For the first year of my son's life, my mom asked me the same question every time she saw him: "When are you going to cut his hair?" My answer was always the same, too. "When he asks me to." The same goes for my other kids, both male and female. Because, honestly, there are quite a few reasons why I refuse to cut my kids’ hair. People seem to have some pretty strong opinions about my kids' hair, too, which is why, apparently, I need to defend my choice. I've received flack for letting my sons grow their hair out, dye their hair purple, and wear pigtails. I've also been thrown the side-eye for letting my daughter cut her hair super short. And since people care enough about my kids' hair enough to ask me about it all the damn time, I thought I might offer some explanation. I am not, however, going to apologize.
I feel strongly that my kids are human beings, which gives them a right to full bodily autonomy. So, unless there’s a medical or hygiene reason to touch them without their permission, I don't. That includes cutting their hair or taking them to the salon. As long as I can manage their hair when they are little, or they are willing to learn how to take care of it themselves, I don't see a reason to force them to have it cut. The same goes for them wanting a new hairstyle.
Like many things in parenting, my plans for my kids' hair haven't always gone accordingly. There was the time my kids came home with lice, for example. I shudder even thinking about it. But, in the end, they sat while my partner and I combed their hair out every night, and we didn’t have to cut it against their will. When my daughter wanted to cut her waist-length waves, I let her, even though I ugly cried when she was done. And when my son wanted to grow his curls long, I let him, even though that is totally not the norm where we live. It’s their hair, and I am not cutting it, at least not without their express permission. Here's why: