Woman Forces 11-Year-Old Stepdaughter To Cut Off Her Hair After Noticing How 'Obsessed' She's Become Maintaining It

She was tired of having to take care of her stepdaughter's hair.

woman braiding little girl's hair, upset woman standing with arms crossed Dean Drobot, Motortion Films / Shutterstock

A woman is being accused of overstepping after making a decision about her stepdaughter's hair without consulting the young girl's parents.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA) — a forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument — the stepmom explained that her 11-year-old stepdaughter has beautiful hair, but is sick of having to take care of it.

She forced her stepdaughter to cut off her hair because of how high maintenance she felt it was.

In her Reddit post, she shared that she and her stepdaughter have always had a close relationship since she first met the little girl's father eight years ago and had been married to him for six years.


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"I work from home so I mainly end up taking care of her. I have since she was young. We have a generally good relationship. She stays at her mother's most weekends," she wrote. While she mostly enjoys caring for her stepdaughter, it's having to constantly do her hair that has proven a problem.


Her stepdaughter has long, wavy blonde hair which often gets tangled, and she sometimes needs to help her get it brushed and styled before she heads off to school. The 31-year-old woman stressed that she's not a morning person, and doesn't want to get up to have to do a child's hair.

mom forces stepdaughter to cut off her hairPhoto: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock

"It’s expensive to maintain as she requires more products, she insists on using hair oils which can cost around $11 and only last a few weeks. She also insists she has to use curly hair shampoo instead of regular shampoo and conditioner which is often over $10 per bottle."


The woman also noticed that her stepdaughter had started becoming "obsessed" with her hair, and fearing that the 11-year-old would turn out to be "vain," she decided that it was time for her hair to be cut. "I don’t see it as a big deal as I have always had shoulder length hair as my hair does not grow very fast and I get frequent trims. It’s a lot more practical."

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Her stepdaughter was distraught when she found out that her hair was going to be cut.

After deciding the future of her stepdaughter's hair, the woman took her to the hair salon for what the stepdaughter assumed was just going to be a regular trim appointment. She made sure to tell her stepmother that she didn't want too many inches cut off, as she enjoyed having her long hair.

"I politely explained that I would like her to cut her hair to shoulder length as it has become a burden," she continued. Immediately hearing the news, the young girl burst into tears and kept it up even when she got to the salon's chair.


At first, the stylist refused to cut the girl's hair because of how much she was crying, but the girl's stepmother told her to ignore her and cut it. "In the end, the stylist agreed and cut her hair. The stylist braided her hair [and] then cut it. She kept it. Her hair was now just past shoulder length, and looked a lot darker."

On the car ride home, the woman's stepdaughter was silent, understandably upset about her haircut. When they got home, she went straight to her room and refused to come out.

mom forces stepdaughter to cut off her hairPhoto: Gorgev / Shutterstock


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The young girl's father was angry after finding out what had happened.

When the woman's husband returned home from work, he found his daughter sitting on her bed while holding the hair that had been cut earlier and sobbing uncontrollably. "My husband immediately called her mother to come and collect her, and as soon as my stepdaughter was out the door, he started yelling. Her mother also came in and gave me a mouthful," she recalled.

She tried to explain the reason why she took her stepdaughter to get her haircut, but the young girl's father was not hearing it. He argued that if she had an issue with her hair, she should've come to him and spoken about it.

"He was so furious he said he no longer trusts me around his daughter and doesn’t know if he can be with a woman who he doesn’t trust with her. This broke my heart."


She acknowledged that she didn't mean to hurt her stepdaughter, but was incredibly tired and stressed out about how long her hair had gotten. "I’ve always been the one to raise her and her brother and I’m just exhausted."

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People agreed that she was in the wrong for taking away her stepdaughter's choice.

The post caused debate among users about stepparents overstepping boundaries, especially in blended families where there is more than one adult in a position of authority.

"How DARE you cut her hair and take away her autonomy just because you have decided she is vain?" one Reddit user wrote. "I am seriously at a loss for words that you even have to ask whether or not this was an a-hole thing to do. Shame on you, seriously."


Another user added, "You did this without the child's parents' knowledge or consent. You did it without the child's consent... If the routine was causing problems for you, you should have talked to your husband. Not arbitrarily decided that you got to choose her hair length."

A third user chimed in, "It's her body, not yours. Her hair is healthy, she knows how to care about it. It's not like it was damaged or she wasn't taking care of it... It sounds like you just wanted to do what was easy for you, not taking her feelings [into] account."

Perhaps the stepmother did take things a bit too far and should have considered how both her stepdaughter and husband felt before reacting. In the future, hopefully she is more cognizant about making such drastic changes before thinking about all parties involved.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.