View Full Version : Were you given "hair freedom" as a child?

June 14th, 2010, 07:20 PM
This is a post spin-off to previous posts about parents controlling their children's hairstyle and length. I empathize with those of you who were controlled when it came to your hair but I don't really relate because I was given total control and freedom when it came to my hair, my clothes and most everything when I was growing up. I guess I was pretty lucky and I think my parents did an amzing job at nurturing my creativity and self-esteem.

I was even allowed to cut my own bangs and despite warnings from my Mom telling me I wouldn't like them...I didn't lol but at least I was given the opportunity to make my own mistakes and look silly in my school pictures that year. I'm glad she let me when I look back now.

When I was a teen I was allowed to dye my hair whatever colour I wanted...well I learned my lesson there too lol. I dyed my hair so much it felt like straw and then I was forced to cut it. A disaster but a lesson learned and I had lots of fun in the meantime :D

I think I've done everything under the sun to my hair and I don't regret any of it. I've permed, bleached, did the black dye thing, gone long and very short and I was just wondering if there are any of you who have had the opportunity growing up to just get out there and explore everything you wanted to (hair related or not) with parents who guided rather than dictated? That being asked, do you ever wish you had had parents who were a little more controlling?

June 14th, 2010, 07:22 PM
My parents (may they both rest in peace) were great advocates of kid freedom in all things: hair, clothing, activities, you name it.

I was very lucky!

June 14th, 2010, 07:49 PM
Nope. My mom made my hair appointments and decided my hair length until I was at least 12. She would blow dry it straight...it had no idea I had curly hair until I was around that age, either. I just thought that my hair was 'poofy' and 'frizzy' and hated it.
Never dyed it fun colors, although I never wanted to. I know I wouldn't have been allowed to if I had asked for them, though.
Even now (I'm almost 21, and live across the country at school for most of the year) she bugs me to get my hair cut every time I come home. She's funny like that, but she's always been that way, so I'm used to it :rolleyes:

June 14th, 2010, 07:54 PM
My parents were also accepting of whatever I wanted to do with my hair. I vaguely remember my mom encouraging me to grow out my hair, but that's what I wanted to do anyway so... At this time I have dyed various parts of my hair red, orange, green, blue, purple, and pink. :D My dad even dyed part of his moustache purple one time.
My parents told me that if I wanted to cut my hair they'd let me, but everyone knows I really like my long hair so I think they'd be very surprised if I wanted to cut it. I kind of hope they won't let me cut it if I suddenly change my mind, because I don't think I'll ever really want short hair. :shrug:

June 14th, 2010, 07:56 PM
I had only a little hair freedom for most of my childhood, but then I wasn't that interested in my hair until I was about 11 or 12. The only thing I ever really cared about with regard to my hair when I was a kid was the obvious cowlick at my hairline on the right side. My mom would try to put barrettes and things in my hair but it was slippery and very fine, so everything would slide right out. As a result I was always made to wear a bob just longer than chin length with bangs straight across, so the cowlick was always terribly noticeable. When I was about five I tried to cut it off and you can imagine how that looked. ;)

June 14th, 2010, 08:02 PM
Birth to 8 my mother took care of my hair, 8-10 I was given freedom and that's when my grandmother took it upon herself to take me to get my first haircut. 10-14 it was kept very very short but after I was 14 I was allowed to do what I wanted with my hair. I bleached, blowdried, fried, and colored to my hearts content.

June 14th, 2010, 08:06 PM
I always had long hair, but i remember hair dressers always telling me I had build-up. And my mom telling me to put my hair up in the hot weather

June 14th, 2010, 08:12 PM
My mom hates change so she'd put up a fuss... but she eventually let me do most stuff I wanted. "Unnatural" hair colors were confined to the wash out kind (I had dozens of those stupid mascara tubes of fake color!) And although I tended to want to try drastic things (chop off my waist length hair into a bob, dye my blonde hair black) I did have to ease into these things for her sake. :)

I'm glad she did things the way she did. I never had to sob after an impulsive haircut or dye job, but I did eventually get to try super short hair and yes, dyed it black at one point (which I loved... just got sick of the upkeep and blonde roots make you look like you're going bald!).

June 14th, 2010, 08:15 PM
My Mom had complete control over my clothing and hair till I was 12-13. My parents believed in training their children, not letting kids learn everything in the school of hard knocks!

So, she didn't let me grow my hair past mid-shoulder length till I was 11, and she cut it back from BSL to mid shoulder when I was 12 because I wasn't taking good care of it. She also let me grow out the bangs she gave me when I was 13, and I've no intentions of ever growing them again!

June 14th, 2010, 08:16 PM
My hair was allowed to grow unchecked (well, the occasional end trimming) until I was 16. I never wanted it cut, and neither did my mother. What I did want, and wasn't allowed, was for my bangs to grow out. My mother said that that would take too long, to reach the length of the rest, and would be unsightly. I wasn't able to get rid of the bangs till after my first haircut - to shoulder blade length - at 16.

June 14th, 2010, 08:30 PM
I never even thought much about my hair until I was four. The only thing my mother ever did up until that point was give me bangs and trim my ends. I could do whatever I wanted. She made me cool hairclips, but I got to pick whatever I wanted. The fatal day came when I, being terrified of imaginary monsters that apparently dwelled in the shower, refused to get in the shower and wash my hair in favor of helping my Dad move furniture around in the back yard. After repeated yelling of my name and telling me to come take a shower (along with threats of cutting my then rather long hair), my mother took came outside and sat me in a chair and cut my hair into a bob. She told me I could grow it out again when I turned five, which I promptly did. Once it got back to it's original length, my mother claimed that she thought I was not responsible enough to take care of it and braided it every day, which annoyed me since I like wearing it down. She insisted on combing it after I showered (she liked to yank), and insisted on trimming my bangs and ends every month, which annoyed me quite a lot, since I was convinced she was cutting my hair too short every time. Eventually she started taking me to a SuperCuts, where they cut my hair WAY too short, which horrified even my mother, and she went back to trimming my hair, all the way through middle school. I did however, in fourth grade have a small triumph when she went on a prolonged trip to Scotland and I began wearing my hair down like I'd always wanted. I got to do wacky little updoes with fancy clips with little bits of my hair and wear the rest down. It felt very princess-like. In high school I learned to trim my own hair, and from then on only trimmed my bangs, and did S&D type stuff to my mother's great disapproval. Now she denies all of this. Ah well...

June 14th, 2010, 08:34 PM
I didn't exactly have hair freedom, but I wasn't too restricted either. I guess a happy medium. However I never had long hair as a kid. The longest was maybe APL-BSL but I don't know since I didn't have a bra yet ;). lol:) I had pretty much shoulder length hair all my life until I turned 14 and I started to grow it. But 16 I had near waist length....then cut it and dyed it red! (The horror! I looked silly with that box shade of orangey red) I wasn't allowed to dye it or cut it too short, but I did that without permission. I guess I was rebelling. :s

June 14th, 2010, 08:44 PM
I had plenty of hair freedom as a child, when I decided I wanted it a certain way. I didn't really care about it until I was around 8. Previously, my hair was mostly longish. When I contracted lice in grade school, my mother painstakingly used one of those horrid lice combs on my waist length hair for HOURS. Many, many, many times she threatened to cut it during the lice epidemic.

Even though I had the option of doing all sorts of crazy things to my hair, I never permed it or used dye.

June 14th, 2010, 08:48 PM
Nope. Not on my end anyway. I didn't get hair freedom until right near the end of high school. Before that there was always a length requirement that I had to abide by, so that meant regularly scheduled appointments. Suffice it to say I'm much happier now!

June 14th, 2010, 08:49 PM
I was given very little hair freedom, right until I was left on my own in college. My dad would threaten to shave my head if I dyed it, I wasn't allowed to have bangs, and I wasn't allowed any 'extreme' haircuts. Generally they were okay with any length, but whenever it would get long they would encourage us to cut it to make things easier. When my henna gloss was more henna and less gloss I totally stressed for a week. In the end everything turned out okay =3

June 14th, 2010, 08:50 PM
My mom gave me some freedom, not so much that I did anything crazy and not so little that I was stifled. It was perfect. As for hair, she'd make the appointment but beyond third grade or so I chose my cut. When I wanted a perm we discussed it at length and I had the final say, and for crazy colors she talked me into clip-ins first, which was great because it would have hampered some of my activities to have crazy colored hair and been a poorly considered decision.

So yeah, I am against full image freedom for kids, especially with clothing, piercings, etc etc, but a little choice is greatly. Even my toddler gets to pick the color shirt she wants, pigtails vs. ponytails, her color of cloth diaper, etc etc, and my other children will have the same sorts of choices. I control the ultimate content, but she still gets to exert her preferences within that framework. Her sister should follow suit in the next year as she learns to talk a bit better :)

June 14th, 2010, 08:52 PM
My parents gave me total freedom, as I said above, and I never had the desire to dye or perm. Go figure.

June 14th, 2010, 09:08 PM
I've had it both ways. When I was really young, my nanny let my hair grow long, and I liked it that way. When I got older I was forced to get it cut short regularly
(my evil stepfather), but as soon as I went to college I began to grow it out long again.

June 14th, 2010, 09:22 PM
I had hair freedom, but I hated my hair vigorously as soon as I got conscious of it's existence.
It was a huge cause of stress and self-hatred when I was young, even if my parents and so many people found my curls perfect and beautiful.

But yes, I was free to do what I wanted with it. (never tried to do anything wild - except trying to change it's nature damaged it, of course)

June 14th, 2010, 09:27 PM
I was free to choose what cut I wanted, but I wasn't allowed to dye my hair until I was a teenager (at which point I went crazy with the boxed dyes). I even cut my own hair drastically a couple of times (with disastrous results!). I'm glad I had freedom. I got all my experimenting out at a young age when it didn't matter too much what my hair color was. Now I don't feel the desire to color my hair or to get drastic chops, because I got it out of my system.

June 14th, 2010, 09:49 PM
My parents gave me full reign over my head. For whatever reason, I never really took advantage of that fact. I got a pixie when I was 6, then grew my hair out to the typical Asian bob with bangs until I was in 3rd grade, then after that I started growing my hair until I was 14, at which point it was BSL+ and very damaged.

I dyed it box red (some which turned burgundy and purple) for most of high school with the aiding and abetting of my mother (I helped her dye hers, too). It didn't make that much of an impact on either of our heads, though, since we both have really dark hair :shrug:

My dad always jokes about hennaing his (remaining ;)) hair and/or mustache, but unfortunately, I don't think that will happen.

What can I say -- my entire family has always been drawn to red :)

June 14th, 2010, 09:54 PM
I got to choose my hairstyle, but it was expected to be short. I didn't question this until I became a teenager and long hair was really in at that time. The battles raged for years, one haircut at a time, and arguing over every inch.

June 14th, 2010, 11:16 PM
A little of column A, a little of column B :p

My mom made me keep my hair short when I was little, because I couldn't take care of it myself if it was longer and she didn't want to deal with me hollering every time she got close with a brush. But by the time I was twelve or so, her attitude was that anything I was willing to do to myself was my choice, and she was pretty generally supportive. When I was in high school and trying to work up the nerve to start doing funky colors, she was the one who pushed me to go for it and set me up an appointment with a stylist friend. She's always been very adamant about letting me be independent and make my own choices (and my own mistakes) - and my penchant for weird hair colors and tattoos notwithstanding, it seems to have worked okay. ;)

June 15th, 2010, 12:23 AM
I had total hair freedom- afterall, its pretty harmless compared to the multitude of worse things kids could do. I am so shocked that people's parents actually controlled their hair! Anything on me is my property and I can do what I want with it :)

June 15th, 2010, 01:16 AM
When I was a very young child, no. Its wasn't because my mother didn't want me to have long hair, it really was because she simply didn't want to have to comb it out for me every day and tidy it up. She took me to the barber's to have it all buzzed off into a crew cut. No muss, no fuss. I kept the crew cut all the way until I turned 14.

When I turned 14, something inside me told me that I should grow my hair long. And so I did. Naturally, there was still a little push from my mom to go get it cut shorter again, but by then I had grow taller than her and well she could no longer pick me up and drag me to the barber's. And so my hair eventually grew long. In the first few years, she passively just allowed me to grow it out longer but she clearly took no interest in it.

But now, something interesting has happened. Maybe because I've had my hair long for so many years now, my mother has in fact almost embraced the fact that I'm a longhair thro and thro. She will actually notice and comment on all the times I've changed my haircolor. She loves my new blond highlights. :p

June 15th, 2010, 01:50 AM
My mom always controlled what I was wearing. I was allowed to have long hair but she combed it every morning and made a tight braid. She was angry when she saw I wasn't wearing that braid. She didn't like it when my hair was down. :rolleyes:

June 15th, 2010, 01:57 AM
I was raised to be myself and wear it on my sleeve- and I'll be forever grateful for that. :)

June 15th, 2010, 10:15 AM
I was sort of given freedom as a child, but since I never had a desire to colour or style, those issues never really came up. I was allowed to grow it but was told that regular trims would keep it in good condition, so I didn't notice until I was older that my hair was always trimmed to APL, and therefore never really grew much longer. There were never any dramas in my house about hair when I was young, I just accepted that it would always be the same blunt cut every time.

June 15th, 2010, 10:24 AM
I had fine, thin hair that tangled easily, so I was made to keep it short-ish (above shoulders). I still have nightmarish flashbacks whenever i see a comb coming at me! ;)

June 15th, 2010, 10:28 AM
Mom totally controlled my hair until about 12-13. After that I had control (although she constantly nagged me about keeping it short) over everything. I could buy whatever shampoo I wanted, whatever hairtoy, and curl or not curl. I usually went for the not curl since this was before the days of curling irons and hot rollers, ;) I never was interested in perming or coloring my hair so that was not an issue.

June 15th, 2010, 10:40 AM
I had freedom if I wanted it, but if I didn't express a desire to change, my mom would schedule me for my normal trims. I had no desire to color or perm or style or cut after about the age of 8.

June 15th, 2010, 10:52 AM
Hmm.. When I was a child I had really long hair but... My mum sometimes lost her nerves when she had to comb it. So probably she'd prefer it was short. And it means I had long hair because I wanted to, so, yes, I had a hair freedom.

And now... Two years ago I wanted to dye my hair red. Now I'd regret it, but then I wanted it so bad... I was 16 and... my mum didn't let me to do it!:D

June 15th, 2010, 11:05 AM
I was about eight or nine when I first decided that I wanted long hair. My parents allowed me to start growing it, but on the condition that I tied it back when I was at school and/or doing something where it might get caught, to keep it out of the way. I've always thought it was a wonderfully sensible way of allowing me to have the hair I wanted.

June 15th, 2010, 03:15 PM
I had no hair freedom at all. As a child I was forced to keep it long. I got teased so much in grade school. And I hated getting my hair brushed by my mom. It hurt a lot. When I was about ten I wanted the really cool Dorothy Hammill hair cut but I knew there was no way I was gonna get it.

As soon as I was allowed to cut it I got it cut short and it's been short ever since. I'm just now liking the thought of myself with long hair.

Cinnamon Hair
June 15th, 2010, 04:50 PM
Yes and no. I always wanted it long but there were strong suggestions from my mother to get a perm (she had one herself, but on very short hair). So for most of elementary school I had around bsl permed hair. Around 5th grade I was able to convince my mother I would rather have long straight hair and since then I have done my own thing. :)

June 15th, 2010, 05:11 PM
I had length freedom but my parents preferred it long. I had it cut short before age ten, and did all of the styling and forced pigtails on me when I was probably like, 3, but then I actually realized then that I loved the pigtails, and asked for those, when I was then forced in to a pony tail for a picture. That pretty much sums it up, I always hated my hair down as a kid though, now I'm just the opposite.

June 15th, 2010, 05:21 PM
I was raised to be myself and wear it on my sleeve- and I'll be forever grateful for that. :)

Gypsygirl, how very lovely. This was also my experience. What a joy and a gift!

June 15th, 2010, 05:25 PM
I had freedom with hair and most other things...well with my mom. My dad was pretty strict. In grade 1 I wanted a perm because my parent had them...well my hair became so tangled with it that I had to get a mushroom cut. I was allowed to grow it out again, and in grade 8 (I honestly do not know what was going through my head at that time) I got the idea that blue eyes and brown hair did not mix. So I was either going to have brown eyes and brown hair or blonde hair and blue eyes. Well my hair stayed blonde for a few years, then I was allowed to experiment (with mom`s permission and dad coming home saying OMG!) with orange, black, red, purple, blue, burgundy ect... My dad finally started to accept it 2years ago when it was jaw length and blue had faded to teal, then I out of the blue decided it was time to grow out the damage. :)

June 15th, 2010, 07:17 PM
My parents were firm about things like school attendance, grades, coming home at a reasonable hour, doing chores, treating them respectfully, not drinking or doing drugs . . . but as long as we we bathed, did our laundry, and brushed our teeth, we had perfect freedom as to our hair and clothes. That's always seemed like a reasonable way to go about it to me.

June 15th, 2010, 07:27 PM
No I didn't have much freedom as a child in regards to appearance. I always wanted a ponytail but I had the little girl bob cut for years. Some times my mom would perm it to give it some curl. She didn't like straight hair. She washed it and pin curled it once a week. She got upset if I got sweaty and the curls didn't last all week. Finally in 8th grade I started getting really interested in hair and appearance and was allowed to have some control. 8th grade was hard because we fought over every thing. The last thing I wanted to be was the proper little lady she wanted me to be. Finally the summer after 8th grade she just let up on me and I was allowed to wash and set my own hair and style it. It grew out a little. It took ages since I had a perm to get rid of.

June 15th, 2010, 09:17 PM
I wasn't. My mom cut my hair how she wanted it.

June 15th, 2010, 09:43 PM
After the pre-school bob, because I didn't take care of it, I was pretty much allowed to do whatever I wanted, so long as I took care of it. I think my first perm was when I was 8 and it was accompanied by a chop. I asked for it though. When I was 15, my mom helped me dye it the first time. The only "crazy" color I ever dyed was black, when I was 19. I had a close friend who dyed red, pink, blue, green, etc. so I got to do that vicariously. ;) If I had wanted a pink mohawk then there might have been an issue, but I didn't so it never came up.

June 15th, 2010, 11:58 PM
Yes I had 100% hair freedom (and this is why post 10+ my hair always looked like crap). I wanted a perm in the 3rd grade so my mum took me to get it. Then, I cut my own bangs in middle school..they were too thick and looked AWFUL..they curled up and parted..looks more like inverted horns or something.
Then came the bleaching,dying. I had every color under the sun!! My hair looked so unhealthy. Honestly, only in the last 2 years has my hair been it's healthiest but now it's ruined again from a bad high light job in March.

Anyway, yeah, I had hair freedom and as a result horrible looking hair for most of my childhood years!! LOL

June 17th, 2010, 08:56 PM
I had absolutely no hair freedom as a child. Being South Asian (read: Indian), my parents expected me to keep my hair uncut, and so it was until my last year of high school when I finally got to cut my hair for my high school prom. Let me tell you, I thought I'd die of guilt when the scissors first fell on my virgin strands.

After that first fateful haircut, I was "allowed" (begrudgingly) to continue to cut my hair, but there have always been limits. One time, about 2 years ago, I went for a drastic length reduction (up to my shoulders - a total shag haircut), and my dad refused to speak to me or acknowledge my existence for 2 whole weeks, and my mother had a fit!

Luckily, I'm about to move to a new city, so I won't have to bear with all these shenanigans, and I will (finally) have complete freedom to do as I choose. College is awesome. :-)

June 17th, 2010, 09:29 PM
I was not given hair freedom. I was not allowed to dye my hair until I was 18, and even then I made sure it would rinse out by Thanksgiving so I wouldn't have to hear my mother's lecture about "god made you the way you are supposed to be and it's wrong to change it" (which always seemed hypocritical to me because she had pierced ears and dyed to cover her gray). Occasionally she would talk me into getting a haircut I really didn't want, usually super short (as in above the ears).