Stop fighting long hair battles with your kids: cut it

Amazon: Wahl 79524-1001 Deluxe Chrome Pro with Multi-Cut Clipper & Trimmer Several folks have responded to my queries about kids' hair management with a simple just cut it. Ponytails are cute and all, but many folks would never go back after experiencing the freedom, peace and time gained by a simple chin-length bob.

From Sarah:

I love long hair and wish that my daughter did too. After fighting with her (literally fighting) for 7 years I finally decided that we would stop the sadness and cut it. As long as it's above her shoulders it doesn't get too tangled she can take care of it on her own. She is now almost 9 and can wash it and brush on her own. I usually part it after she's brushed it, and if it's been a while I wash it for her or comb it occasionally but we are such a happy team now that the fight is no more. I hope that someday she can have long hair but it can't be now or I will go crazy.

From Beth:

For girls, the chin-length bob offers easy care and a girly look – long enough to put barettes and hairbands in, short enough not to tangle.  Have the stylist cut the back higher than the sides for a nice swing.

On Twitter, Jim (@morlockhq) concurs:

Our daughter has a modified page boy cut with a soft blended, instead of blunt, bangs. No muss, no fuss and it looks great.

Lisa tells her story in a comment on the Facebook page:

When the long hair styles got to be too much for us (and the second baby came) we chopped my 2 yr old's hair into an adorable chin length stacked bob. Our war with tangles ended, and she looked adorable.

Of course, a year later she wanted Rapunzel hair and we started to grow it back out, but now that she's a little older she will sit still for brushing and braiding (and some mornings she even does it herself).

Also on Facebook, Margaret suggests going even shorter:

after struggles and all the exhaustion of keeping up with the long hair, the best solution – for the hair, the child and the parent – is buzzer#7. not too short, not too long and a breeze to care for. i will consider a proposition of longer hair when it is given to me by a teen who is capable of washing/ detangling/ drying/ styling her own hair. :)

Home haircuts are fine, but for the initial chop, Jona recommends a kid-friendly salon:

For full haircuts, though, it's been worth it to us to take our kids to a kid-focused hair salon with fun chairs (favorites are the motorcycle and a jeep) and movies playing.  In addition to the ambiance, the stylists are accustomed to working on squirmy, fussy kids, which helps a lot.

Thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions for cute, easy-hair hairstyles for kids? Is the bob the only way to go? What about short styles for kids with curly hair?

Related: 'Amelie'-style bangs


  1. says

    I love cutting my kids’ hair (1 girl, 2 boys),but occasionally it’s nice to take my daughter in to get her (THICK, WAVY) hair layered by a professional.

    And I’d have to say I’d still avoid short haircuts with really curly hair. Longer (not necessarily LONG) cuts works so much better. take it from someone who has made that mistake on herself SEVERAL times. ;)

  2. hrm says

    I have curly hair and my mom did what you suggested–she chopped my hair off. I have only one school picture of me with long hair–all the others are short hair. I hated it! It looked boyish and un-stylish (mind you, it was the 70s!) and I wish she would have learned to deal with my hair. One of my daughters has curly hair and, though I now have a little bit of sympathy for my mom, I’m determined to make it work and not just chop it off. Hair is a little bit more than a task that needs to be taken care of each day–it’s a way for a little girl to start expressing who she is and how she wants to look to the world.

    Just my two cents. :)

  3. Jess says

    My daughter had waist-long hair when she was five. Her hair is very dense (there’s a lot of it) but fine, so it tangles if you look at it funny. I would have to pause halfway through braiding it to detangle it again. Both of us were thrilled to cut it! We went from waist-length to chin-length, and both wish that we’d had her hair cut sooner.

    Now, at 8.5, she’s growing it longer, but she’s also able to handle most of the care on her own, and to ask for help when she wants it.

  4. says

    I am so glad you mentioned this, hrm. It’s easy to forget what a big part one’s hair plays in one’s self-image, especially at that age. Girls feeling “boyish” is an individual thing…some may not care, others may be extremely sensitive.

    My daughter has curly hair and JUST LAST NIGHT I got a little overzealous in trimming it. It’s still long (shoulder length when dry) and I think it looks beautiful, but she is very upset with her “short” hair. Suddenly I recalled how I felt when my dad would trim my bangs too short when I was a kid. He insisted it was “fine,” but I walked around school mortified for a week.

    Hair’s a big deal. We must remember that.

    ps. I had mid-back-long hair as a preschooler which my mom braided every day. I was thrilled when we cut it “short” (to my shoulders).

  5. Rachel says

    Yup, short is GOOD. My daughter’s fine, curly hair led to lots of post-bath screaming before we just had it cut fairly short. She’s not quite three, so totally doesn’t care about style and it’s a lot easier for me to wash, brush and dry it. She hates hair accessories, too, so no point in keeping it long!

  6. says

    I have a thought — don’t cut it too short! People thought I was a boy for about 3 years in there when my mom kept my hair in some sort of bob because she was tired of combing it. Discretion!!

  7. says

    I have very thick hair…very curly, very coarse. When I was younger, and I had a ponytail, it was 7 inches around. My mom started just pulling it back into a ponytail every few months, then cutting it off in front of the elastic band. This made it VERY uneven on the bottom. To fix it…my mom faced me…and would cut a hunk off until the front was as short as the back. Unless she really screwed up, and I would have this sort of icecream scoop looking thing…I look at my childhood pictures and at first I thought, “Wow, I must have been a handful…if mom could only get my hair to look THAT awful all the time.” Then I had a daughter…whose hair was not coarse or thick. Our only similarity is that it is blonde. When my oldest was about 3 my mom “got tired” of seeing her hair in her face and cut the bangs herself. The “bangs” were about an inch long and went from ear to ear. Thanks mom, we had an appt for her first cut that same weekend – we have to cancel it now & wait for it to GROW BACK! Her hair was very fine on the ends and it tangled easily. She got the page boy cut from about 2.5 on. I stopped it last year…and have let it grow out like she wants (she’s 7, she mostly cares for it herself). My youngest (3) has never had a hair cut. Her hair is fine…but she doesn’t twist it endlessly around her finger at night…so we don’t pull it out in chunks (which was a problem with big sis). I trim her bangs from instructions in an article I read in Cosmo when I was 16. It’s never steered me wrong!

    PLEASE moms & dads…if you are cutting at home, PLEASE be patient…please read a self-help article or two on how to cut your kid’s hair. Don’t let them look like weird ice cream scoop munchkins. For my childhood pictures alone, I simply take my oldest once or twice a year to have her hair done. She also has a really deep part on the side…and it’s best if a professional sweeps it into place before cutting. Except for bangs, I will never cut my children’s hair at home. I won’t scar them that way!! ;)

  8. says

    People thought my sister was a boy until she was at least 7. Pixie cut. It was really cute…but it looks a hell of a lot like a little boy’s outgrown fade!

  9. says

    When we cut our girls waist length hair very short like a boy hair is march easier when our girls has very short boys hair every 2 week we trim our girls very short boys hair now on

  10. anon says

    Wow, some serious control issues here. What’s the deal? Hair on a girl? It’s not like we’re talking about a ponytail on a guy folks, and even then, who cares.