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05/28/2010

Fear of the mullet

Dutch-boy-iconI’ve been taking my son to one of those haircutting places where you sit in a mini-airplane or fire truck and stay pleasantly distracted by mind-numbing cartoons ever since he was two. After the first haircut, he never had big tears or major discomfort. He loves it when they wash his hair, takes direction well and only moderately winces when they brush out the tangles.

What we do have trouble with, however, is the hairdresser’s universal fear of the mullet.

My son prefers that his hair stay on the long side, even when it prompts his friends to say things to him like “you look like a fashion girl,” as one did the other day. He looked in he mirror and said. “Hm. Yeah, I do a little” before shrugging it off. I adore the fact that he’s man enough to look how he likes to look and not mind a little girl confusion, at least for now.

His hair, like mine, is prolific, fine and moderately wavy. With the right cut, he looks like a sweet baby rock star. But virtually every hairdresser we’ve gotten (you tend to get who you get in these places) won’t cut any layers near his face unless I specifically ask them to because “it might look like a mullet.”

When I forget to ask, we end up with a Little Dutch Boy instead, without fail (although they inexplicably call this a “surfer”). And it’s mostly adorable. But it’s guaranteed to make every stranger call him a girl, rather than only the less observant ones. I’m thinking if he’s going to stay comfortable with some degree of other people’s gender assumptions, it’s better that we steer clear of making him look like Katie Holmes.

Hairdressers of the world, please chill. A little bit of layering near the face does not turn every boy into Billy Ray Cyrus, circa 1992.

This is an original Ohio Moms Blog post.

Tracy Zollinger Turner blogs about motherhood and armchair space exploration at tinymantras.com.

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