September 11, 2019


Hi Nikki,

I’ve always wanted a short, cute hairstyle, and my mom has said NO forever! Then a while back, she said okay, but every time I ask her to take me, she makes excuses why she can’t. It’s been several years and I still have my annoying, thick, frizzy long hair, and I HATE IT! I don’t know what the big deal is! HELP!

Bad Hair Day

Hi Bad Hair Day,

My first thought was: What the heck, Mom? It’s just hair! My mom’s always complaining about my hair being in my face – she’d probably LOVE a short haircut on me.

But I tried to think about it from your mom’s perspective. It’s tough, but somebody’s got to do it. The brain of the Modern Mom is difficult to understand, but I am doing my best, for the good of kid-kind! 🙂

I thought about other letters I get from girls whose moms don’t want them to put on makeup, get their ears pierced, or wear trendier fashions yet. I think what all of these things have in common is that they are signs of growing up, and that can freak moms out to realize you’re not their little girl anymore.

“But Nikki,” you say, “short hair isn’t a grown-up thing! Little girls can have short hair!” Yes, they can. But it sounds like YOU have always had long hair. (At least since it grew out from baby length.) So while short hair wouldn’t necessarily be a more mature hairstyle, it would be a big change. And big changes are hard for moms.

It’s super annoying when it feels like parents want us to stay little kids. (While at the same time telling us to act more mature sometimes…) I think the thing is that they know how hard it can be to grow up. There are more pressures and dangerous things to get into as we move into high school and then even more into college. And it’s our parents’ job to protect us.

I think you should sit down with your mom and explain why you want a shorter hairstyle. If she says no, try to get an answer (without whining) as to why. And ask her if not now, then when? Or would she be comfortable with something slightly shorter than it is now, but not super-short boy length. Ease her into it. 🙂 And if she says yes, then make a plan for when it will happen. If she can’t take you, get her permission to go with someone else – maybe a friend’s mom will take you, or another family member.

The thing is to communicate with her about what you want, and about what she’s worried about. Figuring out how to communicate now, over something like a haircut will be good practice for later when you need to communicate about wearing makeup, learning to drive, or something else more emotional. 🙂

How have your parents reacted when you’ve wanted to do something that shows you’re growing up, like wearing makeup, getting a hair cut, getting your ears pierced, trendier fashions, etc.? Tell us in the comments!