To cut or not to cut

I have a dilemma.  My daughter has the most beautiful long, red, wavy hair.  It really is stunning (of course she gets it from me!! haha), and she is complimented on it regularly.  The problem is she wants to cut it all off!  As a child my mum never let me have long hair.  My older sister was allowed to but as my sister told me recently my mum never let me have long hair because she didn’t want the hassle of having to brush two heads of long hair before school in the morning.  I vowed that if I ever had a daughter I would let her grow her hair as long as she wanted.  It seems you always want what you don’t have and my daughter wants short hair.  Do I let her cut it all off?  She is 5 1/2.  Of course I can see the benefits of her having short hair especially with summer around the corner and going to the beach regularly and it would save me 15 minutes in the morning brushing and plaiting it. The other problem is if she cuts it all off my son will want to cut all his off too and I don’t think I will be able to cope!! :o)

Obviously this is a very minor life dilemma, but what do I do?


29 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. Steph | September 20, 2012 | Reply

Compromise? My son at 3 wanted to get his beautiful golden long flowing locks cut short like papa’s. I didn’t want to cut it. As my husband pointed out to me, it is his hair. I relented but we didn’t cut it as short as papa’s. So now it is a wonderful moppy mess. Maybe you guys can find some middle ground.

2. Steph | September 20, 2012 | Reply

Oh yeah, I can why you are loath to cut it. She has a truly lovely head of hair.

3. Lily | September 20, 2012 | Reply

Nooooo Don’t cut it!! Her hair is so beautiful and sooo unusual too. Also it is very thick and may stick out if short. Is your hair long?? If not perhaps she wants it like the grown ups she sees around her. How short does she want it, just after her shoulders would still be long but short enough that she would feel like she had made a decision. However kids do change their minds and you would have to be prepared for the fact she wants it long again as soon as it had been cut and then you would have to wait for ages for it to grow again.

4. Chelsea Sullens | September 20, 2012 | Reply

I have the same dilemma but my little one is only 2 1/2. She has the loveliest golden curls that will ringlet if she leave her hair alone. It’s beautiful down but it’s always in her face & she resists quite vehemently any pony tails/ pig tails. She doesn’t seem to care about the length so much as the restraint of a dreaded colorful band. What is a mother to do??

5. Hiskia | September 20, 2012 | Reply

It is her hair, it will grow again, it won’t hurt her…. I’d say: let her cut her hair. She’s a beauty anyhow!!

6. ashlyn | September 20, 2012 | Reply

embrace the fact that she isn’t afraid of change and that she is a beautiful person with or without long hair…i think they are good values to run with?

7. Meaghan | September 20, 2012 | Reply

As someone who grew up with beautiful, wavy red hair I’d like to offer my two cents – let her do what she wants!

People take a lot of ownership over redheads, especially when the red hair belongs to their children. My mom, who had lovely but “normal” brown hair, was in “charge” of my hair long after I became an adult. Her insistence that it was “only beautiful when long” became completely oppressive once I grew into the person I was to become, and it was only when I rebelled against her completely that I felt as though I had the space and freedom to do what I wanted with my hair. Was it the root of all of the struggles my mom and I faced in my post-adolescence? No. But it was a part, because what starts as adoration can quickly turn into control.

My short, quirky red hair is just as lovely at 33 years old as it was when I was a precocious five year-old with long and bouncy locks, except now I’m certain that it looks exactly how I’d like it to look!

8. Mouli | September 20, 2012 | Reply

I hope she changes her mind….her hair is absolutely beautiful !!

9. Michelle | September 20, 2012 | Reply

Her hair certainly is exquisite but it will only take a couple of years to grow back if she wants it long again and it will give her a chance to assess her favourite length along the way. It might be a good idea to cut it short in stages though – so that she can adjust and make an informed decision about whether she wants an even shorter style. We’ve all left the hairdresser in tears before and it’s that much harder when you’re only five.

10. Emilie in Paris | September 20, 2012 | Reply

I really want to cut my daughters hair so I don’t need to deal with brushing it, and she absolutely refuses to let me cut it! As you say: you always want what you can’t have.

11. Ashley | September 21, 2012 | Reply

Her hair is gorgeous! But make this a positive and allow her to cut it while also giving back! Check out! There are many organizations that will take hair to make wigs and extensions to repurpose the hair for someone that may not be so blessed or is dealing with things like chemo treatment. I think it is a great on so many levels and her hair will grow back more beautiful and stronger. Plus it will make you both smile on the inside too!

12. Catherine | September 21, 2012 | Reply

Oh goodness. She has the most gorgeous head of hair on a child, heck any person I have ever seen. But, it is hers and well – hair grows, but I can understand your hesitation. Maybe start with shoulder length? It would be back to long in a year if she didn’t like it. :)

13. B Hill | September 21, 2012 | Reply

My husband wants me to dye our child’s red hair . It is not fashionable in England and he fears school bullying .

14. diane | September 21, 2012 | Reply

CUT! My daughter wanted to cut it last year up until her jaws. It was really nice and now it has grown long again and she wants it to grow longer and longer. She has one girl in her class who is not allowed to cut it by her mother and who now hates her hair instead of seeing the beauty of it. So I’d say cut until shoulders or jaws do it one bit at time first shoulders and if she wants it even shorter you can go shorter by the centimeter. In one year it will all have grown back, and she will still love her hair!

15. Courtney in London | September 21, 2012 | Reply

She DOES have gorgeous hair! But I think my advice is to let her do what she wants to do. It’s nice that she has an opinion and wants to express herself in her own way. (Of course there are always limits! Like if she wanted to dye her hair pink… I wouldn’t encourage you to oblige…). Hair grows. If you both don’t like it short, it will only be a matter of time before it grows out again. xxx

16. tanya | September 21, 2012 | Reply

She is an absolute stunner! I would day to let her cut it, but do bear in mind that her hair is very thick and choose an appropriate length. My daughter has long, thick, curly, dark hair that I sometimes despair over entangling etc, but because it is so thick, a shorter style would limit my styling options and it would stick up all over the place. I also also second what Ashley said, and think it would be a lovely idea to consider donating the hair if you do cut it. Best of luck!

17. Laura Amiss | September 21, 2012 | Reply

I love her hair Steph. Pia’s hair had gotten quite long and the other day while I was cutting Pelham’s hair she asked for hers to be cut also. I told her various useless excuses like ‘what will we do at ballet?’ and ‘I’ve just bought lots of bobbles’. This coming from the women who has spent most of her adult life with VERY short pixie hair. Who was I to stop her. You have to let her cut it, let her be relaxed about her hair, it always grows. Good luck!

18. Gem | September 21, 2012 | Reply

Children have so little say on so many aspects of their life that in termif of hair..if there is no real reason( other than it’s beautiful long…which it is!) I say let her cut it off..perhaps if it doesn’t suit her it will always grow back!! Maybe you can convince her to go halfway :-)

19. Lisa | September 21, 2012 | Reply

oh my what a beauty and how I would love her hair….it is gorgeous long but I would be go with her – its great that she knows her mind and I think shorter will be beautiful too ….

20. Esther in Amsterdam | September 21, 2012 | Reply

I remember when you cut your hair, Steph, and I thought it was such a pity. But you’re equally beautiful with your bob, and I’m sure Mia will look stunning with short hair as well. :-) xxx

21. Mariah | September 21, 2012 | Reply

Ooooooo, it is BEAUTIFUL! And I cried the first time I cut my son’s hair. But I knew it had to happen some day – and it will grow back. Besides, she will look adorable with a bob as well. 😉

22. Tina | September 22, 2012 | Reply

she is cute, cute, cute and I would hate to cut away those locks, but they will grow back, so I say go for it. Although in steps is probably wise. If you do cut a bunch at once you should look into donating the hair it is so gorgeous. I have heard of hair getting donated for cancer patient wigs and such. You might feel better too knowing someone would be getting some extra joy out of those lovely locks.

23. Steph | September 24, 2012 | Reply

Well thats it then, I am going to let her cut it. It is only hair after all….
Thanks for all your advice.

24. Lily | September 24, 2012

I am sure she will look lovely. Maybe you could keep some of the hair in a locket for her. Post some pictures of the finished cut.

25. Debra | September 24, 2012 | Reply

She is going to look sassy with her new bob! Echo that you should donate to LocksforLove. Her hair will grow and grow, but some other dear soul will not be so fortunate, and your “gift” will glorify someone else’s life.

26. Berlin Kangaroo | September 25, 2012 | Reply

Maybe you could buy a short wig and let her wear it whenever she feels like having short hair! I would be loathe to cut such gorgeous locks!

…and to B Hill…..may I politely suggest to your husband that a book on teaching children great resillience and sharing those skills with her would be kinder than teaching her from a young age to hide or be ashamed of herself? I understand the concern about bullying, but feel the greater gift would be helping her to build character and to lover her red hair and her beautiful self.

27. Flora | October 12, 2012 | Reply

Cut. I have two red haired sisters and one with amazing black hair. My hair is (or was before it started to come in a bottle!) brunette. My red haired sisters both had very different attitudes to their hair growing up. Hair dressers would refuse to cut my big sister’s hair and she always ended up with a long bob (the worst compromise, she has very thick hair and it just looked like a triangle, bless her!). My little sister on the other hand wore her hair down to her waist with pride, she wouldn’t even let my Mum brush it. Now big sis has long wavy hair which suits her artistic personality and little sis is a corporate executive with a very chic bob. Let you daughter be responsible for choosing her own style so she can learn to love her hair as much as you do. Don’t make an issue of it. This will pay-off when she has to go through the inevitable label of a “ginger” teenage girl later.

28. Kendel Huon | May 1, 2014 | Reply

I just saw this and your daughter has the most beautiful head of hair. I’m really curious to know what happened and how she looks now.

29. Stephanie Williams | May 2, 2014

She cut it all off to just under her ears :o(
She has since grown it out again and its nearly as long as it was :o)