So, the other day I was having a conversation with my mom and my sister about some of the decisions that my mom made concerning our hair. My sister is 5 years older than me, so for as long as I can remember, my sister’s hair has always been permed.
I, on the other hand, was natural up until I entered high school. According to my mother, she didn’t want to perm my hair because I had a different grade of hair than my sister, and my sister’s hair just wasn’t manageable without a perm.
Which in turn, sparked a discussion on how soon is too soon to perm your daughter’s hair. Could you be harming your daughter’s hair by giving her a relaxer at a young age?
In stores they sale relaxers for girls, which is essentially just a relaxer in a lower strength than the ones for adults, however, it is still a chemical, and if left on too long can still burn and cause irritation.
I still have horror stories from memories of my mother perming my hair in our kitchen and washing it in the sink and the intense burning from leaving the perm in as long as possible, just to make sure every strand was bone straight.
I would even beg my mom not to wash it out until I was sure that it was straight enough, because I didn’t want any waves or kinks to be left curly. And, at that age I was 14 or older.
I couldn’t imagine being a 3-5 year old and experiencing that pain. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer as far as whether or not to perm your child’s hair, but I do think there are things to keep in mind if you do decide to do it:
Make sure that the perm is applied by a licensed professional
Like I mentioned earlier, my mother was the one perming my hair. My mother never went to beauty school, so the only training she had came from her experience doing my sisters hair.
Licensed professionals are trained in applying relaxers to hair, and know the ins and outs. A relaxer should not burn if applied and rinsed out properly.
Also, when I started getting my hair permed, but hair began to break and shed at massive rates. For as long as I could remember I had long thick hair, hence the reason my mother was so hesitant for all those years to perm my hair.
I’m not in any way saying a perm will make your hair fall out, but what I am saying is that if you are not letting a professional apply it and then treat your hair, then there is a high risk for breakage. Just because the perm may be cheaper to purchase at your local beauty supply store, than to pay a professional, doesn’t mean that that is the best ideal.