I have two children, who can be classified as one of each. They have the traditional hairstyles of their respective genders. My daughter Hannah favours long, flowing locks. My son Jacob has short “boy” cuts. In parenting these two children, I have learned a few things about kids and hair. First, I have learned that I feel way more angst over my daughter’s hair. How long is it? What colour is it? How shall we style it today? These are all questions I’ve considered in relation to my daughter that I haven’t really worried about with my son.
For Jacob I’ve opted for short hair out of a combination of convention and convenience. Convention because as much as I buy into gender neutral parenting, I don’t particularly relish the idea of correcting everyone who compliments my “daughter’s” hair. Convenience because, really, nothing is more convenient than wash and go. Somewhat ironically, though, I’ve discovered this is the far more expensive option. Even though I get his hair super short, he needs a haircut every two or three months to keep it from getting scraggy. On top of this, a boy style is harder, especially given Jacob’s penchant to cry, squirm, and cover his head when someone gets near him with scissors. My solution is to take him to the super-expensive kids’ cut place where non-cooperative clients are their bread and butter.
Jacob’s short cut
This week I got to experience the difference between my children’s hair yet again, when Hannah cut her own hair for the second time. Now, if Jacob cut his own hair, I would probably just roll my eyes. But when my daughter does it, I have to struggle to remain calm. The first time Hannah gave herself a trim she was four and she wanted to see what it was like. This time there was gum in her hair and she took matters into her own hands. Of course, after she took the scissors to her hair it needed fixing, and the Great Clips was super busy so I got to try my hand at cutting my daughter’s hair.
Hannah’s hair pre-cut
I’m happy to say that both Hannah and I are reasonably pleased with the results of the home haircut. She was still and calm while I worked. Her little brother stood by saying, “It’s okay, sweetie, I’m here.” This was lovely, because for once the kid was repeating something I said to him that was actually positive. Plus, Hannah thought it was hilarious, so that was good. On top of all that, my daughter decided that she was looking forward to a cooler cut for the summer. Plus, it was free, so I’m calling this one a win – although I’d rather not experience it again anytime soon.
Hannah’s hair post-cut
Hannah is seven years old now, and I’ve pretty much handed control over her hair to her. She washes and brushes it herself. She even does some basic styling herself. But hopefully, this time, my talk about why we don’t cut our hair ourselves has sunk in. And if it hasn’t, well, I guess that it really is her head after all.
Have your kids ever cut their own hair? How about more than once? And what are the differences between your sons’ hair and your daughters’ hair? I’d love to hear your stories!