good for kids’ hair? Many of them lessen the amount of time they have to dedicate to hair care by doing braids. With all the areas competing for attention, cutting hair care time is a bonus!
Braids are one way to cut hair care time. It takes a few hours and you are probably safe for the
next month or two. However, I do have some reservations about them for kids. Growing up in the Caribbean, it was forbidden for children to have braided hair in schools. Hair had to be combed daily. As an adult, I realized that there were valid reasons for this:
- Cleanliness; all the kids had clean hair. Teachers were able to monitor those children who were not being cared for at home.
- There were no outbreaks of hair issues, e.g. lice
- Children were able to concentrate on their education rather than hairstyles.
- Parents who had limited income were able to keep spending on hair care to a minimum.
In the west, the view is different. Individuality is encouraged, so hair plays a huge role in everyday life. I
feel I have a good reason for hesitating when parents ask: are braids good for kids’ hair? These include:
- Parents often leave the braids in for two months or more
- The braids are often too tight for the child’s scalp
- There is often no rest period during the school year. The child is out of the braids today and back in them tomorrow. There is no time for the hair to breathe.
- Since this is done mostly on girls with curly hair, they often grow up not knowing how to care for their hair. They are totally helpless when it comes to caring for it as adults and often keep braiding until there are incidents of alopecia.
- I have seen many clients who never felt their natural texture and now keep their hair braided, under a wig or shaved.
- Many of the parents give in to the child’s need to blend in and braid their child’s hair with long extensions. This often puts stress on their young head. This can also lead to hair loss in adulthood.