Dad Asks If He Was Wrong For Cutting Off His Daughter's Long Hair Because She Didn't Brush It Twice A Day

He tried everything, but then took things into his own hands with a pair of scissors.

man with scissors about to cut girl's hair Dstudio, jupiterimages via Canva; MashaSay / Shutterstock

Teaching kids about hygiene is no small task. No kid wants to be bothered with brushing their teeth or washing their hands, and some kids don’t even want to take a bath, despite their parents pleading.

For one dad on Reddit, this dilemma became a problem that required drastic measures.

The father revealed in a post on the “r/Parenting” subreddit that trying to get his seven-year-old daughter to brush her hair has been quite the battle. So, he had to take matters into his own hands.


The dad gave his daughter a drastic haircut because she refused to brush her hair.

“Every morning is a battle,” he wrote, and recently he decided he’d had enough. The dad warned his daughter for a year that if she didn’t brush her hair, she would have to get a haircut.

He made a deal with his daughter, saying she would need to start brushing her hair twice a day or it was getting cut short. He also spoke to his daughter’s mom, who agreed, “I can get it cut if she doesn't take responsibility for her cleanliness.”



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Though he has long hair himself that falls past his chest, the dad even demonstrated to his daughter how to brush it, since she complains she doesn’t have the “dexterity” to reach behind her to brush the bottom of her belly-button-length hair.

“I've shown her multiple times how I bring my hair over my chest to brush the bottom,” he wrote. However, she still refused.

After yet another argument, he decided to cut her hair to above shoulder length before she went to school, and she was 'devastated.'

"This morning after yet another argument, I did it," he said. "I cut her hair to about an inch below her shoulders." He went on to say that his daughter "continued to cry for another hour as I drove her to my parents' place to watch her as I went to work."

His mom and sister were both angry with him for cutting the young child's hair, even going so far as to say he needed parenting courses because he traumatized his daughter.


He clarified that he didn't expect his daughter to have an adult’s level of care for her appearance, adding, “She doesn't have to be self-sufficient, but she needs to at least try.”

In the end, the father said he was just trying to teach her how to care for herself. But given his daughter’s and family’s reaction, he wondered if he took things too far.

Dad Cuts Off His Daughter's Long Hair Because She Didn't Brush It Twice A DayPhoto: Kampus Production / Pexels


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Kids refusing to brush their hair is a very common parenting problem.

As hairstylist China Rae acted out in a skit, hairdressers are constantly confronted with young children who refuse to brush their hair — and parents who are every bit as, if not even more, frustrated with their children for not doing regular upkeep.



But even aside from hairstylists trying to remedy a child's hair situation, battles over brushing kids’ hair are so common that there have even been children’s books written about the dilemma.


It's a pretty normal situation for parents to find themselves in, where their child refuses to let them brush their hair and/or their kid refuses to take on the responsibility of brushing and taking care of their hygiene, in general. It's all part of maintaining a healthy body, after all.

Children may not want their hair brushed for a variety of reasons, including having sensory sensitivities, not being able to sit still for a long period of time, or feeling afraid that the brushing will hurt, especially if there are knots that require some work.

Luckily, there are ways to remedy the dilemma where kids let their parents brush their hair. This can include allowing them to sit in a comfortable position of their choice, distracting them with their favorite television show or activity, using a detangling comb, or even letting them help by choosing which brush they prefer.

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The father's approach, however, may have been a touch too harsh, as he cut his daughter’s hair in a moment of frustration.

Many parents called attention to the fact that, although they agreed that cutting his daughter's hair was the right and necessary next step, she was only seven years old. But another parent had some helpful advice for situations like this when a kid refuses to brush their hair.

“Don’t argue with your child, connect and come up with solutions together,” giving an example of what the father could have said: “The problem is, your hair is tangled and not taken care of. What can we do so that it’s taken care of and I don’t have to brush it for you?”

The parent concluded by saying, “She is old enough to problem solve, and your job is to coach her in effective problem solving, not do it for her. That’s how we prepare our children to become adults.”


Dad Cuts Off His Daughter's Long Hair Because She Didn't Brush It Twice A DayPhoto: Jonathan Borba / Pexels

In the end, the dad agreed and was grateful for the advice. He updated his post to say that he’d spoken to his daughter about it and apologized to her for his actions. He said that it provided a learning experience, where he can "set clear boundaries and consequences and always follow through with a cool head."

As for the daughter, she thankfully “bounced back” from the initial shock, and had already adapted to her new haircut. But the entire situation serves as a reminder that some kids just need gentle encouragement, respect of their personal boundaries, and for decisions to not be made in haste.


All’s fair — or hair, as it were — in love and war, as they say.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.