My daughter, hair and me

As a child, I had short hair. I don’t really know why, but my mum said long hair was hard to look after. I envied little girls with beautiful long hair. This was the 70s and short hair on girls was a bit more normal than it is now, but it was still fairly unusual. Photographic evidence suggests it did start to grow at around the age of 7, but for some reason it was all cut off when I was 8.

Strangely, I loved it. It was very short and I was mistaken for a boy on a daily basis until I was 13. I was bullied for my short hair when I started secondary school, but it was me and I liked it.

10 year old me, Hair, My daughter hair and me

10 year old me

Then one day I saw a girl with a beautiful short, sleek bob. I wanted that bob. So I started to grow mine.

My hair wouldn’t grown into a sleek bob. It was curly and frizzy. So I just kept growing it.

After all those years with short hair, I loved having it long. I dreamed of growing it down to my waist, but it didn’t quite make it that far.

My mum made me get it cut regularly to keep it in good condition. I obsessed over split ends, using the best conditioner, brushing it the optimum number of times a day…

When I was 18, the hairdresser cut too much off it on one side. I was horrified. And I absolutely refused point blank to let him cut the other side. I didn’t mind wonky hair. Wonky hair was better than short hair.

I carried on having haircuts every few months through adulthood, then it became every year and at some point I just stopped having my hair cut.

Between that awful haircut and my childhood short hair, I now realise I’ve been left with issues. I always swore that no daughter of mine would ever have short hair. So she didn’t.

My daughter was a late starter. She was a bald baby and had very little hair as a toddler. We squeezed her hair into a couple of short plaits when she started school. And it just kept growing.

It grew and it grew and it grew. It grew right down to her bum.

To this day, she has never been to a hairdresser.

I couldn’t bring myself to ever trim her hair, so my husband has always done it. And it scared me every time that he would take too much off. She started to get scared of having too much cut off too.

When she was in year 7, it was starting to get really straggly. She needed it trimmed more often. By taking a little bit off more regularly, we could get rid of the straggly bits. She wasn’t sure.

But we conquered the straggly bits. It looked neater, so she started to ask for more regular haircuts to keep it that way.

Daughter, Running, Runner, 366, Hair

My daughter’s lovely long hair earlier in lockdown

At the start of lockdown, she asked to have two or three inches cut off. I was slightly horrified, but it was OK.

Last week, she had about four inches cut off – totally her own choice. But it has made me really sad. It just doesn’t look like my daughter any more. To me, it’s taken away the essence of her and what makes her unique. Which has made me realise I definitely have deep-seated issues about hair.

My daughter’s hair is actually shorter than mine, although it looks a similar length or slightly longer, because it isn’t frizzy like mine. It looks thicker, which is a good thing. On the whole, my daughter is happy with it, but even she admits that she has gone maybe an inch or two too far, but it will grow. She will have it to the length she wants it by the time she goes back to school. And if she wants it to go back to being really long, she can grow it again.

I know it’s silly, I know she’s growing up and it’s none of my business. But I liked her really long hair. I need to get used to her not-that-long-at-all hair.

Daughter, Walking, Hair, Haircut, Shorter hair

My daughter’s much shorter hair

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I was like you as a child. I had a pageboy bob til age 7 then decided I wanted it cut short. I was a bit of a tomboy and short hair is easier. I used to go through phases of wanting to grow it for ballet, and as soon as it was getting long enough to put up, I’d chop it again. I only grew it move once I was at 6th form (bad growing out bob stage). Then uni it was more in a style (bit posh spice short). It’s been just on the shoulders, or a bit longer since starting work I think. Mine grows quite short, but it’s the longest it’s ever been having missed my 12 week April appt. The problem is it’s fine, and although I’ve a lot of it, it’s so tangly even after just being cut. So now because it’s too long, even with nice conditioner, I’m losing a lot more hair than normal.

    Even though I’ve had a nightmare trying to find a good hair dresser (after leaving mine of 14 years – big mistake leaving!), I love having mine cut and walking out the salon knowing it looks amazing. Can’t wait to have it cut again, although still don’t know when and probably not til post summer. I’m astounded your daughter’s never been, and that you don’t go. Who cuts your hair?

    I think your daughter’s hair looks nice that length. It’s still very long compared to most people’s, is probably in really great condition having the ends chopped, and as you say it’ll grow. It probably will be easier to keep in a bun for dancing.

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    • It’s interesting that you had short hair as a child too. You sound very similar to me in that sense! But once mine started growing, there was no going back! Mine also grows quite short – it literally doesn’t grow. Nobody cuts my hair, I just don’t have it cut at all.
      Sorry to hear about you moving on from your hairdresser and I hope you enjoy your first post-lockdown cut!

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      • It’s booked for mid September. I’m hoping by then there’s less need for social distancing, but I guess we’ll see by then!

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  2. I can totally relate to this! I always wanted long hair, but mine is very curly and never grew long. Even when it is quite long, it looks quite short. I always let the children do as they wanted with their hair, and all of the boys have let it grow longer than my daughter did. It made me sad every time she had some cut off, but I held my tongue. Now it’s quite long, so I’m saying nothing! 😀
    I adored Elspeth’s hair, it really was amazing, and the two young boys have inherited their father’s strong hair, and both of our curls. When it’s wet, it reaches their waists! I’d love to be able to plait it and use hair slides and stuff, but sadly that’s not the fashion for boys! 😀

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    • How lovely that your kids have left their hair naturally long and curly! My eldest had long hair as a toddler and grew it long again in year 6, but decided to opt for shorter hair for secondary school. If it was up to me, they would all have long hair!

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  3. I have been to a hairdresser once in my life and it cost a fortune and I could do the same at home myself so it felt daft to pay. My fella took my girls to the hairdressers once and they came home looking a right state. I had to straighten their hair up and have done ever since.
    It’s good that your daughter is happy with her haircut but it does look so much shorter. x

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    • I love that you have only been to the hairdresser once in your life! While the rest of the world is desperate for a post-lockdown haircut, we can feel smug! X

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  4. This is fascinating, I love the fact that your daughter hasn’t been to a hairdresser. I cut both of my girls’ hair in lockdown and have done a couple of times before. I won’t do a ‘style’ for them but if it’s just cutting long hair I’m happy to. I think your daughter’s hair looks lovely now from the photo, nice and neat and smart.

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    • Thanks very much! It took me about two weeks to start to come to terms with my daughter’s hair, but I’m getting there slowly! There really doesn’t seem much point in going to a hairdresser just to trim long hair. X

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  5. I think that is amazing your daughter has never been to the hairdressers. I want Aria to have long hair, but she loves getting it cut. I always had long straight hair and my mum was very glam and jealous of my hair. She had naturally curly hair. I don’t think anyone is ever really happy with what they get at some point. I know what you mean though and it’s hard to let them do what you would love to have yourself. She is gorgeous as are you xx

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    • Thanks very much, that is a lovely thing to say. Aria’s hair is quite long, but it’s interesting that you can’t influence her choices even at such a long age. It’s true that people often want the complete opposite hair to what they’ve got. x

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  6. eldest daughter always had short boy haircuts as that is what she wanted. DD2 always had long hair, was born with a mop of thick dark hair that made her the talk of the hospital and a lot of staff came to have a look at the baby with all the hair, it needed cutting the day she was born, not that it got it. She had long hair down to her bum right through Primary school where I insisted it was plaited every day to save getting matted and messy. She loved her long hair, and gradually she started to take care of it for herself. Then when she started secondary school she decided it was to much work to keep it and got it cut. Was quite a sad day.

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    • What a shame! My daughter has looked after her hair from the age of 7. I insisted on plaits in primary school because there always seemed to be nits going around. She’s loved the freedom to have it down or in a ponytail at secondary school.

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  7. I have terrible issues with my hair – but I think that is mainly because my mom had red hair. She used to bleach mine from an early age – so of course I was picked on. I didn’t even realise that’s what she was doing. Then there was a girl who split my hair and laughed and now I spend ages cutting bits out of my hair.

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    • That’s very unusual to bleach a child’s hair. I would never let any of my kids near bleach (or myself), as it’s so damaging. One thing I’ve learned over years of long hair is how to keep it healthy. I might not get it cut, but I don’t use any heat on it or anything that could damage.
      How awful that that girl did that to you.

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