Yesterday, we took The Boy to the barbers and cut of all his hair. I’d asked his dad the night before and he reluctantly agreed.
I thought I was ready for the “Big Chop” but when I found myself crying uncontrollably in the barbershop, it was clear that I wasn’t ready. I cried several more times throughout the rest of the day when we got home.
Why did I take such a drastic and upsetting step? In truth, I had gotten fed up of being interrogated about my son’s hair. For every one person who complimented his hair, three more asked me disdainfully “what I was doing with it?” Not forgetting the helpful ones who pointed out that if I had a daughter, she may not have the “same hair” as him. (Because they could see into the future.)
My Little Man was born with a lot hair. So much so that it caused issues during his delivery (story for another day). I started using olive oil on it from birth. He got cradle cap in those early weeks and it cleared quickly. When he was about 6 weeks old, I started using extra virgin coconut oil daily and that’s what we’ve used to date.
His hair was lovely and soft but soon we graduated to bigger combs as it started to grow thicker and longer. It was however easy to maintain so there was no issue for me and we had no desire to cut it.
He was 16 months old when he had his first trim. One day, he just had a patch where the hair was shorter near the back. I couldn’t figure out what had happened. (My mum was convinced it had be cut at nursery, lol.) Because of this, we evened it out.
His hair grew back and I had forgotten that we had ever cut it. As he got older, he become less willing for me to comb it. The only time he would allow me was while he was in the bath and it was wet. So I washed and detangled daily, towel dried and left the rest to air dry. If I missed a day, his hair would not be as fluffy and as even as it usually is. It was on these days that I thought it would be easier if it were shorter.
The constant comments and my struggle to comb it just wore me down. Papa Nate was not on board with the hair cut at all. But he said I wore him down into agreeing.
The actual process to cut his hair was very traumatic for me. And for Nate. So much so that he wouldn’t look at his dad afterwards or let him touch or carry him. He also didn’t look in the mirror. All this just made me really sad. At home, he was back to his usual self and was talking and playing. But when I looked up, it didn’t look like my son. His hair was a big part of his identity but in the words of India Arie, he is not his hair. He’s still got the same cheeky smile and is the same little man that I love beyond words. As I was lying in bed yesterday, he came in shouting “mummy, mummy, mummy”. When I answered, he looked me in my face and asked “are you ok?”. I couldn’t help but smile and realise that the answer is yes. I’m slowing getting used to it now.
If anyone is thinking about taking any drastic hair related steps, stop and ask yourself if you’re really ready. Talk to someone beforehand and proceed if you’re sure. It may be preferable to cut gradually so you’re not going from one extreme to the other. (Wise words from my sister (who deals with hair loss and is a hair replacement specialist), after the fact. Oh well, it’s done now and his hair will grow again in time.)
Thanks for stopping by.