Single Dad Expresses Concern About His Daughter's Appearance Saying She Won't Brush Her Hair Or Wear Clean Clothes

He's worried that her lack of motivation to take care of her appearance will affect her ability to make friends.

father braiding his daughter's hair while sitting on couch at home LightField Studios / Shutterstock

A single dad admitted that he's worried about his daughter after noticing that she isn't putting any effort into her appearance.

Posting to the subreddit "r/Parenting," a dad revealed that his 10-year-old daughter has gone through a bit of turmoil in her short life and it seems to have taken a toll on how she presents herself.

He's concerned about his daughter's appearance because she refuses to brush her hair or wear clean clothes.

In his Reddit post, the father explained that he's been a single dad since his daughter's mother moved away two years prior. Since becoming the sole caretaker of his daughter, he's admitted to struggling to teach her to keep up with her appearance.


"I'm not shallow. I don't need her glammed up — she's not 'girly' — but there are some basics I can't get her to care about. Her hair being number one," he shared. "She doesn't want it cut, but barely brushes it out. It's always tangled and now it's matted. Like, fist-sized balls of tangled."

His daughter also refuses to let him touch her hair or help in any way. If he tries to make her an appointment at a hair salon, she becomes resentful. When he informs her that she needs to brush her hair, she'll start but immediately stop once he turns his back.



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He noticed that his daughter doesn't quite understand the big deal about keeping up appearances, and now he's really worried about the judgment she'll get from other people while she's out in public and starting middle school.

Another huge issue for him is the clothes she insists on wearing. "She likes the same few outfits and constantly re-wears them when they are noticeably dirty or wrinkled," he wrote. "Sure, I could do laundry every other day to keep them clean. But she has many other clothes and I have the money to take her shopping. She doesn't care, [and] doesn't understand why she needs to wear clean clothes."

His daughter also doesn't put any effort into her skincare routine. He tried explaining to her the connection between washing her face every day and the spots of acne that have started forming because she still refuses. While she claims that she does wash her face, according to her father, her washcloth, face wash, and towel all show no signs of usage.

single dad concerned about his daughter's appearance because she won't brush her hair or wear clean clothesPhoto: Mike Jones / Pexels


"I'm worried about her being singled out and not having friends. Being an only child during COVID, having her parents split, and her mom move away — she's been isolated enough. Is there a good way to explain all of this to her?" he questioned.

It's been proven that mental illness can have a direct link to poor hygiene.

This young girl has experienced a lot of upheaval and turmoil in her short life, and all of these factors — COVID, her parents splitting, and her mom moving away — can have a direct impact on her mental health, whether her dad realizes it or not.

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According to Healthline, a lot of people struggle to do basic hygiene tasks when depressed. This can include showering, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, doing laundry, or brushing their hair.




"They report not having enough energy to do simple self-care tasks, such as brushing their teeth or washing their hair," Melissa A. Jones, clinical psychologist, told the publication. "Many of them do not take care of their personal hygiene needs unless they are reminded by a family member to do so."

Many people in the comments section of the father's Reddit post pointed out this phenomenon as well, with one Reddit user writing, "Some of this could be mental health related. Letting hair get so bad there are massive mats and wearing dirty clothes repeatedly could be signs of her struggling with the recent changes in your family."

The best plan of action this father can take is to look into putting his daughter in therapy so that she can have someone to talk with about the changes that have happened recently. As hard as it may be, putting his foot down and creating rules and expectations may also be something he has to do.


Commenters highlighted that there is a difference between hygiene and appearance.

Health and hygiene are not optional and some rules need to be enforced as a parent.

single dad concerned about his daughter's appearance because she won't brush her hair or wear clean clothesPhoto: RDNE Stock project / Pexels

Redditors also recommend taking her to a hair salon and having the stylist teach her to brush her hair, or offering her an ultimatum: "Brush it thoroughly every day or get it cut short until she's ready to brush it daily."


As for her clothes, people recommended having a laundry basket in her room that anything she wears goes directly into or helping her lay out the clothes for the entire week in advance. Others suggested leaving disposable wipes near the sink for her to easily clean her face.

In the end, this father's concern for his daughter stems from not wanting her to feel any further isolated. Whatever path he chooses to take, it's going to be for the well-being of his child.

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