Should Alfie be allowed to keep his long hair?


2nd August 2019

An 11-year-old boy is prepared to take his new secondary school to court, in a battle over his 68.5cm-long (27in) hair.

Alfie Howard-Hughes is due to start at Colchester Royal Grammar School after the summer holidays. He’s never had a haircut in his life, but the school’s policy is that boys’ hair has to be no longer than collar-length. The rules also ban boys from having ponytails, hairbands or fringes over the eyes, or wearing any visible jewellery, but say that girls “may wear discreet earrings and jewellery”.

Alfie told us he thinks the rule is sexist and that “there’d probably be a public outcry” if girls had to cut their hair.

“The school said that long hair is untidy and it would be hard to say how my hair could be worn,” he says. “But they have girls in their sixth form who can have long hair, so why can’t boys?” (Only the sixth form is mixed.)

“We’re quite prepared to take it to court,” says Gary, Alfie’s dad. “The headmaster said he’s sought legal advice and believes the rule to be legal, whereas we disagree.”

Alfie has written to the headmaster, John Russell,
twice, who replied: “The reason for the school having specific standards on dress and personal appearance is to prepare students for a successful educational and personal career.”

“I don’t see how having short hair would affect anything,” says Alfie. “It’s not like having short hair is going to give my brain space to grow! If rules were rules, then women wouldn’t be able to vote and our world would be male-orientated still. We’d still be in an age where men worked and women stayed at home.”


Should Alfie be allowed to keep his long hair?


Leave a Reply

oceangirl · 2 years ago

The school is not being fair

oceangirl · 2 years ago

First to comment

wimpykid · 2 years ago

I think that rule is sexist and boys and girls should have whatever length hair they want.

cycle2000 · 2 years ago

Anyone can do what they want with their hair

asbml · 2 years ago

He should be proud of his own hair. It's even longer than my hair! 👍😲

speedyluk · 2 years ago

The rules were in place before he applied for the school. If he feels strongly about keeping his long hair, he should apply for a different school. It would be a different story if the rules had changed after he applied.

sao · 2 years ago

I think that hair doesn't affect the way people study and it's not fair how boys at other boys get to go to school with long hair.

sao · 2 years ago

Only one word to describe the school- sexist.

ameliau · 2 years ago

Alfie has the right to have as long hair as he likes. The school is being so unfair. they should change their rules and their policies. #NOTFAIR

comet182 · 2 years ago

He's had long hair his entire life, so why should he stop for a dress code?

chimney5 · 2 years ago

Most people don’t understand that grammar schools need to appear a cut above the rest, and having short sharp hair implies that, whereas long hair looks scruffy, and I’m not being sexist, but that is just the way that everyone interprets things.

herbology · 2 years ago

Yes of course!! It's really unfair and sexsist and everyone should except everyone as they are

puppy2143 · 2 years ago

Of course, Alfie should be allowed to have his hair as long as he wants it!

rubikspark · 2 years ago

you can do what you want with your hair

hagrid · 2 years ago

The school is being really sexist and nasty and no offense chimeny5 but I can kinda tell that you are most likely from a private/grammar school and I just want to say that there is no need for private/grammar schools to seem superior in any way to public schools as there are many people in public schools who could be in private/grammar schools but just don't want to be and to the vast majority of people, the length of boy's hair doesn't effect the opinion of a school.

i.q.t.pup · 2 years ago

Why ban long hair to boys? What is the difference between a boy with long hair or short hair? Personally I think this school is being beyond unfair and disrespectful to Alfie because he has his right to choose between long or short hair

i.q.t.pup · 2 years ago

I’m on team

If u want to join just say on comments

i.q.t.pup · 2 years ago

He deserves a choice this is unfair

patimus · 2 years ago

No one should be told to look or act a certain way especially Alfie as his hair will have no effect on his school work.

tomcat68 · 2 years ago

being a boy with reasonably long hair myself, I think that it is VERY unfair that he should have to cut his amazing hair. In addition, when I move up to high school this September, my school actually allows boys to have long hair!

lol123 · 2 years ago

This is sooooooo sexist as it is his hair and therefore his property. It won’t effect his learning in anyway and it would NOT look scruffy if he looks after it. It looks like it is very looked after in the photo.

marla_cat · 2 years ago

Why does it matter how long his hair is? It doesn't stop him from learning in any way. This school seriously needs to reconsider their dress code

pheebz10 · 2 years ago

This is the 21st century and things have changed. I have very short hair and i am a female,Yet my school have never accused me of breaking the rules. people say this world is equal but boys not being allowed long hair obviously shows us that it is not

purplebook · 2 years ago

It’s just not fair! He should be able to keep his hair it’s beautiful. The rule is wrong and bad in many ways , why should girls be allowed to have long hair and boys aren’t.😍😭

aquagirl · 2 years ago

Alfie should be allowed to keep his hair he has spent his whole life growing it. If boys are not allowed long hair surely girls are not allowed to have short hair

This is not fair it is sexist too

unicorn196 · 2 years ago

Of course he should keep his long hair! It is his hair after all.
As a comparison, there was a time when women were not allowed to wear trousers!

sloth2008 · 2 years ago

You should be allowed to have your hair however you want it.

thehkh · 2 years ago

I think that as long as his hair is neat and tidy he can have long hair. It is sexist to say boys can't have long hair.

pickle2010 · 2 years ago

I think Alfie should be proud of his hair and that he should definitely be able to as long as he likes.

sinister50 · 2 years ago

Alfie should definitely be allowed to keep his long hair. Schools have a responsibility to educate pupils about equal rights and putting a stop to sexism. They are clearly not being the role models they should be!

crazyfish6 · 2 years ago

In this day and age, saying that boys can not sport long hair, hair ties, or earrings is utterly sexist. What does a boy with long hair change? It has clearly not affected him in anyway, so what problem does the headmaster have? What WILL affect his learning more is being forced to do something he doesn’t want to, or spending his year getting tied up in all manner of lawsuits and prosecutions. Sure, the headmaster’s rule may be legal, but is it legal to stop a child from learning?

easter · 2 years ago

Being a boy should be no different than being a girl on how you look. I know some girls with short hair and some boys with long hair and that doesn't matter at all. We can look however we want and no one should stop us from having the right to do that.

Mog18 · 2 years ago

Yes, he should be able to have his hair long. So many schools do not allow girls to have short hair and boys to have long hair, this needs to change. It's his head and hair, the school owns no rights to it, nor does anyone own the rights to anyone's hair but theirs.

josh_h · 2 years ago

I think that Alfie should be allowed to keep his hair as long as he wants because you can not tell someone else to change how they look. Also Alfie's hair is not scruffy. It is straight and neat.

kkdude9 · 2 years ago

If he wants long hair, then he should have the same rules as the girls

rubix123 · 2 years ago

I have long hair and I love it and so I would be so sad if I had to cut it. I don't see why girls can have long hair and boys can't.

teamgorbo1 · 2 years ago

Should Alfie’s hair really be on the front page of First News? If that’s the only thing in life that he has to worry about he is really lucky. He knew the rules before he applied to the school.

codonnell · 2 years ago

Of course boys should be allowed to have long hair.What difference does it make?

joshyac · 2 years ago

It is very unfair that the school are telling him not to have long hair. Just because he is a boy, the school don’t reserve the right to tell him otherwise.

puppyluv · 2 years ago

The school is not being fair but he should trim it. 68.5 is a lot of hair even for a girl.

sa-67157 · 2 years ago

It’s not really fair that girls can do all these things and boys aren’t allowed.

anb12495 · 2 years ago

What's the problem with boys having long hair? I really hope that Alfie gets to keep his long hair.

samwise · 2 years ago

#ultra sexist school
#keep Alfie's hair
#if he can't have it long the girls can't either

pandaworld · 2 years ago

He should be able to have long hair if he wants! It's like telling girls they can't wear shorts which is devastating!

5honypony · 2 years ago

It is Alfie's decision. If he wants long hair, then he can keep it! It is his hair, not the schools. As long as his hair doesn't stop him from studying hard, which it doesn't, he can keep it, right?

hcew · 2 years ago

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with boys having long hair (although taking it to court is rather harsh)

speedyluk · 2 years ago

The point I'm trying to make here is that this is not a case of the school being sexist. I attend the school Alfie is trying to get into and I know that the rules were in place before Alfie applied for the school. Now Alfie expects to be allowed to change this one school rule which has been in place for multiple decades. I believe that the headmaster has made the right decision because rules are in place for a reason. If the headmaster let Alfie attend the school with his hair that long, the next pupils will bend the rule even further. The next student is going to want to have green hair.

12ah · 2 years ago

I agree with ‘Hagrid’

spohie123 · 2 years ago

My little sister has short hair and does anyone have a problem with that .... no . So why can’t it be the same for boys?

lordsh1p24 · 2 years ago

He shouldn’t cut his hair off! It’s his choice!

gwenrat · 2 years ago

He should keep it but he has to tie it up.

gwenrat · 2 years ago


catheaven · 2 years ago

I think the School is just not being FAIR! I mean, whatever gender you are you can do what you want with your hair. People are just not used to seeing girls with short hair and boys with long hair.

weasley09 · 2 years ago

His hair is amazing the school should be proud of it!

junior19 · 2 years ago

No no no and no

meadwaym · 2 years ago

He should have the right to express himself and if that means having long hair then good for him! x

junior19 I respect your opinion but why x

ik2010 · 2 years ago

if alfie wants his hair to be long, no one should judge him

vegananime · 2 years ago

i'm really sorry but if he's going to a single gender school (which I guess he is, it being a grammer school) but id just feel really awkward the whole time! im not being sexist I swear but this is just my honest opinion I think he should be able to keep it if he wants but I just wouldn't do it if I were a boy.

RoxMonster · 2 years ago

I have to say no as it could it would be unfair for the rules to change just for him. The rules are in place to prepare the children for growing up and getting jobs in the real world. If Alfie wishes to join the school, he must make sacrifices or move to a different school.

mollyboo8 · 2 years ago

Whoever says no I think is wrong. I agree with I.q.t. pup, I'm also on team #all4Alfie!! ;)

mollyboo8 · 2 years ago

(His school is soooooooooooooooo sexist :o :( )

emily2009 · 2 years ago

Of course he should keep his hair it isn’t the schools choice

catfan123 · 2 years ago

The school should let him

catfan123 · 2 years ago

They should let him keep it

unigoat · 2 years ago

He should

dontaskme · 2 years ago

Yes it’s really sexist and I mean it’s just hair so what’s the big deal

heh · 2 years ago

It is unfair that your school is forcing you to cut of your hair. It belongs to you and you should have the choice whether you cut it or not. Nobody can take charge of your decisions, and it is unjust that they allow girls to keep theirs long. You should not let them take charge of you!!!!!!

heh · 2 years ago


pig101 · 2 years ago

That's sexist poor Alfie

ajain123 · 2 years ago

What sort of bad effect would it have on his education if he doesn't cut his hair? The school should let him do what he wants with his hair..

loveslego · 2 years ago

This policy is extremely sexist

gr8p21 · 2 years ago

Girls can have long hair yet boys can't I wonder why parents decide to cut boys hair more than girls is just an outdated belief that boys "should" have short hair and girls long. My belief is that hair won't a affect the learning pace so no matter how long your hair is, you can still be great.
Well done Alfie.

turtle64 · 2 years ago


ijm · 2 years ago

Alfie should be able to have his hair in whatever length he likes. If boys are not allowed long hair at his school, then girls should not be allowed either. They are discriminating him.

oceangirl · 2 years ago

Why not? I was the first to comment on this I commented a month ago.

lotussk8er · 2 years ago

I know this sounds sexist, but I think Alfie should cut his hair. It doesn’t matter, and if he never cuts it, it’ll get split ends

delealli · 2 years ago


gogogirl09 · 2 years ago

That is so sexist!😱

lottielove · 2 years ago

Although I think it looks a bit weird, (no offence) I think boys should have a choice if they want long hair or not.

junior19 · 2 years ago


trudie · 2 years ago

Of course keep your hair Alfie be yourself

nyan_123 · 2 years ago

If you want to keep your hair, keep it. I cut my hair once! Why can’t you keep your’s long?

ponygirl08 · 2 years ago

I think the school is being straight up sexist. boys and girls can have long hair, its their decision.

wireskid · 2 years ago

Yes, he should be allowed to keep it. Does it effect anyone else? NOPE!!! Also the school are just rude. I am a trans-gender and it doesn't effect my brain.

wireskid · 2 years ago

Boys and Girls have the same rights! #ALL4ALFIE!!!

unicorn36 · 2 years ago

If girls are allowed to have long hair then boys should be too because otherwise it's sexist

nevada · 2 years ago

I have long hair myself so I know what it’s like for Alfie? Shout out to any boys reading this with long hair (:

nevada · 2 years ago

#dress codes are crap

beachgirl · 1 year ago

I am a girl and i have a boy cut and no one thinks it is weird or anything

luciah · 1 year ago

alfie can do what every he wants to do with his hair

edmonds123 · 1 year ago

I have long hair and im a boy

edmonds123 · 1 year ago

ANSWER:it doesent it just makes people who are boys think that every boy has to have short hir and long hair is for girld only but that isn't true everyone should be abl to look like what they want sleep like they want be educated by brains and looks #

adalard · 1 year ago

Alfie should have freedom of choice

ava111 · 1 year ago

Bad head teacher. 😡

katkid10 · 1 year ago

If you are a Sikh then they are telling you to go against your own religion and cut your hair!

emilynight · 12 months ago

Yes he should it not fair that boys can’t have short hair girls can have short hair I’m a girl with shoulder length hair so I can cut and lengthen my hair so can anyone

panda89 · 12 months ago


ihorsman · 4 months ago

yes any one can be how they want to be