Give Natural Hair a ChanceDoing your child’s hair can be extremely difficult for a mom who has never dealt with natural hair. Sometimes the only answer for them is to perm or straighten their little one’s hair to make it more manageable. This article can help give you some ideas on what styles you can do on your child without damaging their hair. Please keep in mind that I am not trying to tell you what to do with your child's hair because that is ultimately your choice. I am merely providing suggestions as to why you should keep your child’s hair natural. Natural hair is a beautiful part of your child that they should learn to love and embrace and with your help it is achievable. Here is everything you need to know about the natural hair life and how it is beneficial for your child.
The Disadvantages of Certain HairstylesBefore we get into all of the good stuff, I want to elaborate a bit on why specific hair methods you may decide for your child may not be the healthiest choice for their hair. Here are some everyday hair choices made and their effects on your child's hair.
A perm:Before you decide to perm your child’s hair, it is essential to understand what exactly a perm does to the hair. A chemical known as ammonium thioglycolate is applied to the hair to break down its structure bonds. These bonds that are broken down are the building blocks of hair that cause its natural texture such as straight or curly hair. Once the bond breaks, then the hair turns into a flaccid state. In simpler terms, if you have curly or kinky hair and use a perm, the chemicals will force the bonds in your hair to break to form it to be straight. The skin and scalps on children are more tender, sensitive, and prone to irritation or allergic reactions than that of a teen or adult. When children get perms, they are far more susceptible to scalp irritation and chemical burns on top of the damaged hair. There is nothing wrong with giving your child a perm if that is what you decide. It is just important to take precautionary measures such as putting vaseline on your child’s scalp to protect it from damage.
A texturizer:Texturizers are a milder version of a perm. A texturizer is different because it loosens the natural curl pattern of the head without completely straightening it. Texturizers loosen the curl pattern allowing for more manipulation and manageability. Texturizers are ideal for a person that wants to keep their natural curls but with a softer and looser pattern. In other words, texturizers are less harsh than perms. But don’t let that fool you. The same effects a perm may have on your scalp such as burns or damaging the hair can happen with texturizers as well.
Excessive use of heating tools:We all know that using curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers can damage hair. But another heating tool that I know my mother often used on my hair was a hot comb. A hot comb is a metal comb used to straighten hair. Often people will put oil or grease on the hair that helps with the straightening process. I remember seeing a lot of smoke when the metal touched my hair and a few times I accidentally got burned. From my personal experience, the hot comb caused damage to my hair leaving it broken and limp. As I said before, it is important to remember that it is okay to do these styles on your child’s hair. You want to do whatever is necessary to protect from a lot of damage.
Benefits of Being NaturalLet’s be honest being natural is pretty lit. For me being natural was one of the best decisions that I could have made for myself. Being natural is also the best way to retain length. Most time when people have perms, they do not adequately take care of their hair which causes their strands to thin out and break-off. But when you are natural, it is a lot easier to prevent this from happening because you are not adding any dangerous chemicals to your hair or damaging heat. Keeping your child natural can also save you a lot of coins because you won’t have to go to the salon every two weeks to get their roots touched up. Kids can also be pretty messy, so you do not have to worry about them getting water on their hair or doing something to mess it up. Even when your child grows up, they won’t have to go through the whole big chop phase like the rest of us did.
Teaching Self-loveAllowing your child to wear their natural curls at a young age will teach them to love themselves and their natural hair. Allowing your child to experience how their natural hair grows at a young age will enable them to embrace and appreciate their uniqueness. Teaching your child how to take care of their hair will prepare them for when they have their little ones. I know there are many of us out there now who had no idea what to do with our hair when we were younger or how to appreciate its beauty. Here are some ideas you can utilize in your household that can help your child embrace their natural hair:
- Don’t allow hair texture comparisons. All hair textures are beautiful, and everyone’s pattern is different. It is essential for your child to know this because there are many opinions about which feel is “better.” Make sure that your child understands that their hair is perfect and unique for them.
- Find dolls and toys with similar hair. For most little girls, dolls are their first friends. It is an excellent idea for your child to grow up knowing that there are other people out here with her kind of hair.
- Lead by example. You are one of your child’s most important influences in their life. If they see how much you love and embrace your hair, they will do the same.