that hit me right in the gut. For example; “You better start wearing more make up or your boyfriend will lose interest in you.” “You should wear high heels and wiggle your bum when you walk. You walk like a man.” It’s been over a year since I last spoke to her.

    I don’t even miss her. At all. I’m just angry at how badly she messed up my head, and led me down a path of confusion and self loathing.

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  21. My 9 year-old daughter has Alopecia Universalis — an autoimmune disorder. Sometimes hair doesn’t grow back.

    I wonder if all the hubub about this would exist if there wasn’t a choice involved.

    In any case, yes! My girl is still beautiful without the hair. She has not changed in any way.

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  22. I think it’s brilliant! Society has placed pressure on people for so many thousands of years to comply with gender “norms”, and nowadays more and more people are bucking that pressure and doing what feels comfortable for THEMSELVES…..and, as my mom always told me when I sometimes grew tired of a haircut when I was young, “It’s only hair. If you don’t like it, it’ll grow back”.

    Bravo! Parenting win right there!

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  23. I absolutely agree with the sentiment of this. For us though, it doesn’t work out quite as well. My oldest daughter has hair that grows so incredibly slowly. Just like her mom. Drastic decisions about hairdos take a much longer time to undo for us.

    It wasn’t until she was almost five that we were able to grow out her natural baby mullet into what resembled a normal hairdo and not a haphazard head of random length hair. She had a nice head of wavy, chin-length hair that was finally all the same length. But then….

    A month later she took scissors to it in the middle of the night. After taking her to the hairstylist to try to salvage anything, well, she wound up with hair mostly like your daughter’s after picture, except a little longer on the back and sides. And I honestly wept. Not because she wouldn’t look like a ‘girl’ but because it took literally her entire lifetime to get it evened up, and she’d undone it. I knew it would take so, so long to grow back if she decided she didn’t like the look. Luckily she was mostly unconcerned, but decided a week later she wanted ‘long’ hair again, but didn’t panic when I told her it would take a while for her hair to grow back. And it took damn near two years to get it all evened out again…. she was almost seven before we’d gotten the top back to chin length again, without any cutting.

    So if she were to come to me now, and say she wanted to shave her head, I wouldn’t say no. I would, however, make her think long and hard about it, because while it will just grow back…. eventually…. it will take a very, very long time. And ‘years’ is a very long time to be unhappy with your head if you decide a week later you are over the novelty of having a buzzcut.

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  24. Pingback: Mom receives backlash for allowing 6-year-old to shave her head | WRIC

  25. Your daughter AND your parenting are amazing! You’re absolutely correct that cultural conditioning is powerful. However, being aware of how they influence us or control our actions is half the battle won. It takes authentic power to be free of the influence of what other people think about us, and to believe in our own agency in terms of shaping who we are and recognizing that what’s inside is what TRULY matters. Your daughter is getting an early training and I’m envious of her. Bravo!

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  26. You’re doing it right mom!!!! I let my daughter do it a few years ago, she needs to know I love and support her in all her decisions.
    Keep up the good work!

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  27. Simply wonderful!! Let the international media’s response to this beautifully unrestrained moment be a lesson to any and all who still believe that we live in a world where social regulations concerning sex/gender norms ‘don’t matter.’ Kudos to all!!

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  28. Hello from a fellow Stannard! I saw an article on ABC, and the name caught my eye. 😉 I won’t let my daughter Amelia see Aellyn’s picture, but only because she would probably want to do the same thing. She is a self-proclaimed tomboy. Now that I think about it, I guess I am a bit of a gender neutral parent myself, as I don’t push Amelia one way or another. That’s probably why one day she’s playing with trucks, the next it’s Barbies, and Spongebob is her favorite cartoon. Quite literally it’s all the same to me.

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  29. My youngest daughter asked for a Mohawk when she was 12 – at the time she had beautiful long blond hair. Initially, I flat our refused, but after thinking about it for a couple of days I thought I’d “teach her a lesson” and allow her to get the Mohawk. When she realized how long it would take to grow her hair back, I thought for sure she would see the error of her decision and never ask to do something so silly again. She’s now 21 and since high school she’s mostly worn her hair completely buzzed, and she looks amazing! While she was in high school, I started seeing more girls with shaved heads, and I love seeing the confidence in these young women as they make their own personal mark on the world. Kudos to you for instilling that confidence in your daughter and embracing her desire to be an individual!

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    • My daughter is 10, and we just cut her hair super short with enough length to form an optional Mohawk… We are currently LOVING it, but dealing with unapproving grandparents. My beautiful daughter and I thank you so much for sharing your story and thank you to the author of this post as well!!!

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  30. As a father of 4 sons and a teacher of 25 years I commend you for allowing your daughter to experiment with her hair. Kids are curious and want to try “stuff” many times as they are young it is strange but harmless. I have long seen those children who are not allowed to experiment with such ideas later try harmful ones when mom and dad are not around. Some day your daughter may want to experiment with something that will or can have life long consequences for her life. Don’t be surprised if she asks your opinion and if you advise against it and explain why that she follows your advice. Children are smart treat them with respect and explain things and they will listen.

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  31. I really enjoyed this story, though it had me feeling a bit conflicted at first (in much the same way you seemed to be.) Part of me feels it’s okay to be a woman and feminine – there’s nothing wrong with displays of femininity, including long hair. Yet, a bigger part of me is upset that I, too, have been conditioned to accept certain qualities of outward appearance as definitively feminine (or not.) So, I cut my hair last month into a pixie and while I love it, I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve struggled with my new appearance. I never realized how much my identity was wrapped-up in hair!! It’s so dumb! My apprehension has nothing to do with whether I like the cut, but how I think I’m being perceived (which is about as ego-driven and me-monster’ish as it sounds.) I agree with you so much…it’s a societal/cultural issue of what we think defines “beautiful.” I’m not going out and burning my bra, but I’ve also no plans to grow my hair. Ever. In fact, I’ve gone shorter…and shorter…and. I’d love a follow-up to this – how’s she doing now? Still loving it?! I hope so…she’s beautiful no matter what her hair length. And that, perhaps, is the moral of the story.

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  32. Thank you!! I love seeing this! I have boys (3 of them) and I struggle with family members telling me they are’t “boy” enough, or the damage I must be doing because when they ask me to paint their finger nail (cause they see me doing it and just want to be like me) and I do it. I struggle with what it means to be a boy because I am not, and as a girl growing up I was told I could do anything I wanted, there was no line because I was a girl. I struggle with the double standard of society; how come it’s ok for a girl to do “boy” things but god forbid boys do “girl” things. Any ways enough rambling from me, all I really mean is THANK YOU!!! It’s nice to find I am not completely alone in the world with my views.

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  33. She looks beautiful either way!! I keep my hair short and regularly shave it all off. It’s just hair, it will grow back, I’m not worried at all! I think my new signature look might just be a shaved head….so easy to keep up with it!! My 7 year old on the other hand wants to grow her hair out, which is so awkward for me because I have never really had long hair. Sure, I can do a ponytail, but forget about it when it comes to really fancy braids. Guess I’ll have to learn, unless she decides she wants to cut it all off 🙂

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  34. Just a curiosity more than anything, why did you try to discourage her from shaving her head? I can understand that she may not have understood the consequence of the immediate action but hair does grow back. Just want to know why there’s such a big attachment for women to have long hair, I’ve seen a lot of women with short hair and I think they have a charm to it as well.

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  35. Pingback: These parents let their 6-year-old shave her head, because girls are not their hair

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  37. Sorry, this whole revolution of “let’s allow our kids to do whatever they want” parenting is just ridiculous. I mean really, where does it end? I guarantee this “parenting decision ” was influenced by the fact that you knew this photo of your 6 year old with a shaved head would go viral and create buzz. Extremely irresponsible and selfish. I’m shocked at how much praise is being given to this parent.

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    • How could anyone know something so simple could be such big news. I write so other parents interested in non-sexist parenting can learn from my experiences.

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  38. Thank you! My kids are adults now and I wish I had given them the freedom you are giving your daughter. I am able to extend this sort of thing to my grandkids, but I ask you, where did you get such wisdom? I salute you ma’am.

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  39. Wow… I just saw an article about this and there was a link to your blog… and I wow!
    I had to shave my head when I was younger (due to a medical condition), and NO ONE understood… I didn’t the support — kids can be cruel and they were… but worse there were adults who made comments to my face that as I girl I looked ugly….
    Took a lot of years for me to get my self confidence and self -esteem back. But by the looks of this, it seems like your daughter will have more support and praise, and she clearly has a lot of self confidence and great parents supporting her… so good on her!! and on you!!

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  40. Pingback: Friday Favorites « SOUTH BY NORTHWEST

  41. Pingback: Super cut! Six-year-old girl shaves her head—just like Dad - Today's Parent

  42. This is incredibly inspiring. I study gender studies at university and honestly what you have done gives me a lot of hope for parents and future parents. I wish more parents could be more aware of the social and cultural norms and stop falling into simple traps. I really enjoyed this article and have shared it because it is something people should think more about. Well done for allowing your daughter to do what makes her happy.

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  43. Awesome parenting! I totally understand your initial reluctance, but also salute your decision to let her make up her own mind. As you said, her hair, her choice.
    I have fights with my 9 yo daughter about wearing ‘appropriate’ clothes in certain situations (old cut-off shorts and vest top for a family member’s birthday dinner in a restaurant?) but always respect her refusal to wear dresses or skirts. That’s just not her style!
    Our kids need to feel happy and comfortable in order to have confidence out in the world, and giving them control over their appearance is just the beginning.

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  44. My daughter, age 10, chooses to wear her hair short and unbrushed. She likes her bangs to cover her eyes. Her favorite clothing is navy blue yoga pants and a blue tee shirt. She is frequently mistaken for a boy, but it has stopped bothering her. She doesn’t care what other people think of her hair, she likes it and insists on having it this way. Her twin brother wears a buzz cut and likes to wear all sorts of clothes. So people frequently think, especially at restaurants for some reason, that I have two sons. We do occasionally persuade her to brush her hair, then shake it out so it returns to her preferred messy look. She actually does not want to be ‘pretty’ and does not want that sort of attention from boys. She is unfortunately starting puberty and the family heritage is busty women, which upsets her, because she knows boys like that.

    Anyway, all this to say that hair is just hair and clothes are just clothes. I cringe sometimes when people mistake her for a boy, but she takes it in stride. She is strong in her convictions and I think that’s a good thing, until I argue with her about cleaning her room. 🙂

    Just remember sunscreen in the summer time. 🙂

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  45. Pingback: Los padres de esta pequeña dejaron que se afeitase la cabeza bajo el argumento de que las mujeres no son su cabello - UpSocial

  46. I have been shaving my head from the time I was 16. I begged to do it earlier but my parents refused to let me. It wasn’t until my brother was diagnosed with cancer and he and all of his friends shaved their heads that I finally braved to disobey them and shave it. I have been shaving it on and off for over 20 years. I’am still surprised how many family members still comment on it as if it is something I’m doing for attention or am going to outgrow. It’s not that at all. I just really don’t like hair and think bald women are beautiful. And now as a mother I have 2 boys 8&9 years old, both of them are going theirs long and curly. Obviously they didn’t get the style from me but they got my courage for sure!

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  47. At 4 my daughter wanted a Mohawk just like her older brother. So dad did it. She rocked it. And loved it. So did we. Then her hair grew back. It is a fun story of her childhood that she’ll be able to tell. Because it’s HER story.

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  48. why is ok for boys to grow thee hair long but when little grils or women what shave hair off it not ok when i was a teen i use to shave bottom half my hair casue it was so thick . if i had little girl wanted her hair shave i would do it but not like it casue everyboady should have right on how they want there hair casue whe i was kid i was force to have short hair where my little sis had long hair i use get mad cause i wanted long hair to put in hair tye

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  49. Pingback: 6 year olds shaving their hair and other such matters | Hairy & Sexy

  50. I’d just like to say a big thank you! for this post! I read it months ago, discussed it with my husband, and both appreciated it greatly. Today came the day when our three year old daughter asked her dad to shave her hair. Her long blonde curly hair. We showed her the picture of your daughter and she liked it and still wants us to shave hers, so I guess we will. Today. Deep breaths.
    I really don’t mind. As a matter of fact, I would have loved to shave my own head as a kid. I’m just scared of people’s comments. To me more than to her.
    Well anyway… Thanks!

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