Thursday, January 21, 2016


I have a hair issue. Specifically an issue with getting my hair cut. The whole thing started when I was 4 yrs old and decided it would be fun to cut my own hair. My mother completely freaked out when she realized what I had done, forever impressing on me that me possessing a pair of scissors for this activity was a terrible thing. Combine this negative experience, which stifled any exploration into different hairstyles and cuts, with the fact that it's so damn hard to find a hairstylist I can actually communicate (sidenote: why is this so damn hard?) and the end result is one where I dread dealing with my hair. I'm too terrified of welding a pair of scissors and cutting my hair in a manner I like, but I ALWAYS fail to communicate what I want from a stylist (and always end up lying about being okay with what they've done). It's a vicious cycle.

I've hit a new level of this with the Beats. As both kids grow, their hair grows too requiring frequent trims to keep it manageable. These trims can quickly become expensive, with some kid-friendly shops wanting $40-50 per haircut. Our options are the following: let it grow (which can be a bit difficult after awhile), suck up the cost or learn to cut their hair ourselves.

So last weekend, armed with a new pair of shears, Grey decided to turn cutting He-Beat's hair.

And the results were a uneven mullet.

As I was flooded with memories from that day I cut my own hair, I pushed down my anxiety and panic, push back tears at the sight of this little boy who looked like he had had a fight with a weed wacker, calmly thanked Grey for being so brave for trying to do this. And then I did some research and found a local chain that cuts kid's hair for $13 and scheduled an appointment to correct the damage.

The truth is, I want the Beats to have a positive relationship with taking care of their appearance. To not see the act of grooming as vain or futile and to be able to advocate for what they want. And, in truth, I'd like to learn how to cut their hair. Grey agrees with me that there's a lot of healing that could come from this act and it may help me with learning to communicate what I need when I walk into a salon.

The thing holding me back is the fear and panic from long ago. I still see both my mother's tears and hear her anger from that day. Feel the shame from her disappointment in me. I get it how she was feeling as I see so much beauty in the Beats and it's hard to see them looked disheveled. But the damage that was caused by that reaction has lasted for over 30 yrs. And it's going to take some time to undo it.

So, for anyone who cuts hair, please weigh in and educate me on how to do this. I've already been warned that small children squirm and fight this process, so I'm not looking for perfection. But I'd like to learn. I'd like to conquer this fear.


  1. I am extraordinarily lucky to have allowed R's hair to grow, though now she is more challenging to keep it tidy. She didn't get her first hair cut until she was well over 2 years. C however, had his first hair cut before 3 months. My friend comes to my house and charges $10 to cut each kids hair, and since I rarely get my hair cut, $20 every 6-8weeks or so is doable for me. I had always said if I had boys I would just buy clippers and buzz their hair, but C's hair is so gorgeous, I can't bring myself to do that. I would LOVE to let his hair grow, but it's just not practical. Good luck in your healing process. My first hair cut was administered by my sister who had a pair of scissors call to her and told her to cut my hair. :) I have only gone short once in my life and have had the same style basically for the past 23 years. Hugs lady....

  2. A's first haircut was at her own hand. I cried because she cut off several of her beutiful curls, but tried hard not to overreact. I have since trimmed her hair a little, but it curls a bit odd with two cowlicks so will not be doing more than trimming the ends or her bangs. I will be using clippers for my son, as I do for hubby. We have several guards that keep a decent length, so will likely just use those for his hair. We are fortunate in that there's a local place that charges $1 per year for kids under 12. My kids' hair is also light and fine and comes in slowly. Just now at 3.5 do we really have to start trimming my daughter's hair regularly.

  3. I think that something to remember is that hair ALWAYS grows back. So if you give your kid a bad haircut, move on as it happens. I gave myself bangs at 5 and my mom had to take me to a professional to get it fixed. :-)

    As far as your own hair, try to bring in a picture of a celebrity or someone that has the haircut you want. I've found it's a lot easier that way than trying to explain what I want (in my case I have curly hair so I don't do anything different- it's more about bringing in a picture of the color I am looking for).

  4. Oh, boy. You brought back my own memories. When I was 5 or 6, my mom let her friend take me for a haircut when she took her own child. Who was a boy. The barber cut my hair the way he knew, meaning that for a good 6 months, people thought I was a boy. To this day I don't like short hair for myself.

    I think learning to cut the Beats hair would serve many purposes, economics as well as disconnecting from your mother's issues. Though we know even things that make sense aren't always easy.

  5. I struggle with my hair, too. I have loyalty issues with stylists, and even though I have been happy with my cut about 50% of the time over the past year or two, I've been with her for a really long time and feel oddly guilty. I have used Pinterest though on a couple occasions where I was happy, and it helps to have ideas to give the stylist. My hair is curly and never the same two days in a row, which is a challenge. My mom tried to cut it once when I was little (and it was much thicker) and it was an unholy, uneven disaster that needed this is something that happens pretty regularly I think.

    I'm sorry that your experience with your mom's anger over your cutting your own hair as a child is weighing heavily. It's amazing how those things come back and resurface, and I can only imagine how the parenting hurts perpetrated on you could haunt your own parenting moments. I hope you figure out the hair...I pretty much know I'm not to be trusted myself and will be going to a haircut place for kids. :)


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