My son is 12, and he's set on dying his hair jet black. I'm not sure what reasons I should give if I tell him no, or what consequences may arise if I tell him yes. I'm hoping to hear from some of you with experience raising, teaching, or being a child like this.
My first impulse was to say "no" because he's too young, but then I wondered what age had to do with hair color. I also don't think black hair would look good on him - his hair is normally light brown - but again, it's his hair. We don't go to church or any other function that requires anything more formal than jeans without holes, so I typically don't interfere with his appearance as long as he's covered, clean, and weather-appropriate. So I can't think of any rational objections.
My concern about saying "yes" is the response he might get from his teachers and classmates. I've asked another question
about him recently (I am having such a hard time with impending-teenagerdom), and this situation has been improved somewhat by moving him (willingly) to a smaller school that emphasizes technology. He's doing better academically, but is still struggling socially. I don't want his new teachers to write him off as a delinquent or . . . satanist - I don't know? . . . and I don't want to exacerbate his existing alienation. He's already sartorially inclined towards the Hot Topic aesthetic: black clothing, boots, fingerless gloves, and so forth. (His English teacher told me, not that enthusiastically, that "He's definitely part of a subculture!")
I was like this as well in high school, and I started dying my hair a clearly artificial color when I was 15, but I wouldn't hold my experience up as an exemplar. We are, and I was, in a pretty conservative area, so there's that to consider.
But when I told him my concerns, he accused me of trying to control his identity to please other people, which I totally was. I just can't tell anymore if that's a bad thing or a parent thing. I want to let him express himself, but I also want him to know that the superficial assumptions other people make about you can affect how they treat you, regardless of how shallow that sounds.
Right now, I'm leaning towards letting him do so, although he would have to use his money to get it professionally done. But considering my first response was a strong "no," I'd like to hear any other perspectives.