Why Are You Straightening Your 5 Month Old’s Hair?

August 9, 2012  |  

If you’re on Facebook long enough, you’re bound to find something to pique your interests, whether it’s ratchet, enlightening, inspirational or disturbing, something will catch your attention. And today I just so happened to stumble upon a very disturbing image.

The picture, which was originally linked to a post on Green and Gorgeous , is that of a baby less than five months old, whose hair has been straightened. From the brief correspondence, we can’t tell whether this baby’s hair was relaxed, flat ironed or hot combed. But whatever method this parent used, the fact that he/she straightened a five month old’s hair, borders on a Child Protective Services violation. As Jennae Petersen of Green and Gorgeous mentioned:

… Relaxers. Freaking. Burn. I say this from years of experience that started when I was in third grade. And babies have tender, sensitive scalps, so I imagine that putting relaxer on an infant’s head for more than a minute or two would result in burning. Also? Hot combs. Freaking. Burn. I can still remember, at age 5 or 6, cringing in my aunt’s kitchen whenever the hot comb got anywhere near my neck or ears. I remember how terrible it burned when my aunt’s hands slipped. I remember the smell of my hair burning. And this is when I was old enough to sit still for the process. If a hot comb was used on this baby, do you really think she was able to sit still while it was being done?

Thankfully, the child looks fine but this business of straightening an infant’s hair was dangerous and reckless to say the least. One uncoordinated, infant-like turn, squirm or slide could have been catastrophic. This baby would have had a burn on her face or scalp, all because her parent wanted her hair straightened.

At 5 months your priorities should be eating, letting somebody know when your diaper needs to be changed, trying to get people to pick you up, growing, playing and sleeping. That’s really about it. A 5 month old just shouldn’t have to sit through a hair straightening session.

Maybe the hair straightening was just the action of a bored parent–which is a whole other problem. But most likely, the straightening of this hair was trying to achieve some type of beauty standard. In which case, I fear that type of messages this girl will receive as she starts to further process the actions of her guardians. Before this infant was able to speak, walk or feed herself, her parent has told her that her hair is a priority and must be straightened, even at the endangerment of her safety.

For the record, I’m natural and I fully believe in health benefits of forgoing the use of texture-altering chemicals. However, I also believe, wholeheartedly, that a woman, or even young lady, should be able to choose how she’s going to wear her hair. As a child who had a relaxer at 5 years old, I wasn’t given that choice. It didn’t matter at all at five. But at 18, when I decided to cut the perm out of my hair, I wondered how my hair experiences would have been different if I’d never had a perm. Would I have learned how to swim? Would I have had to worry about breakage? Who knows, but if drastic hair decisions like whether or not to apply a relaxer had waited until I was old enough and mature enough to make them, perhaps I would have chosen something different. And that’s an opportunity I fear this parent is robbing this baby of already, at five months.

Some will argue that this is just hair and really not that deep. That’s partially true, hair itself is not that deep but the way we feel about our hair–whether it grows from our scalp, someone else’s or is manufactured in a lab–and how our hair makes us feel about ourselves is very important. It’s is a form of self expression, a source of beauty and for a lot of women, a form of self acceptance. Hopefully, these parent(s) aren’t teaching their daughter to devalue her hair, as it grows out of her scalp before she learns that as a baby, girl and woman, she’s so much more than that.

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  • ap

    The Mother wasn’t Black. She looks to be Cambodian, Laotian or Vietnamese.

  • Ken S.

    Sorry, I’m tired– I meant “doesn’t” not “does’nt”.

  • Ken S.

    I saw a bumper sticker that says: Hair relaxant does’nt fool anyone.

  • Leillah NoScrunchie

    This is wrong on all levels. And that includes using this photo without blurring the child’s face.
    I have tried to figure how the parents did this, and there can be no safe way. This is horrible. Although I do not see why this has evolved into a natural vs relaxed hair debate. This is wrong but has nothing to do with all the rest of your hair.

  • Ivone

    My daughter is 6 yrs old I only use a hair dryer to dry her hair in winter time and I set the heat to cold…..That cute little baby is to young for her mother be concern about straighting her hair….you’d be amazed what black women will do to their hair and their children hair, and is not only in USA…I’m black and I’m portuguese…and here in Portugal we’ve the same of those things ….for eg. some black women will put micro braids in little girl who have little than 1 yr old…

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  • CarlaKah

    Before I go into everything you commented let me say this. I do not hate nor throw shade on straight hair. I simply ask and wonder about the effects of different eurocentric adjustments among people of color. In this case it is hair. Information is the key to understanding why asking questions is important. We all need to understand our own background and possible struggles in order to understand how we can progress in an effective way. This is my answer to both your long and short comment.

    1. I did state you don’t HAVE to take that responsibility. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I said IF the community is truely affected by this in a negative way (which can be scientifically researched) there is indeed a responsibility. This might not be fair or pleasant, but just simply true. IF it is so, my relaxed sisters might be part of the problem. Self esteem should be taught by the community you live in. Your hair choice doesn’t have to be a reflexion of that, if your head is in the right place. However we (black people) are also considered to be a demographic group and the effect of any eurocentric beauty standard might have a bigger influence on how we conduct ourselves, then we think.

    2. You state you are not part of a group of people that are working themselves up. You followed by stating that the term “natural hair nazi” orginated in “my camp”. So first you are not considered black (of African, Afro-Caribian or African-American descent) which is most definately a group that is working themselves up, because we are still recovering of internal and external struggles that still disadvantage us today. And second you claim that the existence of this group is and/or you being part of it is only confirmed by natural girls? Seriously? Or did you misunderstand me? I did not try to force any hair style on anyone, I am simply pointing out the incredibly complicated issues that might lie behind the fact that so many women hide their own hair texture or simply get rid of it. Why is it throwing shade if you are asking legitimate questions? It is like some relaxed sisters don’t want to even talk about the possible negative effects of hair relaxers, a majority presenting themselves with only eurocentric hair styles or the lack of knowledge about their own hair. Knowledge is power, even when it comes to your own curly/kinky hair. Yes it is a choice that you have the right to make. Yes I cannot judge another individual based on their hair. But IF their is a negative side to this, we all need to know about it and work on it. Do not forget why people started chemically relaxing their hair back in the 20’s (after pressing their hair and wearing wigs): to fit in with the Caucasians. So the roots are painful. My questions are about the possibilities of these roots baring harmful fruits. It is not all of a sudden that aiming to look eurocentric is a main reason for black people choosing these hairstyles. If you want to you,can take your own history lessons about relaxing hair back to as far as you want to. You cannot know where you are, if you don’t know where you have been. My point is you cannot be sure unconsciously others don’t struggle with the white beauty myth. As a matter of fact I suggest you google “Channel 4 the white beauty myth”. You will find a couple of British documentaries focused on what I am trying to adress here.

    3. You can have hair that is relaxed and not damaged to the core. yes. And if you read well I state that we must be honest and well informed about hair relaxers. If you relax your hair once a year it is very different from touching up every 6 weeks. If you do it once a year then you also deal with your own curls, if you touch up every 6 weeks you avoid dealing with new growth as much as possible. I am mainly speaking of the last way of straightening hair. The people who never show nor truely deal with their own hair and the reasons why they do it. I find questions surrounding that necessary. because it might affect people negatively if they don’t know the risks of such monthly treatments. The hair salons in my area do monthly touchups like that daily. Trust me I have asked them. The churches I have been to (Caribbean, Ghanian even congolese ) for years had more little girl gettingtheir touchups every 6-8 weeks then girls who only did it once a month and this is still the case today. So I speak of a reality that many black women see and know about.

    4. I do not have the presumption that all relaxed women wear their hair relaxed all the time. Again I am adressing the phenomenom of black women getting touchups as soon as possible, acoording the the hair relaxer-box. That kind of hair treatment is very different from what you do and describe. I hope you understand (as your third point already stated) that getting touchups every 6 weeks starting from the age of 3 or 6 for instance is very harmful. And no, I didn’t get this from Chris Rock “Good Hair”. I got my first perm at 3 years of age and my baby sister right after her 6th birthday. I have been natural since I was 16 years old (eventhough my mother hated that choice). I do agree that me wearing my hair natural shows my siblings and other family members that they have a choice.

    5. When it comes to revenues from the hair industry, you can easily find out why revenues from weave (going mostly back to South East-Asia and Europe) and hair relaxers (Europe and South East Asia) do not benefit the communities as natural hair care products do. Yes major non black owned businesses are focusing on the natural hair movement but that is the thing. Their are a vast amount of black owned hair care brands that already have their clientele because they started aiming at natural hair before companies like Revlon did. The minute you try to avoid SLS, petrolatum and silliciones (like dimethicone),because natural hair immediately suffers under those chemicals, you are left with more black owned companies then non black owned companies that can offer you products that work for you (Taaliyah Waajid is a good example!). I also hope Mixed Girls wins that lawsuit!

    6. I actually (eventually) highlighted the bigger picture: self image. My issue is not with the relaxed hair choice but the possible negative place that choice might come from. Like I stated before I would like to know if any eurocentric adjustment (nose jobs, eye surgeries, lip reduction, skin bleaching) has a noticeable impact on the community. Relaxingyour hair is much cheaper then getting a Jackson-nosejob. But how many black women would do it if it was free and what is the true subconcious reson? research can shine a light on that. Lack of self esteem can have you accepting the most horrid situations. From a cheap nose job in the depths of Brazil to risky priscuous behaviour (with high STD-risks). So finding out of these adjustments are really a symptom of a bigger issue is worth investigating. I know that my choice to go natural forced me to understand and heal from the white beauty myth I was fed by my own community. My self esteem was built upon my capabilities as an individual and the worth of my chracter, instead of how fresh my new Yaki weave was. Now I can wear a wig or weave if I choose to without linking my worth to it. That was however my very own journey and story. I would like to know what the scientific answer is to my questions about the community as a whole. Various experts have disputed the mentioned consequences, mainwhile the EU lists formaldehyde (found in Keratin relaxers, No-Lye) AND lye as cancerous substances. In the EU labels are needed to state that the products can have immediate harmful reactions and some products are prohibited because of the high concetrations of these substances. In the US both substances have been found cancerous as well but not prohibited. However, when taking in high amounts of these substances, there are serious consequences that the FDA has stated as well. When going back for touchups every 6 weeks for let’s say 35 years (starting at the age of 5), The consequences are almost always visible. Alopecia being the number one issue directly linked to using hair relaxers frequently for a long time. These chemicals are not the safest thing to put on wood, let alone a scalp. Once a year gives your hair time to recover. 6 weeks simply doesn’t and we need to know about that before going down that road.

    And I do not rank hair (problems) as high as obesity or incarceration rates. Never have I stated that so it is foolish to assume I do think this way. My information is not inaccurate my dermatologist can attest to the info I have I suggest you consult one before deeming the info as inaccurate.

  • DMisses

    You all have got to stop telling other people how to raise their children! I don’t think it was a good idea to straighten the baby’s hair but some of you are blowing this way out of proportion! It’s not like the baby will suffer irreparable damage because her mother straightened her hair, you don’t even know what she used. There are many techniques to straighten hair that doesn’t require chemicals. Maybe she used a blow dryer? Whatever the case maybe this child’s life isn’t over, it is just hair! It will still grow, all she has to do is keep it conditioned! Gosh I wish we would start paying more attention to what our own kids are doing instead of always being up in other folks business! I am more outraged by all of the photos of underage girls in their bra and panties and on there cussing and acting a fool than I am with a 5 month old getting her hair straightened. I’m not condoning what this mother has done, but it’s just not that serious. Nowadays it seems like if you aren’t natural you’re ashamed of who you are. Like we cannot be versitile with our hair anymore without being judged or ridiculed. It’s just as shameful as the color struck black folk. Get a grip!

  • sharon

    Putting chemicals, hot irons, hot combs on an infants head? Why? Babies are beautiful, pure, they need no beautifying. These chemicals used for straightening, I have read in medical reports can cause early puberty and fibroid tumors. It’s bad enough when people who are old enough to make a choice use these things, but to just do it to a child. That’s just wrong!We were all born w the hair, eyes, ears, skin etc that is intended for us. Leave ourselves alone for a while and see the beautiful rainbow that we are.

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  • Taunya73

    I hope that they located the mother of this child and also that someone turned her a** in to CPS.

  • you forgot to blur out one of the people’s names on one of the comments. Read them all over again.

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  • Mystique

    Nope! It sure doesn’t. Baby looks old.


    I’ve seen some dumb and sad things by people with low-self images, but this takes the cake!Endangering her baby with whatever she used.Someone needs to step in and help this baby’s mama,she definitely has issues!!


    I’ve seen some dumb and sad things by people with low-self images, but this takes the cake!Endangering her baby with whatever she used.Someone needs to step in and help this baby’s mama,she definitely has issues!!

  • Imansaray23

    My cousin did that to her son when he was 2 and I was like “what the hell did you do to the baby’s hair?” It looked just like this baby’s picture. thankfully she only did it once with the hot comb and never straightened it again

  • miaj

    What a sad combination of self-hate and stupidity. There
    needs to a law made that prevents things like this from happening. I’ve come to
    the conclusion that SOME black women feel inferior to other races because that’s
    what their mothers have taught them. Unfortunately, with a mom like this, this
    baby might be headed in that direction.
    Believe it or not, children absorb more from their parents than they do
    from the media. I get so angry when I hear a black mother talking about how
    nappy and unmanageable their young daughter’s hair is. Newsflash, those little
    girls are listening, and it makes them feel bad to hear their mother say those
    hurtful things.

  • brianna duncan

    What a sad combination of self-hate and stupidity. There
    needs to a law made that prevents things like this from happening. I’ve come to
    the conclusion that SOME black women feel inferior to other races because that’s
    what their mothers have taught them. Unfortunately, with a mom like this, this
    baby might be headed in that direction.
    Believe it or not, children absorb more from their parents than they do
    from the media. I get so angry when I hear a black mother talking about how
    nappy and unmanageable their young daughter’s hair is. Newsflash, those little
    girls are listening, and it makes them feel bad to hear their mother say those
    hurtful things.

  • CarlaKah

    @Ms. Esp I understand where you’re coming from but I have mixed feeling when it comes to relaxed hair on black and brown people. I truly believe that if relaxed hairstyles where just as popular as purple hair, that a lot of black women would switch to natural hair. I also wonder how many black women who claim to have self-esteem and just a preference for a different style (which is straightened hair), would fail the mature version of the “doll-test”. I cannot assume that every women that finds curls less attractive, less convenient and less fitting, are also having an inferiority complex towards women with naturally straight hair (Caucasians, asians, polynesians, arabs, South Americans etc.). I do wonder why it hasn’t dawned on women who say this that we are the only people on earth known for rejecting our own hair structure from a very young age. We are the only group of women on earth who collectively keep a billion dollar business alive (weave + hair relaxing products) that does not bring back any revenues to our communities. We are the only group of women on earth who’s hair has to be “explained” because the amount of black women wearing it relaxed (or hidden under eurocentric hairstyles) outnumbers the women who wear it natural. Yes I agree that relaxing your hair CAN be a conscious choice that has nothing to do with self-hatred. Yes, you don’t automatically have to accept the responsibility of representing the natural sister everytIme you leave the house. But the image that is painted if us worldwide could use that positive push with a widescale embrace of our own naturally texturized hair. Why do you think so many black people wore afro’s in the 70’s? Because it showed how much we didn’t feel the need to adjust and cater to the white beauty standards. I try to keep it as close to the facts as can here, we (black women) are so much more then just our hair, but we are also very far away from were we would be as a collective group of very diverse women. I think a mature woman can make the choice for relaxed hair as long as you also accept the consequences.

    • Ms. Esq

      I disagree. Women of all races dyed and straightened their hair. But black women are the only ones who seem to projected their feelings about hair on other black women. I don’t have any mixed feelings or any feelings at all when I see a woman with natural hair. I really despised the assumption that just because a woman wants to wear her relaxed or with weaves, etc that it’s tied to her self esteem. I doubt that women with straightened hair or other styles would fail some mature version of the “doll test.” Again just a subtle way of asserting that the way you wear your hair is tied to self esteem.

      The consequences of having relaxed hair for me has been the same as when I had natural hair—in both states my hair was healthy and I knew how to take care of it. If a woman doesn’t know how to do her hair when it’s relaxed then there is no magic wand where she will learn to magically take care of her hair when it’s natural. Both ways are a learning experience. You are right we are much more than our hair.

      But we won’t ever get to the state of being a “collective group of very diverse women” if an individual’s choice as to what to do with her hair isn’t respected and not seen as some statement of rejecting a black standard of beauty. Also this natural hair movement is becoming a billion dollar industry and just because there are a handful of black women in it like Carol’s Daughter doesn’t mean that the revenues are going back to the community. Everyone is jumping on the natural hair bandwagon and trying to make money off it.

      In the meantime I will just keep pumping India Aire’s I am not my hair. My favorite lyrics in the song:

      You be shaving it off like a South African beautyGet in on lock like Bob Marley*You can rock it straight like Oprah Winfrey*If its not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath and say, hey
      Hey, I am not my hair, I am not this skinI am not your expectation, noI am not my hair, I am not this skinI am a soul that lives within

      • Ms. Esq

        My favorite lyrics in the song:

        You be shaving it off like a South African beauty
        Get in on lock like Bob Marley
        *You can rock it straight like Oprah Winfrey*
        If its not what’s on your head, it’s what’s underneath and say, hey

        Hey, I am not my hair, I am not this skin
        I am not your expectation, noI
        am not my hair, I am not this skin
        I am a soul that lives within

      • CarlaKah

        I disagree and i believe you missed my point. When I say I have mixed feelings about the existence of black women with relaxed hair, I aim at my not not for sure if the majority of those women aren’t linking their hair style to their self-esteem, thus influence the next generation that looks up to them with that possible negative self-image. I don’t deny the possibility o someone have a healthy dose o self-esteem AND relaxed hair. I just do not ignore the (possible majority) that has n ineriority complex towards whithe people and the white beauty standards. I didn’t say that all women with straightened hair would fail the doll test. I just wonder if more then 50% of an academicly determined test group, would fail the test. If so, then it isn’t strange to have mixed feelings about seeing that among us. I wonder what it tells our baby sisters, daughters, nieces etc. if the one raising them and setting an example does not embrace themselves when it comes to hair or complexion or culture or anything else that comes with our existence as diverse women in this Western culture. The way you wear your hair doesn’t have to be tied to your self-esteem. But it CAN be. And every person where it is (who is considered black and their kids will be to) can negatively influence our comminuties through every single person that follows their lead. This is a problem that is worth thinking about.
        We must be honest about the consequences o straightnening hair. Alopecia, skin cancer, recurring ulcers, blood poisoning are all possible consequences of long term use of hair relaxers. O course you have different types on the market and if you only touch up 3 times a year chances are you will have no issues. But we all know that going back every 6 weeks is still very common among women, who straighten their hair. We all know that knowledge about the previously mentioned consequences, isn’t automatically given to women who straighten their hair. Hence you’ve got women damaging their (and their kids) hair/body while possibly being proud of the result. I care about the negative side of hair straightening, because it affect so much more then your “look”, the reasons and consequences are harmful to yourself and others. Both going natural or relaxed are learning experiences, but the former is cheaper, healthier and more suitable for the non-Eurocentric positive representation of a black female.
        I respect every one’s right to live their lives as they please as question whatever they encouter in life. That is why I truly want to know IF and HOW relaxed hair is or is not tied to one’s self esteem. We cannot assume that it is or isn’t by discussing it. We need research to KNOW it. Speaking of research. The revenues of brands that offer products that are good for kinky hair in general (also the straightened variaty, because straightened simply means that your kinky hair is straight and more vulnerable then when it is in it’s naturall state. Hence products that are on the “natural hair-bandwagon” usually are right for every woman with (former) kinky and curly hair) benefit the black communities more then the ones focused on hair relaxing and the processes around that, because the latter is more often then not non-black owned (think of Revlon, L’ Oreal and Henkel). That research has already been done. All you need is Google.
        It is ok to wear whatever on your hair. Just realise that you part of a group of people that is still working itself up. We know about complexes and slave-mentality. We have seen the research and examples of the fact in our own environments. The way to take care of our beauty is not exempt. Whether it is lightning your skin, getting a Eurocentric nose-job, straightnening your hair, getting your jaws and cheek bones reconstructed and other examples that have been labelled as “procedures done out of black people’s insecurity”, you alone decide for yourself if you doing (or not doing) these things is tied to how you view yourself. And IF the community suffers under decisions like that, youu are part of the problem not the solution.

        • Ms. Esq

          No I believe you expand or stated stuff that was countered to your original post.

          1. First, you said in your first post that other women or I do not have to take the responsibility of representing natural women when we leave the house. But now you claim that I’m part of the problem if the community falls under the pressure from not accepting their natural beauty. I mean really?

          2. Second I’m not a part of a group of people working themselves up. I laugh when natural hair girls say this. It’s like really. I mean the term natural hair nazi originated in your camp and is applied to people like you who feel the need to preach to someone about their hair choices. I don’t force (and I don’t think a lot of relaxed women forced) my choice of hair styles on other women and I don’t give them shade when I walk by them. I appreciate the natural hair girls who don’t pass judgement or realize that some people go over with this need to press on to others why they should have natural hair without realizing that it’s a choice that someone has the right to make. Yeah everyone knows about complexes and slave mentality–except it’s always natural hair girls trying to drop history lessons. All of sudden relaxing or wearing weaves, etc is now aiming to look “eurocentric” instead of a choice that one makes for themselves and their lifestyles. I assure you I don’t think about white people or natural hair people or anyone when I seat in the chair to get my hair relaxed and I’m sure that’s goes for others.

          3. The trend now with relaxed hair is to stretch out touchups. So yeah someone who over processes their hair every “4 weeks” will have problems. The thing I’m seeing now is that there are women relaxing their hair once a year, every 6 months, texlaxing, etc, doing it only 3 times a year, etc. It’s a fact that you can have healthy relaxed hair.

          4. I think you show that you can have a choice as to how to wear your hair to your daughter, nieces, and all the people you mentioned who might be influenced by how the person raising them wears their hair. I know many women who have healthy relaxed hair have to follow a hair regimen just like natural women–prepoo, cowash, coconut oil, etc. So the one thing that someone will understand is the need to have healthy hair regardless of whether it’s relaxed or natural. I also respect a lot of people who are open to giving their daughters a choice as to how they want to wear their hair when they are older. Also it seems like you have a presumption that relaxed women wear their hair straight all the time. I know many women like myself who do not get relaxers in the summer time and just do braid outs and bantu knots or wear braids.

          5. And you changed up what you organizing said about the hair industry. You said that the revenue from relaxed hair and weaves do not go back to the community. I responded to your original post. And you could easily research to see that natural hair is becoming a billion dollar business and those profits aren’t going back to the community either.

          Now you are saying that natural hair products benefit the community because it caters to the natural state of hair. If that was your original assessment then I agree with that. But I don’t know if you meant to conflate that statement with the one about revenues. Also non black owned businesses cater to the natural hair market and from I have seen women pick what works for them. Creme of Nature natural products (Revlon), Sally Beauty Supply making their own version of Mixed Girls that people are buying because it’s cheaper. Btw the way I hope Mixed Girls wins that lawsuit. Major non black own businesses are turning their eyes towards the natural market.

          6. I think the things negatively impacting the community like poverty, high HIV rates, obesity, incarceration, light vs dark, etc are more pressing needs and issues then how women chose to wear their hair. Not everyone will have health issues with relaxers and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Scientific American, and other experts have disputed cancer and the various things you mentioned as consequences of relaxers. I do agree with you that Alopecia can be a consequence but again that’s more likely in women who overprocessed their hair. Alopecia is also a result of diabetes, lupus, hormone changes and fungal infections. There are also problems with hair dye and I see plenty of natural women with dyed hair. There are possible consequences in most things. Anyway as fun as this has been, I need to go pre poo my hair and start on my braid out.

        • Ms. Esq

          I don’t know why my response to your comment didn’t post. It doesn’t matter because I’m grateful for communities like Hairlista where naturals and relaxed girls co exist side by side. At the end of the day, I’m grateful that I have hair choices and that I don’t have to jump on the natural bandwagon or be browbeaten over it. In fact I have been natural for almost 1.5 years and I’m getting ready to relax in a few weeks. There is so much information out there about how to take care of hair (natural or relaxed) stretching relaxers, etc that I feel confident in making the hair choice that fits my lifestyle and preferences.

          My friend is natural but straightens her hair and gets shade from some natural girls. She made a good point that no one can win. And uh no please– I’m not part of a group that is “working itself up.” I believe the term natural hair nazi originate in the the natural hair community. And I doubt there are a group of women running around trying to browbeat relaxers on anyone without regard to their choices or lives. Or sprouts inaccurate health information about relaxers. There are possible consequences to using cell phones (brain cancer), genetically modified food (obesity, abnormal growth), etc. There are so many pressing needs in the black community and it’s sad that there are people who think hair ranks as high as obesity, incarceration, lack of fathers, etc.

  • Hello_Kitty81

    This mother better quit before her baby’s head will turn into Naomi Campbell’s hairline by age 3.

  • Mystique

    That baby looks just like my co-worker.

  • Mystique

    There are truly some dumb people in this world.

  • Mystique

    The mother of this little girl must be very, very young and probably has no parental care and supervision from her own mother in order to do something as crazy as putting a perm in her infant daughter’s hair.

  • Mystique

    Out of Utter Stupidity!

  • Lauren Love

    this is scary! i have a 5 month old niece and i’d hurt my sister if she did something like this! like the article was saying it’s next to impossible though because at that age they are wild!

  • realadulttalk

    I wanna punch the mother right in her head…this is so ridiculous!!! Cute baby though.

  • CA Pullen

    Why in the world she want to do this to the baby’s hair? This baby is way too young to get chemcials in her hair, also she should not even straighten her hair with a hot comb. She need to wait in my view until she at least 12 or 13 or older. She is a beautiful baby.

  • Negress

    The baby is wearing hoop earrings. So, she has had her ears pierced for a while. Her mom must think of her as more of a doll than a baby.

  • And why black people so bald headed messing up the babies hair from the start…I’m in the process of transitioning I will never perm my future daughter’s hair!!

  • This mother has a issue within herself…she needs counseling to grip the fact that SHE’S a beautiful afro american woman..when she’s able to see herself as beautiful…THEN WILL SHE REALIZE HE DAUGHTER IS BEAUTIFUL THE WAY SHE IS…THE WAY GOD MADE HER…

  • it’s not so shocking when mom is 14, grandmama is 28, and great grandmama is 35.

    • Mystique

      True! True! Very True!

  • Erika

    This baby’s mom needs a roundhouse kick to the face and have frequent visits from CPS. In that order!!!

  • Cha Cha

    I pray this was not done with a relaxer… I’m sure the chemicals from the relaxer are dangerous to a child that young and they risk permanently damaging their childs hair… Are the hair follicles even strong enough at this age to take a relaxer… At this age, how hard can it be to manage their hair?

  • i can’t believe that in 2012 and we are STILL talking about hair! it is just hair people? WHITE people have straight hair and no one says anything. so why are we picking on this poor baby’s only five months old!

    any way it ain’t none of your busines. it is the mother’s choice how the baby looks, none of this at all has ANYTHING to do with the hatred that black parents often mix with love and pour into their children’s minds. yeah. so who cares if it is straight or natural.

    did i say it is just hair? lol.

    • loc’d & lovel

      Its dangerous to apply heat or chemicals to a five month old!

      • what? nooo. not if you do it carefully. it is just hair! it is just hair who cares! if someone wants to do that with their child it is their own business. i don’t know why we are talking about this.

        • loc’d & lovel

          Cause lye is dangerous. look it up & see what it does to skin. the babys scalp is too fragile. I cant believe you think this is ok. Lord help your kids/future kids.

          • you are assuming that she used it or used it full strength. either way if she didn’t have a black child she wouldn’t have to straighten it. so the answer is easy.

            • loc’d & lovel

              Easy for anyone who hates their childs african features.

    • cheekee baby

      If it was JUST hair why in the heck didn’t that mom leave that child’s hair alone? I mean if its just hair why do we even bother combing, style, trimming etc. our hair? You know its deeper than that.

      • so what? WHITE people style their children’s hair and no one says anything? why are we mad that a black person does it? and you are right. it is deeper than that: when are we going stop being crabs in a barrel and let each other grow and achieve? stop the self-hatred.

        • AfricanQueen

          It’s monkey see, monkey do huh? If WHITE people kill themselves would you do the honor of killing YOURSELF. This is a dumb argument…it is not just hair and for the record a lot of the white people who straighten their hair really don’t have that much to do…I see white girls with already straight hair or slight waves straighten it some more (it’s not a drastic change), the damage that they MAY OR MAY not suffer from is nowhere near the damage our hair and self esteem will suffer from ..our hair is not meant to be straightened that’s why it did not come out of our scalps that way. I’m not white, that baby is not white and MAYBE just MAYBE I want to look like me and not do everything white people do, it’s called an identity, find one.

          • calling a black person monkey is racist. i don’t know why you’d claim to be an ‘african queen’ and call a black person `monkey’ and `tell them to kill themselves’. so much for black love,lol.

            it is true black people shouldn’t do what white people do. mainly because they can’t. or it takes too much strain. the best thing to do is mix with them so that there isn’t anymore racism and the human race can really be one. if there isn’t any kinky hair no one will get mad about straightening a baby’s hair so it can be pretty. and we aren’t really different any way so nothing is lost. just the drama.

        • cheekee baby

          Ain’t no growing or achieving in straightening a baby’s head using either harsh chemicals or extremely high heat. Come on now.

    • tam

      WOW…you are ignorant mess. you have alot of self hate. I will pray for you. you need it.

  • Ms. Esq

    I relax my hair and maintain its health. I tried wearing my hair natural which I didn’t like and using keratin treatments which I did like but didn’t like being restricted to certain products. My hair is thick and full so I don’t blame my mom for using hot combs, jheri curls and relaxers on me when I was young.

    But I have told plenty of friends that if I am blessed with a daughter one day that I want her hair to be natural. I want her to make the decision about what she wants to do with her hair when she is old enough. I can’t do anything but shake my head looking at this baby with straightened hair. I can’t help but wonder if she will be rocking braids with beads or barrettes like other little black girls in elementary school or if her mom will move her on to weaves, wigs or relaxers. Smdh

    • CarlaKah

      What about wearing your own natural, thick hair didn’t you like? I wonder if you don’t like the natural curls or if you just prefer the easiness of chemically treated (Eurocentric)hair styles.

      • Ms. Esq

        Because wearing natural hair isn’t for everyone. It’s about choice which I would allow my child to make when she is old enough. But I will teach her that some women will try to negate her choice by saying offensive stuff like wearing a relaxer, straightening your own hair, etc is a version of self hate which is incorrect.

        Just as I don’t care or challenge your choice to wear your hair natural. The bottom line is that an individual’s choice should be respected and that my only concern is what’s on top of my head. But I don’t have to be concerned with someone with natural hair throwing me shade.

      • Ms. Esq

        I shouldn’t have said that I didn’t like wearing my natural hair. I should have framed my earlier comment as picking a relaxer is a choice I made.

        **writing comments on iphones is a mess.

  • Commo Cent$

    Someone please tell me this is some kind of sick joke

  • Natural Queen

    You don’t have to be anybody’s mother to have enough common sense to know 5 MONTHS IS TOO DAGGUM YOUNG TO PERM, PRESS, OR FLAT IRON A CHILD ‘S HAIR! She could have moved and gotten burned. Also, she still has soft spots in her head so chemical burns could be devastating…even fatal. Come on folks , let’s use common sense on this one. But…as my mother often says …common sense isn’t always common. SMH

  • Guest360

    This has to be the most ignorant thing I’ve ever seen. On what planet is it ok to straighten a 5 month’s old hair? Even if she didn’t use a chemical relaxer (let’s hope she wasn’t THAT dumb), what good parent thinks it’s a good idea to not only put burning hot objects near a baby, but to use it on their heads?!!! I would be shocked if this poor thing doesn’t have a burn of some kind on her scalp. There’s no way she kept still through out all that. This really is a case for child protective services. I can’t even fathom any good parent thinking this was a good idea.

  • wow she needs to be educated … I feel sorry for her and that poor baby

  • Whoever is this child’s parent and responsible needs to be arrested. This is not just child abuse but its self hating behavior being taught to a child. Furthermore, even if for a second we ignore the fact that this woman straightened her child’s hair probably more concerned about how she looks to other people. Some people just need to not have kids period. What if she grows up and sees this one day? It’s sad. Your hair is part of who you are and if her mother can straighten it this early it’s very easy to think she doesn’t like herself. Something might very well be wrong with her that she might dislike or want to change and she’s putting it on the child. Again, very sad but still wrong.

    • Kay

      Yes this is terribly wrong but you can’t make such a blanket statement about Straight hair = Self hate…

      • Let me explain why I’m saying this. The child doesn’t have a choice and straight hair has always been stereotyped as more favorable. This woman needs to love her child regardless of the texture of her hair. The fact that she did this so early and its not a grown woman or someone who’s 18 making their own decision seems damaging. How much hair does a 5 month old really have to straighten? The original author that this story was linked from made a similar point and I only found that out after I read her blog. I really home MN does a follow up on this though.

        • Kay

          Ok, I understand your point now and I agree they should follow up.

  • Child Welfare Services

    has anyone contacted them (child protective services) yet? they need to pronto. this is just ridiculous. you know the baby had to cry and be in discomfort. their soft spot isn’t even hard yet. idiots i swear

  • Treacle234

    At five months isn’t your hair soft? So seriously why would you need to straighten it.This sounds like act of a teenage mom, poor child she needs guidance.

  • Miss D

    I would be afraid to use anything hot near a baby. And the fact that the parent/caregiver thinks it’s no big deal shows how poor her judgment is. It’s a living, breathing, child, not a cabbage patch doll!

  • FromUR2UB

    Pressing/flat ironing it would be bad enough. But that baby’s skull may not even have fused together yet, so I really hope no chemicals were put on her head. It’s too bad the reproductive organs can’t override stupid people’s ability to procreate. There should be sensors on it that detect weak signals from the brain, causing it to shut down or stall. Oh well. Luckily for them, that’s not my call.

    • Erin

      lol agreed! or an IQ test but even then I think your idea is better and needs to be looked into.

  • Guest

    hotmess.org. It doesn’t even look right!

  • Kayo

    That child’s hair is going to be broken off and damaged before she gets the chance to have some hair really.

  • Candacey Doris

    5 months?! SMH.

  • MLS2698

    At five months old, the only thing to do is wash, and keep it from being dry( olive oil); no bows ties, or clips yet. This may be a myth, but I thought you should never cut, much less, straighten a child’s hair before the age of one.

    • Cutting the hair wouldnt cause any problems but straightening it is an EPIC FAIL. I remember my middle daughter as a baby had cradle cap, I clipped some of her hair and it is long, curly, and beautiful now.

  • IllyPhilly

    That’s some real self hate. Wow.

  • Black children left in the hands of black women are destined to be abused and mistreated.

    • Kay

      Ignorant asss..

    • cheekee baby

      Their black azz daddies are more than welcome to raise them if they can do a better job. . . that is in between the jail stays and the disappearing acts that is.

      • Maybe the dads should take care of the children since 30% OF BLACK KIDS ARE LIVING IN SINGLE FATHER HOMES ANYWAYS. WE DO A BETTER JOB THAN YOU Broads anyways

        • SterilizeAllHoodNiggaz

          Shouldn’t you be trolling on B0ssip?If you don’t like black women why are you here?

        • Britney

          Aye bruh…you need more people on that statistic…and life in general.

        • Kay

          Somehow I doubt that is true.

        • WhatAMinute

          Crack is wack kneegrow….you and homemade pie chart of statistics are full of shyit

        • FromUR2UB

          Oh please. You’re not doing the job at all. You know you don’t have any kids because you’ve never gotten close to any woman.

          • Brick


        • FromUR2UB

          Oh please. You’re not doing the job at all. You know you don’t have any kids because you’ve never gotten close to any woman.

        • cheekee baby

          Ok you’re just being dumb now. You wouldn’t understand if I did properly breakdown that misrepresented stat you just threw up.

        • Emily

          ROTFL…on what planet? Certainly not Earth..

    • Emily

      This is probably just your story. This was also my story, but even though I was not blessed with a good mom, also a lifelong completely absent father (I can’t even tell you what he looks like), I know that there are great single moms (and dads too for that matter). You can’t let your experience let you make stupid statements like this. You sound like you were neglected by both parents.

  • Hello_Kitty81

    This mom needs to be beaten with a hot flat iron! My daughter is 4 years old and I’ll never straighten or even put relaxer in her hair, she’s beautiful as the way God intended her hair to be, natural.

  • quest

    Very disturbing.

  • Kay

    And some mothers wonder why their daughter’s hair brakes all off and her head starts looking a ball of Cabbage. Sh1t like this