As a woman who married a man with luscious long locks with a preference for long hair on men, I didn’t think much of it when I left my sons hair long. So the first time a random passerby in the supermarket called my very male toddler son a girl by accident, I was rather taken by surprise. I personally had never associated long hair with “women”, in fact men with long hair have always led me to think of Vikings, knights and other romantic, manly sorts. Then the stories my husband told of his youth came flooding in as I remember the teasing and ridicule he endured all through his younger years for the same long and beautiful hair that later won him many a fair lady. All of the above led me to wonder if I was doing the right thing leaving my sons hair long. I wondered if by now before he was old enough to choose long hair or short I was making a bad decision for him.
What the experts say on long hair on little boys:
In an attempt to research the known psychological affects of such a trivial parental choice as hairstyle I found very little. Simply a questionably sourced article that gave no clear answers, in one quote saying,
“”It’s okay for parents to let their boys have long hair. Kids get enough pressure to conform to gender expectations from their peers and society, it’s not necessary for parents to add to this pressure by trying to force one look or another.”.
Then less than 200 words later saying,
“While this(ridicule) is not an issue for preschool kids because they are not judgmental yet, being ridiculed beyond those years can set kids up for lower self-esteem.”
This small tidbit of “expert” advice was hardly helpful as on one hand it tells parents to not to add to the pressure to appear one way or another that society applies and less than a paragraph later states that being against societies standards can hurt a child’s self esteem.
What other parents say about long hair on little boys:
The school book experts being of little help I tousled my hair dilemma at other parents. To be fair I asked both parents of little boys I knew to have short hair and then some that had raised or were raising little boys with long hair. On the parents of longhaired little boys, I found my fears were correct; they too had suffered having their sons called daughters and had experienced some teasing from other children and even adults. However, they had also experience a great deal of compliments and the parents of the boys with short hairstyles also had experienced teasing.
In conclusion is it right to keep your little boys hair long?
In all my motherly worry, I had forgotten my own childhood. I too was teased. Everyone I know was teased at one point or another. Children are as cruel as they are innocent and truthful. Long hair or short this fact will remain an undeniable truth of youth. In the end, I leave my angelic boy’s curls in tact until an age when he can say nay or yea on his own terms.
- Long Hair on Little Boys: Right or Wrong?