How to respond when your child wants to shave their head

Has your child ever asked to shave their head?

Ours has – multiple times. We’ve responded in various ways over the years, from laughter to “no way” to “maybe someday, but not right now.”

There’s so much emotion tied up with hair, especially for a child who was assigned female at birth. Some say hair is the source of our power.

But sometimes, there’s even more power and freedom in letting go.

Our kiddo has gone through a lot this year. When they asked again recently, “do you think I could shave my hair this summer?” we couldn’t think of a reason not to go for it.

Their hair grows unbelievably fast – it will likely be back in a cute, stylish pixie cut by the start of middle school in August.

Xage has proven they can be happy with literally any hairstyle – from long, flowing golden locks to an asymmetrical bob, stylish pixie cut and even, most recently, a shaggy neo-mullet. They have rocked them all.

Our sweet enby is accustomed to answering questions about their hair and no longer takes it personally if or when people make negative or ignorant comments. Honestly, Xage’s confidence is such that most of the time, they hear only positive comments about their hair and appearance.

So recently, with a little trepidation, hubby got out his clippers and took a very excited and ebullient Xage out to the back yard for a shearing session. It took longer than expected – this child has extremely thick, full hair!

Finally, the grand reveal happened and all of Xage’s silky, thick hair lay on our patio and grass. Their head was buzzed so short it was basically bald. And despite our parental misgivings about these stylistic shenanigans, I’ll be darned; Xage looks positively amazing as a bald eagle!

Xage has a lovely, perfectly round head and the dearth of hair brings out their beautiful eyes. I’ve never seen anyone look better bald than our kiddo – they are absolutely killing this look. Anytime we go out in public, the compliments come fast and frequently.

Having a shaved head is another subtle but real queer signifier through which they can flag and attract other nonbinary and gay peers, especially when they start at a new, bigger school where there may be more kiddos like them. I can tell you that their new look definitely gets the attention of other cool kids anytime we go out!

And so, I have to admit, letting our soon-to-be middle-schooler shave their head has been a positive experience for us. If there are negatives, we haven’t found them yet. I spray their stubbly little scalp with sunscreen anytime we head to the pool, and they also enjoy wearing hats so those are another safe bet.

One quick note: several people have assumed that Xage’s drastic haircut had something to do with their recent hospitalization and brain illness. Actually, they are completely unrelated! It’s just a bizarre coincidence – but Xage really looked the part while they were at Nationwide Children’s having all those tests done.

Have you shaved your head or let your child shave theirs? I’d love to hear tales of bold baldness in the comments below or over on Facebook.

About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat, snake and guinea pig mom. Travel nut. Writer since birth. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.

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