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"I’m 17 and my mom won’t let me get a haircut, so my hair is long I feel extremely uncomfortable and self conscious all the time. my mom doesn’t care cause she says I look prettier this way. Its really hard to deal with and I want to just get it cut with out her permission but I have a bad habit of feeling inappropriately guilty about things I do that my parents don’t approve of. What should I do?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

Usually I’m like “listen to your parents, it’s their house their rules, blah blah boring,” but in this situation… get it cut.

I’M SORRY. Does everyone hate me now??? I just know exactly what it feels like to feel uncomfortable with the way you look. It makes everything else in your life feel stupid. If you don’t feel good about you, you just DON’T feel good.

I remember feeling completely uncomfortable with my hair, my clothes, my body, my skin, my everything. It’s the worst and it took YEARS for me to find a place of comfort within myself. The first step was a haircut. I hate to tell you to disobey your mom, but “sry not sry” as they say, because you have a right to feel confident, and if this is what it takes, please go for it.

ALSO THO, talk to your mom. I know you say your mom doesn’t care, but if you tell her “hey mom, I’m getting my haircut because I don’t feel good about myself with long hair, and it’s making me self-conscious in other areas of my life,” maybe she will understand a little better.

Kristin Says:

I think you need to get your hair cut.

I am not sure what kind of communication you and your mom have, and how easy or difficult it is for you to express your feelings to her, but I think if I were in your situation I would plan to get it cut (so, like, schedule your hair appointment on a certain day the following week or whatever), and then I would write her a letter before it happens.

I would explain that you have thought a LOT about what she has said to you and how she feels about your hair, but that it is your hair, and your life, and you know what will make you most comfortable. Tell her that it hurt you to hear that she would think you would be any less pretty with a little less hair. Tell her that you feeling good about yourself is (and should always be) more important than her (or anyone else) feeling good about you.

Let’s stop on that point for a second, shall we? How ANYONE else feels about the way you look should ALWAYS come second to how you feel about yourself. Remember that.

She is your mom, so I know how things can feel tricky and guilt-ridden in these situations… but she is wrong. I know I am not a mom, but I am a 32-year-old grown-ass lady, and I am a person, and I can tell you that you are old enough and smart enough and know enough about yourself to make the choices you need to make in order to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Hopefully, your mom will read that letter and she will begin to understand what this means to you, and to see the err in her ways. If so, great. If not, go forward with what you need to do for you, and continue to be open with her as much as possible about how her resistance is affecting you.

I am REALLY excited about your haircut.
Go get ‘em.


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3 thoughts on “Haircut Guilt

  1. I had long hair forever! (well since I was little). I recently got it cut. My mom didn’t want me to. I got it cut anyways. She LOVES it. Tells me all the time how cute it is. So I say get it cut

  2. As a mother, I like to let our daughter experiment with her hair. It’s better than piercings or tattoos. She’s had corn rows, short and long, henna red and natural dirty blond. We’re getting ready to try the one side shaved look. I’m not crazy about it but it’s her experience and hair grows back! As a daughter, I spent my childhood working to please my mother without exception, now we are estranged, and it took me 10 years of therapy to have a normal relationship. Please learn to balance your needs with hers now. If not, you may find that you rebel from all the restrictions when you are no longer “under her control” like at college and make choices you’ll regret. Some can be reversed or fixed, but some are life altering and forever. Figure out why you feel guilty, get a therapist, talk to a guidance counselor the sooner the better. Good luck!

  3. my mom went through that when she was a kid. She has really long, curly hair and always had to brush it (which is pretty painful for some types of curly hair), so one day she walked down to a barber and had them cut it to her ears without her mother’s approval. I’m pretty sure my grandma got over it pretty quickly, though.

    bonus fun fact: it’s pretty hard to tell what someone with long hair would look like with short hair. It’s actually flattering to more face shapes than people let on. I would personally take offense to a parent saying the way I look now is “prettier” to convince me not to do something.

    I think your mom is in the wrong. Go get your hair cut short if you want to, it feels pretty great!

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