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Girls and Long Hair: What Message Are We Sending?

I grew up hating my hair. Mousy brown (that’s right, I was not born with this vibrant ever-changing grey red hair), super fine, lifeless… I dreamed of having bouncy, shiny hair like those orgasmic beauties in the shampoo commercials. It’s probably why I’ve had no problem trying so many different styles throughout my lifetime — no matter how bad it gets, it can’t be much worse than the hair I was born with.

MacDougallFinal-49

Photo credit: Renee Bowen Photography

So when I was blessed with my daughter, I latched onto her black, thick, shiny Asian hair like she was Rapunzel and I was desperately climbing for my one chance to experience long, flowing, gorgeous locks. Seriously, her hair is perfect.

So when she started talking about cutting it short several months back, I would nod and smile and know that it just wasn’t going to happen. A few months ago, she stepped up her game, telling anyone who’d listen how she wanted a Mohawk. As I do when she asks for something that’s absolutely out of the question, I told her she could have one when she was 14.

I was pretty confident in my decision… until the doubt began to creep in. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t she have super short hair that she could style into a “fauxhawk”? Sorry, I don’t do Mohawks with my boys either — it’s not happening. I realized that I was projecting my own self doubt and insecurities onto my strong, sassy daughter. If she wants her hair cut, who am I to stop it from happening? Yes, kids might tease her… you know it happens. But the only thing worse than that is teaching her that she should make choices in life solely based on how other people (not even people she cares about) might perceive them.

Around the same time I had begun to doubt myself for being so rigid, I read an interview that Jada Pinkett Smith gave to People. While I’m not one to usually jump on what celebrities do or how they parent their children, Jada’s words about her own daughter Willow’s hair really moved, and stuck, with me.

This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination.

Willow cuts her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. Even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires.

She’s so right. We try to teach our daughters to love their bodies, no matter the size. We want to empower girls to respect themselves and not give their bodies away in exchange for a few minutes of feeling accepted and loved. But how can we teach them to make strong, independent decisions about their own selves when society, peers (and yes, even parents) are sending mixed messages that it’s okay to be yourself but only if you fit into what others deem beautiful?

I realized I was absolutely wrong and I told my daughter just that. I explained that while we weren’t going to go for the buzzed on the sides, long on the top full Mohawk, we were absolutely okay with her going for the short “pixie” type hair that she can then style into a fauxhawk when she feels inspired to do so. I told her that she was beautiful, inside and out, and it’s more than okay — it’s important — for her to be able to express who she is in creative, positive ways. If that means chopping off her hair, her dad and I were all for it.

But we had only one request. Since her hair was already so long (yet not long enough to meet the donation requirements) we asked that she wait a few more months to get her locks to a length that could be cut and donated to Wigs for Kids. I explained how there are kids who have no hair, for a variety of reasons, and would be so happy to receive a wig made from my daughter’s beautiful hair.

With a big smile on her face, she agreed — she was in.

So she waited… and it grew… and grew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It grew so long, it was constantly annoying her… in her face as she slept… the pony tail flopping around during gymnastics. She couldn’t wait for her hair to be cut. So this morning, we headed out to make it happen.

haircutI was worried that she’d regret cutting it all off but the smile on her face told me otherwise. It was bittersweet, seeing her so happy yet knowing that it was me and my stuff that kept her from feeling this for way too long. It was as if a weight were being lifted off her shoulders — I was finally seeing her for who she is and it felt so good.

Of course it wouldn’t be a hair post without the dramatic “after” shots. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present… my daughter.

lucycollage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weigh in: When I asked on Facebook whether parents would be willing to hand over control of their kids’ appearance, most of you said absolutely not. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

148 thoughts on “Girls and Long Hair: What Message Are We Sending?

  1. I absolutely love this Jackie Morgan MacDougall , as you know my kids have the same beautiful long Asian locks, but I have to say that I always ask them if they want to cut their hair. Your post makes me feel great about the fact that I have given them the freedom to make that choice. Funny thing is my oldest doesn't want to touch it, my youngest doesn't care either way… But I so love that you took this on the way you did. She looks absolutely beautiful.

    1. Leesette Synobia Santana says:

      Wow how touching and empowering!!!!

  2. Andreanna Arambula says:

    My rule with my kids is as long as it isn't permanent they can do what they want.

  3. When Emily was 5 she kept wanting to go shorter and shorter at the hairdresser..I let her because that is what she wanted. It was more of a bowl cut but it was cute and gave her some control over her own body (one of those fights I chose not to fight) and she may not have liked it later on due to being called a boy but I feel it was the beginning of her self confidence in herself and her choices.

  4. Grace D'Onofrio Amstutz says:

    I'm the mother of 3 Asian daughters. I always liked shoulder length hair, or hair that can be swept in a ponytail for gymnastics. In June, 2012, we went back to China & Taiwan for a homeland tour. The girls had shorter haircuts because I knew how hot it was & they didn't argue, but they had a condition; they all wanted to grow their hair out to donate; this has been happening all school year, with minimal trims throughout the year. As you can see from my profile picture, they finally have a good enough length to donate. We're all excited & it's hair; it'll grow out. :)

  5. Tracy Harris Kuncar says:

    So damn cute!! You are a great mom!

  6. Joani Plenty says:

    You are so, so awesome Jackie (as I wipe the tears)!!! Great story!

    1. Tyesha P. Roane says:

      I love this.

    2. Tyesha P. Roane says:

      I am like this with Aryn. But I'm like Jackie… No Mohawks, lol. He chooses whether his hair gets cut low or if the curls stay… If its a box or fro… It's just hair

    3. Joani Plenty says:

      I LOOOOOVE that: "…It's just hair." I, too, encourage my daughter Billi to be the "Punky Brewster" of our time! I love it. She NEVER puts her shoes on the correct feet (50/50 chance and every day she gets it wrong…but if it weren't a comfort/health thing, I wouldn't say a word). She loves boots so one year I bought her a pair of ADORABLE knee high Michael Kors boots with bling…instead, she wore black K-Mart snow boots with EVERYTHING! Each time I thought to stop her I just thought to myself, "She's creating memories." ;)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love it all.. Your realization to surrender, Lucy’s happiness and one cute proud girl. If anyone can rock a hairstyle like that it is Lucy!!! Great Job Jackie and Jeff !

  8. Holly says:

    Jackie, I applaud your for coming around to the pixie for your daughter. She is beautiful either way and will have an easier summer with short hair!

  9. Carolyn Todd says:

    I love the new hair cut! Seriously, one thing I’ve learned over and over in my life is that it’s only hair. It will grow back. I love how she was willing to wait to donate it to Wigs for Kids, though. That was awesome of both of you to do that.

  10. Diane Mizota says:

    I love this post! Good on you! She looks amazing. xoxo

    1. Teresa Strasser says:

      Thanks for sharing this, D. I love it. Great piece. Also — remember when we both wrote for MomLogic? RIP Anyway, this is brilliant and beautifully written.

    2. Diane Mizota says:

      T! I miss you. When you coming back to LA? Yeah, Jackie Morgan MacDougall is the bomb! So glad you liked. :-)

    3. Jackie Morgan MacDougall says:

      Momlogic was definitely good for connecting some amazing ladies! I guess everything went according to plan. :-)

    4. Victor Rodgers says:

      The fastest way to get someone not to get a mohawk is to let them get one. Once you realize how much work it requires, you'll never want one again.

  11. Diane Mizota says:

    I love this post! Good on you! She looks amazing. xoxo

  12. I cut all my long curls off recently and people said the strangest things. The most common one was, “Wow, that’s so brave!” But it’s just hair and it grows back. If cutting one’s hair short seems so brave for women, how can we overcome all the other things we’re up against — how can we ever hope to be president?

  13. Kristine Young Chamberlain says:

    She looks beautiful and so confident with her new short hair!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Jackie, wow your story was inspiring and I totally agree. Your daughter is gorgeous! She wears that hair style with pride! I love it! Loved reading all that you had to say…makes me know I am not alone. I did the same thing with my daughter a few years ago…however we didn’t do locks for love with great regret. But, I allowed her to be who she was….about a year later she said never again will I cut my hair short….lol! My daughter is allowed to express herself in what she wears as well, sometimes she comes down for school and in my head I think what are you thinking….but my rule as long as you are covered appropriately then I am good. She has her own style, sometimes it’s an in style sometimes it’s an Annesia style…so be it! Thank you for your honesty and as Mom’s sometimes we all do things just as you talked about, but once we hear we are not alone, that other Mom’s think the same way…we do that sigh of relief that we aren’t so bad after all.

  15. [...] MacDougall blogged about her inner battle to see what other moms had to say: Some said they’d do the same, while others said there was just [...]

  16. Love, love, love this! Good for you Jackie! Your daughter is beautiful!

    1. Joyce Ochelli-Sloan says:

      Love this! And how cute is that lil girl with her Mohawk!
      I've let Lauren experiment with her hair since she was 8 or 9. It's a firm of self expression and in the end, it's only hair! It will grow back into the next style she wants! Great message!

  17. Teri Saylor says:

    She is so cute, and what an adorable hairstyle. No wonder she has such a big smile on her face! How empowering for her to be able to wear her hair the way she wants it – and so convenient and easy to style. I also love the idea of donating her hair to Wigs for Kids. Not only did your daughter do something positive for herself, she is also helping other kids. Way to go!

  18. Afeni Stones says:

    Absolutely Love it! Jackie looks AWESOME :)

  19. Way to go! My mom took control of my hair and I hated my "Dorothy Hamill" haircut. I said I would never do that to my kids.. and I didn't.

    1. Sharon Olsen Pearson says:

      My daughter was about 8 when the Dorothy Hamil haircut was the hot cut. She had long hair and wanted to cut it into that style. She looked adorable with it!! I never would have forced it even though I was delighted because her long hair was quite stringy!! I do admit, however, to getting her in for the cut before she could change her mind! She kept it that way for quite a while (for a kid.) :)

  20. Becca L. says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! For several months, I’ve been wanting to get a pixie cut. I’ve never had one, because I was raised in a culture that stressed long hair as the only option to be feminine. This gives me the courage I needed to go for it! :)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Her beautiful smile tells all! You’re an awesome mommy!

  22. Molly Fulton says:

    Your daughter rocks that short hair! And there is nothing more beautiful than happy. I vowed never to let let hair be a fight. There are way more important battles to save your strength for. Good for you for having the courage to rethink your point of view and empower your daughter to make her own choices.

  23. Ron AndLori Gist says:

    I commend you on allowing your daughter to express herself! Way to go MOM! I always say, "pick your battles carefully" :) /lori.

    1. I've had super, extremely short hair for a long time. I think that for some women, their long hair is a security blanket. They're hiding their faces, etc. They think their femininity is tied to their hair. To have short hair, you have to have enough confidence to pull it off.

  24. Aaron says:

    Really.. this is great for girls in general, I am a firm believer in girls with short hair have more confidence, my issue stems from the characterization of ASIAN HAIR, really what is that.. if you have chinese kids you should really think about a statement like this. As a korean adoptee, I take offense, asia is Continent made up of all different types of HAIR, did you know that Russia is part of ASIA, just say your daughter has beautiful HAIR, it doesn’t have to be ASIAN. and by the way Grace D’Onofrio Amstutz your daughters are CHINESE. Remember that most countries in Asia don’t even get along with each other.

    1. Jackie says:

      Point taken. Thanks for your response.

    2. Kris A. says:

      Of course you have the right to be offended by anything you want. However we are not in China, Russia, Korea or anywhere else in Asia so let’s not pretend that in the USA when you say Asian hair everyone does not know immediately what you mean. (whether or not *Aaron* is offended by the fact that not all Asian hair is the same.)

      Finally your last sentence seemed like an attempt at a low jab that added no substance to the topic at hand, self confidence and hair cuts, but rather you wanted to make sure everyone knew you were up on your Asian current events. We get it, you know everything.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I had the experience with my daughter and said the same thing, the look on her face was so happy! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Boeckh says:

    Good for you Mom! As parents, we are to teach them to be good, kind, productive people – the rest is their unique voice!!! My self described Tom boy just decided to pursue cheer leading – something I’m less than thrilled about. But, if this is something that interests her, you bet ill be there to cheer her on! By the way, your daughter is gorgeous!!!!

  27. She is beautiful, no matter what the length of her hair!

  28. Spiffie says:

    I think it’s awesome! Good for you :)

  29. desperada57 says:

    What a cutie! She looks so happy with her new ‘do! I understand this so well because I recently had my hair cut into a French-style bob, after growing it out for the past three years for my husband (not for myself.) I feel like “me” again!

  30. Joanna says:

    I have cut my hair from very long to quite short a few times in my life and have always been amazed at the comments that some fellow moms have said. “My husband would kill me” ,”Your husband let you…”, etc. I still don’t understand how these people can think that my hair would belong to my husband. He loves it (and me) long, short or bald.

    And on the opposite side of the spectrum of hair my eldest son (25) and middle son (22) have been growing their hair for years. It’s only hair. Thank goodness they can express themselves with hair. When my eldest son decided last year to cut his very long hair to get a good job I was so glad it wasn’t a tattoo or a nose ring. And yes he donated it.

  31. [...] MacDougall blogged about her inner battle to see what other moms had to say: Some said they’d do the same, while others said there was just [...]

  32. [...] MacDougall blogged about her inner battle to see what other moms had to say: Some said they’d do the same, while others said there was just [...]

  33. Jonquil Suarez says:

    I think is cute she 6 yrs old leave her alone ppl

  34. Heather Black-Orkin says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I love it! You go girl…you look amazing!

  35. Barbara Scarola says:

    I just saw this story on GMA and good for you!! You raised a little girl that has so much confidence. Im 38 yrs old and still wont cut my hair above my shoulders. She obviously understands that her hair is NOT who she is and I applaud YOU mom for giving her that confidence. I honestly dont understand why some people are making such a big deal! She is SIX people! Get over it. As for you mom, keep doing whatever it is your doing because so far so good! ;) God Bless you and your family!

  36. Krista Malcolm Freimuth says:

    I love it! I have a son that likes his hair longer. I get so much grief from the length of his hair. It is just hair and not that big of deal.

    1. Joy Reaney Neville says:

      I don't think Tyler's hair is too long. Why do you get grief from it??

    2. Colleen McSherry Odechuck says:

      With you! My son loves his "Thor hair" and so do I :)

    3. Long hair on boys is fun. Nick loved his. He used to get confused people thinking he was a girl with the long locks and lashes, so he eventually cut it short before seventh grade. Now I am happy Jacob is responsible enough to grow his long (my one condition for long hair is they have to take care of it–no rats nests etc)

    4. Krista Malcolm Freimuth says:

      Shelley, Ms Woolery would give him grief, she said the hair flip is not in his form last time she checked! LOL

  37. [...] Lucy MacDougall, 6, is thrilled with her new haircut. The tiny little girl with a big smile used to have long black hair, but now she sports a short pixie cut. Her mother, Jackie, loves the haircut, too, but it took a while to get used to. Jackie hated her own hair growing up, she wrote in her blog P.S. Jackie. [...]

  38. Michelle Royal says:

    I think this is wonderful and applaud you, mom. When my daughter was very young she wanted to pick out her own clothes to wear to school. Some days she wore plaid with strips or purple with orange but she was always happy and very proud.

    I took a lot of heat for that decision but didn't care.

  39. Fabulous post and way to go mom! I had to do much the same with my daughter, I was never allowed long hair as a child, and all I wanted was long, pretty hair. So when my lil punkin decided that she wanted a shorter style, I made the decision to let her do as she wanted, it was her hair after all. Have a great day!
    Stacey @ This Momma’s Ramblings

  40. It is very suiting for her face, what a little dollbaby! Let her have fun and be a child, it is only hair that will grow back. She looks very cute with the cut.

  41. Eileen Fladager says:

    This is the same thing me and my daughter went through she had super long curly blonde hair but wanted to shave her head…..we compromised and got a short cut the smile on her face as it was being cut was priceless. It was a tough choice I believe we made the right one and its nice to see I'm not the only one who had this decision… way to go :)

  42. You have done an AMAZING thing for your daughter. We should all be so lucky to experience such freedom, individuality and acceptance! Well done, Mama!

  43. I have very long hair because my hubby likes it. It is my choice. My three daughters have always had the freedom to do whatever they wanted with their hair. It is their head, their hair and their life.

  44. Way to go! I let my 5 year old cut her hair this last Christmas. She went from a shoulder length bob to a shorter shaggy boys cut and she loves it! Good for you, kids need to have control over her body…

  45. she is still looking as beautiful as ever, don't bother in no time you will see the difference ' she be the same girl she was before.

  46. Billie says:

    I think your daughter looks fantastic. The smile on her face while she’s getting her haircut is priceless! My son rocked a bright red mohawk when he was 12. It’s his statement to make, even though the one he makes now at 16 is much more clean cut and conservative.

  47. Barb Parjer says:

    I am a 59 yr.old grammy – I went to my aunt (a hairdresser) and asked her to cut my very long hair (I could sit on it) to very short hair, I was a bit older. In our family none of the girls had their hair short. Well, she cut it! My father did not speak to me for 2 weeks, and only God knows what my aunt had to deal with from him!, however, sooner than you know a lot of my long-haired female cousins were also cutting their hair.

    I agree with Mom and daughter, yes, even at 6 years old. Would you rather that the girls get scissors and cut it themselves?!, because I know that one too, and it REALLY doesn’t work – at all.

    Kudos to you, Mom.

  48. Gayla Tanner says:

    I let my son grow his out and get red chunks. My daughter had a blue streak in it. Hair grows out/back. PLUS, it gives them something that they can control, something they can make decisions about, a chance to express their individuality. It’s a chance to say, “It’s your life, live it so you get the most out of it.”

    My kids?? Their “I can do anything” attitude went from bright colors in their hair to medical school. Be brave, Be bold, Be YOU.

  49. Krista F says:

    I love it! I have a son that likes his hair longer. I get so much grief from the length of his hair. It is just hair and not that big of deal.

  50. Jackie, I just saw this story on World News Now. I love to see that other parents feel the same way I do. It's hair! There are so many other issues/battles that we have to deal with when it comes to our kids. The great thing about hair is it grows back and if colored, it fades. We started letting our daughter choose her own hair cuts when she asked in 2nd grade. When she hit 5th, she wanted to start doing different colors. My main concern was bleaching of the hair. We agreed to ONLY allow it to be bleached twice a year and she could only use Manic Panic. She has had red, green, blue, purple, black, teal and now, while in 8th grade she has blond & red. She was the first one at the school to do it and other parents immediately were nasty over it. But her fellow students LOVED it and wanted it themselves. Now it seems uncolored/uncut hair is what is out of the norm. I went through a very bitter divorce in 2010 and am now raising my daughter as a solo Dad. I continue to let my daughter get her hair done as she wishes. The teen age years are not easy…..for the teen or the parent, but this simple thing…."Hair", has completely empowered her to be whom she is and wants to be with pride. As a parent, you cannot get a better deal than that for your child, especially a young lady. Kudos to you for your choice and support of your child's simple request. :-)

  51. Carmen Okhmatovski says:

    You did the right thing, Jackie. I had a similar epiphany a few months ago when my strong and spunky three year old came to me with her beautiful hair in a mullet. She had taken a scissors and shorn off the sides. I couldn't help but cry, and console us both with "it will grow back." Later when I asked her why she'd done it, she said, "It was getting in my way and I didn't want it there." And a lightbulb went off in my head: as an adult, I have impulsively had my hair cut for the EXACT same reason. And I suddenly realized that there is no reason in the world why my girls shouldn't be in charge of their own hair style. Her hair is very very very very short right now – like the Tinkerbell cartoon. But evidently within a few months, her plan is to look like Rapunzel. Good job, mom! There is nothing that can build her confidence in her own decision-making more than supporting her in her own decisions – even ones that have effects that last more than 5 minutes.

  52. Fran Davis says:

    She looks soooooo cute with her hair cut. As a society we worship at the altar of hair, primarily because men like long hair. I cut my hair off 11 years ago and never looked back. I have had a lot of women come up to me and say they wish they had the nerve or their husbands wouldn’t “allow” it. Comments like that are always disturbing because it implies that there are elements of the relationship that are reminiscent of parent/child relationships.

    1. desperada57 says:

      I had always been a short-hair person until I agreed to let it grow for my husband. That’s the only request he ever made regarding my appearance, so I did it. My hair is very fine and straight (and thinning) and it looked terrible long, so I cut it. He’s used to it by now; I had short hair when we fell in love, anyway. :D

  53. Rhonda Imonti Haley says:

    LOVE IT! Mom – you did the RIGHT thing… letting your daughter making her own decision about her hair. To me, hair grows back. It's the one safe way to allow young children (even teens) to express themselves without permanently damaging bodies. With time, it goes back to it's natural self. Whereas piercings and tattoos don't. I have a teenage daughter, so I 100% understand. Our daughter goes through the hair change once a year. Her hair now – a Joan Jett 80's hair style. In a few weeks, it will be red and pink. We allowed the hair color change, she herself offered to wait until after her brothers 8th grade graduation. While her friends are going through the multi-piercing stage, we are able to keep her safely away from that with the hair freedom. So many people out there judge a book by it's cover. Though many won't admit to it, it's true. Continue letting your daughter express herself. You both will grow from the experience. Nice job Mom!

  54. Dawn in NY says:

    I just saw your story on AOL….as a hairstylist of 24 years, I have to tell you that your daughter looks FABULOUS!!!! She ROCKS that ‘do!!! And, as a mom, I think you also made the right decision. I deal with this all the time in the salon…kids begging for a style that the parents don’t want them to have. It’s hair, who is it hurting??

    The only time I ask about it is is school will allow it…some schools have dress codes about hair. When the feather rage began, I did a lot of them for my parochial school, which tolerated it for a while…. then sent letters home saying kids were getting carried away. LOL

    You’re a great mom, Jackie & your daughter is by lucky to have a mom as cool as you!!!

  55. Teri Fujitani Adams says:

    BRAVO! She's adorable no matter how you "cut" it! I've been a slave to my long hair and if you think about it… I keep it for what others see… not for me.

  56. Don't listen to the haters! She is happy and shes a cutie, and yes, she still looks like a girl. Whoever said she looked like a boy? Idk. Anyway, the only thing that really matters is that your daughter loves it. People need to stop making a big deal over how a six-year old wants her hair. I think she's adorable!

  57. Trish Borelli says:

    Bravo Mom! Your daughter is as beautiful with her new hair style as she was with her old. Allowing your daughter to have a say in her hairstyle, clothing choices helps build self esteem and character she is being sent the message it's ok to be different.

  58. Katelyn Dziedzic says:

    I went through a similar struggle when my 5 year old wanted a pixie cut. While my husband was on board, there was so much opposition from my family that I started second guessing the decision to let my daughter make the cut. When I finally took her in, the woman who was cutting it stopped shortly after she’d started and told me a pixie cut wouldn’t work: in addition to the two cowlicks I was aware of, she’d found five more on my daughter’s head, and a pixie cut would leave little ‘bald-looking’ spots. I had the woman keep just enough length to work with the cowlicks, but I was terrified that it’d been a huge mistake going for such a drastic cut. I was worried that my daughter would be upset that her hair did not resemble the hairstyles she’d been pointing out for so long. When the cut was finished, she loved it! Her smooth-in-the-front, bedhead-in-the-back hair fits her spunky personality perfectly, and it’s hard to imagine her with a ponytail again.

    The following usually happens at a playground, when the product has lost the battle to sweat and hard playtime and her hair’s gone flat. Her gender-neutral name, Riley, contrasts with the more gender-specific names of her siblings, Jack and Alice. Combined with her newfound love of hand-me-down t-shirts from her big brother, there’s not much to go on for those wondering about her gender:

    My husband and I both have a hard time with hearing kids ask our daughter is a boy or a girl, but every time she chirps, “I’m a girl. Let’s play tag. Do you want to be on my team?” Worse is the rare disapproving look or comment from an adult stranger. But as long as my daughter’s happy with her short cut, I’m happy for her.

    1. desperada57 says:

      Good for you Katelyn! And good for Riley! She’s taking the questions all in stride. And those adult strangers should be ashamed of themselves. It’s not their damned business!

  59. Anonymous says:

    Good for you!!! I have Long long locks now, just below my shoulde, and when I was 6 I wanted a shaggy hair cut, (popular style in the 70′s) And… I got one, :) I went From Long long locks all the way to my bum to as cute and short as your daughters! Good for her for deciding what she wnated! Today my Very much Manly son has long hair!!! Go figure!!! As individual Universe as each one of us is…It is what is convenient, easy and fun, not what society dictates. Way to go MOM!

  60. YES! you have sent so many good messages to your daughter on sooooo many levels! that is what being a parent is really about!

    1. Saw this on the news. The new look is like a movie star.

  61. Katie Mower Vance says:

    I love her decision and her hair! She looks perfect! :)

  62. Michelle Mohammadi says:

    I just saw your story in my headlines this morning. What a Beautiful, Confident, well spoken little girl. She's going to do great things! You are doing a great job as a mom.

    1. Chris Karper says:

      Right on. I let my little girl get her hair cut however she likes… It's only hair.

  63. LOVE THIS! FABULOUS! She is Beautiful with long or short hair! You did an awesome job! I have been growing my hair for 3 years now, just getting ready to donate to wigs for kids! It's such a great thing to do and I feel blessed that I can! Wow…self expression/guilt/insecurities…THIS HAS HIT HOME FOR ME… My 6 year old SON told me the other day that he wanted to grow his hair long to donate just like mommy! I gasped at the thought…he would be made fun of, teased…I talked him out of it! WOW…what am I teaching him!
    So what if he's different as long as he believes in himself! what a selfless thing to do…
    THANK YOU for this article and for your strength and wisdom! I really need to start thinking differently. It's not about me and my insecurities…It's not about what others think… it's what makes my son feel good, confident and stronger! And of course there are limits…anything harmful is not allowed. But HAIR…if your blessed/lucky enough it grows back and it can be cut! There is a huge lesson here! THANK YOU <3.

  64. Ruth Powell says:

    It is fantastic…. and look at the confidence in that face! Well, done Mom!

    1. Liz Dahl Merchant says:

      This is a wonderful story….

  65. B. Koedyker says:

    This haircut and this little girl’s desire to have her hair cut is not, and should not, be controversial……what nonsense! She is adorable, and looks adorable, and is stepping out to express herself. As it should be….way to go!

  66. Anonymous says:

    I am a mother of 2 sons, nobody thought twice about our and their decision on letting their hair grow out. It is just hair, it grows back-I see you struggled with your decision to let her cut her hair in this style. She is a beautiful child, the gift that you gave her to express herself is priceless, empowering and harmless. I applaud you!

    1. desperada57 says:

      Back when he was about in third grade my son wanted a mohawk, and his dad and I had no problem whatsoever with it. I guess he got it out of his system then because he hasn’t had another one since, and he’s almost seventeen. I bleach it for him, though. My in-laws are kinda funny about all that, but we take it in stride.

  67. Teresa Allen says:

    lOOKS GREAT , GO JACKIE.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I think it looks great! When my daughter wanted to cut off all her long hair I let her pick out the hair cut she wanted, and she looks great and feels great for being able to make such choices.

  69. Juli says:

    Something you might want to try next time, save a few strands to make a bracelet from as a little momento later on. Just a thought. I have seen that on at least a couple moms (from their child’s first hair cut) & I am just annoyed that I didn’t think of it myself. Too late now as my son (only child) is now 30.

  70. Louise says:

    She looks wonderful and so happy. Surely what is important is that your daughter is happy, healthy and confident in herself! I don’t know why so many peolpe are making such a fuss!!!

  71. Barb Aroneo Roach says:

    Way to go Jackie it looks fantastic.

  72. Anonymous says:

    It’s hair, it will grow back! It’s super cute on her too! Great job Mom : )

  73. God Bless you for using this as an opportunity to donate the hair to Wigs For Kids. We have been lucky to held that organization, and hope that your story encourages more people to do the same!

    The kids who suffer from cancers, burns or other issues which lose their hair, are most excited with anything that can give them those locks back. Wigs For Kids helps heal the soul, while the kids work to heal the body.

    Patrick

  74. Kathleen Conner Kitrick says:

    Thank God you realized that it was you imposing your wants for your daughter and her beautiful long hair. Especially since it got in the way of her gymnastics there is NO reason that she should not have her hair cut HER WAY! After all it will grow back! You didn't give her double D boobs! Can I tell you about the PERM that I was made to get at that age! LOL! Good for you!

  75. Kyana Miner says:

    I loved this article! good for you! too many times mothers impose their standards of beauty onto their children. I think this makes it difficult for children to express their individuality, even after they grow up. what you did for your daughter is wonderful!

  76. Good for you, sweetie! She looks absolutely adorable and I think 6 is old enough to know what you want. My dtr did the same thing at that age. She is now 20 and her hair is long again. Just look at that smile, I'd say every inch off was worth it!

  77. When I watched the video and heard women were complaining I was furious! Reminds me mothers & mothers in laws getting mad because you SHOULD have named your child THIS or THAT. Shut up! This is your child you have a right to name him / her whatever you want, and if she or he wants long or short hair it's between you and YOUR child… not strangers or other family members…wait let me say ESPECIALLY NOT STRANGERS! Good for you Jackie! I think your daughter is cute either way and her confidence makes her beautiful!

    1. desperada57 says:

      Gods, I wish there were “like” buttons here!

  78. Teresa Ellis says:

    I'm glad your daughter talked to you about getting a hair cut rather than taking things into her own hands. It worked out great for both you and your daughter and she does look very cute and confident with her styling.

    I have to laugh, because I cut off most of my hair when I was four or five. (I'm 35 now.) My bangs were poking me in my eyes and I wasn't patient enough to wait for my mom to help me, so I helped myself to the scissors. By the time I was done I had one long, untouched lock down my back and at least one bald spot. The rest of my hair was a butchered mess and I hid in a closet after I was done. When my mom found me, I was so sad looking that she couldn't be mad, even though I used scissors without permission. My hair was so short nothing could be done except to even it out and let it grow. I looked like a brown dandelion, cute, but not particularly girly. :) (especially when you spotted the bald patch I gave myself) <chuckle>.

    Years later I related the story to one of my nieces when she regretted cutting her own hair on an impulse. She took quite a few inches off one side of her hair that left her lopsided. It ended well as it could be rescued into a cute pageboy bob. There must be something about scissors that just call out to kids to cut things. I had to hide scissors from my son after he cut up a box and the wires packed inside. I love seeing my disastrous hair cut in old videos and pictures.

  79. Kim, Pennsylvania says:

    I applaud you and your daughter. :) She looks adorable with that cut. Why are we as women and girls so hard on ourselves? Life should be more about what brings us joy. Her smile tells it all. :) From another mother with a short haired little girl…:)

  80. Carolyn Ford says:

    I think she looks adorable. Good for you Jackie.

  81. Michelle Mills says:

    I think it's absolutely awesome that you are teaching your child, regardless of her age, to be confident in herself. It's an important skill none of us are born with. We often allow our own insecurities cloud our judgment when it comes to our children. Try as we might, none of us are perfect. So, I happen to love the moments when I can see a parent say "Well, I don't like it, but you do. I love you. I accept you. Let's go for it". My son has long hair, well longer than most boys. While it's a bit more widely accepted, it's also not. It's such a pain in my butt to hear people tease him. As a baby and toddler he had the most gorgeous blond hair with curls at the end. His father didn't approve of boys with long hair so around age 4 or so he got his first real "short" haircut, which I had been merely trimming up to that point. Both he(my son) and I have regretted it ever since. My son is 9 now and is determined to let his hair continue to grow. His father hates it, and never fails to comment. I have other family members who also comment. But, I don't care, and more importantly, my son doesn't care. When his hair annoys him, I pull it back. He likes his hair the way it is and I'm ok with that. I think more parents these days ought to stop focusing on the superficial things in life. We may have our own image issues, but we've absolutely no right to force those issues on our children. We're creating a world where words are used as weapons and they hurt a heck of a lot. We're not giving our children the skills they'll need to cope with those weapons by allowing our own fear of them to dictate how they should also feel. Of course that goes with, well, every area of parenting. I say kudos to you. Your daughter is adorable and I am glad she loves her hair the way it is. For everyone else who has an issue with it…..Why do you care? What exactly does this child's hair do to you? Why does it matter? The most important question of all…why do you think it's any of your business at all to dictate how others should look? I say, if it makes you happy, awesome.

  82. MyLikes Are says:

    Love, love her hair cut! I'm so glad you allowed her to have her wish. You learned something about yourself through your daughter's decision and that is a wonderful learning and growing experience. Too many times we parents put our own insecurities and needs before that of our children without realizing we are damaging their sense of self, just as we were damaged by our parent or parents or society as we were growing up. I applaud you and your growth on this road of parenthood and raising a self awared daughter who will grown into a fully round woman.

  83. MyLikes Are says:

    Yes I would hand over control to my child because this instills a sense of worth & self determination that can only help them in their decision making as they mature. Children have more intelligence then we give them credit for. Ask me this ten years ago, my answer might have been different. I wish my parents had given me more freedom to express myself, then I wouldn't have allowed others opinion to matter to me so much in determining how I felt about myself as a person and my worth.

  84. Leah Williams says:

    The new 'do looks great! And what an independent, intelligent little woman you're raising! Isn't it amazing how much we can learn from our children if we let ourselves?

  85. Bea says:

    She looks as cute as a button with her hair cut. Too bad many women buy into the notion that “long hair” is what is more desirable than a shorter cut. In my culture that’s not changing anytime soon. I could rant, but I won’t. Not worth it.

  86. Lisa Roth says:

    I love it! I learned a long time ago to not make a big deal over hair, through my son, not daughter. Now my daughter has had both long and short. My daughter and I <3 the pixie cut!

  87. Wendy Anslem Maxwell says:

    Your daughter is beautiful, no matter how she wears her hair. Thank you Mom for letting her wear it the way she wants!

  88. Natalie says:

    Bravo!!! As I read this, I realized that it paralleled to my mom and I when I was your daughter’s age. My mom is Caucasian with hair just like you, but my hair was jet black like my dad. At six years old, my hair was down to my knees! But, you guessed it, it got in the way, and I wanted a short cut. It took 6 months for both of my parents to finally agree to letting me cut it. I was beyond happy with my cut and my mom learned to let me choose because it would always grow back. My son lost his hair to leukemia when he was 15 months old and at first, when it grew back, I refused to cut it. My son didn’t care, he had more important things to do (play!). When I was finally ready to cut it, so was he and he was only three. Over the last ten years, he has been the one to decide when and who cuts it. He found a stylist that he loves and I trust and together, they decide how to cut it. He is a teen (13) now, and I’m sure he will want to join in on the neon color phase that the teens are partaking in… I may not like it, but it will grow back. I have faith in him.

    You did the right thing; she looks great, and most important, she loves it!! Thank you for taking it in stride and using this experience as a lesson for not only you, and your daughter, but for the rest of us as well. Sometimes, we need to step back and let them decide, then they can learn consequences (good and bad) from their own decisions. Sometimes, that the best way they can learn.

  89. I think she's beautiful with long and short hair. I wanted to cut my hair as a child, and my father never let me. Can you believe I even asked him my first year in college, and he said no (well, he was paying the bills). Anyway, I decided to do it regardless. He didn't like the haircut, but didn't really bother me about it. I LOVED it. So, I applaud you for listening to your daughter and letting her have this experience. Even if she had regretted it, she would have learned something from it. Brava to both of you!

  90. Anna Maciag says:

    I just cut my sons hair super short for the summer. Now I want to chop mine off too! I posted on status saying I wanted to drastic hair change like a purple mohawk. Think this hair cut will be perfect! :-) thanks for the idea

  91. Oliv OMalley says:

    That was great! You dug within yourself to find confidence and in turn were able to give it to your daughter. It’s doesn’t happen a whole lot anymore. If only we could bottle it and make it available worldwide…

  92. Allison says:

    I just wrote a blog about my own relationship with my short hair (first cut short by my request at age 6 just like Lucy!) and my reaction to your story, I am also the mom of two girls (ages 3.5 and 21 months) with long gorgeous locks and I hope that I would have the same answer as you did, Jackie. And to Lucy – you look great! Short haired sisters unite!!

    Here my blog, where I link back to here and also to your spot on Good Morning America:
    http://shesahoot.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-long-and-short-of-it.html

  93. Kayla Miles says:

    Love it! My kids have complete control of their hair (length and color) as long as they follow the house rules concerning their hair (must be brushed and washed and no cutting it yourself).

  94. Nichole Brown says:

    Did she also give the ok to permanently modify her body with the ear piercings?

  95. Nichole Brown says:

    would this also include piercing their ears?

  96. Christine Boos says:

    Love it and good for you! We have the opposite issue in my home. My son wants his hair long. I've had so many tell me to cut it, especially when stopped at the park and asked if he is a boy or girl (its not even shoulder length, just kind of shaggy surfer styled). So hurray for you and your daughter!

  97. Liana Brooks says:

    We don't fight over hair, if the kids want it cut they can have it cut. We don't fight over clothes as long as they fit the basic guidelines and the school dress code. We don't force the kids to hug or kiss anyone, it's their body and they get to do what they want with it. If that means not giving mommy a hug at night, that's fine, they're learning that no one else controls their body.

  98. If you ever do decide to cut his hair the style her daughter wanted/got would look great on Soren. He has a nice head of hair- would he let you put gel or hair product on? Or just leave it be

  99. Dana Landers Roberts says:

    My daughter has the most stunning hair. She started asking to cut it in PreK. She is 9 now and has been able to donate her hair THREE times already. She got a super super short pixie cut this summer and is already on her way to grow it back out again. I love she gets to be who she is but yet help so many others at the same time.

  100. Evin Galang says:

    AWESOME! Our little girl decided she wanted to donate her hair last year in first grade, after her school collected "Pennies for Patients" and the whole family got in on it. What a doubly empowering message you've given yours, and I hope mine, in that they are both the captains of their bodies and stewards of this world. Hats (and hair) off to you!

  101. Evin Galang says:

    By the way, we donated to Wigs for Kids and Kids with Hair Loss. Those of you with gray or colored hair, not every charity will accept your hair, but Kids with Hair Loss will.

  102. Adrianadesiree Vega says:

    Precious

  103. Nicole Abernethy says:

    I love when kids pick their hair styles… They walk with confidence when they were the ones who made the decision about their appearance

  104. Lindsey Ward says:

    My 5 year old just got a short pixie cut yesterday. She is thrilled with her short hair. I have short hair also she wanted her hair like mommy, my husband and I weren't going to tell her she can't wear her hair how she likes, it's her body, her choice. Our 3 year old son has a long ponytail, he's the only one with long hair in the family now.

  105. Tikatia Morris says:

    We have a few absolutes, but in general, we allow our kids to determine how they want their hair cut, and we also let them color it on a regular basis when finances allow.

  106. And look at her WORKING that sassy 'do! How lovely an experience for you both!

    1. al says:

      Why would it be an experience for both of them? the ugly old white woman having fun manipulating a pretty young asian girl to cut off her pretty hair?

  107. Nicole Herdina Schossow says:

    I think she looks just beautiful! My 5 year old daughter has cut her hair 5 times in the last year and I seem to be the only one ok with it. Of course, I also have a pixie cut myself. She hears so many messages about having long hair and has been called a boy so many times that she now wishes for long hair. I think she is adorable and proudly proclaim that to anyone who has issues with her short hair.

  108. Mary Snyder says:

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS.

  109. Amanda Chicka Dinsmore says:

    I took my daughter to the salon and for the first time said nothing as she described how she wanted her hair cut. She is 10 and has only had her hair cut twice. I am not only totally proud of her for taking control of the situation but for having the confidence to be who she wants to be without second guessing herself.

  110. Joelle Craft says:

    I cannot do the crazy stuff with my hair if I'm not willing to let my kids.

  111. From a mother who has a long haired son, I love this article. The rule in our house is it's your hair do what you want but it must be kept "clean" and "brushed" ie: no bed head tangles, whatever the length! ;-)

  112. Vivian Wilson says:

    Perfect. We are so "sold the dream" by the Pantene adverts, and where does that leave room for those (like me) with thinning hair, or kids like this one who just want to express themselves. Thank for sharing !

  113. Jenna Garner-Smith says:

    My daughter cut her hair, 18inches worth box red… sent it to Locks of Love… cool stuff.

  114. Jenna Garner-Smith says:

    *of red…. damn auto spell.

  115. al says:

    She looked better with long hair. We only have your word that she wanted to cut her hair. This could be a case of jealousy, and wanting to diminish the prettyness of that girl. Either way she’s still prettier than you.

  116. Lilli Ama Freeman Herdina says:

    I think she's cute as a button with short hair.

  117. [...] 1. For starters, I LOVE this post from a mother who let her daughter express herself by cutting her hair into a fauxhawk.  It’s a really beautiful article about showing children they are loved and can be themselves.  Check it out. [...]

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