We are not the strictest of parents, but we do set limits. One thing, however, that we let the kids decide upon is their hair styles. When Andrew wanted a buzz cut we let him do it (I think I shed a few tears though). When Clare wanted long hair, we let her grow it long, even though she fussed when we tried to comb the snarls out.
A few years ago, Andrew decided to grow his hair long. I’m not sure how much of a conscious decision this was on his part, or just part of his not wanting to suddenly change his appearance in any way – even getting a hair trim on a Friday would make him feel as if people were staring at him on Monday. By 6th grade Andrew’s hair was to his shoulders and he was the recipient of much female attention -I mostly saw the adult females telling him how pretty his hair was and how jealous they were that their hair was not blond and curly like his.
He put up with a lot of teasing about his hair length, too. His grandfather always asked when he was getting it cut, his wrestling coach called him “Sunshine“, his wrestling team threatened to hold him down and cut his hair, and he was mistaken for a girl too many times to count. I really expected this to bother him, but he took it well and even dressed up as a girl two Halloweens in a row.He’d found a way to stand out in middle school in a good, but slightly unique way and would probably still have the long hair if it weren’t for wrestling.
Andrew’s new wrestling coach in high school made it clear to him at wrestling camp this summer that the long hair was going to have to go. We knew about this rule, so it wasn’t a shock to any of us, but it was sad nonetheless. I liked being the mom with the kid with the long curly blond hair – and I liked the way it looked on him. I also wondered what would replace this as his way to be accepted in school.
So a few days before school started I made an appointment with my stylist and friend, Doug Miller. Doug has long hair himself, so he was able to sympathize with Andrew and assure him that if he wanted long hair after high school, it would grow back just fine.
We took a few shots of Andrew’s hair before we went to see Doug. The front and back and sides – for memories. And of the hair on the floor during the cut. (I remember doing this when the kids had their first haircuts).
Throughout the cut, Andrew was fine – a little subdued, but resolved that this had to be done and Doug chatted about things other than hair.
Clare chose to come along for the appointment – I don’t think she had an appointment that day and wasn’t sure why she was with us, but by the look on her face in this picture, I think it was go gloat. Or perhaps to give her sisterly support. Nah. Look at her face.
Before and After shots of Andrew’s haircut. Which one do you like better?