At What Age Should Kids Be Allowed to Make a Decision to Go Natural? |

At What Age Should Kids Be Allowed to Decide to Go Natural? (Poll)

Photo: Grace and Ashley of ChiChiRomeo and Me

Last week, I received an Instagram comment from a young 13 year old girl who had been transitioning for 3 months, asking how to get products to keep her hair healthy. Her struggle was that her mom wouldn’t support her choice to go natural and thus wouldn’t pay for products, because she felt natural hair was “nappy”.

At What Age Should Kids Be Allowed to Make a Decision to Go Natural? |
Upon seeing her comment, I asked her to send me an email, and with her mom’s permission, I shipped Onyi a box of natural hair products and samples that had been resting unused in my closet. While I know I can’t send products to everyone’s child, I really felt like it was the best thing I could do for her know. The situation got me to thinking, at what age should kids be allowed to make a decision to go natural?

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In thinking about my hair choices as a child and teenager, the one thing that I wanted to do and had to “wait” was to have my hair colored. I’d wanted to have my hair colored at least since the beginning of high school, and it was the one hair thing my mom said that I’d have to wait and do on my own when I was out of her house. Her reasoning was that coloring relaxed hair was super damaging, and she wasn’t about to take me to the hair salon more often because I had breaking hair. For some people, getting a relaxer was that thing you begged your mom to allow you to do at a certain age; for others, maybe it was getting a weave. If we can all agree that natural hair is generally the healthiest state of hair, then should a decision to go natural be met with as much apprehension by parents as relaxers, weaves, or hair color, which are much more damaging? From a non-parent point of view, I think a child should always be allowed to resist chemicals or toxic things on their body, whether that means relaxers or whether they want to be vegetarian. While it may cause inconvenience for parents, I think it is dangerous to stifle a child’s healthy decisions, and going natural is the #1 healthiest hair decision there is.

What do you think? At what age should kids be allowed to decide to go natural?

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  1. As stated above, the right question is when should (if we ever should) we start kids on chemicals ?

    I have to admit that I will probably never face this issue as my daughter is an half-cast. BUT…I can speak about my expérience. I’m a 4C with thin and low density hair…basically to make my hair grow is quite a challenge especially if you don’t know how to. My mom is a 4A/4B with médium density thick hair…she applied to my hair what she gave to hers. EPIC FAIL! So she decided to perm my hair at a young âge (around 9 I think)…etc.etc. I think it’s better not to have to go to the “painful” BC stage. Some will argue that BC and short hair is not painful for everybody. CORRECT! But depending on your face shape, texture, hair caracteristics it may not fit you at all and it engages you for quite a long time…and therefore crop your self-esteem (thatyou’ll try to heal with make up, bold accessories and jewels).

    I believe -hairly speaking- the best gift a parent (not only the mother) can give to a child is to teach the kid how to grow long healthy natural hair therefore when the kid become a teen or a roung woman she does not have to BC or transition…

  2. I think at any age, they should be able to decide within reason, 12+ Maybe we can put the word out, that at meet-ups, for girls under 16, instead of having swaps, each person (adult) at the meet-up can bring an extra of something for natural hair and we can collect to give to young girls who would like to go natural and cannot afford it.

  3. They should stay natural from birth..I went natural in April 2014 and am happy i made that decision.Should have done so sooner.Chemicals used to straighten our kinky hair are damaging in the long run,what parent wishes such on their kids?Let them do so when they are adults.

  4. II am indecisive on the age. I believe that a child doesn’t want to damage her natural state the parents should support the child’s decision.

  5. Maybe it’s just me, but I plan on starting off my kids as natural. If they want anything different, that’s fine…but there will be conditions. If they want permanent thermal straightening, they will need to write an exposition explaining why–if it’s for the wrong reasons (eurocentric beauty ideals, to fit in, etc), then they can’t do it until they’re out from under my roof. If they want chemicals, they will have to wait until they’re legally adults, because I’m not sponsoring that. Extensions can wait until they’re teens.

    Anything else–locs, twists, braids, fros, updos–are fair game at any age.

  6. I think you should be allowed to go natural at any age because it’s more healthy. Some may say it’s expensive to maintain but it’s the most healthy option.

  7. Personally,I didn’t get a relaxer till I got into university and that’s my plan for my children.However I can understand her mother’s side.She might hold the view that natural is unkempt, and if she’s the one in charge of hair care,she might not have the extra time/money to keep her daughter’s natural hair looking good