There was a little girl

Who had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead

When she was good

She was very good indeed

And when she was bad she was horrid

Michelle Breyer, Curl expert and co-founder of, talks about her own biases when dealing with her daughter's curly locks.

My 7-year-old daughter, Emma, woke up the other morning and asks me if she looks any different. I don't know quite how to react to that, so I say no. She then asks if her hair looks messy. Since she was blessed with curls -- although not quite as curly as my own tight ringlets -- her hair does indeed look a little crazy. Then I notice that the front of her hair is a good six inches shorter than the rest of it. Yes, she says, she cut her own hair. A huge chunk.

I grew up with a straight-haired mother who had no idea what to do with her curly daughter's hair. She thought it looked cute an inch long, so I had a pixie until I was in 8th grade and old enough to say no. Even then, it took years to grow it long. So the thought that my daughter had voluntarily cut her beautiful, long, Giselle curls short was hard to fathom. Then she told me she wanted a short haircut. At first, I was horrified. Then, it hit me that it's her hair to do with just as she pleases. Just as I was angry that my mother subjected me to involuntary pixies, my daughter longed to have a short bob like her friends. She wanted to make a decision for herself.

So off we went to the hair salon, and she told the stylist how much we wanted cut off. It was painful to watch the long, golden ringlets fall to the ground. I would have died for long hair like that when I was her age, with my short helmet of curls. But Emma was thrilled with her new look. She bragged to her friends, "My hair is shorter than yours!"