Boys with Curls: When to Stop Being So Damn Sentimental with Your Kid’s Hair


In the tradition of Lao babyhood, all infants have their heads shaved for the belief that it will grow lustrous and strong. (For whatever else, I don’t know) This tradition is oft suggested to newborns, which is when my mom suggested we shave Humnoy’s head. The kid still had vernix pasted on his vagina-squeezed, oblong head when #AznGrandma about busted out the buzzer. Being the overprotective and wannabe-natural boho mommy I was, I absolutely refused no matter how unfortunate his hair journey started.

Humnoy had this weird, old-man hair when he was an infant: smooth/fuzzy on top; long on the sides and back. Shit was a M E S S. It wasn’t up until he was a full-blown toddler that he grew out of the old-man look and started showing growth and, to my softness for unique hair traits, perfect little brown spirals. I knew waiting out was going to be worth it. I thought, “Oh gee golly, I’m sure glad I didn’t listen to my crazy Lao mother because look at his hair now!”

For what seems like every public outing of his life, I’ve gotten the question: “When will you cut his hair?” usually right after they are offended/surprised that the little girl they are fawning over in the shopping cart is actually my first-born son, who’s never ever had a haircut. I would answer, “Well, I don’t plan on it really, [why?]” What is it about the length of a child’s hair define who they are? Humnoy was always quick to say, “I’m a BOY!” when I’d repeat my, “Oh, HE’S [insert his age]!” I was fiercely proud that I did not ever force him to get a haircut. For what? So strangers can see “who” they’re talking to? No way. Buzz off.


There was finally a time GH and I decided that, yeah, sometimes maintaining his brown curls was more work than not. One day, he got his hair so matted that he formed a baby dreadlock. I thought, “Crap, maybe he does need a haircut” but then he took another bath and fresh, new curls appeared after the baby dread was cut off, along with all my doubt. (It is now in a Ziploc bag in our kitchen because I’m fucking crazy like that). The only other time was when we were reviewing how he’s going to prepare for preschool. I hesitated on my motherly instinct only because I know how cruel people, even preschoolers, can be. I think we decided he would get an actual haircut when he enters Pre-K 4 this coming school year.

Ironically at one month before he was to turn four years old, his eligibility age for his preschool, it was clear that it really wasn’t up to me at all. Not then, not now, not never and Humnoy and his preschool scissors made that very clear (cut) while Lanoy and I were taking our nap, the time when Humnoy should be “quietly playing” since he’s given up on home naps. Long gone are naps for him, long gone are his beautiful baby curls and long gone is all my gushiness for his own hair on his very own head. ‘His hair, his body, his choice,’ isn’t that how it goes or whatever-someshit?


 When did you (or they) cut your kid’s hair?


follow blog on the sidebar

8 thoughts on “Boys with Curls: When to Stop Being So Damn Sentimental with Your Kid’s Hair

  1. OMG…so feel u. Our son is Lao and Black and he had the most GORGEOUS black hair w/big soft curls (the kind that us girls wish we had w/o the chemicals/heat to create). Well, we had to unfortunately cut it because DH accidentally cut a square into his head when trying to “trim” some of it with CLIPPERS! 😦 Josh was not even a year old…BTW, we had the same issue w/the gender thing, we always put his hair up sumo style :-). I feel for ya girl…so now his hair is cut in a bald fade and if he grows it out, which he likes to do during the summer, he looks like a brillow head cuz the curls don’t come back…it’s just straight and fluffy after 3.5 inches. Good Luck with the hair, at least u kept some of it 🙂

  2. I still haven’t cut my kid’s hair. She’s two. I don’t really care, but of course, people expect a girl to have long hair. I dread having a boy and having to explain to people that I prefer the choice to change appearance to be completely up to the child.

    ‘Cause, you know, ‘you’re the parent and they do what you say,’ and giving a kid choices just ISN’T DONE. Barf…..Kids are people, they deserve to be given voice, too, just as much as anyone else, whatever the age.

  3. My son just turned four. He is hispanic and black with a head full of curls. It annoys me when strangers ask (assume) when we will cut it. My husband(licensed barber) and I have decided it is his hair and we will wait until he is about 5 to decide whether he wants a cut or to keep growing it. Some days yes the matting frustrates me but like you said I wash it and it’s curly and detangled again.

  4. We took Tessa to get her head shaved at about 6 months. Her ‘baby’ hair was left only on top of her head. My neighbor convinced us that it would be best to shave her head like an other baby. So that she can have more hair. I was a bit aprehensive about it. Tessa looked so cute like a baby nun! It turns out everyone that sees Tessa’s hair now they first envy how fine and thick her hair is.

  5. Much to my Filipino mothers dismay Ive refused to shave my sons head after he turned 1. I love with my lil mans curls too much.😂 I even told myself as he gets older I’ll tell him its against our beliefs to cut your hair till you’re 18. Its kind of a joy seeing people fluster and apologize when I say ‘HE’S 3’ , it happens no matter if the curls are flowing or up in a baby ponytail. Thankfully I may have a while before he wants to chop his curls off though. When I ask him if he wants his hair cut like his daddy, he runs away screaming no.😆

  6. I waited until after my son’s 1 year birthday party to cut his. My mom just gave me the side eye every single time she mentioned cutting his hair back then. He’s 3 now, but still. I don’t get his cut often, cos I prefer it long/er. Plus, if his hair is short, it’s more coarser too. My mom likes it short, bleh. Plus, she’ll be randomly cutting his hair if it gets to long for her liking. Like dude, seriously? I’m right here!! Lol, crazy Lao mom’s. Sighs.

So, what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s