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.