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Black woman won't let white ex cut daughter's hair to 'fix it,' 'get better products.'

Black woman won't let white ex cut daughter's hair to 'fix it,' 'get better products.'


Dealing with an ex's parenting style can be deeply stressful.

First, you weren't aligned as a couple, and now, you're not aligned as parents. Figuring out which hills are worth dying on is the ultimate challenge, especially when you find yourself at odds on multiple topics. Luckily, internet strangers love nothing more than to hear out the details of a situation and give their take.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she's wrong for not letting her ex-husband cut their daughter's hair during a visit.

She wrote:

AITA for not allowing my ex husband to cut our daughter’s hair and “giving him no say in his daughter’s problem?”

My ex-husband and I split 10 years ago. We have a 16-year-old daughter, Brooke. She’s mixed race (I’m black, my ex is white). Because of this, Brooke has always had trouble with styling her hair, so she kept it fairly short.

A couple of years ago I heard about the curly girl method, and since using some of those principles, Brooke was able to get her hair to be styled properly and make it look good, so she’s grown it out since then.

I don’t feel comfortable posting pictures of her on an anonymous site like this, but for an idea of how it looks style and length wise, here is a reference picture I found on google that has very similar hair to Brooke. She puts a lot of work in to get this end result, and while it does require a lot of product and time, I am okay with that.

My ex, however, doesn’t want to spend the money on hair care products so when she is at his house, she just doesn’t use them. That was fine, because he only has her on alternating weekends, but I recently went on a vacation with some friends and she stayed with him for 2 weeks. Nearing the end of the 2 weeks, he texted me and asked for permission to cut her hair short.

I was confused, because she never indicated wanting to do that, so I asked him why. He said that her hair looked awful and she was refusing to take care of it, wash it, or use any products in it. That also struck me as very odd, so I asked what products he meant and he sent me a picture of some cheap crappy Walmart shampoo and hair gel. He said he made her brush it, but it just looked even worse.

I told him that he was an idiot. The cheap Walmart hair crap just fries her hair, hair gel doesn’t work with her hair, and of course it looked bad when she brushed it, that’s what happens when you brush curly hair.

I gave him a list of the products she uses and told him to go to buy them so she can take care of her hair, but he refused, saying they were way too expensive and that he wanted to have her hair cut short because “clearly that’s the only length she can handle.” He made a Facebook post about how I was enabling my daughter to “look like a bum” and not letting him “fix the problem.”

A lot of his family and some of my family that still keep in touch with him told me that I needed to accept that she is his daughter too and he gets a say in things. I’m sticking by my choice and I’m not going to let him cut Brooke’s hair off unless she tells me that’s what she wants to do.


Editing to add, it seems I didn’t do a great job of explaining that Brooke doesn’t want to cut her hair, and I’m defending her, not saying she has to keep it. If she wanted to cut it, she could, but it’s my ex who wants to.

People had a lot of questions and comments about the scenario.

Posterbomber wrote:

INFO: Why is Brooke not allowed to take her hair care products with her when she visits him? Every time I spend the night somewhere I take my personal care products with me. Make-up, hair and skin care.

HP1029 wrote:

NTA. The only person who gets a say about Brooke’s hair is Brooke. I would suggest she takes her hair products with her if he won’t buy some for her. Your ex is in need of education regarding hair care.

Mirror_Initial wrote:

Yep. Honestly it smacks of racism too.

“My daughter’s hair isn’t like my white person hair. She looks like a bum. This is a problem.”

cassanthrax wrote:

At 16, she's more than capable of deciding her own hair length - she's the only one that should have a say. It would be so traumatic to be forced into a hairstyle you don't want. Good for you for protecting your daughter.

Unable_Ad5655 asked OP a pressing question:

INFO: Why didn't you send the necessary products with her when she went to visit for 2 weeks? Then she could have taken care of her hair?

And OP answered:

Brooke doesn’t like to bring much stuff between houses solely for convenience, so she has some clothes and chargers and books and things at her dad’s house. Normally she doesn’t bring the products because she’s only there for short periods of time, and I’m assuming it just slipped her mind to bring them.

ktempest wrote:

NTA - please tell me you told your daughter that he is not allowed to bully her into cutting her hair. He will try. My dad was like this when I was young, too, and I was afraid to stand up to him and it caused so many problems. I'm fine now and so is my hair, but it took years for my self-esteem and my hair itself to recover.

Good for you for giving her the tools to help her make hey hair look the way she wants! Don't ever back down and keep threatening that man. Ugh, white people with mixed children who never accept what comes with being mixed are in the top 10 of worst people ever.

OP is absolutely NTA, but her ex is a big one, who also needs to unpack his racial bias.

Sources: Reddit
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