My opinion is, if you want to protect her hair, you can braid, cornrow or twist it just as you would with extensions(affiliate link) hair, just using her own hair instead. With that said, if we were to determine what age is most appropriate for braids and weave hair based on physical attributes alone, I would say when her hair isn’t changing as much and is strong enough to handle it.
Typically this would be during puberty but even then you still want to have some sort of control with regards to how long extensions are in, and why you are putting them in her hair in the first place. Lets move on to maturity.
Should extensions depend on maturity?
Personally, this will only be an issue after my child is 13 point blank, because at this time we can probably safely determine if her hair is strong and healthy enough to ‘take’ braids.
When we refer to maturity we mean, are you and your child able to decipher the difference between using braids and extensions as a means of protecting her hair for growth and health rather than a crutch because your daughter is not particularly thrilled with her own hair?
Sometimes children can view certain things with more imagination than we might like, they are influenced by everything around them, like Disney princesses with long flowing hair that does not look like their own, or other kids in class that tease her about her ‘wooly’ hair making her feel a little insecure.
They might feel a sigh of relief when they finally get braids because it is the perfect compromise for what they view as a better alternative to what they have.
It is important that your child understands her hair, loves her hair, and knows that extensions are just a means to give her hair a break from time to time so that her own hair can stay healthy and retain length.
Is that easy to explain to a child? Not always, and that’s why we have to not only lead by example, but we also have start the conversation early, very early. At no point should a child feel that hair extensions(affiliate link) are a replacement for her own hair, once she understands that, then she might be able to wear extensions from time to time once she hits puberty.
What about weaves?
We have primarily been focused on braid extensions, but what about full coverage weaves or crochet braids? This again is a matter of opinion, I am not a fan of weave extensions(affiliate link) for little girls, and by little I am referring to girls under 16.
I have never raised a teenage girl before so that is just my own opinion minus the actual experience. What is your opinion, how young is too young for braid extension hair, and how old should a child be for her to have her first weave?
Originally posted 2015-01-15 15:00:54.