“Am I the A-hole for Shaving My 4 Year-Old Niece’s Hair Off?”
Taking another person’s child for a haircut of any description without express permission is usually a definite no-go. But, are there mitigating circumstances in which maybe, it would be ok? One woman recently took to Reddit to explain a situation she recently found herself in and to ask whether she had made the right call.
I’ll try to keep this short, my sister has a daughter and she is 4 years old. Lexi has super curly hair and needs her hair to be taken care of constantly. My sisters husband ended up in the hospital and she has been a wreck. He has only been a week but she is destroyed and stopped brushing Lexis hair.
I was visiting with some premade meals and noticed the house and lexis hair was a mess. My sister wasn’t doing well so I offered to take Lexi for a bit so she can focus on her husband.
I tried to fix her hair, it’s just matted. I couldn’t fix it. I went to a hair salon to see if they could fix it but it would be 50 dollars an hour for them to brush out the hair. My sister wasn’t picking up. So we had her head shaved the next day. I sent pictures when it was done and that finally got her to respond.
It resulted in a huge argument, with her saying how dare I do that and me pointing out I wouldn’t of had to if she brushed her daughters hair.
Edit: Make the timeline clearer, I got her Tuesday morning, went to the salon on Wednesday and then did the cut today. She had three days to respond to all the calls and texts. This didn’t happen in an hour
Lexi was fine with it, her head was hurting and yes we tried everything we could to get it out. Not to mention I called my sister and texted her multiple times and waited a whole day after the salon visit. It was painful I want going to leave her in pain since her mom wouldn’t pick up.
Commenter had plenty to say, but the reactions were very mixed. As expected, many people felt that as she wasn’t the child’s parent she had overstepped.
That was completely not your decision to make, what a disgusting breach of trust when your sister is already having a hard time. – CrystalQueen3000
Not your kid. Not your place to make long-term decisions about the child’s hair. Yes, it will grow back, but come the fuck on. Having a child’s head shaved without the parent/guardian’s consent is just way too obviously a bad decision. – Sameal13
However, others were more understanding, and agreed that the child’s welfare in this case was more important.
If the child is down for having their matted hair cut, cutting it is the ethical choice. Subjecting an unwilling child to painful detangling is, imo, abuse. And you’re absolutely right that this would probably become a reoccurring issue if the mom continues to neglect her child as she has been. It doesn’t make sense to spend hours detangling a kid’s matted hair when the primary caregiver will let it get right back to that state again, especially when the kid is cool with having it cut. If this was a boy would anyone even care? – Merykare
NTA. i was leaning more towards yta because not your kid, not your decision. But this child is actively being neglected because their parent is in a depressive state. Her hair is so matted she’s in pain. Her mom is clearly incapable of making decisions at this point so i’m glad someone is doing something to help her. Kkccola
The child didn’t mind and the child was literally in pain from the matting. This wasn’t a haircut to me. As far as I’m concerned, OP got her niece treatment for a painful condition after making multiple attempts over multiple days to clear that treatment with niece’s parents. – ka-ka-ka-katie1123
It’s clear you care about your niece. She was in pain. What 4 year old in pain is going to cooperate with someone brushing out mats in their hair for HOURS? None.
Shaving the hair was a mercy. It will grow back. She will not be traumatized unless her mom continues to act like she lost an arm instead of just hair.
The mom is understandably upset but if she is reasonable, with time she will understand and forgive once things with her husband settle down and she is able to get back to her normal state of mind. She’ll see that the hair is growing back, that her daughter is happy and healthy, and that her sister was doing her best to take care of her and help out. – GnomeOnaSelf
What do you think? Did she make the wrong call, or was the haircut warranted in this situation?