Thursday, December 18, 2008

A bad hair year...

We were recently at a kid's party that had exotic animals on display. When they brought out the porcupine, I turned to Jack and said affectionately, "That looks just like you!"

Jack isn't having a bad hair day. He's having a bad hair year. Jack has tonsurephobia.

Tonsurephobia: noun, A pathological fear of haircuts
(And no, it's not the same as fear of having a bad haircut. :))

To make matters worse, Jack has very thick hair. And it grows strait up or down. There is no part, no wave...nothing. Just this massive amount of unyielding hair.

Jack's first couple of haircuts were at home when he was under two and he was fine. But then we took him to a kid's hair salon. You'd think the videos and toys and balloons and lollipops and car shaped chairs would make for a pleasant experience. In Jack's case, you'd be very wrong.

It was obvious that Jack thought we were trying to kill him. Literally. He didn't just wiggle and cry. He kicked, scratched, screamed and head-butted the poor lady trying to cut his hair. (Yes, we tipped her handsomely.) He was truly traumatized. And so was I. I had never seen Jack like this. (And seeing him act this way while someone had scissors and clippers next to his head was too much for me to watch.)

We took him back several times to get a haircut. We would have him get a buzz cut so we could wait a really long time between visits. We tried bribing him...with jelly beans, with toys, with special outings. We tried cutting his hair at home. We tried letting him cut my husband's hair. We tried letting Jack cut his own hair. But nothing would work. Logan was fine getting his own hair cut but would plead with us to stop when we tried cutting Jack's hair. He could tell how traumatic it was for his brother.

In the end, after discussing it with his pediatrician, we decided to not to cut his hair anymore. We'll wait until he tells us he wants it cut (which unfortunately might be never). His hair is just about to start covering his eyes. It's on the verge of hitting his very long lashes. And when that happens I have hope that he'll ask for a hair cut.

In the meantime, I'll affectionately run my fingers through Jack's mass of little porcupine.


  1. If anyone says anything tell them that you are imitating Kate Hudson and her son. Have you seen HIS hair?

    This too shall pass. Hopefully! For what it's worth, I think he looks adorable!

  2. LOL very cute!!! I have four boys and this phase will pass LOL
    I came across your blog through Ni Hao Y'all...your son is and all. : )

  3. I too have a fear of I can sympathize with Jack....I guess that's why I have long hair. Well, at least, Jack looks like he is a big fan of David Bowie!

  4. My boys all have crazy growing hair too. Luckily our traumatic hair cuts was a short phase but I can totally totally empathize. I cut it at home when it absolutely HAD to be done, after sneaking in a few trimming snips while they were heavily distracted to hold us off as long as possible. Then I'd buzz it, many times it would take several sessions (within the same day) as all the screaming and flailing would get them sweaty making the clippers useless. Now there most recent trip was to cost cutters, not even a video game in site and the worst I got was a complaint that getting hair cuts gave my 5 year old a nervous tummy.

  5. i only give my 3yo hair cuts when he asks b/c its not worth the screaming. its just hair.

  6. I can sympathize... what you describe was Jillian's reaction to getting her hair brushed, and it was indeed traumatic for her. It was heartbreaking, and frustrating. I had given up trying to get her to brush it (she would only allow us to brush her bangs and anything in front of her ears). Her teacher from last year picked up where we had given up, and managed to turn things around.

    I love that picture of him, he's so heartbreakingly beautiful, and the reference to the porcupine made me giggle. Jillian was more of a hairy lama... I'll post a pic for you!

  7. P.S. FOr all the "hair brushing" trauma Jillian had, strangely enough, she would grab scissors and pull a whack job on her hair. Over and over again. It looked as though she'd fought a battle with a weed whacker and lost, badly. In hindsight, I think she just couldn't verbalize her hair/scalp/head sensory issues, and was desperate to do something about it. Breaks my heart.


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