Monday, December 26, 2011

But Mommy, I Don't Want To Wear My Hair Like That!

You know, it gets under my skin when I see what some parents do to their children's hair.  They either don't do it (yet theirs is done) or it is styled in such a way that makes you want to question their frame of mind.  I know some of you may think: who is Kinky to judge?!?!  However, I can bet my entire month's paycheck that you've felt some kind of way about a child's hair that you have seen in passing.

First, let me start with sewn-in weaves.  Now, I've worn sewn-in weaves; however, I'm grown.  A few years ago, I walked into my daughter's kindergarten class and I saw a KINDERGARTNER with a sewn-in weave.  How do you know it was a sewn in Kinky?  Because I inspected it! I saw the braids and I saw the tracks!  (Shoot, I had to be sure!)

Now, I honestly think that a child in kindergarten is too damn young for a sewn-in weave.  To date, this girl still wears sewn-in weaves (now in 3rd grade) along with extensions.  But are extensions any better?
I've seen children in extensions and man oh man, does it get under my skin when they have them all down their back... in class whipping their hair back and forth.  My daughter is now in 3rd grade and I see some of her friends, and younger students, with extensions to their butt.  I feel as though little girls should look and act like little girls.  No, they don't have to be in bows, pink and lace; however, we don't need to have our children looking grown and then eventually playing the part of 'acting grown.'  Now you may be thinking: What's the difference between their [own] hair being down their back and the extensions Kinky?  Well, for one, the extensions put stress on the hair, especially if they are kept in too long and everyone doesn't take care of their braids.  Then comes the part of having to take them out, which can be even further damaging.  Secondly, I think some people are so obsessed with having LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG hair, you can only imagine the perception that child (and the work of their parent) are  creating.  That child may think that it is better to have long, flowing hair when in actuality, they should really be happy with what they have.

Hmm, should we go with braids instead of a relaxer, Kinky? Honestly, I think almost ANYTHING is better than a relaxer!  Yes, a relaxer may give you that 'manageable' hair that you yearn.  Your hair may be silky and smooth; however, you're sacrificing your child's/your health for it.
Relaxers contain harsh chemicals and may cause scalp damage/irritation, affect hair growth and cause your hair to thin.  In addition, there may also be risk to those that are pregnant and choose to get a relaxer.  The fact that some products are labeled as 'no lye' may be misleading consumers to think that there are no harsh chemicals.  Truth be told, there are STILL harsh chemicals in a relaxer; however, the type of chemicals may vary.  
Although they sale 'kiddie' relaxers, there's no guarantee that they are less toxic.  Some may opt for a texturizer; however, it's still made of harsh chemicals.  Better safe than sorry (you ever got a relaxer).

Lastly, let me talk about locs.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love, love, LOOOOOOOVE locs; however, I haven't made that big step to get them.  If I were to ever get them, I think I would get sisterlocs or smaller 'regular' locs... but anyways, this isn't about me now is it? 

I get mixed emotions when I see kids with locs, especially when they are not in the teen years and can decide what they want.  I love locs when they are styled in a cute way; however, I wonder, did that child ASK to have their hair in locs?  

To me locs, and relaxers, are a long-term commitment, moreso than corn braids and ponytails.  When a parent opts to put a relaxer in a child's hair, they're making that commitment to relax their hair for possibly a lifetime.  Or, until the child decides they no longer want to have a perm.  The same goes for locs.  There's a boy that goes to my daughter's school and his mom has locs... so does his three-to-four year old sister.  For some reason, he doesn't.  He has always kept a low-cut fade. 

I know some parents may say, "Well it's MY child and I will put a perm/locs in his/her hair if I want to."  Although it's your prerogative to do what you want with and to your child (we all know there's limits), should we consider what the children want, think and/or feel about their hair?

Once that child becomes a tween and they have either a relaxer or locs, are you as a parent going to allow them to change their hair?  Why did you put a relaxer/locs in their hair in the first place?  Should a child even have a relaxer or weave in their hair?  Since you're relaxing and loc'ing their hair, are you also going to color it?  Did you put those locs in for personal reasons or did you feel as though it was the only way to get your child's hair to grow?  Does your child question how/why you do their hair the way that you do?  Is it really necessary to have your 2nd grader with colored extensions that come to their butt?  Did you put locs in their hair due to cultural beliefs/practices?

After thoughts: I know this blog topic may not be the most popular among the other blogs and posts that I have done, and I accept that.  It took me about a week or so to write this.  I added, omitted, reworded, etc., quite a few times.  I am not intentionally passing judgement and trying to make anyone feel bad about the choices that they make for their children's hair.  I'm not sure that I went about the message in the most politically correct way; however, those that know me know that I am not always politically correct.  I tend to go against the grain, speak my thoughts and speak my mind... perhaps it shouldn't even matter...

However, please understand that I just want you all to be cognizant of the choices made when it comes to your children's hair.  They are people too and have thoughts, feelings and emotions, especially when it comes to their image.  I suggest you ask them how they want their hair, get their buy-in and come to a consensus BEFORE making a commitment to one particular style.  

Please, feel free to share your thoughts and reactions... I'm open to conversation and feedback!

~Keep it kinky!


  1. I have to agree with this, especially the point you made about long term commitment styles. That transition to the point where the child can make aesthetic decisions for themselves will be greatly hindered, especially for a young girl.

    If she has only had locs in her childhood and she decides to be a loose haired natural, she would have to cut and start allllll over in growing her hair out. That is such a huge decision, especially in those adolescent years where you're building your self-esteem. Unfortunately some parents are more concerned about having dominion over their child instead of thinking of them as growing individuals.

  2. I totally agree. And combing out locs can be damaging so it is like she might as well start from point A!! Thanks for reading and commmenting!

  3. My best friend is struggling with locing her daughter's hair. She's 8 and have been asking for locs since she was 4. I encouraged her to go for it bc te child has been sooooo persistant.

    On the other hand I kno someone who locd their child's hair at 6 and when she got 16 she tried to comb them out :-(

  4. Hi, I am a mother who locd her daughter's hair and it's been the best decision for us. She is 5 and has quite fine braid locs. She hated hair days before because her scalp is so sensitive. It took a full day to detangle because I had to be so gentle-we managed to avoid tears most of the time but she found it hard to sit for so long. She loves her locs now because she can change her style daily without the whole day being used. She loves that we can still braid/ cornrow and that she can have it in a ponytail or wear it down without the risk of massive tangles. She is patient for retightenings and appreciates that good hair takes work but she's thrilled this doesn't need combed. We discussed it in detail before we locd, looked at pictures of styles and took a long time to plan it. She agreed to it before we started and I checked she was still happy before tightening. She is so much happier and freer with her hair. I know not everyone will agree but it was the right choice for us at the time. If she wants to change it when she's older I have no problem with that as long as she is making an informed decision that she can live with.

    1. I think it is great that you talked about it with her and went through pictures of styles before taking that leap. I think that's the best route, as opposed to just locing it without the child's buy in. After all, the child is the one who would have to deal with that style. Thanks for commenting and incorporating your daughter's thoughts in the decision making process!


I absolutely love comments so please feel free to leave me a note. Thank you in advance for not leaving me spam, posting negative comments and/or promoting/advertising on my blog. ~Keep It Kinky!~

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