Hair Is NOT Your Identity: Lessons from a Toddler

So this happened. Over 8 inches gone. And Adalee is beside herself happy.

She begged me for months to cut her hair, but I could  never do it.

It was just so pretty long.  And you rarely see a 3 year old with hair down to her butt cheeks.

I loved to comb it. Feel it. Smell it.

But do you see the problem here? It was me that loved it.

It wasn’t her.

And it was on her body.

I remember snuggling in bed with her one night and she said “Mom, I want my hair short like grandpas!”

I scoffed at the idea …. “He is a boy! You are a girl.”

The second it came out of my mouth, I wanted to take it back.

Plenty of women have short hair.

My mom, which is her grandma, and my dad’s wife of 47 years, has short hair.

One day I may have short hair.

So that night, my 3 year reminded me of something.


It can change color. Fall out. Grow. Get cut.

It’s just a thing.

Her identity are the things that don’t change. Her infectious laugh. He willingness to wrestle with her brothers. Her sweet spirit when she offers to share her chocolate.

In the world we live, we can easily fall victim to buying into societies definition of beauty.

So in that moment, as a woman raising a little girl who will one day be a woman … I sat up in the bed and said, “Tomorrow, we are getting your hair cut.”

Her eyes lit up.  And that is all I needed.

I had the chance to liberate her. And as simple as it sounds, I did just that.

Giving her the choice to do what she wanted with her hair, on her head, taught her that in the most subconscious way, a girl can do whatever she wants to make herself feel pretty.

No rule books to consult. No permission needed.

So the next morning I googled, “How to donate hair?” I was thrilled to learn you need just 8 inches to donate to an organization called Children With Hair Loss (CWHL), out of Michigan.

And guess what? We had 8.5 inches – just enough!

Another lesson absorbed. In order to see growth, you have to cut first.

Adalee is old enough to remember donating her hair for a sick child.

And that is true growth, even with shorter hair!

May YOU always remember – do what makes YOU happy. Like the old saying, happy girls are the prettiest.

P.S. Whatever child gets my daughter’s long locks, may God bless you and may you always know your identity is not in your hair.



  1. Carrie
    September 3, 2019 / 3:34 pm

    Sarah has twice donated her hair now, and let me tell you, it is a gift that will never be forgotten.
    Bravo for donating Adalee’s hair to a child! 🙂

    • nicoleallshouse
      September 9, 2019 / 5:37 pm

      twice!!! and now she is in the military! how did you raise such a “service oriented” child?! xoxox

  2. September 4, 2019 / 3:23 pm

    What a selfless gift. She looks like you when you were a child. But I guess you get the mini me comparison all of the time. I like what you said about hair not defining who you are. Have you heard the song by India Arie. titled “I am Not My Hair?”

    • nicoleallshouse
      September 9, 2019 / 5:36 pm

      YES Syl! And there is also a lady GAGA song about hair too! I love India Arie. I saw her preform in Tuscaloosa last year and she blew me away!

  3. Becky Goldman
    September 18, 2019 / 10:37 pm

    Last night I saw a story on TV about people putting a blue light bulb in a front porch light to show respect and appreciation to our police officers. It is also to honor those recently fallen in the line of duty. I wonder if you would like to promote or share this on your blog or on the preserve site. I feel like our neighborhood is type neighborhood that would gladly honor our officers. Let me know please.

    • nicoleallshouse
      December 28, 2019 / 4:48 am

      Hey Becky! love this idea….and I actually have a blue bulb left over from the holidays!

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