After reading a recent post about a mother who received backlash from concerned parents and citizens on social media for installing faux locs on her daughter’s hair, I couldn’t help but wonder when a simple hairstyle which is loved by many suddenly became abusive.
I mean, is it child abuse because faux locs is a style that’s commonly worn by adults? Or is it child abuse because the child is wearing extensions*? Perhaps it’s the tightness of the hairstyle that makes it to be very abusive on the child.
I for one have never considered hair extensions*, relaxers, or hair dyes to be appropriate on kids; call me old school, but that’s just my opinion. I know some of you are probably thinking, “Caucasians wear extensions too, so what’s the big deal?”
While you may be right, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with adults wearing any hairstyle that pleases them, but when it comes to children, caution must be taken on how they are presented to the public.
In fact, prior to my discovery of the natural hair community, I never thought much about extensions on kids because it was so prevalent that it became normal to me. However, I did frown upon relaxers and weaves on children because I know how damaging those hairstyles can be on an adult, let alone on young children.
So, how do children end up wearing extensions* and unacceptable (or in some people’s words “abusive”) hairstyles?
Since our children are a representation of us, they will likely dress in a way that’s similar to the way the parents dress.
This means that moms who grew up in a weave culture won’t see the big deal in fixing a quick weave on their child. And if she grew up believing that a hairstyle has to be tiny and tight, then the child will have no choice but to bear the pain of a new hairstyle.
It’s even worse if the mother has a receding hairline and balded patches as a result of aggressive hairstyles because it can mean bad news for the child’s edges. Also, a mother who got her first relaxer at a young age won’t see anything wrong with relaxing her two years old’s hair. After all, it’s just hair, it will grow back.
Since you can only teach what you know, a mother with inadequate knowledge of healthy hair care won’t have much to teach the child.
As a result, she will likely style the child’s hair in a hairstyle that’s easier and more economical. An example of an economical hairstyle could be braided extensions that will last weeks, though it may be too heavy for the child to carry or a relaxer which can burn the child’s scalp and disturb the child’s natural hair growth cycle.