When I selected the topic college/university issues, it was with the desire to help address some hidden costs related to these learning institutions.  Parents are focused on giving their children the best education.  Tuition and housing costs are a necessary part of the process, but some costs, e.g. hair care, are sometimes not included as part of the school budget.

At the start of term, students show up eager to begin this new era of their life with a full head of glossy, beautiful, well-cared for hair.  They are coming from family systems where a parent is ensuring the hair is cared for on a regular basis. When they enter college or university, just as there is no one demanding a term paper, there is no one pushing regular hair care.  If the parent was not proactive in making an allowance, this need is dropped from the budget. Anyone who has been guided through a system and is suddenly told to figure it out knows how this ends.

Students glowing with this new found freedom, blow their budget in the early start of the term.  It is hard keeping up socially on a budget, so by the midterm, most are living on fries and package noodles.  The hair suffers because it does not see a vegetable unless it is on a burger.  Most do not know that water is still a good choice over sugar regardless of the circumstances.

If the parent is not constantly thinking ahead, hair care is minimum especially for girls.  Quite a few will resort to having friends braid or do something to it, but the frequency depends largely on how they keep up with the school work.  If they run behind, the hair is the last thing on the agenda and so the decline begins.  The once beautiful hair is now dry and brittle.  I often see girls who keep extensions in for several months because they have time management issues.

My advice to parents with a  child that has never fixed her own hair is to have this corrected up to a year before they go away to college or university.   They should be able to at least do a wash and style by the time they enter first year.

Managing a budget is going to be a first for most and should they finish the funds too early, they could  leave the hair in its natural state until more funds are available.

By Paula Barker, Silkielocks.com

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