Which is more cruel: Subjecting Valerie to a tortuous detangling session every morning or chopping off all her hair?
You chimed in with many well-reasoned responses in defense of both alternatives. Here is a little bit more background.
- I wanted to just let her hair grow until she was old enough to make a decision for herself, but it just got too damaged to leave it alone.
- This is not styling damage. We hardly ever do pigtails anymore, and when we did, I was super-careful taking the rubber bands out. The problem is that Valerie used to rip fistfuls of hair out. I'm not sure why, I think it was out of frustration. Or maybe she just liked how it felt. As a result, most of her adorable curls are already gone, and the ends of her hair are all split and broken.
- Her hair grows really slowly. Other than trimming her bangs a little bit when she was about one year old, she never had a haircut until she was two, and when she did get her hair cut, it was still not-very-long, fluffy, baby hair.
- When she had her hair cut, I asked the hairdresser to cut away as many of the split ends as possible, but keep as many of the long curls as possible. She did her best, but without giving Valerie a mullet, she couldn't get all the split ends.
- I do use a detangling spray. Copious amounts of it. It makes the brushing merely tortuous rather than murderous. I also brush her hair out after her tubby and it is generally dry before she goes to sleep. And yet, this is what it looks like in the morning:
- As you can see in the side view, the front/sides aren't really affected, so I don't need to give her an all-out "boy" cut. I was thinking maybe something like a junior version of Kate Gosselin's haircut (which, for the record, I had before she did),
or even a Chelsea.
Okay, maybe not a Chelsea. But it would solve the messy back problem while leaving the front AND what's left of her curls at the bottom.
As you can probably guess, I'm leaning towards cutting it. Hair grows back, and hopefully, now that she no longer rips her hair out, once we get past the split ends, it can grow back healthy. And frankly, having one less battle to fight every day when I'm already constantly fighting the, "Don't hurt/wake/squeeze/hit the baby," battle is pretty appealing. I don't think she cares about her hair one way or the other, but she definitely hates it being brushed. I'll wait until after Christmas, though, so she can at least have what's left of her curls in the pictures. After that, we'll see.