How Young is too Young when Using Extensions in a Child’s Hair?

kids with extensions
I am going to venture out on a limb here and say that this is a matter of opinion and is at the sole discretion of the mother or caretaker involved.

I refuse to leave it at that though, we love our little girls, they are our pride and joy and caring for their hair can be some what of a priority since like us we want to see growth and health in their hair just as much as we want to see it in our own.

There is no doubt that braid extensions help us to keep our hair healthy by breaking the need for constant manipulation and protecting our ends from damage.

However with a child there are two things to consider when making the decision on if you should add hair extensions to her hair, one, how fragile her hair might be at the time of the decision and two, how mature she is.

When we refer to extensions, we are talking about any kind of weave hair that you would add to your child’s hair to protect it or just as a part of her regimen.

This topic has been debated a lot especially when we see celebrity children rocking braids from as young as six years old. Off the bat for me I can say definitively that 6 is way too young, but lets really discuss it.

Is a child’s hair too fragile for extensions?

The hair on a child’s head when she is born is much different from what it will look like at 13. Her hair will change over the years, the color will change, the thickness, and the texture will change as the child grows. Up until the point of puberty your child will have thinner and more fragile strands that can easily break and get damaged with more stress.

In fact there are specific recommendations from doctors and professional hair stylists who refute the use of chemicals and additives that can potentially cause harm to a child’s hair before the age of 13.

The scalp is of particular interest because it is an extension of the child’s skin, and just like you would do everything to protect her skin and not put stress on it with harsh creams, you want to treat her scalp in the same manner.

Even though extensions are not ‘creams’ you need to be able to care for your daughter’s scalp in the gentlest way you can without the fuss of extensions that might get in the way.

Originally posted 2015-01-15 15:00:54.

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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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  1. Tiela Lewis
    Tiela Lewis

    Smh! I don’t think any child needs or should have ‘take out the pack’ braids. Their hair should be nurtured and taken care of. Wash, get your scalp greased. Remember that back-in-the-day treatment. It still works. Long hair shouldn’t define these young girls. Now when they are older (late teens) and want some hair, then let THEM go get some.

  2. MzCoco Sewin Weaves
    MzCoco Sewin Weaves

    Well my opinion on braids I really do not like thick heavy kankalon braids for children first of all it is very heavy and very damaging to the hair it causes hair loss I don’t like them people do what they want to their children’s hair hair is very delicate !! My opinion

  3. Tiela Lewis
    Tiela Lewis

    Keep it up with them braids, weaves, y’all gonna mess around and have NO edges. Thats NOT a good look

  4. Tracy NoLove Barbie
    Tracy NoLove Barbie

    I dont like it,.kids shid b kids, extensions neede, teach our girls to first love their natural selves first so as they grow they wont feel the need to become all Eurocentric.

  5. Toni Richardson
    Toni Richardson

    Braids with hair added is so different than a weave people smh what if the little girls hair is not thick or her edges are breaking I mean mothers have to do what they can to have an appropriate style

    1. Toni Richardson
      Toni Richardson

      It does but everyone is not blessed with a lot of hair I’m a licensed hair stylist so I see all kinds of things

  6. Audrey Walker
    Audrey Walker

    My daughter wears natural styles like kinky twists and cornrows with a little added hair.. It has helped her grow tremedously. I make sure that her edges are not pulled too tight. I waited until she turned 5 years old to put any extention in her hair. She takes breaks in between styles to let her natural hair breathe as well. It works for me because I am a busy mother and am not that great at styling natural hair. I will never put a perm or weave in my child’s hair. Never!!

    1. Claudine Woods
      Claudine Woods

      But aren’t you sending a message to your daughter that her hair is not good enough being naturally what it is by adding fake hair to it? Why, are we never satisfied with what we have and what God gave us naturally.

    2. Ashley Carter
      Ashley Carter

      Claudine, the braiding hair actually helps the hair hold longer, has nothing to do with being good enough. Just because you add extensions does not mean you are not natural. Wish people would stop being so negative about what others do with hair.

    3. Audrey Walker
      Audrey Walker

      No I am not sending a message that her hair isn’t good enough. We alternate between styles, It’s just that having her hair in twists is more manageable for me sometimes. In the summer months especially because she swims almost everyday. I always comment on the beauty of her natural hair as well as the braided styles. My daughter loves to rock her natural fro and has never felt like her natural hair isn’t good enough. Until this happens or she is unhappy with her natural we will keep with our hair regimen, It works for us.

    4. Nicole Semajmomma Hoover
      Nicole Semajmomma Hoover

      @claudine woods so I have question? If you so pro “natural” why is your straightened? I don’t see it in its natural state! You’ve applied heat to it to manage and style it…am I correct? Braiding is a protective style when done properly and breaks are taken in between and hair is greased and conditioned properly! I have never straightened my childs hair however she does wear box braids every few months and her hair is almost to her waist! She loves her natural hair as well as braids! She knows that she is beautiful with or without braids and they don’t define her!

  7. Krystal White
    Krystal White

    Tiela speak for yourself. My mother has been braiding my hair since i was 8…never lost an edge till i permed my hair. Braids don’t cause hair loss. Not taking care of your hair does.

    1. AK Gibson
      AK Gibson

      Braids and other “up do” or “pulled back” styles can cause hair loss if parents, or whomever is doing the hair, aren’t careful not to pull the hair too tight. When it’s too tight, or up/back too often, it can cause early receeding, dandruff, and all other kinds of scalp damage and hair loss. It CAN. That is not to say that it WILL. But one must always be especially careful styling a childs hair. Even moreso because many adults never learned how to take care of their hair and go on to destroy their babies heads, too.

  8. Tamara Zackery
    Tamara Zackery

    Because they’re hair follicles are too sensitive for all that and can damage their hair to the point where it won’t grow… Adding fake hair and or tight ponytail may not be a good idea.. BTW all those barrettes.. Should be taken out be for bed.. Blk women can be so pressed about hair.. When the girls are little is the time to teach them to be happy about bein nappy..

  9. Kasheena Sermons-Thompson
    Kasheena Sermons-Thompson

    My 5 year old has had braids with extensions that were slightly longer than get hair once and two streams twists maybe 2 or 3 times she hasn’t lost any hair her edges are still full and thick in fact her hair is a lot longer and healthier than most adults I know, so imo it’s fine long as it’s done tastefully

  10. Rene Eberhart
    Rene Eberhart

    The mothers are silently putting European. Standards on our African girls . It’s not fair for our girls . Stop the madness. These girls are going to be bald or have very low self esteem, if their mothers are not careful.

  11. Petronella Mcneil
    Petronella Mcneil

    When u add a little extra hair to girls braids, they last longer. Do it safely n without pulling edges. Moisturizing daily is obvious. No weave for my babies. No relaxer too

  12. Princess Asya Gotbigplans Crudup
    Princess Asya Gotbigplans Crudup

    13 and under is too young but at the end of the day no child should be wearing that mess….that is why little black girls don’t have edges now and why they don’t know how to take care of and appreciate the hair they have. …hence slow growth due to breakage and overprocessing…..I’m no beautician but I was one of those little black girls…I an now Natural and my hair is healthier than it’s ever been

  13. Chavon Corvette
    Chavon Corvette

    My mom did not put any kind of weave in our hair as a child. She just worked with her hair and styled it accordingly. I didn’t wear a fake pony until I was 13 and that was because of Dance. I took that bad boy off right after.

  14. Tiffany Marie Banks
    Tiffany Marie Banks

    As long as the little girl doesnt feel like she needs extensions to be pretty and knows her beauty with or without them, I think its up to the parent(s).

  15. DeeDee Wheat
    DeeDee Wheat

    Teach them to appreciate their natural length while they are young! Braids could be okay but other hair ehhhhh!!! I’m on the fence about

  16. Danielle Rene
    Danielle Rene'e

    I didn’t with my daughter until she was 7 for special occasions, and let her wear it on and off when she was going on 9 yrs old. It usually looks natural, and won’t last past a couple days. No quick weaves or nothing grown up till she’s about 16. I’d say extensions before 8 is too much! I new a few ppl that put PERMS & WEAVE in chilredns hair who were barely over a year old! SMGDH

  17. Latisha CubanPete Heiwajima
    Latisha CubanPete Heiwajima

    If you take care of her hair she won’t have to wear that crap in the first place
    And I feel a kid should be a kid and not take on grown folks problems

    1. keishab1228

      I would like to know if you even have daughters if you don’t mind me asking? I have 3 and they all have natural hair. However, I have only had problems with one of their. She is now about to be 6 but when she was about 2 I began to experience her hair breaking off really bad and didn’t understand why because she had always had a head full of hair besides having very thin edges and no I did have her ponytails to tight. She actually for the first few years of her life wore plastic rubber bands because I didn’t want to damage her hair and they either popped off because her hair was so soft and springy that it almost just expanded until it popped or it would just melt the rubber band lol which was ok because she was a baby. But anyway what I’m saying is that nothing in my regimen for her hair changed but it began to break of anyway. So bad to the point that I really considered cutting it but instead I just begin to keep it braided and I did it natural until she was 4 because she then began to question why her older and younger sisters hair was longer than hers because she seen all of the attention they would get because of their hair. All the while I’ve been nurturing her hair since she was born and even more so when it began to have its problems and it’s still growing but it will take a little bit longer. So when I seen the hurt she was experiencing it hurt me because I’ve always told my daughter how beautiful she is no matter what and that her hair is beautiful but the truth of the matter is not everyone does. So as a mother I took her to a professional and let her and a little hair to the ends of my daughters braids just so that it made it look more natural and not fake and also to not put stress on her edges and she loves them when she’s allowed to get them but that’s not all the time she actually hasn’t had any in about 6 months or so. So you can’t judge every child or parent just by what you see, sometimes there is more to the story than just the title page.

  18. Christy Isaac
    Christy Isaac

    Any child under 13 I think. I see children with edges gone and near bald. It may be hard especially if ur child has short hair but it will be worse if u start adding extra problems.

    1. Lula A Wynn
      Lula A Wynn

      I totally agree… learn them how to take care of what’s natural first so they will learn to love and appreciate their own natural head of hair..

  19. Krystal White
    Krystal White

    Once again…that equates to not taking care of your hair. You can pull out those same edges by wearing your natural hair in a ponytail too tight. Its not the braid. Its the braider and the neglect YOU are showing it

  20. Joycelyn Lanae
    Joycelyn Lanae

    I was in Pre-K when I had fake braids in my hair. It gave my mother a break and it was a good protective stlye. She did it once a year and it looked age appropriate. I don’t have thin edges, I always had long hair, and I never hated my hair. People have to do things in temperance

  21. Khrystal Bianca
    Khrystal Bianca

    I had braids young but I had really long thick hair and it was the summer time. It all depends on the child

  22. Shayla Hicks
    Shayla Hicks

    I absolutely loathe hair that is not grown from the scalp! If only people would take care of their very own hair then we can finally cease as the #1 consumers of Euro hair and stop walking around wearing someone else’s hair!

    1. Rivian Jones
      Rivian Jones

      Why would you compare wearing weave to someone not taking care of there hair. Let me guess your natural?

    2. Shayla Hicks
      Shayla Hicks

      Hi Rivian, weave, wigs, etc… anything not grown from the scalp I am just not a fan of… Most women do not take care of their own hair but I am also aware that some do and choose to wear weaves and such as a protective style. I get that. I just do not like it is all…. But hey, to each her own

  23. Toi Winner
    Toi Winner

    My daughter have had weave in her head for a whole year while she was 2. That’s was because I wanted to get her hair at a length and thickness until she was able to wear her own hair in braids, and she was getting done professionally. To be honest it would depends on how appropriate the hairstyle is for the child. We have seen plenty of little girls hair-natural hair, that is fragile, thin, and unmanageable, and adults would put braids, ponytails, or hairstyle that was was not suitable and ridiculous. It is the parent/s decision.

  24. Nani IllNana
    Nani IllNana

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with braiding hair in a child’s hair. Keeping a little girls hair taken Care of and braiding it with weave will help it grow longer because you are not constantly combing and brushing it every day. As long as the style is age appropriate and its not colored, I think its a go

    1. Lillieann Johnson
      Lillieann Johnson

      I agree my daughter is in kindergarten and hates getting her done in the morning so I braids up and it gives me a break from the struggle. My daughter gets excited when I tell her that she is getting her hair….hell sometime she asks me when she can get her hair done again.

    2. Velli Velli Velz
      Velli Velli Velz

      Totally agree. My daughter has her hair in braided extensions. When she is bored of it she asks for her natural hair. Nothing wrong within reason.

  25. Tabatha

    My mom didn’t let me get box braids until I was 13. But I think as long as they aren’t super tight then I think that maybe 8 years old might be an ok age. I think that you should take a good look at your child’s hair and if it’s not too fragile go ahead. I’m not really about weaves that are sewn in, but I’m ok with clip ends cause you put it in and you can take it out the next day.

    1. Chanèl Johnson
      Chanèl Johnson

      Learn to take care of there hair . The reason most of these kids have such short , damaged hair is because the parents are over processing it, not paying attention to it , or just don’t care . Just let it be free , and leave so much fake hair out of it . and the babies will have hair !

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