Kids aged 11 to 13 are leaving behind childhood and approaching their teen years. This means their hairstyles will be influenced by a combination of youthful fun and carefree attitude, as well as efforts to fit in or attract the opposite sex. Some youths will want a style that allows for both.
At age 11, boys often prefer short, no fuss hairstyles more than older siblings, because impressing the girls isn't the focus as much yet. If your son is active in sports, a crewcut hairstyle will eliminate the matted-down-hair look he will have after removing his football helmet. Spiked hairstyles are favoured by youth this age who enjoy soccer, basketball or activities that don't require a helmet, since the style makes them seem more aggressive to opponents.
Simple styles that are longer and one length are a favourite of girls this age, and these girls fare better when their hair is secured by a ponytail during sporting activities like cheerleading or playing basketball, than when their hair has a layered cut.
Age 12, or 'Tween
This is the "in between" hairstyle stage, with some youths favouring styles of younger days because they haven't matured into that opposite sex fascination stage yet. Other members of this group seek out what the "in crowd" is doing to their hair in order to be noticed and fit in. Elle Fanning, 12, Dakota Fanning's younger sister, is a good example of a girl in this age range choosing a shoulder length hairstyle she can wear with a side part for an older look, or throw in a ponytail later during sports.
"It's not a diary, it's a movie," actor Zachary Gordon, another 12-year-old, enjoys playing basketball and swimming, but his haircut is a great example of boys in this age range wanting more hair in spite of that. Zachary's hairstyle, with no part and longer sides, has the windswept look that helps him look older but also stays out of his eyes during sports.
At 13, young adults are ready to announce independence. Popular youths in the media culture will help set the styles chosen by this age group. Current popular teen hairstyles for younger male teens, especially of African-American culture, mimic the one worn by Will Smith's son, Jaden Smith. His hair is long, braided and pulled back for the "toward the face" style. A jagged cut clinging to the sides of the face and forehead as seen on Brendon Eggertsen, a popular teen actor, is also popular. Longer locks, as seen on Ariel Winter of "Modern Family," are favoured because they can be left long and loose, or curled on teen girls.
With freedom to choose your own hairstyle comes responsibility to be the one to maintain it, including washing and styling. Teach your daughter this responsibility by insisting she style her own complicated styles, washing her hair when needed, and using allowance money for needed product purchases.