Mom Posts Photo of 4-Month-Old Daughter with Straightened Hair on Facebook, Sparks Outrage

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A picture of a 4-month-old baby girl with straightened hair (seemingly by flat ironing) has circulated Facebook, sparking outrage and broaching the question: How young is too young to introduce children to hair straightening and relaxers. While women, both natural and relaxed, have denounced the mother because the child is so young, my question is, how is this any different than straightening/relaxing a child’s hair at age 4 or 8 or 12 or 15? The message being transmitted from mother to child is the same: Your hair is not okay as it is and would look better if it were straight. Sending that message to a preteen girl is just as harmful as sending it to a baby (I mean, at least the baby doesn’t fully understand what’s going on!) It’s unfortunate how hair insecurities are so often passed on from black mother to child, almost like a rite of passage. Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast.

  • Lynnquell Gardiner

    Mental messages aside, there are obvious differences between straightening a 4 month old and toddlers hair. For one, that child’s cranial structures are not even entirely formed which could lead to obvious damages by applying pressure/heat to her hair. I see your point but before making the matter subjective it’s so important to view the matter objectively first. This is physically and potentially harmful and just completely unnecessary for that baby.