Boys Have Long Hair, Too – A father’s view

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This post was written as a contribution to the Boys Have Long Hair, Too Blog Carnival.  The participating bloggers are sharing their experiences, struggles, and opinions surrounding having a son who has long hair.

It seems as if it is mostly mothers that do not seem to have big issues with boys having long hair, while most men seem to be of the opinion that a boy with long hair does not look masculine enough. Now it happens that not only does Nico have long hair, I as the father have no problem with it either. Gender stereotypes are something that you encounter all over the place and the length of hair is one that is a bone of contention with many people.I personally do not find that long hair emasculates a boy (or adult alike) and I know that I am in somewhat of a minority here, but then again, the world of “my” music, that being Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, is full of long haired fellas, most of which are great and friendly men, so maybe that plays a role in my view.

Playing with long hair always soothes Nico.

With Nico it all started shortly after birth, where he made it very clear that he loved long hair, in that case his mom’s. He loved to play with it to calm himself down and get ready to sleep (and still does today) and despite that special Mommy bond, it was clear that the length of hair separated Valerie and myself by a mile and would never enable me to get the same kind of bond in that department (especially since on top my face is adding more and more space to its attic). Nico’s own hair took a while before it would really start to grow and for some strange reason it grew in a Mohawk style, just in the middle and almost nothing on the sides, so when it finally decided to even out and grow everywhere it was supposed to be, he started to use it himself to calm down, so it kind of was a mutual decision.

One with hair in the middle only, one with, well, not so much hair left...

There are a few downsides to the whole “long hair” thing, one of which is that people have a tendency to refer to him as a girl (as if the boyish clothes and colours aren’t enough of a giveaway), knots in his hair and the always welcome “why is there always hair in my food”, but none of those are real deal breakers so far, but more on the annoying side. And depending on how people refer to Nico as a girl, we either gently correct them or make it clear that it is not “wrong” for a boy to have long hair, Nico doesn’t really care, because he mostly doesn’t understand what people are trying to say anyways.

A long-haired boy indeed...

Time and again people (or in my case mostly colleagues) ask me, when we would be cutting Nico’s hair, but quite frankly, why would we? The hair is not in anybody’s way, it doesn’t hurt (often) and it helps him to self-soothe, so again, why would we? Nico himself is very opposed to any notion of cutting his hair (“No,no,no,no,no,no,no,no,no”), so we don’t force the issue either. I think that we’ll only consider cutting his hair once either he decides that it is time (according to my mom I also had longer hair when I was a boy and at one point was just fed up with people thinking I was a girl and asked her to cut them) or when it starts to become a real problem (and no, people thinking he’s a girl is not one).

 

We’d love it if you stopped by to read submissions by the other amazing carnival bloggers

My Happy Hippie Boy – Andie from Crayon Freckles shares why she and her husband have chosen to let their 3.5 yr old son’s hair go uncut.

Boys Have Long Hair, Too: A Maman’s View — Valerie from Glittering Muffins son has been called a cute little girl for about a year and a half (he’s 2.5 yo). So she corrects people and tells them he’s a boy and loves his long hair (Once in a while she even throws in a “he also loves to watch Strawberry Shortcake”). 

Boys Have Long Hair, Too –The Monko from Taming the Goblin explains why she likes it when her son is mistaken for a girl and asks the question “Do mums of girls feel this guilty when their child doesn’t like having their long hair brushed?”

Sampson — Kellie from Our Mindful Life reflects on how long hair gives her son power.

Trials and Tribulations of a Boy with Tresses — Carolyn from Mama’s Little Muse talks about her experience in raising a boy with hair too beautiful to cut short. It is about how people have reacted; how she has created keepsakes featuring his hair; and also how they have arrived at a game that they play so that the hair brushing experience goes more smoothly.

His Hair, His Decision — Lyndsay from Our Feminist {Play}School asks the question “why shouldn’t a boy have long hair?”. Her ‘answers’ are historical, personal and family-specific.

Boys Have Long Hair, Too — Sarah from This is Me…Sarah Mum of 3 is mum to 3 children a boy aged 10, girl aged 8 and a boy aged 5, Always loving the longer hair styles for boys her two boys have had many different hair styles over the years but always seem to resort back to the longer locks even against the negative comments they sometimes receive.

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14 comments to Boys Have Long Hair, Too – A father’s view

  • What a great post! My husband also loves that our son loves his hair. I think that long hair in men isn’t nearly as uncommon as society would have us believe it is, as you point out in your music. I only ever dated men with longer hair, with the exception of one or two (my husband being one of them, but a former long hair himself). And it really doesn’t so much matter what society thinks of our boys as much as it matters what we and our boys think of our boys. :)

    • Alex

      Hi Kellie,

      it is true, there are way more long haired boys and men than most people think, even outside of my music, but since they don’t conform to what many see as the “proper way” a boy or man should look, they get a bad rep, but hey, as you say, who cares about society, if you are ok with it?

      Alex

  • I love the dad’s perspective! I really love that you pointed out that his long hair provides a self-soothing quality for your son. That is something that I bet a lot of people don’t realize when thinking about long hair. Sweet that you were a part of this Carnival! A dad’s perspective is what we need more of in the blogging world!

    • Alex

      Hi Carolyn,
      most people will only think about long hair and that he does not look like they think a boy should look like. But hey, as long as we know… ;)
      And I am happy to be part of this carnival and of the blogging world, I wish that more dads were actually involved in these blogs, even if just for guest posts…
      Alex

  • Alex! I love this post. My husband is right there with you and supports Aodhan’s long hair and sensitive soul. So silly to think of hair as defining our children. N is such a lucky guy to have you and V loving and supporting him. Thank you for sharing.

    • Alex

      Hi Lyndsay,
      thanks! Does long hair make a boy less of a boy than wearing something, say, blue makes a girl less of a girl? Nope! I’m right there with you! :)
      Alex

  • andie

    that picture of him and his maman is so precious! and i know what you mean about the music. most of my and my hub’s fave bands from the 80s and early 90s had long hair! isn’t it funny how our kiddos can be dressed in boyish clothes and people still go towards the “her”. i had a lady at the park the other day who said she just thought he was a tomboy :)

    i’m so glad that you participated in this. getting a father’s view is insightful. such a blessing that nico has a daddy who will stand up for him, support him, and respect his wishes :)

    thanks again for participating in the carnival!

    • Alex

      Hi Andie,
      more than happy to be a part of the carnival, thanks for giving us the opportunity. And we are experiencing exactly the same thing as you – short of putting on a shirt “I’m a BOY!” people probably won’t stop either, because they just see the hair and then stop looking… We’ll just have to stick together!
      Alex

  • Alex, I love your attitude. I am lucky to have an equally open minded partner. Goblin had so much silky hair it just seemed natural to both me and my husband to let it grow long. I love that Nico uses it to self sooth. Your comment about your facing getting more attic space made me laugh out loud. So glad you are part of this carnival

    • Alex

      Hi,
      thanks for your response, and it is sadly true about my face… There’s another saying, that a beautiful face needs space, but that would be pretentious (and highly untrue… ;)…
      Alex

  • [...] Boys Have Long Hair, Too: A Father’s View — Alex from Glittering Muffins says it happens that not only does his son, Nico have long hair, he as the father has no problem with it either. He personally does not find that long hair emasculates a boy (or adult alike)… [...]

  • [...] Boys Have Long Hair, Too: A Father’s View — Alex from Glittering Muffins says it happens that not only does his son, Nico have long hair, he as the father has no problem with it either. He personally does not find that long hair emasculates a boy (or adult alike)… [...]

  • Loved reading your perspective and experience, Alex! I think cutting it when he asks to is a good choice. I have to admit to cutting my daughter’s hair when she was one even though she didn’t want to bc she has such thick, curly hair, that I needed it shorter to control it some.

    My daughter touches my ear to self soothe, and she has ever since she was small baby. =)

    • Alex

      Hi Rebekah,
      exactly, every child has a different way of soothing themselves, in the case of Nico it’s hair and it’s ok (as long as he doesn’t yank or tangle too much, you can ask Valerie about that…). There are so many things we can/have to battle with them for, Valerie always says that this is a battle that is not one to fight, because you wouldn’t want an infuriated toddler around when trying to cut his hair with scissors…
      Alex

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