Growing up I can clearly remember the arguments I would have with my mum about getting my hair brushed. My hair, as it is now, was very thick, and if left unattended would wind itself into some rather stubborn tangles.
I didn’t want to cut my hair – or do anything to it – I loved it long and natural. It never entered my mind that I could style it any other way, let alone curl it or straighten it.
And I’m glad I knew no different then. Because when I hit my teenage years, boy did I make up for lost time! I would dye my hair; I’ve been blonde, red, black and every shade in between. I would blow dry my hair, crimp it and curl it. Back then, straighteners weren’t around (unless you counted the clothes iron). I’m sure if they were I would have been pleading with my parents to buy me some.
Which leads me on to my question – at what age should you let your child take control of their hair?
It sounds like a weird question to ask. But at what age are they going to make the right choices for their hair? And shouldn’t we be letting them make their own choices? I mean, isn’t it every kid’s right of passage to have at least one super dodgy hair style growing up? I know I’ve had my fair share, and unfortunately there is photographic evidence!
But, the problem I see today, is that there is much more pressure floating around for kids to look older than they should. And with that comes the want to wear make up and style their hair. And styling their hair might involve using heated appliances that could potentially damage their hair.
It’s not to say that children shouldn’t be allowed to have a say in how their hair looks, I mean, we want them to feel good about themselves and learn to make informed choices.
And teaching children to take good care of their hair will improve the health of their hair.
- Get your child used to hair brushing by using a soft brush to gently comb through it each day. Keep it fun and when they are old enough, teach them to do it themselves.
- Don’t be tempted to wash your baby/child’s hair every day. This will wash away all the natural oils and may dry out and damage their hair.
- Try and use natural products when you can. Coconut oil is a great choice for cradle cap and helps to nourish the scalp.
- If you don’t have the skills to cut your child’s hair (not many of us do, even if we think otherwise!) leave it to the professionals! Don’t be that parent that gives your kid a dodgy hair cut. Getting them used to a friendly and gentle hairdresser from a young age is worth it.
- When you feel they are old enough to be responsible around heated appliances make sure you teach them how to be safe with them. Especially with straighteners! Also talk to them about the pros and cons of using heated appliances on a regular basis.
- Let them accessorize. If you don’t feel happy about them changing the colour/style of their hair maybe reach a compromise and go shopping together for some pretty accessories to put in their hair.
- And above all – let them know they look amazing – we’ve all got so many hang ups about our looks that we don’t need (myself included).