Women and the Controlling of Men’s Haircuts

When women are controlling towards men and it gets overlooked as normal.

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Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

My parents were married for 15 years. During those 15 years my dad’s hair was long. His hair went down to his waist at one stage. I never saw his hair short. It wasn’t until after their divorce when I was 18 that my dad finally cut his hair. I asked him, “why now? Why did you keep it long for all these years?” and he replied, “I only kept it long because your mother pleaded, and made me to keep it that way.”

Looking back on this memory today, it made me think, do other women do this? Because I knew from personal experience that men definitely did. A year before their divorce, my boyfriend at the time pushed me to dye my hair and even went to the hairdresser with me. So I knew that the roles in the situation could be reversed. It’s common to see men control women, but when it’s women controlling men, it’s often overlooked or unnoticed depending on the situation.

Men and haircuts could be one of them.

So when men go into a barbershop, are they getting a haircut because they want to? Or because their other half is pushing them to? I asked my partner who cuts hair for a living, and he said that men get told what to do more than you’d think.

In the barbershop, women control men’s decisions quite frequently. It was something that my partner wasn’t expecting to notice when he went into the trade.

But do some women know that they’re doing this? Probably not. I knew my mother didn’t think twice about it being ‘controlling’ when she made my father keep his hair long. You could always say that ‘sure, maybe my father kept it long for her,’ but I do remember as a teenager that he would constantly complain about not being able to cut his hair short because she didn’t like it.

It wouldn’t go unnoticed if a man controlled his partner’s haircut choice, so why is it overlooked as normal when a woman does it to her partner when the person is a man?

My partner said, “at least once every fortnight a man comes in for a haircut, and his partner dictates what will happen and what she wants his hair to look like. Just last week a woman came in with a picture of the style she wanted him to get.”

He said that men come in on their own for a haircut and say something along the lines of, “I want it shorter, but not too short. My [girlfriend/partner/wife] doesn’t like it too short, or too long, or too whatever.”

“How often does this sort of thing happen?” I asked him and he said it happens so often that he couldn’t count. A hairdresser I spoke to said sometimes when a man comes in and mentions their partner wanting their hair a certain way, they usually laugh it off. “She’s got you under the thumb,” they’d joke, because it was never really seen as an issue. But maybe it should be. Maybe it shouldn’t be laughed off?

Are these actions by the hands of these women a form of controlling? Short answer I think, is yes. But when it does happen to men it’s not seen as controlling as often as it should because for centuries, men have been depicted as the ‘masculine’ gender out of males and females. Essentially they’re meant to be able to ‘fend for themselves,’ as they are seen ‘more powerful’ than a woman, which could be why we don’t notice abuse or mistreatment as often with men when it happens to them — even in the little things such as haircuts.

It’s not often we think about the roles being reversed, and think of the woman as the abuser because we are so used to it only being men in media, and men being spoken about as the abuser.

While controlling someone’s choice of haircut may not be abuse, it certainly is a form of controlling behavior, and I think we need to take more notice of it because there may be thousands of men being held back from their expressive freedom due to their partner. That’s not normal, so we shouldn’t treat it as such. Would it have an impact on their mental health? Or would they not think twice?

I don’t think I’ve ever tried to push any of my partners to look a certain way, because it’s not up to me, it’s up to them because it’s their hair. Sometimes women can be controlling towards men.

It’s an important issue, whether it happens to women or men. In this instance though, I wanted to discuss men, getting hair cuts, and how women can be controlling about it, sometimes without even realizing it. Like I said, it’s the little things.

Survivor of abuse | Supporter of feminism. georgielucywrite@gmail.com

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