Consider keeping little girls’ hair short

When I was a little girl, I had waist-long hair which my mom brushed and braided every day. We might as well have bought shares in Johnson & Johnson for the bottles of No More Tangles we went through. When I think of the time, pain, and expense required to deal with my hair, I truly appreciate this tip, sent along by Sara:

When I was a teenager, I babysat for a family of 4 girls — triplets and their older sister. One rule their mom had was that everyone had short hair until they were old enough to do their own hair. I can only imagine how much time this saved. I think of this hack often, mostly when combing the snarls out of my daughter’s hair!

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  1. Scott Severtson says

    After my oldest developed the habit of making “hair balls” by carefully pulling a few locks to roll into a small toy, she recieved a short haircut to give her time to unlearn the behavior. After some hesitation, we’ve both grown to love her crop top – she says she feels like a pixie, and it does speed mornings up.

    Now, I’m thinking of convincing my middle girl to do the same; her long blond tresses are always in her eyes, and she sometimes runs and hides when the hairbrush comes out.

    A word of warning: there can be a social stigma for little girls with short hair. Other kids often asked why a boy was wearing a dress. Fortunately, she’s confident enough to answer those questions herself: “I’m a girl with short hair, duh.”

  2. says

    If you keep it clean and brushed, long hair really isn’t that hard to deal with. My daughter loves having her hair long and I don’t mind helping her with it. We use a shampoo and conditioner that is supposed to help lessen tangles. We make sure to rinse it really well – usually twice – after washing. Then we spray it with detangler, comb it and braid it. Because it’s something that we’ve always done, she is used to sitting still to have it taken care of. It looks beautiful and it’s really not too much work because she’s learned to cooperate with having it done.

  3. says

    I have had short hair almost my whole life (check my website and see pictures). I am now thinking of growing it out only to save money on my so frequent haircuts. Its been about 2 months and I already can’t stand it! I am old enough to spend more time on my hair but I just don’t want to. Reading your post made me realize how lucky I am that I do look good in short hair and that I don’t need traditional long flowing hair to be feminine. I think I am going to suck up and pay for the haircuts and save myself time in the mornings and money on products trying to tame my fluffy out of control mane! Thanks for reminding me to live simply like when I was a kid.


  4. says

    Sadly, until Disney releases a princess movie featuring a princess with short hair, this will never happen in my house. (And I have super short hair – my daughter would much prefer to look like Sleeping Beauty, however).

  5. says

    Although I can understand the theory, I kind of have a problem with rules about things like hair styles. Remember how dumb we all thought it was when people would complain about boys and their long hair?

  6. says

    foodmomiac said: “Sadly, until Disney releases a princess movie featuring a princess with short hair, this will never happen in my house.”

    What about Snow White?

  7. kittenpie says

    my mom solved this problem with the short bob until I was in high school. No screaming over hairbrushes for her. Another family I knew kept thier girl’s long hair in tight french braids that only needed redoing every few days. my baby has a shortish bob so far, and it is long enough to look feminine but short enough to be easy to care for.

  8. AnnaQ says

    My mother always followed the same rule when I was young (short hair until you can take care of it yourself). As a mother, I was definitely planning on following this seems-sane-to-me rule. However, my 3-year-old son has insisted that he wants a ponytail, like his best friend a little girl at school. Now I don’t object to boys/men having long hair, but it’s getting to look awfully messy (of course he doesn’t take care of it). Well, I’ll have to figure something out so he’ll agree to have it cut, or cut it while he’s sleeping!

  9. ikate says

    I had long hair until about age 5 when I went into my “I hate combs” phase. From then until about 8th grade I had a Dorothy Hammel haircut – long enough to say “girl” but short enough not to tangle too much. (I personally think my hate of my hair being done had more to do with the curlers she made me sleep in every night then a comb). I love short hair and have had it just about ever since a short long-and-permed phase in high school

  10. Donna says

    I hated when I was young going every 3-4 weeks to a salon for My haircut.On several trips I got this older guy who always cut it very short & told mother She will save a few dollars by it taking longer to grow back.I would cry but My Mother would still let him cut it.I now will take the time so My kids don’t have that in their past.Donna

  11. Uly says

    That’s not bad advice, for those children with hair that works better short. However, some children really get more tangles with short hair than with long.

    My niece has her hair braided. No brushing, no mess – we just unbraid in the morning and rebraid it. If we’re in a rush, we rebraid along the same lines. If we’re really in a rush, it can stay in the same braids for several days with no problems.

    And we put oil on it to make it less tangly. Plant-based oils, never animal or mineral oils (animal, vegetable, or mineral, right?), because those clog the pores and make the problem worse.

  12. Jackie says

    I have just taken my 10yr old daughter to the hairdressers and had her long mid back hair cut into a lovely chin length bob, she refused to dry her hair properly when it was long and it just dripped and dripped, she wasnt pleased but what a difference it made, she suits it too.

  13. Aj says

    My 9 year old had longer hair (mid back) but refused to care for it properly. we tried all the detanglers, threats of letting it tangle to where shed need a buzz cut and so on.
    Finally back in January i was watching a program on TV where a vet had cut off his ponytail for locks of love. I went to the website and my girl and i looked around. after some discussion, we decided to grow our hair out until we BOTH had enough to cut for Locks of Love.
    What a difference! now instead of fighting, she willingly cares for her hair so is pretty for the little girl (or boy) that doesnt have hair and gets to have hers! She also cant wait to get it cut now. We have finally both hit the 10 inch length requirement and will be cutting it all off tomorrow!
    Knowing that her hair is going to help a sick little boy or girl that really needs it was all the nudging she needed =>

  14. Lucy says

    I let my daughter have long hair while she was young. My decision was that when she turned 5 to cut it in a bowl-cut and shave her hair off in the summers. When she turned 10 I allowed her to grow her hair until it was long enough to be cut straight around at her ears and shaved up in the back so that it looked neat. When she turned 12 my husband, my daughter and I moved to Africa to do mission work. We lived their for a 2 years and her hair was consistently shaved to the scalp to prevent her from obtaining lice. When we moved back to the US when she was 14 I kept her head shaved for the summer, then her hair was buzzed until she turned 16 when I decided to let her make her own hair decisions as long as it wasn’t past her ears.

  15. Amy says

    I took my two daughters age 7 and 12 to the barber shop to cut off my daughters waist length hair in a very short boys haircut I told the barbers I want my two daughters waist length hair cut into very short boys haircut.The barbers were cutting at my daughters waist length hair into very short boys haircut.My daughters cried during their haircut .The barbers finished the haircuts My two daughters has very short hair they look boys because my daughters has very short hair Every 3 weeks I took my daughters to the barber shop to their very short hair in shape No more waist length hair for my daughters

  16. Ted says

    You can’t beat an old Barber for a good Haircut.Ron is 68 years old and still Clipping away.
    My Wife and Daughter come with me to the Barber Shop every 4 weeks.
    I get an Induction Cut. My Wife gets a CrewCut and her neck shaved. My Daughter had her 1st Haircut at Ron’s Barber Shop.She had her waist lenght hair cut into a Regular Boys Haircut when she was 6 and she still has it cut that way 6 years later.
    Thx Ron!

  17. colormesunny says

    The social stigma thing is real, and can be traumatic for some girls. Both of my older girls overheard people asking why the little boy was wearing a dress, and they have refused to have short hair since.

    On the other hand… My mom gave me pixie cuts until I was 9 and begged her to let me grow my hair long. Of course, I was totally socially oblivious, and very much a misfit…

  18. Emily says

    You see, the problem with giving young girls short haircuts is the social stigma. They could go to school one day and come home crying because they were asked “why do you have boy hair?” Yes, short hair is easier to manage, but if you’re daughter wants longer hair, then she shouldn’t be forced to have it cut short or even shaved. When i have children, i’ll let them grow long hair, but not down to their butt long. But i would never force my child to shave her head or get her haircut short if she didn’t want it.