Are Some Styles Just Too Permanent for Children’s Hair?

September 27, 2011  |  

If there’s one thing I’m not looking forward to when I have kids (which I’m hoping I’ll be blessed to do), it’s putting a comb through my child’s hair. I’m of Nigerian background, and my Texas-born mother has a pretty thick head of hair, herself. So my hair, along with my sister’s mane, has always been big, full and hard to handle. I’m assuming whatever my child’s gender would be, their hair would be somewhat similar. And while I would hope to go the whole twist, braids and beads route for my child, I’ve noticed a number of parents out there who are putting dreadlocks in their little one’s hair. Since moving to New York, it seems to be very normal.

I love dreadlocks on people, especially black folks. And while it is indeed cute on most kids, I often wonder if doing something like that is a bit too…permanent for a little one. Having and growing dreads seems to be a huge commitment, what with the hours of sitting in a chair getting strands re-twisted and what not. And a lot of people don’t like to feel stuck with one style (a la, creatures of change). Kids might adore dreads during their pre-teen-meets-middle school years, but what if by their teenage years they’re hoping to experiment with their hair? Will their only option be to go through the tedious process of having them opened, or will they have to cut their locks off and start anew? I’m sure being a teenage girl with little to no hair because of a big chop is a lot to deal with or take on during high school, your most emotional and teen angst-riddled years.

But I know what you’re thinking. The same thing can probably be said about throwing a kiddie box perm (a la, Just For Me) in your little girl’s hair. It’s equally as permanent and can have pretty bad consequences (hair possibly breaking off for example) if you don’t keep up with touch ups. I’ve heard many women say (hardcore naturals trolling blogs) that they would never EVER under any circumstances, put a perm in their child’s hair. But what if that’s what your little girl wanted? Could parents be doing more of what works for them when it comes to their children’s hair rather than what works for the little one?

At the end of the day, I’m not trying to push any way of thinking on people or their children–do what you do. However, I’m just simply wondering if by throwing permanent solutions and styles onto your child’s hair because YOU possibly like the way it looks and the more manageable it makes your child’s hair, does that mean it’s the right way to go? At some point they might look in the mirror and be fed up with their look. In a way, I think asking your child what kind of look they would prefer could be a good start to managing kiddie hair woes. But what do I know, I have no kids! That’s why I’m wondering what you think…

But until you and your child can figure out what they want, how are we feeling about those twists, braids, and beads…?

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