Relaxers for Kids? What are your thoughts???

Another touchy debate in our community is relaxing young girls hair. Lots of us natural hair women started getting relaxers when we were children. I believe I got mine when I was 11 or 12. Its something in our culture like, joining a sorority and getting a right of passage into “pretty” society.  Some parents may think that a relaxer will make their child’s hair more manageable per se, or Pretty. So many parents relax their young children’s hair at a very young age. I heard of as someone as young as two years old getting their hair relaxed. WHAT!??

When parents relax their child’s hair do they about how it can affect their self-esteem and image of their children? Is it that some parents are not educated enough to deal with their childs natural hair and resort to relaxers as a way out? (I’m no expert so these are just my questions, and thoughts).

I personally wish my mother would have never relaxed my hair. I wish it could have been my choice. ( Now let me say these are my personal beliefs, I’m not on any side or telling anyone what they should do to their kid’s hair).

When I was getting my hair relaxed I didn’t think about the negative aspects of relaxers. I just wanted my hair to be “pretty”, but I associated “pretty” with relaxing my hair. That’s the mindset of many young children and women today, that when you relax your hair  you will be pretty, and accepted. I look back now and think, man why did I think my natural hair wasnt good enough? I never really even remembered my natural texture so how would I know it wasnt already cute!!. I had been relaxed for so long I didn’t even know… whew! Its messed up. Let me just tell you this one story, my cousin has a daughter she is 5 and a BEAUTIFUL little girl! Her mother is natural, and she told her one day when her hair was in a little twist out ponytail “mommy my hair is beautiful just like yours”. Wow right!!! Setting the RIGHT example for her child that she is beautiful no matter how her hair grows out of her head!!!!

I think that we are taught to believe that relaxers make us pretty and ultimately leads us to belive that our natural hair is not accepted and not pretty so we must alter our hair. I know this is true for me, I thought the only way I would be pretty is to get a relaxer.

What are your thoughts on relaxing young girls hair?


4 thoughts on “Relaxers for Kids? What are your thoughts???

  1. I don’t plan on relaxing my daughter’s hair which is one of the reasons I am going natural. I got a relaxer when I was in 7th grade because I wanted my hair to be straight. It was already long but I could never wear it ‘down’ because my mom comb on the stove method wasn’t getting it straight! And, everyone else had a relaxer. Everyone and I used to get teased. Fast forward to now, it seems like all of us have learned so much about taking care of our hair, embracing our curly hair, etc that I think I will have a good handle on how to take care of my own daughter’s hair sans the cream.

  2. I don’t have kids, but when I do eventually have a daughter, I will not be putting a relaxer in her hair. When she gets to an age where she is able to make her own decisions about her hair, I will make sure she has all the information about both decisions. My mom did not put a relaxer in my hair until I was about 12-13. I don’t remember if it was by my request. Up until that point, my mom was big on press-n-curls. She was not, however, well versed in healthy hair care, so even without the relaxer, my hair was doomed.

    • I totally agree Angel. I dont have any kids either but when I do, I will let them make the choice about their hair, at an older age. With all the information on natural hair care I think that more parents will be more informed on healthy hair care for their children.

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