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.
Let The Child ChooseThis next idea may be an unpopular opinion, but I think that you should allow your child to choose what they want to do with their hair. I am not saying you should let your five-year-old tell you what to do, but perming your kid's hair can be a massive thing for them. It can cause significant changes in their hair that may eventually damage it completely. Personally, in my experience, I was forced to do the big chop because when I was young, my mother always put perms and texturizers in my hair which weakened it. I did not know what my hair type was or how to it. I think that it is essential for your child to know what their natural hair texture looks like and to feel confident in the style they have. It is a great idea to ask them what they would like their next style to be. Or maybe even show them beautiful natural styles and tell them to pick one.
You Have OptionsFor all the moms who say they perm their child’s hair because they do not know how to take care of it, there are several resources available that will teach you how to take care of your kid's hair. Or if you do not feel like learning, you can always take them to a natural hair salon. When trying to find a natural hair salon to do your child’s hair make sure you do your research. Yelp exist for a reason, and you should use it to find a salon that will best suit your child’s needs. The first thing you want to check for is that they do kids hair because recently several stylists have decided not to do kids hair anymore. But if your budget is a little tight, there are several videos on Youtube that can teach you how to do natural styles on your kids. YouTube is honestly one of the best places to learn how to do your kid's hair. Some videos will teach you how to moisturize your child’s hair properly and what regimen is best for your little one. There are also cute videos that will show you how to do cute styles on your kid’s hair if you are a beginner.
Protective StylesIf you are not yet comfortable with having your child’s natural hair out all the time protective styles are a great go-to style. Protective styles do not have to be incredibly intricate like single braids or cornrows you can do some twists and leave them in their hair for about two weeks. Buns and ponytails also count as protective styles as well as make sure to protect their ends to avoid damage.
Things to KnowWhen taking care of your kid’s hair, there are some key things you should know to ensure that they have the healthiest hair.
Porosity:Porosity is how your hair absorbs moisture and is one of the most important things to know when you are taking care of your little one’s hair. Because if their hair is not receiving enough moisture, this can lead to dry, brittle hair and ultimately straggly ends and damaged hair. The are three types of porosity which are high low and reasonable. To quickly sum up what this means, high porosity strands rapidly absorb moisture. Normal porosity absorbs moisture usually, and low porosity is difficult for the strands to absorb moisture.
Hair Type:Your hair type is merely the pattern or type of hair strands you have in your hair. Discovering what your hair type is can be a little bit of a difficult task. But finding out what their hair type is can help you better understand what things their hair needs and what the best methods are for taking care of your child's hair. One important thing to know is that it is also possible and extremely common or your kids to have more than one hair type. The most common hair type in African- American hair is type four or kinky/coily hair. There is also three types of type 4 hair. Type 4A is tight coils that are S-shaped. Type 4B is a little less defines and is usually a Z shape. And lastly type 4C is a mix of both type 4A and 4B but much tighter coils.
How to Moisturize:Moisture is critical when trying to prevent natural hair from damaging. Our kinks love moisture, so it’s essential t have your child’s hair moisturized hen taking care of it. It’s necessary to have leave-in conditioners, curling puddings and hair lotions on deck at all time to make sure that you are correctly taking care of your kid's hair.
Trimming/taking care of ends:Your ends are the oldest part of your hair, so they need a lot of attention. Make sure that you are trimming your child’s hair once every 3-4 months to prevent split ends. You also want to keep the ends moisturized on a consistent basis to prevent breakage and splitting. Having moisturized ends is a significant component of hair growth and having healthy hair.
Have Fun on The JourneyThere are so many amazing things to teach your children about their hair. It’s essential that they know that their hair is beautiful and unique and nothing to be ashamed of at any point in their life. It is okay to give them perms and texturizers as long as you are still caring for their hair the right way. And have fun during the process! There is a lot for your child to learn about their hair and maybe you will learn a little something too. Learning about your natural hair, realizing what products work best for it, and embracing your curl pattern is so beneficial. Ultimately, what hairstyle your child has is your choice. Good luck!
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