Mom Battling Cancer Tells Her 17-Year-Old Daughter That She Will 'Never Forgive' Her Unless She Shaves Her Own Head In Solidarity

The mother is feeling insecure about her hair loss. But does that mean her daughter should have to suffer the same fate?

woman with shaved head and woman with wrap around hair Olena Yakobchuk / fizkes / Shutterstock 

After a woman lost her hair during cancer treatment, she insisted that her teenage daughter shave her head in solidarity with her. Her daughter refused, leading the mother to pressure her and threaten to cause her immense guilt if she did not. 

When the girl’s father discovered that she had been forced to shave her head against her will, he called out his wife for her “manipulative” behavior. Now, he is wondering if he was in the wrong. 


The woman wanted her 17-year-old daughter to shave her head in solidarity with her during chemotherapy. 

Sharing the story to the subreddit, r/AmITheA–hole, the woman’s husband and the teenage girl’s father revealed that his wife is currently going through cancer treatment. 

“One of the things she’s told me she’s struggling with the most was losing her hair,” the man wrote. 

While his wife’s prognosis was good, the chemotherapy has “destroyed” her hair and she was forced to shave the last of it off a few weeks ago. 

“Not long after that, she suggested we attempt to get our 17-year-old daughter, Anna, to do so as well,” the man wrote. “Anna has very long hair that she puts a lot of care into so I felt it was appropriate to ask her in private if she wanted to/would be willing to do such a thing.” 


Anna told her father that she did not want to shave her own head, and they both figured that his wife would understand. However, one day the man’s wife and Anna returned from a shopping trip, and he was surprised by his daughter’s new appearance. 

woman in hospital bed with wrap on hairPhoto: Ground Picture / Shutterstock 

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“Anna had a buzzed haircut,” the man shared. “That struck me as odd after what she’d said.” 

After dinner, the man decided to ask Anna privately what ultimately changed her mind. 

“She told me that my wife had said she would never forgive Anna if she didn’t show her support by buzzing her head,” the man wrote.

When he asked Anna if she was happy about her new hair, she told him that she was not. 

Later that night, the man confronted his wife about the situation. According to his wife, shaving her head was “Anna’s choice,” but she had told the daughter how she’d “see the situation” if Anna did not go through with it. 


This did not sit well with the man. “I told her off, saying she needed to respect Anna’s personal choices and that a 17-year-old girl being against shaving her head wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary,” he wrote. “However my wife simply said it was to show support for her.” 

“I love my wife, and I understand that she’s going through something traumatic, however, her attitude comes off as very manipulative to me, and that’s not behavior I feel I can personally accept,” the man added. “I’m not sure if I can move past this to continue the relationship.” 

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Redditors agreed with the man, calling his wife’s actions ‘cruel.’ 

“Having an illness does not give your wife license to traumatize your child. What your wife did was utterly disgusting, and I hope you do not let her off easy,” one user commented. “What an absolutely horrible thing to put a child through. I hope the daughter is okay and won’t have lasting issues from it.” 


“Your wife I'm sure is struggling with self-image issues, but more or less manipulating her daughter into buzzing her hair was absolutely a terrible way to go about it,” another user pointed out. 

“Shaving your hair does absolutely NOTHING for a person fighting cancer! It doesn't make chemo and its side effects any easier… the ONLY thing it does is appeal to the vanity of the victim.” 

People can show their support for loved ones battling cancer in numerous ways besides shaving their heads. 

While the man’s wife is undeniably going through a difficult time after a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy, this should not allow her to project her insecurities regarding her hair loss onto her daughter and force her to suffer the same fate. 

There are plenty of other ways one can demonstrate support for a beloved family member going through cancer treatment without having to shave their own heads, including cooking them their favorite meals, giving them a lift to appointments, running errands for them, or simply just telling them that you love and are here for them. 


Being a teenager with an ever-changing body is hard enough in itself, with 73% of teenage girls suffering from insecurities surrounding their physical appearances. 

The woman’s daughter has the right to keep her long hair even if her mother lost hers. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.