What are the long term consequences of extensions when introduced at a young age?
Like other parts of children’s bodies, the tiny follicles that control hair growth is still forming and developing into a more robust and healthy “root” which will produce healthy hair throughout the child’s lifetime. And so, great caution must be taken when manipulating the child’s hair.
Hairstyles that are uncomfortable for the child to bear will also be uncomfortable for her scalp to hold on to. This means that when the hairstyle is pulled too tight, it can pull some hair off the scalp which can damage the hair growth potential of the follicles where the hair was prematurely uprooted from.
Also, when extra weight is added to the hair in the form of extensions, it can also force the hair to be pulled from the scalp, resulting in balded edges. Receding hairline is not cute on anyone, adult or kids, and so parents or the hairstylist of the child should be gentle handed when handling children’s hair.
While it’s true that it’s just hair and it will grow back, the follicles and the tiny cells beneath it which you don’t see operate in a different way than the hair does. So once damage has been done to the cells that actually control hair growth, they might not reproduce more hair, which can cause a permanent hair loss for the child.
So, are extensions a form of child abuse?
Depending on the way the child’s hair is styled, including the level of care that is given to the child’s hair pre and post-installation, it may or may not be a form of child abuse.
Any hairstyle (extensions or no extensions) that is heavy, tight, damaging and uncomfortable to the child’s well-being can definitely be seen as a form of child abuse.
However, if light extensions such as Marley braids are used minimally and in such a way that the hairstyle doesn’t bring any pain to the child, then it’s not really child abuse, but a way to temporarily change up the child’s look.
What are your thoughts? Are extensions a form of child abuse?