Too Much, Too Soon: Should Children Wear Hair Extensions?
Hair Extensions for ChildrenOkay, girlfriend, grab your tea because we are about to dive deep into this one! We all know that social media has tons of pros and cons. One of the greatest pros, in my opinion, is the fact that it opens the door to many topics that normally don’t get a lot of shine. I’m talking about the pictures that go viral of our precious babies who are wearing hair extensions. The ones where some people are raising an eyebrow and questioning if that’s right or wrong. So many people believe that kids today look nothing like kids. They’re wondering what happened to the hairbows and barrettes, or the ribbons and beads. Some think kids are growing up too fast on purpose. But let’s be clear, the kids aren’t choosing their look, their parent is. It’s the parent who decides on how they want their child to look. They do have that right of regulation. But are they right or wrong? Is there really an age limit on hairstyles? Or are there many reasons why kids are wearing extensions, and we should be okay with it? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that. So, let’s talk about it!
Society StandardsThe worse type of standard to have is the ones set by society. Deep down we know they aren’t real, but on the other hand, sometimes it’s hard to diminish them. There are even standards on how people should and shouldn’t raise their children. Many can attest that many decades ago, it was quite simple to tell a child from a teen. Or that it was easy to try and guess a child’s age. At times that may not be so easy, now. With the help of social media, we have this standard of how we all should look; even pressuring parents on how their child should look. Some want to see a child wearing beads and pigtails whereas some don’t mind seeing a child have long straight extensions or long corn rolls with added hair.
What's The Problem?Some feel the problem with allowing a child to wear extensions is that they aren’t allowing them to be a child at all. Wearing extensions will unknowingly put standards on a child at a young age, which, causes them to think they have to carry out a specific image, as they grow older. It may be teaching them that their natural hair isn’t beautiful or also not even allowing them to know anything about their natural hair. Society looks at that as “looking too grown” and that a child needs to look like a child. But then again, what is a child suppose to look like really? Society tells us that a child should wear certain hairstyles and if it goes outside those parameters, then it’s to be questioned. There’s also a constant trend on social media where mothers want their daughters to dress just like them from head to toe. So if the mother is wearing box braids, it’s a must the child has to follow suit.
Celebrity StandardWhat are we to do when we’re unknowingly taught that celebrities are nothing short of perfect and we should follow them? Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian are amongst the few who have been shamed for putting extensions in their daughter’s hair. Causing uproar with some, who of course, think they are too young. Angelina’s daughter was pictured wearing box braids. Now, she’s the only child in the family who has thick textured hair, and some have said that maybe Angelina thought it would be easy to manage braids. Or that she wanted her daughter to feel more accepted within the family. All reasons that seem very likely. As for Kim, it seems that she was twinning with her daughter. Both were shown wearing matching corn-rolls. Of course, most of the world just viewed that as “cute.” But when non-celebrities do it, it’s not cute. Do celebrity children have a certain standard as well? On the other side of the fence, there are people who look up to these women and want to be just like them. They see nothing wrong with what they're doing. So, what’s a human to do? Some argue for people to just raise their child how they want and forget what the world says. Because truth be told, celebrities sure aren’t speaking out on why they put extensions in their babies hair, so neither should the rest of the world.
Health ReasonsA lot of us don’t put much thought behind the possibility of a young child being sick. We see most kids always running around and laughing and forget somewhere else in the world; there’s a sick child. A child who can only hope to play and laugh again. We’re all familiar with cancer in one-way or another. It’s never a good thing to see anyone with that illness, but it’s a little sadder when we see a child hurting. Some children even have to go through chemotherapy and lose all their hair. What is that child to do when or if they look in the mirror and feel someone ugly is looking back? We don’t know how high that child's self-esteem is to tell if they believe that there’re still beautiful in spite of their illness. So then we must ask the question; is it now okay for that parent to have a wig made or get some hair added to make their hair a little thicker? A parent shouldn’t have to walk around with a sign stating why they did what they did. They just do it. That parent still wants their child to feel welcomed in the world and not stand out or picked on for not having any hair.
Growth ProblemsWhat about the child who isn’t sick but just can’t grow long full hair? Is it okay for that Mother to have extensions installed in their child’s hair? Some would argue that a mother should take time to invest in the reasons why their child’s hair isn’t growing. That maybe extensions shouldn’t be the first route they take. A mother could always do research and find natural oils that can assist in hair growth or even changing their diet. However, one can only imagine what all a mother has already done.
Lack of KnowledgeThere also some parents who may think they aren’t skilled enough to do that kind of research to find out why their child’s hair isn’t growing. Or maybe that thought just simply hasn’t even crossed their mind. Adding extensions may have been the only route that mother knew to take. They may not be aware of the stress and tension it has on their hair. They may not be thinking that their child is so young and hair follicles are still growing in and that adding extensions may not be a good thing. There are so many layers to this unmeasured stigma.
Choosing The StyleA girl has to keep her hair done, right? Right! But does the style matter if you’re four years old wearing long corn-rolls with added hair? What about during the summertime and the parent doesn’t want to be bothered with doing hair? Some argue that the reason behind the style matters. You see so many kids now who have strips of pink extensions because it’s their birthday and the parent wanted their daughter to look unique. The daughter may end up always wanting that style or wanting different types of extensions because of the standard the mother has set. However, I would think kids deserve to have a little fun if it’s a special occasion. Reminding them of the reason, they have it and that it’s not something that will be ongoing. When it comes to choosing the style, some feel that children shouldn’t be exposed to wear hair extensions but only braids. However, braids and twists with additional hair may add too much pressure on the child’s head and neck. But giving a child a quick weave just might be okay depending on how it’s styled. A child could have a weave and have little ponytails in the front and Shirley temple curls in the back. We also have to keep in minds that, what if the hair extensions don’t look like extensions at all? A parent may be able to find a skilled beautician who will be able to blend the hair thoroughly. We can’t forget about the child who doesn’t need hair added at all and can get away with wearing the same type of style. The world may view that different since it’s their hair. It’s all styles at the end of the day, and the child still needs their hair done.
Explaining Hair ExtensionsNow, let's get real. What exactly are hair extensions? Technically, it’s an added accessory. It’s not anything that adds harm in any way. Of course depending on how it’s installed. But the overall objective of extensions is harmless. Some say we should teach our children all about self-love and what it means to know your truest self before enhancing their appearance. Which is why some parents wait until their child knows what extensions are before they allow them to wear it. But does it go deeper than that? Extensions to others mean protection. Protecting their real hair from any damage, allowing it to grow while being untouched. Some believe the opposite. Their hair is already damaged so they install extensions while repairing it. But what some may not agree with is that, by doing all that, the damage is silently still being done, and they aren’t aware of it. Clearly, hair extensions mean something different to each of us.
EmploymentFor the record, let’s not forget about the parents who are raising models and have kids in pageants. When it comes to employment, should a pass be handed out to this group? We’re all aware that there’s a particular look that has to be upheld to be a face for a company or walk down the isles in pageants. Although, I’m sure some parents teach their child the purpose of wearing extensions because they are getting paid. That doesn’t take away from the fact the child looks grown. The late infamous beauty pageant JonBenet Ramsey was known for her big curly soft curls. Granted, that was probably her real hair, but what if it wasn’t? Some may argue that this reason fits into the same category as children who are ill. Sometimes you may have to do it simply because of the circumstances.
Appropriate or Nah?I think it’s safe to say that it’s many different layers to this controversy. I’m sure there are even parts that go deeper than what was written in this article. But the truth of the matter is that we’re all different, and we all live our lives how we choose. If parents choose to put extensions in their children’s hair at age three because it’s their birthday than that should be okay. If the parent has a sick child who can’t grow their hair and wants them to feel still beautiful and has a wig made than that should be okay as well. Regardless of the reason why one does something different from the other, isn’t important. Whatever the reason is as to why a child is wearing extensions, the point is that they are still wearing them. I stand by the saying it takes a village to raise a child. That means even if you’re the parent who is teaching their child the importance of self-love, the moment they leave the house, they can instantly be subjected to a different view. Should extensions take away from true beauty? Well, some agree that it does while others don’t. You can teach your child about self-love all day long, but they may not feel that once they step into the world.
Hair Extensions Are The Key to EnhancementA child wearing hair extensions shouldn’t be compared to a child who isn’t wearing them. The singer, India Arie, had a popular song out many years ago titled “I Am Not My Hair.” The song discusses how your hair doesn’t define who you are. It’s one of the most real songs ever made. It teaches us that true beauty comes from within. Wearing extensions doesn’t make you a better person. It’s just simply something that’s added to your appearance. So, what do you believe? Leave us a comment below; we would love to read your views!
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