"Why does your mama have short hair?” By Gracia Rich




This is something that I never really thought about when I was cutting my hair. I have four children.  Two are adults, one is in his second year of college and my youngest is in his first year of high school.  When I would go to school functions, rocking my short cut, I would see children looking at me.  But that’s what kids do, they watch everyone.  It never mattered much to me until my youngest son told me that one of his friends asked him, “Why does your mama have short hair? Why is her hair like a boy’s?” My son said that this made him angry at this friend.  He said that he told him that I liked my hair like that and it was none of his business.  Now, being the type of parent that I am, and not wanting my son to be angry at his friend, I asked my son did my hair bother him? I had never asked any of my kids this before because I never thought that it mattered. My son went on to say that it didn’t bother him, but it was just that nobody else’s mama had hair as short as mine (At this time, my son actually had more hair than me).  He said the kids just thought it looked weird.


​To be honest, I could not be angry at his friend because he was right.  All the other mamas in my son’s class had hair. Be it straight hair, curly hair, beautiful locks and braids, they all had hair. I, on the other hand, could easily get up and go in the morning with just a few brush strokes, and no one else’s mama was rocking this look. I can imagine where this would seem weird to a child. That was the first time that I ever realized that my hair was actually affecting others. I had never given that any thought.  


I cut my hair for me, as a personal choice.  I had never considered that anyone would ever say something to my kid in regards to that preference. Now my son, being the wonderful type of kid he is, went about his way and didn’t give it much more thought.  I, on the other hand, began to re-evaluate the whole short hair thing.  I didn’t want to be an embarrassment to my child.  I didn’t want them to continue to say his mama was "weird". I contemplated for a while if I wanted to grow my hair out again, then I chose not to. 


​I decided that what my son told his friend was absolutely correct.  This was the way I liked my hair and truthfully it wasn’t his business.  It wasn’t anybody’s business. It was my personal choice.  This interaction with my youngest made me ask my three older kids what they thought about it.  I wasn’t going to change my mind, but I was interested in knowing if they had been affected by my hair as well.  My oldest, who is also my only daughter, said that she loved it.  She said only I could pull something off like that. My oldest son’s response was that I could do whatever I wanted with my hair. It was my hair. Now my middle son, who is in college, hates this haircut. He always has. He said he can’t understand why I don’t want to keep any hair on my hair.  We laugh about this all the time.  He said that he hates it, but if that’s what I want to do then he knows I’m going to do it. This made me smile, because my children could care less about my hair.  They just love their mama no

matter what my personal hair choice is, as most children do. 


​Has your haircut ever affected anyone else in your family or in a relationship?  I would love to know. Also, if you felt that your child was embarrassed by your short hair, would you grow it out? Again, I would love your comments.