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'AITA for letting my daughter shave her head even though her mother didn't want it?' UPDATED 8X

'AITA for letting my daughter shave her head even though her mother didn't want it?' UPDATED 8X


Disagreeing with an ex about co-parenting can get very tense at times, which is why it's nice to have the outside opinions of the internet.

"AITA for letting my daughter shave her head?"

I 40(M) have a daughter 15(F) who’s going through hair loss due to medical issues. My daughter’s mother and I have been divorced for ten years. We could never get along. My daughter is supposed to be going to the doctor next month. She will be going through a lot of tests to find out the cause of this. She is losing huge amounts, it’s extremely noticeable.

My daughter has been very devastated by this and I am trying to be there for her. Hair is falling out of her head rapidly and in huge amounts. Yesterday my daughter came home from school and she asked me if we can get her hair cut. She told me that she’s tired of her hair falling off. I agreed to it and I had my friend come over to cut her hair.

My friend is a licensed cosmetologist and agreed to cut her hair. So my friend shaved my daughter’s hair yesterday, and my daughter’s mother was pissed at me to say the least. Her mother texted me this morning and said, “I can’t believe you let her cut her hair. You know how mean kids at school can be.”

I responded back, “Were kids at school giving her any problems?” Her mother texted back, “No but she could get bullied. Kids can be cruel, and you just let her go out like that.” I responded, “If it bothers her that much I’d be more than happy to buy wigs for her. She did it willingly. She was tired of stressing herself out every time hair fell out.”

Her mother responded, “You could have stopped her. We have easter photos coming up next month. Family members will see those pictures.” I responded, “It seems like you care more about the photos than your daughter’s happiness. She looks beautiful regardless of if she has hair or not. What if our daughter heard you say that stuff?” I ignored her after that text? AITAH?

The internet had a lot to say in response.

laci6242 wrote:

NTA. Her mother doesn't care about what your daughter wants. If i was in your position i would do the same thing.

OP responded:

My ex wife is a control freak. I;m glad we divorced because she was overbearing. She believes a girl should have long hair. She believes she needs to have hair to be beautiful. Sometimes dealing with my ex wife is exhausting.

SoftTelevision6329 wrote:

NTA. You’re supporting your daughter emotionally AND financially by allowing her to cut her hair (through a licensed cosmetologist) to boost her confidence and offering to purchase her wigs if that’s what SHE wants. It doesn’t matter what her mother thinks, your daughter is her own individual and you are doing a wonderful job.

OP responded:

Thank you. I just want my daughter to feel confident and comfortable with her head. I just hope that she feels confident too.

OP made a clarification in another comment.

ALSO KEEP IN MIND: I’m buying wigs for my daughter just incase she wants them. I’m not saying that she needs them because she looks beautiful regardless.

Connect-Leather3250 wrote:

Go together so she can find what fits her best. And you're an amazing father taking care and thinking about what she wants and feels.

3_wheeler_of_doom wrote:

NTA. You listened to your daughter and allowed her to make her own decision and are supporting her through it. You're a great dad, you have a relationship with your daughter where she knows she can come to you and be supported. Well done.

OP responded:

Thank you. I am very supportive because I know how devastating it is for girls to lose their hair. My daughter had lots of anxiety surrounding it. So she took matters into her own hands. I’m proud of her and hope she can be very confident in her new bald head.

Ryu_Uchiha1 wrote:

NTA. You're a good dad, OP. You listen to your daughter's concern about her hair and took action so that she would be more comfortable, that's all a daughter could ask for and that is being shown full support of one's decisions.

Can't say the same about her mother, though. How sad that she only cares about Easter pictures when the daughter must be grieving the loss of her remaining hair. Keep giving your daughter the full support that she needs OP.

OP responded:

Thank you. Her mother often cared more about appearances than her daughter’s feelings.That’s why we divorced because I couldn’t take her controlling behavior anymore. I am trying to give my daughter all the support. I even offered to get her into therapy if it’s necessary.

Ryu_Uchiha1 responded:

If not done already, OP, please try to gain full or majority custody of your daughter. Your daughter is at that vulnerable age, being susceptible to low self-esteem, eating disorders, self-harm, depression etc. Based on your description of your ex-wife controlling behavior, that won't be good for her in the long run, constantly questioning herself if she's good enough or not.

OP responded:

So the way our custody is set up is it’s joint custody. I am trying to get full custody. My daughter wants to stay with me full time as well. I’m fighting very hard for full custody.

CrabbiestAsp wrote:

NTA. A 15-year-old is more than capable of choosing their own haircut. A good parent should support them in hard times. I think you did a great job.

OP responded:

Thank you. I have worries of her being bullied too but I think everything will be okay. She’s beautiful and strong. She’s such a sweet girl. We are supposed to go shopping tomorrow for her dress for the Easter photos. She messaged me a couple hours ago asking to go wig shopping too. So we will be clothes shopping and wig shopping tomorrow ❤️

petitefunsassy wrote:

NTA. Good for you helping your daughter. You handled it the right way! Maybe get others to rally behind her and shave their heads? I hope the kids at school are decent to her! Most importantly best wishes for your daughter’s health and recovery.

OP responded:

My daughter says her friends were very kind to her and offered her a lot of support.

A day later, OP shared an update.

I 40(M) have a 15 year old daughter who recently shaved her head because of hair loss issues. This morning my daughter and I went wig shopping and clothes shopping for the Easter pictures.

My daughter called me a couple hours ago crying. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that her mother said she’s not allowed in the Easter photos because she would “ruin them”. My daughter tried explaining to her mother that she could wear her wig. Her mother was saying hurtful mean things to her.

Her mother told her she was too ugly to be in the pictures. I messaged her mother and I was pissed. I said, “You really destroyed our daughter’s self esteem over something she can not control. She is beautiful and wouldn’t ruin the photos. I can’t believe you said those horrible things to our daughter. You are a hateful b#$ch and always have been."

"You are rude and disrespectful to everyone you meet. I am so glad that I divorced your sorry ass all those years ago. When she is an adult she’s not going to have anything to do with you and I can promise you that.”

Her mother responded demanding an apology and calling me a disrespectful piece of s**t. My daughter came to my house about an hour ago. My daughter is currently staying here because she wants nothing to do with her mother.

My daughter and I took a photo together. She wasn’t wearing her wig. I asked her if it was okay to post it. She said that it was okay. I posted the photo of us with the caption, “My beautiful daughter. I love you so much. You’re so beautiful, even if you can’t see how beautiful you are, I see your beauty.”

Her mother texted me telling me to take the photo down. I told her to pound sand. I ignored her texts because I am not in a good place to talk to her. AITAH for using fowl language? I usually don’t talk to women like that but she really struck a nerve.

The internet had OP's back all the way.

Bunny_OHara wrote:

Of course a child is going to be embarrassed to have something that makes her stand out differently from her peers, and that's is no reflection of her or anyone else with alopecia or other hair-loss conditions.

But to pretend like a child (especially a girl) thinks it's no big deal to be bald is really, really naive, and borders on being ignorant. (And makes it seem even more like this is totally fake, becasue a supportive parent would acknowledge that this is likely embarrassing for their daughter.) And if being bald wasn't embarrassing/didn't bother her, why would she need a wig?

OP responded:

She didn’t need a wig, and being bald does bother her sometimes, she likes wigs so she can switch it up. Considering her mother was insensitive to her that factored in her asking for a wig.

And she does feel embarrassed but the way you worded it was strange. You called it an embarrassing issue. I don’t consider her being bald an embarrassment to me. I mean OFC she’s embarrassed. Being bald is not strange nor weird. It’s okay to be bald.

Moody_Scorpio_88 wrote:

NTA your exwife crossed the line with your daughter and thank goodness your daughter has a wonderful father to stick up for her.

Ok-master7370 wrote:

NTA, alot of people are fathers but not dads, you my man are a goat.

2dogslife wrote:

Besides referring to language as having gone to the birds (fowl is birds, foul is bad language or tangled ropes - ie. fouled lines in sailing), NTA

At 15, your daughter should be old enough to go to court and have you get full custody.

A week later, OP shared another update.

So here’s an update, I ended up apologizing to my ex wife for the foul language used. My daughter is still at my house and refusing to go home to her mothers. Her mother called the police and reported our daughter as a runaway. An officer came to my door this morning claiming that my daughter was a run away.

I explained the situation to the officer. I explained that she came her on her own free will and I brought up her age and the custody arrangement. I also explained that she told her mother via text where she was going and that her mother already knew that she was here. In fact her mother told her that it was fine to come here.

It was a whole mess. The officer ended up leaving and said there is nothing he can do. He said he can’t force her to come back.

My daughter slipped into a depressive episode. My daughter has bipolar disorder and experiences highs and lows. Due to stress and recent events she slipped into a depression. I feel horrible for her. I talked to an attorney and we have a family court date coming up. I am suing for sole custody. I’m collecting evidence that her mother is ab*sive.

Since my daughter is 15 I think the judge should let her choose who she wants to live with. Yesterday I went to the store and got my daughter new clothes, shoes, makeup, and self care items. I put them in a gift bag to surprise her. I’m giving the gift bag to her later on when she wakes up. Yesterday morning I made sure to tell her how beautiful she is. She starts therapy in two weeks!!!

The comments quickly rolled in.

19LaMaDaS91 wrote:

What is happening to your daughter is really awful I cant believe ppl like your ex wife exist. Only think I would have done differently was the pic on social media you mentioned the post before. I think maybe in the future she really could end up regretting it. But maybe not who knows! And its too late anyway so not much you can do. I really wish you two the best!

Tonyrains80 wrote:

NTA but please control yourself. Don't give the wicked witch of the east any ammunition to use against you in court. Take care of your daughter and keep her away from your evil ex.

hideme21 wrote:

Make sure you call her things like “strong” and “resilient”. She’s losing her hair for a reason. Don’t make it just about her beauty. Her mother is doing that already.

CodenmaeUtopian wrote:

Just read through your posts on this debacle with your poor daughter and your ex wife. I think you're doing an amazing job. I think the perfect nail in the coffin would to do your own professional photo shoot with your daughter and display them in your home, since your ex wife wouldn't include your daughter in hers!

A few days later, OP shared another update.

My daughter recently shaved her head due to medical issues. She was losing hair rapidly and she’s starting to lose her eyebrows too. We are going to the doctor soon to find out the cause of this. She has self esteem issues due to being bald. I bought her a wig and she has hats to wear. I knew something was off. I squeezed it out of her. On Tuesday she was in class and working on her assignments.

A boy that had been giving her issues all school year pulled her wig off in front of everyone. He called her ugly and said many other mean things to her. Other kids have been bullying her on social media. I am livid, and on Wednesday I was called to the school because of another incident happening. That same boy took her wig and threw it in the trash. I rushed to the school and the boys parents were there.

The boys parents apologized but the boy refused to apologize. The boy that pulled off her wig got suspended for bullying. That same boy and his friends have been harassing my daughter on social media. My daughter is extremely upset and has been in tears. I do not know how to get these kids to stop bullying her.

I found out that my daughter has been self harming. I am going to try and get her admitted to the hospital. I feel lost and like I’m failing as a parent. I have no idea how to get that boy and his friends to leave her alone. I need advice. Any suggestions on how to handle this would help greatly.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

Historical-Gap-7084 wrote:

File police charges against the boy for his theft and destruction of her wig. Make him pay. He's in high school and should know better. It doesn't matter if the parents feel bad. The kid needs legal consequences.

OP responded:

I’m wanting to press charges! He got stuff in her wig from throwing it in the trash! That wig costed me 600$ I am just worried that the parents wouldn’t be able to afford me pressing charges My mother is telling me to press charges too, it was a beautiful blonde human hair wig that cost me 600$ plus 40$ for the glue, 50$ for the hot comb.

Historical-Gap-7084 responded:

OH, boy. That's a chargeable offense right there. I would not hesitate. Just go down to the station, take that wig and the receipt with you, and press charges.

I am just worried that the parents wouldn’t be able to afford me pressing charges

OP responded:

My mother is telling me to press charges too, it was a beautiful blonde human hair wig that cost me $600 plus $40 for the glue, $50 for the hot comb.

AsherTheFrost wrote:

You're going to have to make yourself a problem. Track down the principal, the superintendent, and if nothing changes, your local media. Be very clear that your daughter is being harassed and bullied by multiple boys over a medical condition. If you can, get in contact with the parents and let them know.

aitatip404 wrote:

This. Become a thorn in that school's side. Push push push.

You are a fantastic father, please never doubt that what you are doing is right.

cosmicwendigo wrote:

The only thing you can do about the bullying is hound the school administration. Call the school everyday, threaten to take the issue to the school board, threaten legal action, whatever. Be an absolute pain in the a*s and the school will be forced to do something about them.

As for the social media, I'm not sure what platform she's using, but regardless - ask your daughter to block their accounts, turn off post comments (they'll probably make alt accounts to evade the block), turn off direct messages, and switch her account to private.

Keep her social media low key until the school works with you on the bullying. Or, if she's comfortable with it, completely deleting her social media accounts and making a fresh account she can use freely that isn't known by her classmates.

The self harm, I would talk to her about it first and try to schedule therapy more often before immediately admitting her to a hospital. Those hospitals, especially depending what area you're in, aren't always helpful and can be really abu*ive. If you do decide the best course of action is a hospital, please look into the hospital you're going to and see if they have a good reputation dealing with psychiatric patients.

Three days later, OP shared another update.

I pressed charges on the boy that bullied my daughter this morning. I 40(M) My daughter has been getting bullied by this boy and his friends. He ripped my daughter’s wig off and threw it in the trash. The wig had all kinds of stuff in it. I took the wig, my daughter, and the receipt to the police station and magistrate. I pressed charges for assault and destruction of property this morning.

The boys parents got my phone number and contacted me. They told me that they understand that the wig was expensive. They said he’s only a 15-year-old, that he was a kid and they couldn’t afford to pay $600 to replace a wig. I told them that he needed to face the consequences of his actions.

Edit: My daughter shaved her head recently because she’s losing hair due to medical issues. That’s why I got her a wig. We will be going to the doctor next month to find out the cause. I am her father not her mother.

People were fully invested in the update.

jnissa wrote:

Fifteen isn’t a kid. It’s plenty old enough to side hustle and earn $600 to replace a wig that you’re old enough to know not to rip off a girls’ head. Play stupid games win stupid prizes. Stand your ground mama. Especially against parents trying to act like a 15 year old shouldn’t be held responsible for acting like an a*s.

OP responded:

Well I’m her father lol. We don’t talk to her mother but he definitely should be held responsible.

OP added another update in the comments.

I’m worried about the fact they DESTROYED HER PROPERTY, HUMILATED HER AT SCHOOL, ASS*ULTED HER (Pulling a wig off someone’s head is ass*ult) and that wig costed me $600 I’m more upset about the fact they have been bullying her and assaulted her. Also he deliberately destroyed her property, either him or his parents should replace it. It’s the right thing to do.

sunbear2525 wrote:

I can’t imagine my child doing something like this but it would be the end of all happiness until they paid me back for the wig, minimum. I would sell things if I had need to pay you back. Your poor daughter.

bulletPoint wrote:

When I was 15-16 years old, my parents owned a deli in New York. They had a particular employee who was not good, so they fired him after a couple of weeks of trying to get him to improve. Guy was 19-20 maybe?

Anyways, the dude camped outside my school and waited until I was walking home and jumped me. He beat the shi* out of me. My parents were mortified, but then his parents got involved and convinced them to not file charges. I was just shook. Anywho, that still sticks with me.

I am in my thirties now, and reading this reminded me of the general failure my parents showed in their dumb act of forgiveness. It was not their forgiveness to grant. It was done on my behalf. You’re a good person for sticking up for your kid. I’m glad you didn’t make the same mistake my parents did.

A week later, OP shared another update.

Yesterday the father of the boy who b*llied my daughter called me. He got my phone number off of one of my social media pages. He called me and he said, “I’m sorry that my son destroyed your daughter’s property. I didn’t say or do anything because my wife would give me an earful. I will replace her wig. I assure you I’m putting my foot down and my son will not be an issue anymore."

"I will not enable my sons or wife’s behavior anymore. He will most certainly be issuing an apology to your daughter if she’s okay with it.” I thanked him for his apology. He even offered to do some landscaping work at a discounted price for the trouble his son caused. At least the dad had a heart and is putting his foot down!

The internet was happy to hear the update.

PapillonWolff wrote:

Love the way the boy’s dad ends with drumming up business. Never lose an opportunity for more work.

DancingLadyBird wrote:

The doctors appointment is perpetually set to 'next month'? And they decided to shave it off before finding out what's going on and why? I'm struggling to understand the timeline here, how long has she been noticeably loosing hair and why haven't they seen a doctor about it yet or even, you know, a Google search about hair loss?

TheKittenPatrol responded:

Getting a doctor appointment can take months, even for serious things. The reason I’m stuck in a super expensive city is because my care team is excellent, and yet it still took a month to see a psychiatrist and I’m still waiting for my appointment with a headache specialist that’s over a month away, three months from I booked it.

There are also many reasons someone may start losing their hair. It could be alopecia, or it could be a side effect of something else entirely. A google search will give some possibilities, but not in a way that can get her prescriptions or medical tests or anything to stop the hair loss.

Why shouldn’t she shave the hair that was noticeably falling out? If it’s fixable, it will grow back out. But for now at least it’s relieved the stress of watching it fall out. My friend who was losing her hair did the same, despite the fact she was able to fix it and now has a full head of hair again. Now, this story itself may or may not be true, but I know people who have gone through very similar things.

ThxitsaDisorder wrote:

My mom, maternal grandfather, and sister all have a genetic condition that makes their hair fragile and break off. My sister was bullied a lot growing up for being bald. I got into a lot of fights defending her (ignorant people calling her a boy in a dress, or saying the don’t want to catch cancer from her 🙄).

My mom was bullied by her own teachers, one would call her the male version of her name because “only boys have short hair.”

I want to hug OP for being so great.

A week later, OP shared another update.

My beautiful 15-year-old daughter has been getting b*llied relentlessly. Recently a boy took off her wig and tossed it in the trash. People keep putting mean notes in her locker. People are yelling mean names at her in class, the hallways, and the cafeteria. I was cleaning my daughter’s room yesterday and I noticed a piece of paper on the floor.

I picked it up thinking it was trash. I saw writing on it and thought it could be something important. My daughter literally wrote a s*icide note. So she is currently in the mental hospital. I feel like I’m failing her.

A commenter jumped on to share support.

Migaki2 wrote:

OP I'm not a father, I'm still a little young but I can understand how your daughter feels. The most sensible thing you can do is take her to therapy and change her school. To be honest, I doubt that school authorities do something. Protect yourself and you child. You have my best wishes.

A few hours later, OP shared another update.

My daughter is currently in the mental hospital. She’s been bullied relentlessly and has been very depressed. I found a s*icide note yesterday and I discussed it with her. I had her admitted into the psychiatric hospital. I am Going to visit her tomorrow. Hopefully she’ll feel better when she sees my head and eyebrows. I shaved my head and eyebrows in hopes that she won’t be singled out or isolated.

She hasn’t talked to her mother in almost a couple weeks and I will not allow her to see her mother at all. (This is because her mother was ab*sive to her). I hope that she feels a little bit better when I visit her tomorrow.

People were fully in OP's corner.

Rebekahster wrote:

Good luck! I hope she loves your new style.

OP responded:

I hope she does too! She’s such a beautiful girl. I hate that she feels depressed like this and that kids have been b*llying her. They left mean notes in her locker, yell mean things at her in the hallway. They have been b*llying her on social media. They have been comparing her to Cailou and other mean comparisons.

Rebekahster responded:

I am so glad she has you! I’ve been following for a bit, and can’t stress enough how much of a great dad you are!

Lokipupper wrote:

I’m so sorry you both are going through this! I’m not religious, but I’m sending my best supportive thoughts your way! You sound like an amazing dad, and I pray (in my way) that your daughter will get through this and will be stronger for it.

Please assure her that high school is a cesspool and adult life just isn’t like this as a rule. You get jerks in adulthood too, but you can cut them off and mock them with more support! She won’t always be locked in a concrete box full of immature hormonal teens who can only, you handle their self loathing by lashing out at others!

AdRealistic9638 wrote:

I'm reading your posts, and maybe there is a way for you two to move. Fresh start might help. Considering your daughter is relentlessly bullied and s*icidal it is not good recipe to stay where you are.

In my country there was a case where a boy of 14 was b*llied and he deleted himself, his parents supported him and they fought against b*llying but they lost a child in the end. He couldn't take it. Talk to therapist, CPS, your daughter, I don't know who is involved because of mother.

A week later, OP shared another update.

My daughter is home from the mental hospital. She’s been doing a little better. She was shocked when she saw my bald head. It was because she was so used to me having very long hair. She was emotional because I shaved my head for her. I love her so much. I even showed her all the support from everyone on here and it made her smile.

My daughter is also on new anxiety medication. She has been extremely tired. Considering what she’s been through of course she’s going to be tired. I am currently in the process of switching her to homeschooling. Does anyone have any advice on homeschooling?

The internet was quick to respond.

Clear-Number-2083 wrote:

I don't have any advice on homeschooling, sorry. I just wanted to say I've been following your journey with your daughter and I'm so glad to see she's home and making progress. Kudos to you for being so supportive. I hope she is able to find the beauty in her uniqueness! The most beautiful thing a person can wear is confidence; I hope she finds hers again soon.

Silly_DizzleDazzle wrote:

Mom Lurker can search online like FB for homeschooling groups. They can help her have outside friends, probably not her own age, but she can interact with others for an outing or museum trip. Some homeschooling groups trade off who teaches certain subjects based on whatever subject the adults are best in.

There are online homeschooling academies which your daughter has to sit in front of the computer for a certain amount of hours each day and complete her assignments. There are others that you mail in her completed class work each week and she works at her own pace.

There is also the school district that sends a teacher to your home to help her with her class work. I don't know what the requirements she needs to medically have to qualify for that. There may even be a homeschooling group on here. I am happy she is home and getting healthier and healing. Keep Dadding OP. You are awesome! You both make a great team!!!♥️♥️

PrinceVultan wrote:

I don't know much about homeschooling, but I am happy to share the little I have gathered listening to people who do homeschool their kids talk about it.

There are various homeschool programs and curriculums. You need to choose one that meets the req's of your state and that fits your kid.

Look into homeschool co-ops. Basically a homeschool co-op is a group of families that all homeschool together.

Different parents teach different topics based on their own skills (like an engineer who teaches math classes, a editor who teaches english, stuff like that people playing to their strengths) and it allows the children to interact in a school like way with other kids and other teachers to help with socialization skills and what not.

Another thing to look into is if your local school system offers any integration for homeschoolers. One youtuber I listen to does the homeschooling thing. His family is in a homeschool co-op. His local school also integrates homeschoolers into some school activities that you can't really duplicate at home. Like music classes and some sports and such.

There is a ton of info and support out there for homeschooling. One of the biggest factors to my knowledge is the rules and regs in the state/city you are in. Some states are good to homeschool in and actively support homeschoolers, some states on the other hand are very extremely hostile to homeschoolers and will make your life hell.

Hopefully, OP and his daughter are able to move forward into a more positive space for her.

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