Boy with Long Hair? Don’t Care!

Boy with Long Hair? Don't Care! | Duluth Moms Blog
Photo by Anne Victoria Photography

My children have the kind of hair that many of us dream about. They were born with a lot of it and it never fell out (even though many other veteran parents swore that it would). It not only kept growing but developed into full, luxurious, curls. Thankfully, both of our children have never minded getting their hair brushed or having it pulled back in order to keep it out of their face for the more serious business in life aka playtime. 

Around age two and a half, our daughter started asking about haircuts (after hearing us talk about ours) and posed the question, “does it hurt?” To introduce her to this, I took her to watch one of my haircuts and then scheduled her first haircut at the age of 3. We talked about it a lot prior to the event and we both decided that she would just get a little trim. 

After the fact, my husband and I were happy that we waited until she could tell us that she wanted her hair cut. Her second haircut took place at age 4. This time, she made the decision that she wanted to cut it shorter “but still long enough for a braid like Elsa.” You better believe that I cried at that hair salon as I watched those baby curls fall to the floor. But seeing her proud smile afterward was all I needed; that, and her reminding me of what I had told her: it’s just hair and it will grow back.

Enter our second child, who happens to be a boy. This child has full, defined ringlets that bounce when he runs. From the time he could reach it, he has held onto his hair like a security blanket. This happens even more when he is feeling shy or is ready for bed. Watching his chubby baby fingers twirl around those curls causes my heart to nearly burst out of my chest. 

His hair grew faster and even curlier than his sister’s hair did. Starting around the age of one, we were approached with questions about when we would cut his hair. We felt confident replying, “When he tells us that he wants it cut.” This is met with mixed reviews, but most often, a nod and a “that makes sense.” Of course, he is often referred to with she/her pronouns. I also wish I could fully describe to you the look that his big sister gives to people when asked questions like, “How old is your little sister?” She turns back and gives us a bemused look and then simply states, “My brother is two and I’m four.” 

Don’t let me sugar coat it, she is not completely naïve to the social norms that have caused her to absorb the messaging that boys have shorter hair and don’t usually have ponytails. We challenge this messaging by explaining that any person who wants their hair off their face can wear a pony. We also show her different images of hair styles and remind her that we allow her to choose what she does with her hair and that we will do the same for him.

Boy with Long Hair? Don't Care! | Duluth Moms Blog

I know that not everyone wants their boys to have long hair, but I’ve also often been told by other moms how they would have kept their son’s hair long if it wouldn’t have “grown into a mullet.” We often experience passive aggressive comments about our choice (as do many parents for their choices). For us, the core intentions behind this decision are to stay open in offering equal opportunities and to give messaging that doesn’t limit the choices of our children, no matter their sex or gender identity. Their hair is their own, their bodies are their own, and as parents, we can only set the foundation. They will be the ones to design and build the rest. 

Also, I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that I am a sucker for those sweet baby curls!


  1. Another spot-on blog piece reminding us of the importance of choice and respect in decision-making. Quarantine or not! Great teachable moments for all ages.

    • Thank you for your kind words to honor the messages that I truly hope my children will absorb.

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