Scalp Deep: Why Relaxers For Children Cause Long-Term Harm

The other day I was sitting down thinking about how innocent childhood is. It’s that period of life where everything is so optimistic and fully of hope.

curly haired kids

In a quick instance my mind wandered to thoughts of childhood insecurities.

How is it that children- who are meant to be carefree, innocent and the most precious beings, can feel as if they’re unworthy?

How is it that children as young as 5 realise that physical differences make them different or unusual?

My first thought was that children are just as smart as adults and therefore notice differences in the same way that grown ups do. That’s true, right? But then I thought about the impact that adult views, decisions and expressions can have on children.

Children are like sponges and every word uttered to them is absorbed like water.

Words sink in and are engraved in the minds of kids for life.

When it comes to hair, children with naturally curly-kinky, frizzy, wavy or afro hair are often made to relax their hair by their parents. Such children have no choice- yes they can kick up a fuss but at the end of the day mums word is final.

When you relax a child’s hair, you’re essentially telling them that their real hair isn’t good enough. It’s sub-par, bad and needs to be changed. Is that the message we want to send to kids?

Think about it.

The topic of relaxers goes way beyond simply applying a chemical to one’s hair. It’s deep. Very deep. Scalp deep.

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One comment

  1. Laura

    So true… We actually transfer our own “shame” (?) over them…. The good thing is that with blogs like yours, parents can now reasonably say “I know what is best for you” 😉. All the best Victoria, L.

    Like

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