Should a teen get the hairstyle her mother wants?

Marceline asks: I’m 11 years old. My mom wants me to cut my hair. To align with my chin… I really wanted my hair to be long, but my mom doesn’t want that. What should I do? Do you think hair to the chin is good?

Hi Marceline –

Well, first off, I have to say, I am not a beautician, or a fashion expert.  My hair has been the same length all my life.  It doesn’t grow; I just shed a lot.  I do take a lot of care in grooming, by licking myself all over and biting any rotten little fleas that have jumped onto me.  And I like it when I have a new collar that looks pretty on my orange hair.  But when it comes to things like hair length, or clothes, or jewelry, I’m just not the one to ask!

What I can maybe help a bit with, though, is what to do if you and your mom disagree about your hairstyle.  That’s a tougher issue.  On one hand, I’m a big believer in letting kids look the way they want to look (within reason – you have to follow school dress-codes and such), because you’re still developing your own sense of yourself.  But maybe your mom is right, and you’d look really fantastic with your hair trimmed, and it’d be too bad if you never found that out.

So here’s my thought:  what if you both get what you want?  What if you make a deal with her that you’ll get exactly the haircut she wants, and she can (and should) take a bunch of pictures of you right after you get it.  Then you get to grow it as long as you like, for up to a year.  And she should take pictures of you occasionally, the whole time.  And at the end of that year, you two should sit down and look at the pictures.  What do you think, then?  Was she right, that the shorter haircut did wonderful things with the geometry of your face?  Or is the longer hair more of the spirit you want to express to the world?  (And the huge question, did you actually like having the shorter hair and not having to go to all the trouble of caring for longer hair?!)

Anyway, that’s the best advice this dog can give.

Oh, except one other thing… stay away from fleas!



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