So your boy doesn't want a haircut, or you don't want to cut it? NBD! It's 2016 and we've come a long way, baby. (Dress/gender codes are soooo 20th century.) Whether your little dude is stickin' it to the man or simply rocking his own wild-n-free style, he's in good company. Check out what these moms of long-locked sons think and love about their kiddos' unique 'dos:
Shepard, age 4
"Shepard didn't really grow much hair during his first year or so. Then, once it started to come in, it was the most stunning shade of gold accented with such perfect loose and wavy curls, there was no way I was going to cut it. It's been growing since then—about three years now—and it's thick and healthy. He just makes me smile when I look at him standing in the sun with his little wild halo.
Brushing his hair isn't at the top of either of our lists of favorite things to do, but we manage. I do ask Shepard if he'd rather have me cut it then have to brush out the tangles. He says I can cut it when it's to his feet—we'll see how long that holds true.
His automatic response when he encounters a new person is to say 'I'm a boy with long hair.' He's almost always mistaken as a girl, which doesn't seem to bother him, and it's opened the door to a lot of interesting discussions between us."
- Caitlin Harris Moore, mom of two, Austin, TX
Makai, age 14
"My husband is from Hawaii and he had hair down to his shoulders when I met him. While my sons have never seen him like that, they know their father used to have long hair and they know that I liked it that way, and that we don't see it as an issue or a problem. Makai has had long hair most of his life, so when he was a baby and even as a six-year-old, people sometimes mistake him for a girl. He feels that long hair looks best on him and those comments didn't seem to bother him.
The only time the hair is a problem is when he plays soccer in the heat—which is about six months out of the year down here. He won't wear a ponytail or hair band for some reason. He is known among his friends as 'the one with the hair' and someone even created a Twitter account dedicated to his hair as a joke last year. It was done tongue-in-cheek and Makai enjoyed the humor of it."
- Jennifer Mason, League City, TX
Max, age 3
"I really believe in giving my kids freedom over their own existence. As long as they aren't hurting themselves or others I'm not very picky about how they choose to do things. Max doesn't want his hair cut (he calls it his 'big boy hair') and I actually love it long. I think it really suits him.
Most people love his hair but most strangers also call him a girl at first, though. He gets pretty indignant about this and if he hears it he says loudly, 'I am a boy. I am Max.; My mom and mother-in-law have questioned it at times and my mom said that especially up here [in Washington] I should be careful about gender confusion. I don't agree, and have told her that Max is absolutely not confused about his gender. In any case, I'm happy for him to be him. He is such a boy of the earth and his hair being long obviously feels right to him and looks cool as hell so we embrace it!"
- Sarah Oliver, mom of three, Edmonds, WA
Christy's son, age 7
"My son is proud of his hair. He takes good care of it, and also enjoys taking care of his clothes and his appearance in general. He was eager to assent to me sharing about his hair for this piece and he wanted to pose carefully so that you could see his hair. He says his hair is pretty, and he likes looking pretty.
When we are out in public, he is frequently mistaken for a girl. Sometimes he thinks this is funny and doesn't really mind, but sometimes it's frustrating for all of us. It's interesting that people base so much of their assumptions about a child's gender on hair.
All in all, I'm proud of my sweet boy. I'm especially glad to see him working hard, being considerate, and following his curiosity. Since he happens to have long and pretty hair, and that's part of who is he, I'm proud of that too."
- Christy Forrest, mom of four, Oregon
Theo (and little brother Oliver), age 5
"Everyone always talks about Theo's hair. Strangers on the street comment on it. Not that it's especially long, but it's so curly and it's this amazing, coppery strawberry blond color. We live in a pretty open, accepting part of the country, so for the most part the reaction is 'I would pay good money for that hair!' When we venture out of that bubble, though, things get trickier. The elderly people in Theo's grandmother's nursing home always mistake him for a little girl. And one woman asked recently when I'm planning to give him a 'boy's haircut.'
The thing about Theo is he loves to keep things. All kinds of things. Rocks, wood chips, trash, every single paper or toy. And he doesn't want to cut his hair, sort of for the same reason. He will miss it.
Two haircuts ago, when he was probably four, I cut his hair pretty short. It was cute, but he was really upset about it. He cried a lot, and then got over it. So, his pre-kindergarten haircut was more of a trim, and at this point I'm sort of being hands off about it. I'm embracing the tangles and just loving who he is. (I will surely come to regret these words the day someone in his class gets lice.)"
- Kelsey Camire, Mom of two, Easthampton, MA