Hair for a boy competing in girl's pageant - Forums (2023)

  • by AllieM

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    Hey all. I have a question that I'm hoping folks on here will be able to weigh in on with some advice. Hopefully it will get noticed here. Anywho....

    My issue is this: My son Aidan is going to start competing in pageants, but he'll be competing as a girl. I'm trying to find a hairstyle that will allow him, as far as possible, to look like a normal boy during his regular life, but that will look fantastic when done up for pageants. Aidan is nearly 7 years old, has thick straight light brown hair that is currently about 1" below his shoulders, and a face that I would call somewhere between oval and heart-shaped.

    Those are the basics of my question. However, I'm guessing that a little more background might lead to more helpful answers and less rude comments. The first thing I emphasize is that Aidan wants to do this. I would never force my son to do something like this if he didn't want to. However, I'm sure you all understand that some young boys are as pretty or even prettier than their female counterparts, and Aidan definitely fits into that category. It was actually my sister who suggested the idea. She competed in pageants until she was in her 20s, and her daughter did for a time as well, though she's headed into the realm of tomboy over the last few years. But my sister told me that she sees "the spark" in Aidan that makes a child a good pageant contestant and suggested it. I thought that she was crazy at first, but she pointed out that Aidan has always had a tendency towards girlishness. It was actually him that begged me to let him grow his hair long two years ago, and once I saw how gorgeous it was going to be, I certainly didn't discourage it. So eventually my sister presented the idea to Aidan and asked him if he wanted to try dressing up. He was uncertain at first, but agreed to try, so we gave him the works--hair, makeup and nails--and found one of my niece's old pageant dresses he could wear. As soon as we saw how beautiful he looked, my sister and I both knew that he could compete and were hoping that he would be interested. After some consideration, he said that he'd try. Since then, he's dressed up a few more times, mostly casually in my nieces hand-me-downs. But recently our church had a womanless pageant fundraiser. Aidan asked if he could compete, let me dress him, and he won! He also enjoyed all of the attention and that really lit a fire under him to do a real pageant. He even picked his own girl name: Angela.

    So there it is. I'm happy to talk about this more if anyone is has general questions, but mostly I'm hoping for advice regarding the hair as I stated at the beginning. I've asked for advice at a few different forums like this, but so far, no luck. I'm hoping that you guys will be able to help. Thanks in advance all!

    Allie

  • by Queeny

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    Well that's a tough one - is his hair straight now? No layers no nothing? :D

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  • by AllieM

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    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    Hi Queeny! Thanks for the quick reply. As for your question, right now, Aidan's hair is straight, very neatly trimmed at all one length and, as I said, down about 1" past his shoulders. It's also quite thick. That thickness means that it looks beautiful when down, in braids, ponys or pigtails, but makes styling difficult because the weight tends to flatten his hair. For that reason, I was contemplating some layering but have been hesitant because....well, I'm thinking that layers may be too girlish for him to look normal when he's just being a boy.

  • Hi! I've seen loads of boys long hairstyles with layered hair that still look normal. Here are a couple of examples - see what you think.https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/45/ba/8a/45ba8a7fc78120a6b9cad96215faf3d3.jpghttps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f1/28/d1/f128d1b45dfbdd978afcac17dc8de30e.jpg

    Alternatively, our family hairdresser keeps the one-length look on my girls' straight hair, but cuts a lot of the weight out using thinning scissors, as my older daughter has very thick hair otherwise. It works really well. You keep the look (and it's great clipped or tied up as well) but you don't keep the drag!

    Would love to hear more about this. If your son is keen, then why the heck not challenge these conventions about gender stereotypes and go for it? He has as much right as any to compete and to win! Keep us posted!

    Hair for a boy competing in girl's pageant - Forums (5)

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  • by Dizzinea

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    I think one way of changing it up for a pageant is curling, maybe sponge roller or pin curl sets or even curling tongs it will make his hair look special and feminine, but doing it sort of casual wash n go will work for his everyday, or more masculine times, shaggy layers could be good too, removing bulk and giving a beachy feel but layered curls would be classic and parent freindly

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  • by vivienne Staff

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    Hm, at the current length, doing layers might make it a lot more difficult to style. They can get really wispy and make lots of flyaways during styling. If he'd prefer a more masculine look for everyday, it might be better to actually grow out his hair a tad more and do something a little shaggier. I suppose they don't really have good wigs for his age at a reasonable cost (plus, it'd be such a pain to style), but maybe you could do extensions?

  • mummydactyl wrote:Hi! I've seen loads of boys long hairstyles with layered hair that still look normal. Here are a couple of examples - see what you think.https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/45/ba/8a/45ba8a7fc78120a6b9cad96215faf3d3.jpghttps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f1/28/d1/f128d1b45dfbdd978afcac17dc8de30e.jpgAlternatively, our family hairdresser keeps the one-length look on my girls' straight hair, but cuts a lot of the weight out using thinning scissors, as my older daughter has very thick hair otherwise. It works really well. You keep the look (and it's great clipped or tied up as well) but you don't keep the drag!Would love to hear more about this. If your son is keen, then why the heck not challenge these conventions about gender stereotypes and go for it? He has as much right as any to compete and to win! Keep us posted! Hair for a boy competing in girl's pageant - Forums (9)

    Some good advice there mummydactyl. Well, the pics you posted are definitely cute layered styles for boys, but I don't really see those being very good "girl" hair. Maybe if they were longer it might work. That seems to be the problem: boys' hair is either all one length if it's actually long, or layered/shaggy and shorter than the shoulder.

    I do think you idea of keeping the one-length theme and then using thinning to keep it lighter and bouncy has a lot of merit. That might actually be the answer. And it seems that for boys with straight, all one length hair, people don't seem to weirded out if it's pretty long, so we could even add some more length. This is definitely an idea I'll think about.

    And thank you for the supportive words. As a hard-working single mother, there is definitely a part of me that thinks the gender equity issue here is important. In fact, it's already led to some great conversations with Aidan about why clothing doesn't make someone a boy or a girl (without too much detail for the 6-year old!) and about why boys tend to do some things and girls others. It's funny and a little enlightening to see a 6-year old come to the conclusion that it's not fair for people to expect boys to have short hair and wear boring clothing. That said, I also don't want to turn my son into some crusade. This is about Aidan having fun and gaining some new experiences. The minute that it stops being fun or interesting to him, it's over.

  • by AllieM

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    Dizzinea wrote:I think one way of changing it up for a pageant is curling, maybe sponge roller or pin curl sets or even curling tongs it will make his hair look special and feminine, but doing it sort of casual wash n go will work for his everyday, or more masculine times, shaggy layers could be good too, removing bulk and giving a beachy feel but layered curls would be classic and parent freindly

    Oh, curling is definitely being liberally employed, lol! Actually it was one of the first things we did to begin this experiment, to see how he would look with curls. The answer, btw, is fantastic and adorable! I think that the problem I'm having is that I realize how incredible an asset his hair could be if it were just treated like girl's hair and allowed to grow and be cut into the most flattering style. But I can't quite do that so I'm looking for that compromise. And like the previous post, your idea of thinning has a lot of merit I think.

    I'm curious about the last look you're talking about though. "shaggy layers could be good too, removing bulk and giving a beachy feel but layered curls would be classic and parent freindly " I'm really intrigued by this idea but don't really have a picture in my head. Any additional detail or example pic?

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  • by AllieM

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    vivienne wrote:Hm, at the current length, doing layers might make it a lot more difficult to style. They can get really wispy and make lots of flyaways during styling. If he'd prefer a more masculine look for everyday, it might be better to actually grow out his hair a tad more and do something a little shaggier. I suppose they don't really have good wigs for his age at a reasonable cost (plus, it'd be such a pain to style), but maybe you could do extensions?

    Yeah, regarding your first part, I've kind of come to the same conclusion: if layers then it will need to be longer, especially if we're going to be doing curls and updo sorts of styles.

    I've thought about hairpieces and extensions because they are an obvious solution, but I'm leaning against them for a few reasons. Probably the biggest is that, when we decided to do this, my sister and I vowed not to let it turn into a circus or farce with Aidan wearing ridiculous wigs and caked on makeup like so many of those creepy little pageant girls you see. He's naturally so very pretty, so if he's going to compete as a girl, we want him to look natural. For that reason, we've been considering a lot of simple, elegant hairstyles, the kind you might see on a flower girl at a nice wedding. Styles like

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/0f/9d/58/0f9d588b5ee3bf57cb3c307446f500b7.jpg

    or maybe something like this one if we wanted to do lots of curls:

    http://www.flowergirl4wedding.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/flower-girl-hairstyles.jpg

    That said, a lot of girls who compete do use extensions and/or hairpieces of some sort, so it's certainly not uncommon. It just seems....unsavory to me.

  • I completely understand avoiding hairpieces if you're aiming let Aidan have fun. They aren't exactly comfortable, after all, and they really require a lot of maintenance. There are some very nice wigs that can be properly styled, but they are quite expensive and probably even more so for children. I do think you could probably find some nice extensions to enhance length without looking too ridiculous, but again, they can be quite uncomfortable at times. Not that I'm any sort of expert, but I think younger boys can pull off longer hair pretty easily, so maybe it's not so bad to just let him grow it out, if he doesn't mind.

    Where I live, it's actually not very uncommon for boys to compete in pageants. The only ones I've met though (twin nephews of an old professor), seem to just wear their hair long (almost halfway down their back) and shaggy and just put them up during the summer in basic ponytails or buns. In my opinion, it doesn't look particularly feminine, but they also go to a private school with a zero tolerance on bullying, so I'm not sure what other kids might think.

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  • by AllieM

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    vivienne wrote:I completely understand avoiding hairpieces if you're aiming let Aidan have fun. They aren't exactly comfortable, after all, and they really require a lot of maintenance. There are some very nice wigs that can be properly styled, but they are quite expensive and probably even more so for children. I do think you could probably find some nice extensions to enhance length without looking too ridiculous, but again, they can be quite uncomfortable at times. Not that I'm any sort of expert, but I think younger boys can pull off longer hair pretty easily, so maybe it's not so bad to just let him grow it out, if he doesn't mind.Where I live, it's actually not very uncommon for boys to compete in pageants. The only ones I've met though (twin nephews of an old professor), seem to just wear their hair long (almost halfway down their back) and shaggy and just put them up during the summer in basic ponytails or buns. In my opinion, it doesn't look particularly feminine, but they also go to a private school with a zero tolerance on bullying, so I'm not sure what other kids might think.

    Many thanks for the encouragement. What I've been hearing here (to some extent) and from others is that we should just grow it out and not worry about it. A lot of the serious stigmas that used to exist for boys and long hair have seemed to fade as our country has generally become more accepting of variability in people. And we live in NY, so a pretty accepting environment in general.

    So maybe I shouldn't be so worried about him growing it considerably longer. And maybe as others suggested, keeping the all one-length look, but with some thinning to allow for some body? Actually, a funny story... When Aidan first started growing his hair out (before any of this pageant business), we were talking about how long he might want to grow it. So I Googled something like "straight light brown hair" to give him something to visualize with. We looked at pictures and I asked him what hair he would like to have. After looking for a while, it became clear that he liked two things. One was that he liked it long. Inevitably he picked hair that was mid-back or longer. And he also liked it neat and straight rather than layers or messy. So maybe I'll let him have his wish. Of course that was about a year or more ago. Maybe I should ask him again.

    And for the second bit of your message, you actually know of many boys who compete as girls in pageants? I've seen several on the web in various stories, but haven't met any myself. That's encouraging I think. How many do you actually know of Vivienne?

  • by vivienne Staff

    Posted 7years, 4months ago

    The only ones I've met in person are those nephews I've mentioned, as I've been a babysitter on a few occasions. For them, it was just a fun competitive hobby just like how other kids feel about sports. They actually did a lot of traveling to pageants when they were younger, but now that they are entering their teens, it's hard to miss school. Their mother (who was a former pageant girl herself) mentioned that they've actually met a maybe a dozen boys who regularly attend pageants and more who just attend the regular special events (like your fundraiser) in the local areas. It's not as if there are hundreds, but I was surprised to learn that she had met more than a couple of other boys. Like you mentioned, though, it's just a fun time for the kids and they love the attention.

  • what has Aidan been doing with his hair since 4 years 8 months ago? What has Aidan been doing in relation to the pagents?

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