Going for Great Lengths

Sophia was born with no hair.  Her thin, pale brown childhood locks grow slower than molasses.  She longs for long hair and constantly tries to figure out how to make it grow.  She had a complex brushing routine in an attempt to become Rapunzel.  It was so nice that she wanted to brush her own hair. 

Then, last week, I heard a bloodcurdling scream.

Sophia:  Mom!  Come here!  Help!

I ran to her room, afraid something terrible had happened.  I found her sitting on her bed, staring at a brush.

Me:  Sophia, is everything okay?

She looked up.  There were tears on her cheeks.

Sophia:  Mom, look at my brush.  It is taking my hair away.

I looked at the brush and observed the few shiny strands that so upset her.

Me:  Sophia, the hair that comes out when you brush is leaving the good hair to grow longer.  That hair in the brush will not grow anymore.   Don’t worry, it is normal.

Sophia:  Normal?  To lose hair?  Uh uh.  That is not okay.  I do not want to lose any hair.  That is ridiculous.  (Yes, she likes this word.)

Me:  Ridiculous is a bit dramatic sweetie.  What is your plan?  I don’t want you to cry over your beautiful hair.

Sophia.  It’s simple.  I am not brushing my hair anymore.  I am just going to let it grow.  That’s my plan okay?

Me:  I know you are upset babe, but your hair will grow.  It just might take longer than some of your friends.  Mommy’s hair took a long time to grow too.  It really would be better to keep brushing it to keep it healthy.

Sophia:  Uh uh.  I don’t want it coming out.

At this point I went the wrong direction.  I admit it.  Bad move mom.

Me:  Sophia, you have beautiful hair.  Some little girls are sick and have no hair.  They wear bandananas or wigs while they get better and they would be so happy to be healthy like you and have your hair.

Sophia:  What’s a wig?

Me:  It is hair that goes over your head to give you hair or make your hair look different.  A lot of healthy people grow their own hair as long as they can and then cut it all off to help people who don’t have hair.  Your cousin Claire did it.

Sophia:  No way.  I don’t want to cut my hair and I just want it long and it is my hair.

Me:  Okay Soph, it is your hair, and you don’t have to cut it. I was just telling you how lucky you are.   If it gets too snarly though, I am telling you even more will come out when we brush it.  And we will brush it.  At least one time each day.  I will be careful.

Sophia:  We’ll see.

We’ll see?  From a 4 year old?

Well, I choose my battles and I am not winning this one.  I thought it would blow over.  She looks like she has a bird’s nest on her head and she bawls when we brush her hair.  She insists on looking at the brush when we are done.  I have thus far refrained from telling her that she may draw bird poop, but I am close.  Even Ross is wondering what I am planning with this one.  Miles is 3 and thinks she looks funny.

Here’s the thing.  I have no plan.  I don’t want her to think I don’t listen and care and I don’t want a mama bird to lay an egg on her head either.  I also would just like her hair to look pretty.  Sue me.  I like that about having a girl.

Any ideas?  Can I keep the peace or must I attack her precious hair with a brush?  What  

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Jessica says:

    Oh these girls, mine is 3 and hates getting her hair brushed but does not have this sort of story as to why (I guess that will come at age 4?) I wish I had great advice, I tried to leave my daughter’s alone as much as possible but it definitely needs brushed daily, despite the crying.
    Jessica recently posted… Time to Slow DownMy Profile

  • Katy says:

    What about a comb instead of a brush? It may not pull as many hairs out. I used to hate having my hair brushed, until mom found me a widetooth comb to get through my naturally wavy mess.

  • Carrie says:

    Spray in conditioner will be your new best friend. AND you can tell Sophia it will make her hair look shiny and beautiful like Rapunzal 🙂

    Also, use a comb instead of a brush. Much less damage and hopefully fewer hairs will come out.
    Carrie recently posted… Wordless Wednesday: Ah, sisterly loveMy Profile

  • Kimberly says:

    Tie her down and brush it 😉 Is that mean?
    Kimberly recently posted… You’re Never Less Than Good EnoughMy Profile

  • angela says:

    Hmmm, Abbey doesn’t love having her hair brushed either. I tell her that if she won’t let me brush it, we’ll have to cut it. That generally works. Also, in order to make it as painless as possible, I use adult conditioner in the bathtub and leave-in spray conditioner.

    Good luck. It’s a tough battle, because if you let it go too long, it’s really a mess 🙁
    angela recently posted… The Rubber BandMy Profile

  • Stephanie says:

    I feel your pain… my four year old hates when I brush her hair… she hardly had any until she truned 2. Most of my childhood pictures I look like a homeless orphan Annie with crazy wild hair that my mother did nothing with… My hair was short and ugly until I was in high school when I finally started growing it out… So I vowed to never do that to my little girl. LOL I put adult conditioner in it in the bathtub and brush all the tangles out. I also but a leave in conditioner in it and comb it while it is still wet…. Once it dries it’s impossible. Oh and at night I braid it so it doesn’t get tangled while she is sleeping. Here’s a few pictures of munchkin with her beaitutiful blonde curls….

    http://katiebowerphotography.com/2011/04/25/miss-mary/

  • 6 Years Ago Our Lives Changed Forever | Mommy Words says:

    […] upset.  She can’t believe her 2 year old sister’s hair is longer than hers.  She tried not brushing it because she thought that would pull it out.  This battle may never end.  We all know being a girl with difficult hair is like a totally […]

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