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Mom Sparks Drama After Forcing Stepdaughter To Cut Her Long Hair Without Parents’ Permission

Girl getting her haircut.
aire images/Getty Images

Children don’t always inherit their parent’s likes and dislikes.

Leaving many parents to bemoan the fact that their children might never want to join them for a game of tennis or indulge in a strong cheese plate before dinner.

Things can get even more complicated regarding personal appearance, as many parents will flat-out tell their children not to wear certain clothes or cut their hair a certain way.

A mandate which seldom, if ever, goes well with the children.

The hair of Redditor Free_Grapefruit2289‘s stepdaughter had become an ever-growing nuisance.

Leading to the original poster (OP) demanding a change, which the OP’s stepdaughter grudgingly accepted.

Less accepting of this demand, however, was the OP’s husband and his ex-wife, who were furious with the way the OP treated their daughter.

Wondering if she had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for forcing my step daughter to cut her hair?”

The OP explained that having grown tired of dealing with her stepdaughter’s hair, she took matters into her own hands and put herself at odds with her family for doing so.

“I (31) met my husband (34 M[ale]) 8 years ago, and we have been married for 6.”

“He has an 11-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.”

“I work from home, so I mainly end up taking care of her.”

“I have since she was young.”

“We have a generally good relationship.”

“She stays at her mother’s most weekends.”

“She has incredibly long blonde wavy hair, just past her bottom.”

“It’s a nightmare to take care of.”

“It frequently tangles, and she always needs help brushing and styling it before school.”

“I’m not a morning person, and I do not like having to wake up early to do a kid’s hair.”

“It’s expensive to maintain as she requires more products. She insists on using hair oils which can cost around $11 and only last a few weeks.”

“She also insists she has to use curly hair shampoo instead of regular shampoo and conditioner, which is often over $10 per bottle.”

“And she goes through it at a fast rate.”

“She won’t use a regular brush on it as she insists it breaks her hair and hurts, so she uses a wide tooth comb which takes a long time to brush when she could be doing other more productive things such as homework or helping me with chores.”

“I decided she had become obsessed with her hair, and I do not want her to become vain, so I decided it needs to be cut.”

“I don’t see it as a big deal as I have always had shoulder-length hair as my hair does not grow very fast, and I get frequent trims.”

“It’s a lot more practical.”

“I took her to the hairdresser as normal.”

“In the car on the way down, she said she wants to make sure the hairdresser doesn’t cut too much.”

“I politely explained that I would like her to cut her hair to shoulder length as it has become a burden.”

“At first she thought I was joking, but when she realized she started to cry.”

“When we got to the salon, the hairdresser was reluctant to cut her hair due to her tears, but I explained the trouble we have maintaining it and assured cutting it would be best for her.”

“In the end the stylist agreed and cut her hair.”

“The stylist braided her hair then cut it.”

“She kept it.”

“Her hair was now just past shoulder length and looked a lot darker.”

“The car journey home was silent, I offered her McDonald’s, but she refused.”

“She went straight to her room when we got back.”

“My husband went up to see her when he got home and apparently found her on her bed sobbing holding her old hair.”

“My husband immediately called her mother to come and collect her, and as soon as my stepdaughter was out the door, he started yelling.”

“Her mother also came in and gave me a mouthful.”

“I explained my reasoning but my husband wouldn’t budge.”

“He said if I had issue he would have done her hair in the mornings and that he didn’t mind paying for the products.”

“He was so furious he said he no longer trusts me around his daughter and doesn’t know if he can be with a woman who he doesn’t trust with her.”

“This broke my heart.”

“I didn’t mean her any harm, I was just so tired and I’m trying to reduce stress.”

“I’ve always been the one to raise her and her brother, and I’m just exhausted.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who pretty much unanimously agreed that she was the a**hole for forcing her stepdaughter to cut her hair.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s husband’s anger was more than justified, as she had no right to force her stepdaughter to cut her hair, with many wondering if this decision could have cost the OP her marriage.

“YTA × 1000.”

“You stripped a little girl of her pride and joy because you’re not a morning person?!”

“Without consulting her or her parents?”

“No wonder her dad’s thinking of divorcing you.”- Thrwwy747


“You did this without the child’s parents’ knowledge or consent.”

“You did it without the child’s consent.”

“If the routine was causing problems for you, you should have TALKED TO YOUR HUSBAND.”

“Not arbitrarily decided that you got to choose her hair length.”

“Your husband is right…he can’t trust you with her.”

“Be prepared for a divorce.”- Puppyjito

“You could give the Disney villains a run for their money, holy sh*t.”

“YTA.”- CrystalQueen3000


“She could be more productive and work in a mall or go even go to church!”

“Do you have any more arguments about why people can’t have pretty things or do things they care about?”

“I decided she had become obsessed with her hair”

“Even more Wow!”

“So you ‘decided’ her intention is exactly in the way that you could totally ignore her autonomy and make decisions for her.”

“How convenient!”

“You were frontally abusive.”

“Stop blshttng yourself that you ‘didn’t mean any harm’ as you knew that she doesn’t consent. You forced that dumb hairdresser who shouldn’t agree at all.”

“Now make a toast to how much stress you reduced for everyone.”

“YTA big time.”

“And poor girl.”

“Now she knows what it feels like when someone breaks her will and character.”- mayhnavea


“Are you jealous of her hair?”

“You listed off products that are over 10$… most basic decent hair products cost well over that.”

“Just because you don’t care for your own hair properly doesn’t mean you should force your stepdaughter to use sh*tty product.”

“Add on the fact that your husband said he would have gladly taken care of her hair in the mornings since it’s such a burden for you tells me that you never even brought it up to him, you just decided one day you were going to make her suffer.”

“YTA.”- Throwdiscus



“I hope he leaves you because you don’t deserve the privilege of being a part of this child’s life.”

“What you did was abhorrent, and she will likely never forget it.”

“You took away her bodily autonomy.”

“You betrayed her trust and your husband’s trust.”

“Doing chores and helping around the house is not more important than her caring for herself and her hair.”

“Please update us after the divorce.”- Medical_Pack5465

“If my daughters or son’s stepdad this sh*t, I would be going for full custody.”

“What’s your problem?”

“Are you that jealous of an 11-year-old?”

“You knew what you were doing was wrong.”- Ok-Hunter-7036


“This was done to me as a child.”

“I’m 46 and I’m still pissed.”

“You don’t see children as people and you certainly don’t respect your stepdaughter.”- jintana


“Better call a lawyer now because divorce is going to be your future.”

“This is not your child. You had no right to force her to submit to a haircut without involving her parents.”

“If you were so sure you were right, why didn’t you mention it in advance to your husband, her FATHER?”

“Why didn’t you talk to her FATHER about you thinking the products were too expensive?”

“Why did you sneak around to take her to the haircut?”

“If I were her parents, I would be having a few words with the hairdresser for cutting a child’s hair without parental consent.”- squirrelsareevil2479

The fact that the OP still didn’t have the slightest ounce of doubt or regret about her decision after her stepdaughter went running up to her room in tears is shocking, to say the least.

It’s hard not to agree with the majority of the Reddit community in wondering whether or not her marriage will survive this incident.

Particularly as the OP’s husband has made it clear that he doesn’t trust her around his daughter anymore.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.