Trials and Tribulations of a Boy with Tresses

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.

"You hold him down, and I'll brush his hair!"


I have never had to go to that extreme of a route to get my kid's hair brushed, but at times I have certainly understood the sentiment. If you have a kid with longish hair, chances are you know EXACTLY what I am talking about! The number of times I've had to chase my son around the house with the hair brush while he holds his head shrieking "no, no, no" is just too many to remember distinctly.  And let's just say, he has usually won in the battle, I get one or two hair sweeps in and bow out in defeat. No matter how soft I brush it, he doth protest!

My son, at age 2

The thing is, his hair to me, has always been a blessing. At times, though, it has no doubt felt like a curse. From the time his hair grew long enough to see what he's got — that is, a head full of thick wavy curls — people everywhere in passing would stop to comment. "WOW, What amazing curls!"

Of course I had to let it get semi-long. To cut such abundant tresses would be a crime! Sure I live in the Pacific Northwest where boys with long hair are not such an uncommon site, but even my conservative mom from the east coast made me promise not to cut his hair short.

It made me smile, yet shake my head at the same time when people would say "Oh what curls your little girl has". I couldn't blame them; he made a pretty cute little girl, if I do say so myself, but because I knew him, I couldn't see him anything but a boy. These comments were made even at times he was dressed from head to toe in full boy garb. I never minded, or made the people feel embarassed about it — it was totally understandable. The important part was that it never seemed to bother my son, and the comments ceased as he got older, around 3.

This post is about celebrating his locks, and also troubleshooting and finding ways of avoiding and preventing the hairbrush battles.

Keepsakes I have created that involve my son's hair:

1. On his first birthday, I put together a Time Capsule for him. Relatives and friends from far and near contributed to this box. It got filled up to the brim with signs of our times, from newspaper articles, Barack Obama pictures, written family histories by his grandparents, and family photographs. And of course, I had to include a lock of his baby hair that I enclosed in an envelope. I thought about opening it and sneaking a peak but the stencilled words on the top warned me against it — It is not to be opened until my son's 18th birthday!

Time Capule
2. Early in his life, I became heavily involved in digital scrapbooking. I created the following scrapbook page based on his hairdo that he woke up with one morning. Every time I look at it, it endears me. It is entitled, "We called the Tsunami  Curl".

3. For Christmas 2 years ago, I made a silhouette portrait of my son to hang on the wall.  His curls are his key feature and I wanted to create a visual memento so I could remember how they looked. Kids grow up quickly and I know it is my responsibility to preserve memories to help me and my son remember them better.

How I dropped the hairbrush battle:

As a parent, my job is troubleshooting conflicts and coming up with peaceful solutions. Obviously running around the house wielding a hairbrush after my son isn't going to solve any problems. Just make the experience way worse.

Things I learned throughout the years when dealing with my son's hair:
  1. Use conditioner! He has always had a clump of hair that tangles up in the back. Using conditioner and combing out the tangles while wet helps them not dread so easily!
  2. Use a detangler spray when combing/brushing his hair. This has worked miracles! 
  3. Brush only when needed! I used to try and brush every single day. When curly hair gets brushed it often ends up as poofy fluffy hair and the curls are gone, as was the case with my son! Now I only comb/brush his hair probably 2 or 3 times per week, and it doesn't look messy.
  4. Make brushing hair a fun time! Finally I came up with a solution that my son enjoyed. After baths, we play "Barber Shop". We take turns spraying and combing/brushing each other hair. Sometimes when necessary I trim his hair as well. See photos below!
Draping always makes it feel more like a Barber Shop Experience

Spraying with detangler to get out those stubborn knots!

Combing with a large tooth comb

Trimming bangs just a tad

Happy Handsome Boy!

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 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 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.

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 recieve.

I wanted to express a big THANK YOU to Andie from Crayon Freckles for organizing this! And also a "thank you"! to all the other bloggers who participated!

Thanks for stopping by and checking this out! If you have any relevant stories you'd like to share I'd love to hear them!

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  1. Great post, his curls really are lovely xx

  2. Great post! I've brushed my daughter's full head of hair daily since she was born, so she never questioned it. My son saw this routine and just wanted to be a part of it, so we don't have the chasing problem. However, he is much more tender headed than my daughter. So, we've been using a spray bottle of watered down conditioner and spraying before we brush each day. We also took the time to find a hair brush that worked for his hair that he also liked, and that helped a lot.

  3. What amazing curls, I wouldn't have cut them either... and as a Momma of a 3 year old boy with long curls everywhere, I can say that with certainty! Our son has never had a haircut, and I am thoroughly enjoying this blog carnival and all of the similar sentiment being shared across the board. We definitely love our conditioner around here, and we have actually made hair brushing (detangling) time a special time where he snuggles in front me on the couch and we chat, laugh, talk about life, while Mommy battles the "tangle monsters"! :D
    Thanks for sharing this post!

  4. i love love love your silhouette portrait. it is beautiful. Its quite interesting that even in that he has quite a male profile. I too try not to embarrass people who mistake Goblin for a girl, its not really their fault - he is quite pretty. Your son does have wonderful hair. No one in my family or Hublets has curly hair so I suspect that our brushing battles aren't really on the same scale - 2 swipes of the brush is really all Goblin needs because his hair is so straight and shiny. So glad you joined the carnival

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your son's hair. It is gorgeous. I am partial to curly hair bc my daughter has a head full of curly locks. I have to admit I very rarely ever brush my daughter's hair. Maybe, once a week. I use conditioner during bath and finger comb it out. It rarely gets tangled even without the brushing. She is sensitive with any type of hair touching so I try to minimize it.


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