Heeeey Nu D’ers! I hope you all are taking advantage of February’s special, Boo Squats! Time is ticking, and you might just fall in love with squats, you never know!
For a moment, I want to talk about something that’s important to us at Nu Dimensions. Everyone has their opinion on this, and we’re going to share ours.
Now, before this even starts, I have to say that we are NOT against relaxers. We love and serve all of our clients, whether they have relaxed, straightened, natural, weaved, zig zag, or zebra hair. Our first mission is to always cultivate HEALTHY hair, and you can have a relaxer and maintain a healthy regimen for your hair. So, now that that’s clear… Moving on!
As a stylist who has seen young girls (younger than 7 and 6 years old) get relaxers, I always wonder the reason behind it. Is the child extremely tender-headed and it’s a nightmare for anyone to even think about doing her hair? Do the parents feel like it’s too much hair, too much of a headache for them to style? Does the parent or child think straight hair looks better? There are a ton of reasons why some parents and caregivers put relaxers into their kids’ heads, but I really can’t agree with relaxing a young girl’s hair. And I’ll tell you why!
1. A child is still a child and still has “baby hair” and sensitivities. Just because hair doesn’t slick down around the edges of your forehead or get super curly when it’s wet doesn’t mean it’s not baby hair. Baby hair is virgin hair that’s still growing and adapting to its environment and the products used on it. Putting such a strong chemical on it before it’s a bit more mature can do damage in the long run, even if it saves you time in the short run. Also, children’s skin, much like their immune system and face (and sometimes their feelings), are very delicate and highly sensitive to things outside themselves. And don’t be fooled, kiddie relaxers are still full of chemicals that can burn the scalp and erase away young hairlines. Putting in a relaxer at too young of an age could have adverse effects on the child’s skin/scalp, and we definitely don’t want that. Again, these things cause more damage in the long run than they are worth.
2. Kids have to know that it’s okay (and a beautiful think) to be different. Good hair is healthy hair – not just silky, long, or curly hair. We can’t keep feeding our children the idea that there is only one kind of beauty. When we do this, we teach them to meet that “ideal” standard of beauty by belittling the person they naturally are. If your child’s hair is kinkier than Kunta Kinte’s, it is NOT acceptable to get her hair relaxed because you think she doesn’t have “good hair.” Just so you know, “coarse”, “kinky”, and “coily” are not synonyms for “bad hair”. And don’t be so quick to refer to your child’s hair as “nappy” in a negative light. We HAVE to watch the things we tell our kids, because these things shape how they feel about themselves as they grow up. Say it with me now, “Good hair is healthy hair and it’s a beautiful thing to be different!”
3. We have to teach our girls how to love themselves. I’m telling you, you have no idea how many messages about beauty young girls receive on a daily basis. The media bombards them with so many stereotypes. It targets them and preys on the fact that they can be insecure and vulnerable. So, telling them that they are beautiful in conjunction with relaxing their hair can make them feel like their hair – the way it naturally grows out of the scalp, what God gave to them – is not good enough.
In the end, relaxers aren’t the devil, but you have to be conscious of why you are relaxing your child’s hair. Be mindful of the words you use and the messages you may be sending or reinforcing about what beauty is. And don’t forget that they are still children. Relaxers may be too harsh for their scalps, but whether your child’s hair looks like this…
Make sure they know that it is beautiful and they are beautiful because of it and in addition to it! Beauty is not always about what grows out of your head or what people see on the outside, but by how a person lives, what they have to offer, and how they treat others.
But if they become of age and you’re thinking about relaxing their hair, bring them in to Nu D! 😉