what age to you let them take charge of their own haircuts

(38 Posts)
eatyourveg Tue 11-Dec-12 17:43:02

ds3 (14) want to have his hair shaved. (not off completely but a very short squaddie style Number 2 sides number 3 on top) Just interested to know in a quick yes or no. Would you let your ds decide themselves?

nagynolonger Tue 11-Dec-12 17:51:00

The only thing I wouldn't let them do is dye it a 'not natural' colour (green etc) because they would be sent home from school. If they had very long hair they would have to tie it back in science.

Mine have very short hair. It is their choice.

My DSs have pretty much been deciding for themselves (within reason as I'm the one who has to do it) since they were 7 or 8 how their hair was, and tbh it was only that late because they didn't care that much before then. I think your DS at 14 is more than old enough to choose how to have his hair, and what you're describing is short but not 'getting into trouble at school' short as far as I remember (used to do DSs hair that short when they were little)

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 11-Dec-12 18:36:46


Why would you not?

notMarlene Tue 11-Dec-12 18:42:00

Yes. But, if he's taking charge of how and where it's done he should probably pay for it himself. presumably you'd need to adjust pocket money to make that feasible.

notMarlene Tue 11-Dec-12 18:43:06

yy wild dye jobs need to be planned for the longer holidays

Always as long as within school rules.

lljkk Tue 11-Dec-12 18:48:25

Yes as long as school finds it acceptable.

mumblechum1 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:04:48

From about 10 or 11.

flow4 Tue 11-Dec-12 22:50:22

Yes. For as long as they have expressed any kind of opinion about it.

BackforGood Tue 11-Dec-12 22:56:52

From when they moved to secondary - well, I suppose some "discussion" before then. As long as they are within school guidelines, then my thinking it, it's their head, so their decision.

eatyourveg Wed 12-Dec-12 21:35:37

lljkk why would school finding it acceptable carry more weight than me finding it acceptable?

Think we are going to go for a compromise with 4 and 7. I'd rather no clippers at all and just stick to the scissors but he's raiding the piggy bank to get it done himself tomorrow when he gets off the train from school so I figured rather than a flat no - I'd at least show willing to meet him half way with the offer to pay if he goes for something less severe. No idea what a 4 and 7 looks like though

colditz Wed 12-Dec-12 21:37:05

My six year old decides on the length of his hair, it strikes me as hyper controlling to be deciding a fourteen year olds haircut.

colditz Wed 12-Dec-12 21:38:22

You finding it acceptable shouldn't even be on the radar, for gods sake he's old enough to get married in two years!

mercibucket Wed 12-Dec-12 21:46:13

I've let mine decide since 5. It's their head, why not? They can't do things that would get them into trouble at school, that's the only rule - so no dyeing hair, and braids and tramlines are saved for holiday times only. It's really controlling at 14!

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 12-Dec-12 21:47:00

Serious question - why does it matter to you what his hair looks like?

Asinine Wed 12-Dec-12 21:51:06

My dd has been going to the hairdresser on her own from age 13. It never occurred to me to have an input as to what she had done as long as it was under£10

BackforGood Wed 12-Dec-12 22:40:56

Because the schools find anything acceptable that's not "extreme" - pink mohecan say - whereas it seems like you are trying to dictate the 'style'. Obviously what we as parents like isn't going to be likely to be the same as what 14yr olds like ~ tis the way of life, but, long before he got to 14 my ds was able to decide what hairstyle he wanted.

steppemum Wed 12-Dec-12 22:50:00

Gosh, mine are 10, 7 and 4 and all choose their own haircut. Why shouldn't they have input?

I do guide them and one or two things I have said no to as they have to be practical for school (eg either short or able to be tied back for girls)

But, it is only hair, it grows again, why not?

eatyourveg Thu 13-Dec-12 08:36:23

AtiaoftheJulii it does matter to me what his hair looks like. ds3 is on the autistic spectrum and as such, is not as socially aware as NT teenagers. If he wanted to go down the town or to school wearing clothes and a hairstyle that he loved but which most teenagers would laugh at, I would feel wretched. As a parent I feel it my responsibility to do what I can to make sure he avoids making himself the object of teenage taunts.

I don't want my kids being the ones who walk around town wearing their favourite jeans which happen to be 3 inches too short so showing off their favourite disney socks underneath - its asking for trouble. Likewise I don't want my child having a haircut that is too severe and would stick out as being different from his peers. You may come back and tell me that a number 2 and 3 haircut is quite normal these days - perhaps it is, but its certainly not in the FE college where I work where most boys wear their hair well below the collar. His school is an independent one where the rules on hair are very strict. Can't remember the exact wording but in the code of conduct (which infuriatingly I can't find) it states that hair must not be below the collar and not shorter than a number x - just don't know what the number x is. Going for a 4 and 7 is a compromise which won't draw attention.

I do think it important that he can be an individual and have free will to express himself but within boundaries. Incidentally ds1 had hair to his shoulders at 16 - no problem with that as it didn't make him stick out like a sore thumb. if a dc can hold their own in any environment then I'm quite happy for them to express themselves however they want but when its setting someone up for a fall - its down right irresponsible as a parent to let it go unchecked

Thanks for the responses -

shrimponastick Thu 13-Dec-12 08:45:46

I have always insisted on when and how DS has his hair cut.

He suits it cut on a no. 1 all over (he is mixed race).

However he has been growing it out since summer, and tbh looks a dick. I don't mention it now, and just Hope that

he wants it cutting soon.

He is 14.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 13-Dec-12 08:55:18

eatyourveg and there you demonstrate the pointlessness of quick yes-no questions when it comes to parenting!

I understand what you're saying, but I wouldn't think that a grade 2 and 3 would be enough to get him laughed at? My dh has a very responsible professional job, all smart suits and cufflinks and so on, and he has a grade 2 all over and looks perfectly acceptable, lol. You must live in a very different part of the country to me!

tabulahrasa Thu 13-Dec-12 08:59:51

DD is 12 and currently has fluorescent pink ends on her hair (her school cares not what her hair looks like) because she can judge what's socially acceptable and if she goes off it it can be gone in one haircut.

DS is 16, had AS and would like his hair shaved too...I don't let him, I let him get it short, but not shaved as with him it's not about self expression and he's not capable of judging whether it's socially acceptable - once he's left school he can do what he wants, but he's had a pretty rough journey through school and I see it as my job to try and ease that a bit by not letting his appearance make him stand out.

I know other patents disagree with me about that though - so I don't know that asking on here is going to help you massively.

oddslippers Thu 13-Dec-12 09:02:44

I think it's really important for kids of any age to be confident in their own choices and you should support them to do this, particularly when they are teenagers. They know best what's 'in'and what's not, what would have between a big no no when we were young is probably uber cool now. I agree that things must comply with the school rules but beyond that anything goes.

shrimp my ds1 is the same age. Used to have a number 1 all over.
Has now decided to "grow it out" for what reason I don't know, I think cane rolls
It looks awful.

However, he pays for the haircuts, takes himself to the barber so I say nothing, although I had to stop him this morning as he had an Afro comb just stuck in the top of his head and was about to leave for school?!

NoNoNoMYDoIt Thu 13-Dec-12 09:11:59

gosh my 3 yr old was insistent she wanted all her hair cut really short and i was going to let her do it. it's her hair after all! and it will grow again. she had a wobble at the last moment when she realised she wouldn't look like Belle (disney princess - argh!!) if she had it cut short. so she decided against it, and then in the chair changed her mind back to short again. i persuaded her this time just to have a few inches cut off which she was fine with. but she is insistent that next time it all comes off. she has gorgeous straight long blonde hair. it is sad to cut it all off. but if it's what she wants...

can't see the problem with a child that age having a number 2 if that's what he wants. my son is 6 and has a number 3 on the sides and trimmed v short on the top. he has two crowns so anything else just looks a mess.

eatyourveg Thu 13-Dec-12 09:33:06

AtiaoftheJulii I deliberately wanted a quick yes/no as I just wanted a straw poll to avoid going into the specifics or raising the controlling / right to expression issue which I knew would be a hot potato. Just a would you let your dc get a number 2/3 if they wanted yes or no.

tabulahrasa I appreciate your post. I think we have reached a compromise but until we see just what a 5/7 looks like we won't know. I have no idea on clipper lengths.

oddslippers - I'm going out shopping today and ds has asked for a pair of grey or black non jeans (denim) trousers. I'm going to Top Man, River Island and Burton to find a pair but he would probably be just as happy with a pair from m&s classic menswear or milletts. I'm pretty confident he doesn't register whats in and whats not one bit. I try to get him the same sort of stuff that I see my students in.

Thanks again for the responses

mumblechum1 Thu 13-Dec-12 10:42:44

DS has 3 on top, 2 on the sides.

He looks fine, as he's in the TA, and he's mixed race. He's had afros before and they were really messy looking but he loved them.

He had it really short as it looks stupid with a beret if he has tufty bits sticking out!

mumblechum1 Thu 13-Dec-12 10:43:25

1 is pretty much to the scalp, 3 is about 3 mm.

NoNoNoMYDoIt Thu 13-Dec-12 11:04:11

i don't even know if there is such a thing as a number 7? don't they just cut with scissors after a certain point?

NoNoNoMYDoIt Thu 13-Dec-12 11:06:35

but if you want a 'yes' or 'no', then at that age 'yes'. the only issue would be if school said 'no' to a number 2. in which case it would have to be a 'no'. although quite what they would do if you did send him in with a number 2, i don't know. how would they even know it was a number 2, unless they measured it? they wouldn't expect you to keep him at home until it grew a few more mms!

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 13-Dec-12 11:20:55

Each grade is 1/8 inch - about 3mm.

Eatyourveg - so then everyone said yes, he's 14, let him have what he wants, and you came back and told us why we were all wrong when it came to your son! If you found that helpful, then great.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 13-Dec-12 11:25:34

Fwiw, my 12 year old asks for a short back and sides in the barber's (was there last night with him and they have finally stopped asking me about his hair, as I just direct questions back to him) and they do a number 4 on the back and sides and then cut it with scissors to about an inch on top. So a 4/7 would look completely respectable imo, though possibly not as cool as you want him to look!

eatyourveg Thu 13-Dec-12 13:33:29

atia I didn't come back to tell you that you were all wrong and if that is the impression you too from my post then I apologise. I came back because you asked me a specific question and I didn't understand the point lljkk was making. I am grateful for all responses and yes I did find them helpful. smile

eatyourveg Thu 13-Dec-12 13:33:52

took not too

theredhen Thu 13-Dec-12 13:46:03

If I left it to DS (aged 14) he would never get it cut.

So I organise the hairdresser, he tells her what he wants, which is generally, "what you did last time". grin

Solopower1 Sat 15-Dec-12 18:10:46

I didn't mind my own son deciding what haircut he wanted. I was a bit hmm though, when his friend went with him, and told the hairdresser to give him a weird haircut - which he did. At least that was what my son told me.

But hair grows quickly.

Tau Sun 16-Dec-12 19:09:52

I think my son was eight or nine when he was in charge of his haircuts - or rather lack of them; he wanted long hair. Before that age he was not interested.
The only rule is that he will have checkups if headlice are suspected.
He is sensible enough to not do anything that would get him into trouble at school.

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