View Full Version : My son won't tie his hair back and it gets very tangled

February 7th, 2009, 11:04 AM
I was just reading Shadow Walker's post about family pressure to cut his hair, and that made me think to post this question here.

My 9 year old son has long-ish hair for a boy (it's to his shoulders). I am fully supportive of him having long hair, but it's just difficult to get him to take care of it properly. He wouldn't use conditioner when he washed it and I still have to remind him to comb/brush it daily. He's very active, and his hair gets very tangled. I wish he would put it in a ponytail while he plays soccer or other sports, but he's afraid that it makes him look like a girl. So he plays with his hair down and hanging in his face which blocks his view and leads to tangles.

I was wondering if having messy hair is his way of dealing with the outside pressure from people who say his hair is too pretty for a boy.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to nag him. Should I just leave him alone about this?

February 7th, 2009, 11:15 AM
Maybe you could get him some boy-style hair toys? A really masculine fork, a buff, some of those knotheads in black?

February 7th, 2009, 11:20 AM
Maybe he would like a half up 'Lord of the Rings' style or something.

My 8 yr. old is growing out his hair, but it's because he wants to put in a ponytail.:shrug: ...he also wants to dye it yellow with orange tips but he and I will have to have that "discussion" when the time comes:shake:

February 7th, 2009, 11:26 AM
I am not a boy but when I was younger 6-9 ish my hair was always a tangled mess. I just didn't care.

My grandma was always lamenting that my hair was so unkempt and why didn't I braid it or tie it back? It didn't do one lick of good because I just didn't care. It was so far off of my "things I care about list" at that age that I didn't give her nagging a second thought.

So my suggestion is to either leave your son in his tangled glory unless it's a special occasion then by all means make him get spiffed up. Or get him a bandanna or something to keep his hair out of his eyes. Also one tip is to show him pics of soccer players with long hair that are famous. Most (all??) keep their hair tied back in one way or another to play the sport, maybe if he sees photographic evidence he'll rethink his position that ponytails are girly.

February 7th, 2009, 11:47 AM
thanks for the suggestions. I showed him some photos of famous soccer players with ponytails. He said, "but on kids they do make you look like a girl". I think he actually has a point, because he hasn't gone through puberty yet. Kids at his age don't have any secondary sexual characteristics developed yet. I didn't tell him that, though. I think maybe seeing the photos helped a bit.

I have a few buffs that I like to wear under my cycling helmet, and we tried one on him. I think that might be a good solution. Mine was just a plain blue bandana pattern, but he was excited that they come with patterns of skulls or camo.

February 7th, 2009, 11:54 AM
I think you are a great mom to take the time to work with him on this. My son and I didn't have issues over hair but we did over clothes. I let him go to school and to hang out with his friends any way he wanted to look. The school had some restrictions. But for fun time with friends I let him wear anything he wanted. My restrictions were that there were certain family times when he would have to dress the way I wanted him to. I couldn't have him wearing Big Johnson T shirts around my mom! :D Maybe you could make some kind of a deal with your son along those lines.

February 7th, 2009, 11:57 AM
He's 9. Old enough to have some responsibilities like taking care of his hair.

If he doesn't, then oh well. He has to REALLY want it himself, and from the looks of it he doesn't. Nothing to do about that. If in the long run it gets chopped due to damage, realize it's his hair, it will grow back.

natt i nord
February 7th, 2009, 12:15 PM
I know that - my brother has short hair but on this length you already have to brush/comb it and he always 'forgets' to comb it. My mother has to force him that he combs. He's eleven, so I think it's normal for boys on this age :D
Leave him, I'm sure he will change his mind some day :)

Actually he wanted a hairstyle like Timo Hildebrandt (http://www.fotoagentur-stuttgart.de/images/promis/timo_hildebrandt.jpg), but then the curls of our mother came out :whistle:

February 7th, 2009, 12:27 PM
I think it's a kid thing. All of mine went through it, and I just did mental eye-rolls and let them have at it.

They do outgrow it, and they will (surprise!) remember the things you've told them once they get ready.

February 7th, 2009, 12:42 PM
thanks for the reassurance. I have a 13-year old daughter, so I should know that kids eventually start to care what they look like. I used to have to nag my daughter to take a shower a few times a week, but now it seems like she's always in the bathroom grooming herself and using up all the hot water. I suppose my son with go through something similar in a couple of years.

February 7th, 2009, 06:34 PM
get him 2-in-1 shampoo conditioner for dry hair - that will help with tangles. See if he'll wear a black do-rag for soccer practice - those look masculine - skulls and crossbones help!

February 7th, 2009, 06:36 PM
something like this!

February 7th, 2009, 08:01 PM
My son won't tie his hair back either because he says it looks too girly.

I hope he changes his mind soon. I'd like to see him wear braids, especially a rope braid. :D

February 7th, 2009, 10:59 PM
My son won't tie his hair back either because he says it looks too girly.

I hope he changes his mind soon. I'd like to see him wear braids, especially a rope braid. :D

I think I mentioned that my son said that only kids look girly with their hair tied back, but he agreed that men do not.

I had to put aside my mom bias and try to look objectively at him. I actually think he has a point (although I did not tell him that). When he starts going through puberty and looking more masculine, he'll be more concerned about his grooming and probably feel more comfortable with his hair tied back. Right now, I think he might be keeping it messy to indicate to everyone that he's not a girl. Maybe even somewhat subconsciously.

Prepubescent boys and girls, reallly you can't tell them apart if they aren't conforming to norms and dressing the part. I should realize this. I had very short hair for awhile when I was a kid, and people often thought I was a boy unless I was wearing a dress (and I still hate to wear dresses).

Thanks to everyone for the input. I think the two-in-one shampoo/conditioner is a good idea. And he already is down with the idea of wearing a Buff if I get him one with camouflage or skulls.

February 8th, 2009, 01:10 AM
my nephew has long hair too and only in the past year or so he has started to tie his hair back (he's 16 now). in the past it was always just hanging there - I kinda forgot for a while what his face looks like cos I never got to see it through this mess of tangled blonde hair (and he has a TON of it, too! XD) he also played basketball and I still haven't figured out how it's even possible without getting yourself killed on the field if you can't see through your hair... but then again, what do I know. :D

I would say let your kid be. he's 9. there is no way on earth he's gonna care about his hair for several years to come... seriously. if it gets very bad, you might be able to coax him into a haircut. if not, he'll eventually grow out of it.