Woman Asks If She's Wrong For Cutting Her Stepson's Hair Without His Mother's Permission —'He Was Happy With The Result'

Some people believe it's no big deal since hair grows back, but others claim that it's not about the hair.

Woman cutting hair, woman on phone Alex Green & August de Richelieu / Pexels, djvstock2 & sarawutcreater via CanvaPro

A woman has found herself in hot water with her stepson’s mother after she did something with her stepson without his mother’s permission beforehand. She claims that her stepson had no issue with it, and wanted to participate since he saw his stepbrothers doing the same thing. 

Now the woman is wondering if she crossed a line with her stepsons’ mother. 

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The woman cut her stepson’s hair after he asked her to do so. 

Sharing her story to Reddit's r/AmITheA–hole subreddit, the woman asked other users if she was in the wrong. She began her post by revealing that she and her current husband share three sons together, aged five, four, and two. Her husband has two sons from a previous relationship aged 13 and 10. The two boys split their time between her home and their mothers — a situation that can cause complications when different households have different boundaries.

Usually, she cuts her sons’ hair herself instead of sending them to a barber, unlike her stepsons whose mother typically takes them to the barber. Sometimes her husband will even take them himself. 


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One afternoon, the woman was cutting her five and four-year-old sons’ hair, when her 10-year-old stepson came into the room and asked if she would cut his hair too.

“His hair was currently shoulder length and he had been growing it for a while,” she wrote. “He wanted me to give him a buzzcut.” The woman sent a text to her husband asking if it was okay to cut the boy’s hair. She got his blessing, as long as he got to record the big moment. She reports that the boy was “very happy” with the result. 


Unfortunately, his mother was not. “Yesterday his mom picked him up from school and saw his hair. She immediately called my husband and was p-ssed about the haircut,” the woman wrote.

Later that day, her stepson’s mother sent her a message claiming that she had “no right” to cut her son’s hair without her permission considering that it was a “big change.”

“I didn't reply to her because I didn't want to feed into any drama,” she wrote.  “I thought stepson was happy with his haircut and that's all that really matters.” 

However, the more the woman thinks about the situation, the more she worries that she may have been wrong. “If my son had a stepmom and came home from their house with a drastically different haircut I think I might have been upset too and possibly think that person crossed an unspoken boundary,” she admitted. 


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Reddit users had conflicting views about whether the stepmom crossed a line.

“You got the okay from his dad, and he is old enough to make his own decisions about his hair anyways,” one user commented.  “It would have been really weird for you to call his mom and ask after his dad already said to go ahead.” 

 “I think all that matters is if the stepson is happy,” another user wrote. “It’s just hair. It grows back.”

However, others argued that the woman should have consulted with her stepson’s mother first. 

“Getting a haircut without informing the mother is one thing but doing a buzz cut on shoulder length hair without at least telling mom shows a lack of respect for her as a parenting partner,” one user shared. “Even as a married person, I wouldn’t make a decision to seriously alter my kids' appearance without giving my husband a heads up.”


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A stepparent counselor tells us that the woman should have reached out to the boy’s mother and obtained her permission beforehand. 

Susan Haworth, a stepparent counselor who specializes in supporting stepfamilies and establishing healthy boundaries within them, offered us some insights into the situation. 

“Unless this dad is the custodial parent (more than 50% custody), the mom should have been consulted in this case,” she states. “I doubt the stepmom would have done the same if a neighbor's child asked if she would cut his hair.” 


Haworth believes that the next appropriate step the woman can take would be to apologize to her stepson’s mother. “Yes, it's just hair, but the relationship between stepmothers and bio mothers is a fragile one and must be handled with care,” she adds. 

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