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Old 05-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #1
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Teens and Hair: is this my hill?

My son is 13. His hair is driving me, dh, my mom NUTS. His hair is very thick and coarse. I think if his hair was thin and fine like mine, it would look better. He insists on long hair. It's always in his eyes. It's extremely shaggy. It has no shape/style -- it's just THERE. He looks a lot better with shorter hair. I'm not talking a high and tight, but a normal men's cut. His hair is eating his head!! He looks like the muppet Beaker with Barkley the Dog's hair!

We did tell him awhile back that he needed to shower more often if he was going to have longer hair. He will show me Emo/scene hairstyles. I do not think I'm old (31) or out of touch or closed-minded, I just think they look ridiculous!! And he's not into his clothes/appearance otherwise. Maybe if he was begging for skinny jeans, Tom's, Chucks, vneck Tshirts, eyeliner, etc, I'd think well, the hair matches the clothes. Sometimes I wish he'd be more concerned with what he wears.

All this to say...
Is this the hill I want to die on?
I try to let my boys express themselves how they want. It's not hurting anyone. Hairstyles are not permanent. Then I also think back to when I was 13 and holy heck, I wish my mom had done something about MY hair/clothing choices. I've never been a girly-girl and my hair was awful. No one is seeing those pictures! On the other hand, when he's 31, I can pull out the pictures and say "remember when your hair ate your head?".

Basically, his hair is driving us MAD. And I know it's ridiculous. And I know ppl are going to say it's his hair, why do you care... Imagine sitting next to someone that smacks their gum all day long. That's how we feel! And he looks really unkempt. I imagine people seeing him and wondering why we don't make him do something with that mop.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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No. Hair is NEVER the hill to die on. It's a phase he's going through, and for most teens hair is a big part of their identity. Just let it run its course.

FWIW I can't stand that shaggy look either. now I know how my grandparents must've felt watching my parents in the 60's...dang hippies. Get a haircut! But they all managed to survive and grow into productive healthy adults.

Let it go. The more of a deal you make of it, the more your son will dig his heels in over it.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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My boys have the same kind of hair- very thick and coarse. DS 17's is more straight, while DS13's has more of a wave to it. They both went through the long hair phase. I hated it! It didn't lay nice, and it made their head look twice as big! It didn't have that nice, soft, sweeping over the eye look that they were going for. Not at all.

They have since figured it out. They both get a 2 on the sides, 4 on the top at the barber. So much easier, and they look so much better with short hair like that!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:14 PM   #4
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I would emphasize hygeine but not make an issue of the hair. Pretty soon he'll find someone he's attracted to, and he'll then be a LOT more concerned about his appearance, including his hair.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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He's making a statement with his hair. This is who he is. I think teens should be allowed to express themselves through their hair. I sense the more you try to control him, the more he is going to resist you and keep the hair that way. It's so true, you should pick your battles and this is not the hill you want to die on. Talk it over with your friends if you need to discuss this.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:26 PM   #6
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OP, know just how you feel.

DS kept his hair long and shaggy through the 9th and part of 10th grade. His hair is thick and course and curly. His nickname was/is "Shaggs" or "Shaggy" because of his hair--given to him by his friends in high school.

I just told him as long as he washed it regularly he could have it any way he wanted. Without us saying anything, he wanted it cut in the last half of tenth grade and has kept it semi short since then. (course then we went through all the color changing! )

I wouldn't worry about it too much. The more you fuss the more determined he may become in keeping it long. I honestly think ds went through all the color changing (bleached, black, half bleached/half black, blue, green and purple) simply trying to find something to shock us with his hair. We never said a word about the lenght--except keep it clean or about the color except that I required it be done professionally so his hair would not fall out.

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Old 05-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
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I have the same problem - with my DD. For the last year or so, her hair has driven me nuts. It CAN look nice, but she refuses to take any effort at all with it. She pulls it back into a pony all the time - which is fine with me because ultimately, I can live with it if it's TIDY. But it's only shoulder length so the sides bits sometimes falls out. Then she won't take a second to TIE IT BACK UP!! GRRRRRR. I grumble when I see her. And when I really can't stand it, I put my foot down and insist she at least tidies it.

Last week I took her out for a special night to the theatre and amazingly enough, she let me take a flat iron to her hair and she looked so pretty. I was thrilled LOL. (The little things that make moms happy)

sigghhhhh...I honestly never dreamt I would have this problem with my GIRL. Most of the time, I do my best to ignore it.

My DS on the other hand....he styles his hair every morning Sometimes its just a nasty mess, but about half the time, he takes his time and he makes sure he looks good. He cracks me up.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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OP, do not choose to die on this hill, there will be others in the teen years that are much more important My son is known as "hair boy" because his hair is so thick and wavy that even the stylists have a hard time digging through to find his scalp. He has had long hair, colored hair, emo hair, everything except for short, buzzed "jock" hair. At first, my husband and I hated the long, shoulder length hair but at least he kept it out of his eyes. Then he wanted it buzzed into what I can only describe as hair you would see at some weird, underground goth club with it totally covering half his face in a thick, flat ironed hunk chin length bangs... fine, we said, as long as your teachers don't complain. Then we moved to south Florida into humidity heaven!

Now we are currently in the "growing out" stage from goth-emo to long, shoulder length surfer waves. Think Malcolm on this season's Survivor. I am thrilled that he's going long again because it will eliminate $45 monthly salon visits and he keeps it back out of his face. We figure he's an honor roll student, happy, well adjusted, works hard and it apparently hasn't hurt him in his quest for a part time job, so we're good with it. He showers twice a day because of working out in the afternoons, so it's clean, and he uses conditioner a couple of times a week so it stays healthy. Mostly I'm just jealous because my teenaged son has hair like a Pantene commercial, and I have about 11 hairs on my whole head
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
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I must be the odd ball - my son as thick coarse hair and it looks so much better to me when it is longer. He usually wears his hair cut with #4 clippers and it just does not look right to me. Still, it is his hair and he can keep it short if he wants to. Makes his father happy with the short hair.
OTOH - my daughter keeps hers in the sweeping cut and dyes it different colors (blue, black, navy, etc.) Hair is not a hill I am willing to die on.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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Ditto the others - as long as it's clean, let it go.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:23 PM   #11
Um, I'm going to go with "NO."
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thanks for the post.

My son will be nine in a few days and we have the same fight with him. I call him Shaggy Jack at home or Bieber on the baseball field (makes him nuts in front of his friends). He goes to a private christian school so I asked his teacher "how long are y'all going to let his hair get before you make him get it cut?"

The teacher gave me a very confused look.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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I love longer hair on boys. I was upset when my thick haired nearly 12 year old cut his.

So NO. I would make some hygiene rules. Wash it daily (what 13 year old isn't showing daily....ewww) and brush/comb it. Otherwise, I would not care at all.

Take him to a decent salon. Get it cleaned up into a 'real' style and as long as he follows the hygiene rules I wouldn't give it a second thought.

Drugs, alcohol, horrible friends, abusive relationships...all hills. Long hair? NO WAY.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jennasis View Post
No. Hair is NEVER the hill to die on. It's a phase he's going through, and for most teens hair is a big part of their identity. Just let it run its course.
I agree with this. It's just hair. Let it go.

For full disclosure: my 16yo DDs current hairstyle is a pixie cut, dyed bright purple. Last month it was bleached white, the month before that it was turquoise. She had it bleach blonde last month only because it was time for the dance recital, and I reminded her that I didn't think the studio director would appreciate turquoise hair for the show, so I insisted it had to be some 'semi natural' color. LOL. She did bleach it, and as soon as the recital was over, we colored it again.

I figure that if she doesn't have embarassing hair in her yearbook and school pictures, what fun will my grandchildren have taunting her?

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jennasis View Post
No. Hair is NEVER the hill to die on. It's a phase he's going through, and for most teens hair is a big part of their identity. Just let it run its course.

FWIW I can't stand that shaggy look either. now I know how my grandparents must've felt watching my parents in the 60's...dang hippies. Get a haircut! But they all managed to survive and grow into productive healthy adults.

Let it go. The more of a deal you make of it, the more your son will dig his heels in over it.
This, this, THIS!!!

Let it go.

DS does have straight hair but not thick or thin. He let it grow. It was in his eyes. It looked horrible. It was his hair and I didn't say a word.

Last weekend he got a buzz cut. #6 blade = 3/4" long but still!!

Just keep in mind that you outgrew... what... did you have the "tail" or mullet from the 90's? Bed head in the late 90's/early 00's?

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Old 05-02-2013, 01:07 PM   #15
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If he keeps it clean and it isn't keeping him from any opportunities, let it go. His peers will eventually convince him to change it.
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